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Last edited 10 Aug 2021
Smart homes and smart light commercial market 2017
BSRIA (Building Services Research and Information Association) is a non-profit distributing, member-based association, with a mission to make buildings better. In April 2017, BSRIA published the results of a smart home / light commercial market study.
Most homes and light commercial buildings have some control over their heating or cooling / ventilation system. These controls have traditionally been very basic, but there is now a move to put smart products and systems into an increasing number of homes as well as hotels, restaurants and elderly care homes for assisted living.
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. Rapid growth is forecast in sales of both products and system integration, but due to the infancy of the market, there will be a lower level of sales for service and maintenance.
The US market remains the largest single market forecast at 29% of the total market value. Despite the maturity of the US market, growth is expected to be in line with the global increase of 20%, with stand-alone products being the segment showing the largest growth at 27%.
In terms of communication protocols, North America is dominated by proprietary protocols, but there has been a significant increase in the penetration of KNX (Konnex) in Europe and China. The typical KNX wired solution has traditionally been limited to new-built installations, but 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 home solutions market is 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.
The whole home solutions market in the UK is not dominated by any one communication protocol. All protocols have their own strengths and weaknesses, and many installations will incorporate more than one protocol. KNX has a 27% market share in the UK’s whole home smart systems segment.
KNX remains the most popular of the non-proprietary protocols in France with 32% of the market. Proprietary protocols are also very strong in France, however, as EDF, the leading energy supplier, took the decision to offer among others the possibility to transport metering data via a KNX interface in its Linky smart meters, the importance of KNX is expected to increase in France.
Proprietary protocols may have the advantage of not adding additional costs to the devices and give the biggest freedom to the manufacturer, but they complicate the integration with other systems. The industry has not found a consensus on the open standard yet and the convergence issue is still a threat to the progression of the smart market.
Proprietary protocols (15%) are well represented in the Netherlands, but KNX has a market share of 34% in whole-home smart home systems, becoming the standard for home and building control in the Netherlands.
Wired systems account for the vast majority of the overall market in China for whole-home smart systems. Nearly 38% use proprietary protocols and about 42% KNX systems. The KNX protocol constitutes a “European standard for smart home installation” in China, which became 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 that it consumes more energy, and devices working through Wi-Fi can slow down internet connectivity at home.
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