Description of the KNX system and devices

The KNX/EIB system is in essence composed of programmable modules supplied by a range of manufacturers (currently over 100) interconnected by a common bus and able to freely communicate using digital telegrams transmitted via the bus. The design of each circuit covers, generally speaking, the selection of appropriate modules and the description of their mutual relationships via software (the physical cable connection is always present – all components are interconnected via the control bus.) Each module is an independent microprocessor circuit. Its operation is thus largely dependent on the software installed on it (so-called application programmes). The choice of an application programme bears with itself the necessity to select the right set of parameters. Designing a good EIB installation requires thus extensive knowledge of system components, covering besides technical parameters also the application programmes. As we see, the basic concept is very simple. However, because any component can be connected with any other component, and the operation of every module can be preprogrammed in a broad sense, in the end we get a system with immense capabilities. Below are presented the properties and the use of main and additional devices on offer by KNX/EIB manufacturers. Information on the features of each device type will enable you to evaluate their abilities and usefulness.  

Basic equipment:

  •   Control consoles net price per set – from 108 €
Available in a variety of colours and shapes, they can have any number of buttons, a thermostat and a display. One of their main tasks is the control of lighting, meaning – the switching of lamps in the room. Specific light control zones can be assigned to each button, i. e. the first button can control the sconces, the second one lamps, etc., all depending on our wishes. Another function of the consoles is control of the heating and air conditioning. In case the temperature in the room drops below a value set by us, the thermostat embedded in the console will cause it to be raised again; in a reversed case it will switch on the air conditioning. Depending on the programming, the display can show the current temperature, the mode of operation, data on the operation of the heating or air conditioning equipment, etc.        
  • Motion detector net price per set – from 140 €
There rooms in which a person only stays for a few short minutes (i. e. toilet, wardrobe) or just passes through them often (i. e. corridor, stairs) – in such cases it is most convenient to install a motion detector which switches the light on by itself when it detects motion. It additionally has a light intensity sensor thanks to which the light is only enabled when it is really required.    
  • Presence detector with light intensity adjustment net price per set – from 235 €
This device has all the functions of a motion detector, however installed centrally on the ceiling it has a much broader range to detect presence of people in the room. During intense work, i. e. at the computer, one doesn’t notice minute changes to the light level. The body reacts only when the light is markedly weaker. Even then, busy with work, we don’t get up to turn on the light. We only do it when we do not see the text we are working on any more. We can go like this every day for years – and our eyesight will get weaker gradually. Working in difficult light conditions is a burden to our eyes, even if we ourselves don’t consciously notice that it is too dark. That is why the installation of a a presence sensor with workplace light intensity adjustment is a good solution to keep the light level stable. It works great on cloudy days, when it can quickly get dark or bright again outside.  
  • Actuating output (binary) net price per terminal from 33,20 €
            Outputs play a vital role in the transmission of electric current to each device. In the switch cabinet, on the busbar usually outputs with 1-16 terminals are installed necessary i. e. for switching lighting or outlets on and off, and for control of heating and air conditioning.  
  • Dimmer net price per terminal from 138 €
Allow stepless adjustment of intensity for a selected lighting circuit in a given room. Most lamps in the house are switched on to their full intensity. However, in certain situations one would prefer to be able to adjust the power depending on their mood or the setting, i. e. one can set the light to minimum intensity in a child’s room in case it is afraid to sleep in the dark. In such a case the use of a dimmer is worth considering. Dimmers come in versions with rated power between 150 and 3000 W, both for incandescent light bulbs, as well as fluorescent lamps and LEDs.  
  • Fluorescent lamp dimmer net price per terminal from 138 €
Such a dimmer is used to dim lamps equipped with an EVG unit. In the light intensity sustainment (meaning, in a closed adjustment loop), the dimmer is controlled by an 8-bit signal created in the effect of comparison of the actual light intensity with the set value. The 8-bit signal given on the input of the device causes the dimming (or brightening) of the circuit to the corresponding light intensity level (i. e. 85 corresponds to 33% light intensity).  
  • Thermostat (temperature regulator) net price from 160 €
Working in tandem with an actuation device (i. e. digital outlet, valve motor) it allows the sustainment of a set temperature value for a given room. Depending on the telegram received from the bus, the regulator may sustain different temperatures for a room. The user can manually change the range by 3 °C and order the regulator to sustain comfortable temperature for a selected time, irrespective of any signals from the bus clock.  
  • Window blind control units net price per terminal from 58 €
A smart system allows much more effective use of window blind or Venetian blind controls. Window blinds may be rolled down in case the sunlight heats up a room to quickly, or raised, if daylight will permit savings on artificial light (energy). At dusk, the Venetian blinds and window blinds can close to protect the family from any outsiders spying on them through the windows. In the range of window-covering products there are control units as well as actuation devices tailored to different requirements depending on one’s wishes, i. e. vertical and horizontal Venetian blinds, external and internal blinds, heavy curtains, etc.  
  • Heating zone control unit net price per set – from 75 €
Thanks to the use of smart home systems we are able to optimally utilise the heating system, which contributes greatly to savings. The energy consumption is kept at the lowest possible level while at the same time care is taken to maintain quality comfort. Smart control allows every room to have its temperature adjusted independently (we require different air parameters in the living room, bedroom or children’s room), irrespective from the weather conditions outside (two similar rooms located in different parts of the house require different amounts of warmth at different times of the day, which is not achievable with traditional methods).  
  • Surge protection connector net price 55 €
Serves to protect all devices in the line against the effects of electric power surges, which often may be irreparable damage to the equipment, which in turn makes their replacement essential.  
  • USB/LAN connector net price 212 €
Installed in the switch cabinet, it allows the maintenance personnel of the execution company to program the system directly from the main switch room. In case of i. e. wanting to change the functions of a given console, the maintenance specialist using a computer and a USB/LAN connection can reprogram it without needing to disassemble it. Also, changing the function of a console can take place remotely from the offices of the company if we also have a remote update server installed apart from a home LAN. In effect, the customer can change the parameters and functions of a system indefinitely without ever needing to physically alter the system.  
  • Power supply net price from 157 €
The power unit supplies 24 V DC to the bus cable and the units connected to it. Thanks to the built-in battery (option) it ensures protection against power cuts lasting up to two hours. If i. e. we had set different temperature values in various rooms we can rest assured that in case of a temporary power cut the system will still remember our settings.        

Additional equipmentz:

  • Control clock net price from 370€
Depending on the time, sends EIB telegrams to the bus, containing preprogrammed commands. Signals from the clock can turn on lights and reduce the temperature at night or when everyone had left. In the morning, before work, ahead of time a signal from the clock can order the increase of temperature. The user can manually turn on the lights and order the regulator to operate in comfort mode.  
  • Radio remote control units net price from 37€
24 – channel           4 – channel These units allow free control of selected functions and provide comfort i. e. when watching TV one can switch the light in the room without having to get up from the armchair and approach the console. A small remote unit in the car will not only open the gate, but also turn on the lamps or raise temperature in the house.      
  • Smart touch sensitive remote unit net price 1 025 €
Full control of all audio/video and automatic devices. This unit replaces all remote control units used previously. A large touch sensitive display providing a crystal clear image gives automatic illumination in the night, and allows for free programming of macro commands (event chains) and timed functions (timer). Operation in conjunction with a PC allows the editing of all settings, installation of a new version of the software or designing own menu screens including animated graphics.  
  • SMARTtouch touch panel net price 1 292€
The SMARTtouch panel is a colour (option) touch sensitive screen which allows the control of home electric appliances, lighting, heating, window blinds, etc. It allows the control of the current state of the building from one spot, and enables editing the parameters of executed functions. Thanks to the aesthetic and compact form (a screen of 213×125 mm built into the wall) and the large range of functions it will find use both at home and in the office. The SMARTtouch panel also has built-in presence simulation routines, a thermostat and a remote control unit sensor, so that the main functions can be controlled from the armchair. An addition is the option of writing messages on the screen (i. e. for the family) with the stylus.    
  • Weather control station net price 499 €
The weather sensors supplement the control units with the ability to react to changing weather conditions. The rain sensor will i. e. close the roof windows so that our attic doesn’t get flooded. At the same time the signal can stop the watering of the garden. The wind sensor will roll back any marquees or external blinds so as to reduce the risk of them being damaged. Sunlight intensity sensors can alter i. e. the angle of the slats of the blinds and the position of the marquees. Depending on the sunlight the station can also optimise the amount of light and heat admitted into the rooms.
  • Line interconnector net price from 340 €
This unit divides the lines of the KNX/EIB bus. It blocks telegrams addresses to modules installed on the same line (telegram filtering).  
  • Electric curtain rail
Electric curtain rails allow for remote, automatic curtain drawing or opening. The curtains can be closed or opened completely or partially. These options are useful for presence simulation and for the comfort of the family.
Electric curtain rail 5060 net price 599 € Rail length: 1-7 metres (two rails may be joined) Lead rail cross section: 32 x 28 mm Maximum curtain height: 600cm Maximum curtain weight: 500g/m2 – 45kg Motor power: 30 (45)W Nominal voltage: 230V Motor dimensions: 60 x 50 x 234 (262) mm Movement speed: 13 (19)cm/s Manual curtain movement forbidden. Limit switches preventing motor or band damage from prolonged voltage supply.   Electric curtain rail 5065 net price 299 € Rail length: 1 – 3,5 metres (two rails may be joined) Lead rail cross section: 32 x 28 mm Maximum curtain height: 300cm Maximum curtain weight: 300g/m2 – 12kg Motor power: 30W Nominal voltage: 230V Motor dimensions: 60 x 40 x 140 mm Movement speed: 27cm/s Manual curtain movement allowed. No limit switches.  
  • Mirror heating net price from 55 €
Thin heating film is attached under the mirror in the bathroom which effectively prevents it from steaming up. It can be turned on simultaneously with the light or independently, depending on the user preferences. The cost of 30 hours of heating is small, and amounts to approx. 0,02 €.
  • Presence simulation net price 289 €
Active presence simulation of the family i. e. during the holidays. If the family is away resting the house becomes an interesting target for burglars. Presence simulation greatly reduces the risk of unpleasant surprises when the family returns. A special module 'records’ the activities of the family in the period before the holidays, and then 'plays them back’. The effect is very convincing, because it shows actual activities that are different from day to day.  
  • Integration with the alarm system – 32x or 8-4x connection net price from 204 €
In our projects we utilise the capabilities of standard alarm systems (output from the central unit informing on the state of the sensors). Such a solution reduces costs and gives more options to provide security. Integration of the KNX/EIB system with the alarm system allows i. e. automatic turning on of lamps or blinds if the sensor detects an intruder, and automatic notification of the police or site security.    
  • Control of audio/video equipment
Thanks to integration with multiroom circuitry one can listen to favourite music and control it individually from any room in the house – the living room, bedroom, bathroom, garden, etc., without the need to put a separate audio/video set in each of them. Our task is just the choice of a sound source (radio, CD, etc.) and adjustment of the volume. Speakers installed smartly in the walls or ceilings do not clash with the interior design. Additional capabilities are the visual presentation of songs on the computer monitor and the storage of selected music tracks on servers (even up to several thousand hours of music available at the same time in parallel in each room of the house).  
  • Integration with audio/video equipment – IR module net price 542 €
The IR module is a device integrating the KNX/EIB and alarm systems with the infra-red services used to control the audio/video appliances, air conditioning, etc. This means that i. e. the entrance of someone will not only cause the light to be turned on, blinds to be rolled down, or the temperature to be raised, but will also cause the TV to switch to their favourite channel or play back their favourite music album. Such functionality brings us ever closer to the capabilities of Bill Gates’ house, where, when entering a room, one can see their favourite painting on the plasma screen hanging on the wall. The IR module can also reduce the volume of the TV when the telephone rings or start recording the image shown by a camera in the corridor if an intruder is detected, or record a chosen film/TV show upon receiving a signal from our office. Examples abound. Imagination will suggest the best uses.
  • Digital input net price per terminal from 50 €
Reads the state of terminals, and, depending on the application programme, sends an appropriate telegram to the bus. To one device one can connect four independent terminal groups. In the sample setup the digital inputs read the terminals of relays informing on the state of windows. In case of opening of a window for a minimum time predefined in the parameters of the application programme, the digital input will send a telegram to the bus with a one-bit command, addressed to a specific temperature regulator. The telegram will order the regulator to work in protect against freezing mode, meaning – the keeping of a temperature of i. e. 14 °C. A return to comfort mode takes place after the window had been closed. It is not possible to locally and manually order the regulator to work in comfort mode if there is a window open in the given room.  
  • Analogue output net price per terminal from 70 €
This unit serves to connect to the KNX/EIB net standard metering units of different physical values. A signal of 0…10V, 0…20mA, 4…20mA is converted into digital values, and appropriate telegrams are sent to the bus depending on the application programme. For example, if the unit is working with the application 'adjustment of constant level of light intensity’, a signal from the analogue light sensor is compared to the set value after transformation into digital form (8 bits). The result, after processing according to the PID adjustment algorithm, provides an 8-bit value at the output of the unit, sent via the bus as an EIB telegram. The telegram is picked up by the appropriate dimmer unit (addressee), which then executes the order (dims the light circuit to the value contained in the received telegram).
  • GSM communication unit net price 260 €
The KNX/EIB system can be controlled, and its functions set, via a phone from any place. In this way one can check the state of the alarm system, power cabling, heating, etc., and i. e. remotely turn on the heating early in the morning. The communication unit will also report all cases of faults of heating, busted pipes, open windows or violations of the security zone to the phone of the owner, neighbour, office or any private security company.  
  • TV communication unit net price 1 200 €
This device allows the presentation of data from the EIB system on a TV screen. Sitting comfortably in an armchair one can freely change the ambient temperature in rooms, control the blinds and even adjust the lights using a remote control or PC. Any disturbing events or faults of the system are reported via an alarm signal. The TV communication unit also operates together with the house cameras, thus enabling the viewing of the building from the inside and outside, and controlling the execution of commands by the system, i. e. one can check whether the blinds were rolled down and the garage driveway lamp lit after dusk.
  • Internet communication unit net price from 1 256 €
The Internet communication unit integrated with the home KNX/EIB system will make the system accessible via any PC/palmtop/phone inside the house as well as anywhere in the world. The communicator has the function of visual presentation – on the screen of any computer, palmtop, PDA or mobile phone – a plan/list of rooms with marked lamps, window blinds, heaters, etc. The software enables access and control of all functions as if we were pressing directly the buttons in a room we are watching. The scene module allows free programming of 'scenes’ suitable for different occasions, i. e. watching films, dinner, meeting; the clock allows programming of times and dates at which different functions are to be initiated.   Communicator functions:local and remote visual presentation – a plan or list (depending on the model) of rooms, with their lamps, window blinds, heaters, etc. can be shown on the screen of any computer, palmtop or mobile phone inside the house as well as anywhere in the world via the Internet or WAP. The software enables access and control of all functions just like we were pressing buttons directly on the control console of the room. It is useful for periodic checks or control and as a warning system in case of emergencies or irregularities. The communicator will also relay in a comfortable way the image from internet cameras installed in and around the building. – remote system updates – in case the offices of the contractor and the user site are very far apart, the option of updating the system remotely is useful. This allows the introduction of changes to a distant EIB system in an ordinary fashion, just as if it were done locally, without having the specialist exit their office. The programmer, via the TCP/IP protocol, connects to the iETS server installed in the communication unit. – week and year timer – allows the programming of times and dates of running selected system functions (i. e. night-time temperature reduction). Programmes can be added and altered by the user. – scene module – allows the creation of lamp combinations suited for different situations, i. e. dinner meeting, coffee with friends, etc. The programmes may be added and altered by the user. – logic function module – this device allows economic execution of a broad spectrum of control and adjustment functions whose execution using merely sensors and actuator modules would be overly complicated. The content of EIB signals is interpreted and acted upon according to freely programmable logic and mathematical functions. The effects are sent back via the main bus to the appropriate address. – module for communication with other buildings of the investor – the communicator may also be used as a quick line interconnector between two EIB lines installed i. e. in independent buildings (each building will require a separate communicator unit). In practice this means the elimination of obstructions that are usual when sending telegrams between line interconnectors, especially in case of a backbone network. – option of integration with other systems – the used of the described communicator also opens a lot of other possibilities. The communication unit may also be used when connecting the EIB bus to i. e. the Profibus network, or networks utilising other communication protocols. The OPC server handler is also configured using a Java applet. The conscious decision to run the OPC server not on a PC but a gateway greatly increases reliability. The OPC server is configured via a Java applet showing the topology or structure of the EIB installation. Java technology, independent from the hardware, also allows the running and operation of gateway-specific function from a remote location. Types of communication units: There exist two types of communication units, similar in price but offering different features. – first solution: simple to use but without graphical presentation: • text-based presentation (list of functions and their values) • logic module with option of creating scenes • history module of different parameter values (sensor readings, etc.) • several access levels • six language versions • timer allowing the programming of 32 own user events • option of cooperation with cameras • on-line communication (modem, ISDN, LAN) – fee 12 EUR/year • option of sending e-mails or short text messages in case of special events or alarm triggers (32 options) – second solution: harder to use, but offering graphical presentation: • graphical representation of the network • logic module • scene module with option of using user-created scenes • timer • option of operation with cameras • German-language version only  
  • Home Server net price 2 450 €
The Home Controller is an enhanced version of the Internet communication unit. It is a specialised dedicated computer controlling the home KNX/EIB network. The installation of this unit in your home will allow control and gathering of data from control-measurement units, digital and analogue inputs, central units and still others. Apart from all the capabilities offered by the Internet communication unit, the Home Controller also has other features, such as: – voice communication – in order to light a lamp in a room it will no longer be necessary to press the button on a console. All it will take is to speak the command out loud, and the system will execute our order, turn on the light or roll down a blind. Voice communication works both ways, because the system will also have the ability to inform us about events using sound or voice (as pre-recorded messages). – integration with other systems and their supervision – event signals sent by other central units (alarm, fire safety, etc.) and control units covering heating, lighting, air conditioning, etc., are monitored in real time. In practice this means that the system will inform us about any arising faults the second they appear. – event recording – all data will be stored in the database, which will allow their future management and reporting. When coming back home we thus have the option of controlling what had happened while we were away. This information may be presented in the form of a clear 'online’ visual presentation, allowing full supervision of the house and both local as well as remote control. – wireless touch-sensitive LCD panel – now, all functions of the Home Controller can be viewed via a colour LCD screen, available in three sizes from 3,6” to 24”. The panel is equipped with a web browser allowing control of the visual presentation. The panel’s docking station can be mounted on the wall or set on a table/desk.
  • Integration with logic networks (domNET) net price from 460 €
The integration of all logic networks inside the house decidedly increases the value and comfort of the house, and incorporates in itself comfort and safety, allowing more effective use of home appliances such as phones, audio/video equipment, computers or cameras. Every electronic medium, i. e. television signals, the phone or the Internet can be directed to any place in the house without the need to run new cables, thus avoiding the 'cable spaghetti’ effect. One can send the video signal to any receiver in the house without the need to carry equipment around, build an internal telephone network and enhance it to serve as an entry phone and intercom system. In case of multiple computers present, they can be joined together to form a network.   * There is not offer in legal awareness.