Which protocols are used in Europe? I'm more interested in "higher layer" protocols (e.g. light bulb control) than with the physical layer, but those will be welcome too.

Does the KNX standard have that "high layer" behaviour defined or it's just for physical layer (wires, electric power and RF)?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Provide more details on KNX or expect this to be closed. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Carlton Sep 13 '11 at 16:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking for what to use for a personal/hobbyist home automation project? Or for commercial use? \$\endgroup\$ – Jon L Sep 13 '11 at 17:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ For commercial use \$\endgroup\$ – rnunes Sep 13 '11 at 18:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there any reason to limit yourself to just Europe? I would think there would be protocols that are global. \$\endgroup\$ – Kellenjb Sep 13 '11 at 20:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just because I pretend to develop something (in a long term) that's compliant with the protocols that already exist, if that protocol it's used in most of the cases \$\endgroup\$ – rnunes Sep 13 '11 at 22:37

There is Common External Message Interface (cEMI) which should be independent of the physical layer. Openremote has also a nice technical overview of KNX.


Z-Wave is the facto industry standard for wireless home automation (the next X10), and there are hundreds of products Z-Wave enabled. Digikey has boards and dev kits, and there is even a small power plug linux box with Z-Wave and ethernet embedded.









  • \$\begingroup\$ Z-Wave is a proprietary wireless communications protocol competing in the same market as Zigbee which is a standard. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Sep 15 '11 at 12:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ ZigBee does not define how to switch or dim a bulb, and Z-Wave does exactly that. With ZigBee you need some higher level protocol for home automation and so far I am not aware of any widely used and supported by industry. Therefore although Z-Wave is proprietary protocol, it wins in all fields with so many players offering compatible switches, dimmers, meters and other stuff needed in home automation. Future might change this, but this is the current situation. It even has X10 gateways so you can also use it with existing installations. \$\endgroup\$ – avra Sep 20 '11 at 10:24

In my experience, the answer to your first question is: they all are. Any "fieldbus" system you can find, from RS485 through CAN and LON to TCP/IP based protocols are all used.


KNX is not only the most widely use (in the world, not just Europe) but it is fully decentralized technology so that your installation don't depend on any device whereas Zwave uses nodes (If one node crashes, a whole part of your installation crashes). Also I've heard all the Zwave chips came from the same company. So even if many UNIX lovers go for Zwave, I went KNX. DALI is just for lights and can fit very well with KNX or Zwave. I detest depending on one company alone. That's why I went KNX for my installation. Also, I've found out some professional that knew the KNX, but if I want I can call someone else or learn myself (if I take the time).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to EE.SE. This is not the traditional forum you may be used to. It's a Q&A site. Your answer is more of a chat or blog and doesn't really answer the question "Does the KNX standard have that "high layer" behaviour defined or it's just for physical layer (wires, electric power and RF)?" You may wish to edit. See the Help Center. \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor Aug 21 '16 at 19:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.