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KNX is the leading protocol in the European & Chinese smart homes market


BSRIA is pleased to present the results of its latest Smart Home/Light Commercial market study produced in January 2017. The study, which consists of individual country reports on China, France, Germany, Netherlands, North America and UK, is forecasting a total global growth of 20% in the Smart Home/Light Commercial market in 2017, with the largest growth being predicted for the UK market with a growth rate of 29%. The study segments the market into stand-alone products and whole home products and also analyses the value of system integration (value add) and service and maintenance.

The total value of the global market is forecast to be US$ 15.8 billion in 2017; the US market remains the largest single market forecast at 29% of the total market value. Despite the maturity of the US market, the growth forecast is expected to be in line with the global increase in value of 20%, with stand-alone products being the segment showing the largest growth at 27%.

The study is also forecasting rapid growth in sales of both products and system integration, but due to the infancy of the market, a lower level of sales for service and maintenance.

The reports show that the largest individual vertical sector is luxury villas accounting for 25% of the market value; the second and third largest segments, offices and hotels respectively, represent a combined total of 23% of the market.



The reports provide an outlook until 2021 when it is forecast that the total global market will be worth US$ 29.8 billion.

In terms of communication protocols, whereas the market in North America is dominated by proprietary protocols, the study shows a significant increase in the penetration of KNX in Europe and China. The typical KNX wired solution has traditionally limited its deployment to new-built installations: the launch of the KNX RF (wireless) version in 2010 has enabled it to gain a significant market share, placing it in third place behind proprietary communication protocols and Wi-Fi, but with the advantage that it can be integrated with KNX wired products.

In Germany the whole home solutions market is heavily dominated by KNX (with a share of 56%), which was developed largely under the auspices of major German and European smart building suppliers. While proprietary protocols still have a significant share, none of the other protocols have yet gained critical mass.

All protocols have their own strengths and weaknesses, and many installations will incorporate more than one protocol.

Proprietary protocols may have the advantage of not adding additional costs to the devices and give the biggest freedom to the manufacturer: however, they seriously complicate the integration with other systems.

Wired systems account for the vast majority of the overall market in China for whole-home smart systems. Of the total whole-home smart home market, nearly 38% uses proprietary protocols and about 42% was accounted for by KNX systems. The KNX protocol constitutes a “European standard for smart home installation” in China, which has become the only approved Chinese standard (GB/T20965) for Home and Building Control in 2013. A large number of protocols are used in wireless products in China, however, mostly for stand-alone smart products/subsystems, including Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi’s disadvantage is, however, that it consumes more energy, and devices working through Wi-Fi can slow down internet connectivity at home.


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