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A switch you can carry around in your pocket - A new reality

Building control 2.0

When it comes to modern building control, most of you would agree that a typical light switch is permanently wired and mounted on the wall. Yet the possibility to also control your own home using mobile devices has been around for a long time now. The data between individual units of a home automation system is transmitted using special communication protocols. While information and commands can indeed be transmitted using conventional in-wall control lines, this transmission process can also take place wirelessly.And, hey presto, you are moving around with your light switches in your pocket. It is as simple as that. Hang on! Light switches in your pocket? Arguably, that does sound unsettling. But nowadays, we are more likely to hold a smartphone in our hands than a cup of coffee. How practical would it be to be able to switch on the light, turn off the heating and configure the blinds position automatically after finishing that call, sending that text and reading those emails?

A need for alternative solutions

DThe decision to install wired control networks is usually made in the early stage of a construction project or a drastic renovation. It requires careful planning, drills, chisels and, most importantly, an expert electrician. Once installed, cables guarantee interference-free transmission over any range. Both the number and the location of networked end devices are determined by wall connection boxes, which makes upgrading existing networks or retrofitting existing buildings laborious and costly. But installing bus lines was probably not what home owners moving house in the era of smart homes and smartphones had in mind. When erecting new blocks of flats, very few building owners envision hundreds of metres of additional cables to provide their future tenants with smart home convenience. Without a shadow of a doubt, there is definitely a need for alternative solutions.

Wireless system solutions for modern building control

Smart home convenience in a rented flat

I live in rented accommodation. The switches in my flat were installed and connected to the main supply when the building was first constructed. My landlord would probably not appreciate me fixing additional cables to the wall by myself just so that I can lift the blinds in the morning from the comfort of my own bed. But I still don’t have to stand up and activate the switch at the window. Instead, an app on my smartphone, tablet, or laptop allows me to activate lamps, heating, roller shutters, and even the coffee machine – if I really want to. If my phone battery dies, I can rely on the sun sensor signal or simply use the control button located right next to my bed.

Wireless technology makes modern building control possible

Wireless control is enabled by a wireless bus system. Battery-operated transmitters can be installed in literally any location, and can be easily removed and fitted elsewhere.

Easy-to-use apps even allow you to control wireless actuators, which function as command receivers and initiate the implementation of desired switching operations on end devices, regardless of location. Additional components, such as protocol conversion gateways or signal amplification repeaters, can be integrated with extreme ease. If a wired solution is not an option for you, a wireless system would be the perfect alternative. In many cases, you can even install it yourself. All you have to be aware of are the maintenance and follow-up costs for changing the battery as well as the range limitations of wireless signals. Building technology is carving new (wireless transmission) paths – without any need whatsoever for cables, extensive planning efforts, or construction work. And what happens if you move? In this case, all the wireless bus system components can be quickly uninstalled and reinstalled on lamps, radiators, blinds and – of course – your beloved coffee machine in your new home.

The core benefit of modern building technology is individuality. Whether you are after a holistic solution or specific modifications – with the right advice, there’s nothing more standing in your way to smart home comfort.

Building technology KNX System Wireless system

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