How it all began…A guest article by "KNX Tutorial"
An in-house "EIB exercise board" (photo from 1995), the beginning of a success story
Manfred Meier started his EIB/KNX experience with the purchase of the ETS1 demo version which was upgraded to a full licence shortly after. Equipped with ETS and some additional EIB/KNX devices, Manfred setup a test board in 1995 with which he practiced diligently and trained himself and his employees. In addition, he joined any training courses offered to further expand his experience and knowledge about KNX. He acquired his EIB certificate in 1998.
Training highly appreciated back then and today
Based on his own experience, Manfred Meier confirms that KNX not only increases one’s technical competence but also helps growing its company and one’s salary significantly. In 1996, when Manfred Meier equipped his first single-family house with EIB/KNX on behalf of a customer, the price for the conventional electrical installation of a single-family house was approx. 12,000 to 15,000 German Mark (which translates to about 6000-7500 EUR), depending on the electrical equipment this number could be pushed to up to 17.000 to 20.000, - German Mark (8500-10000 EUR).
Since the EIB/KNX technology offers more possibilities to control and visualize all trades with a uniformed system and is also much more flexible than a conventional electrical installation, the order volume of this first EIB/KNX single-family house was already 80,000 DM (40,000 EUR) at that time - reflecting an increase of 400%.
Anyone who has specialized in KNX electrical installation can achieve incredibly high order volumes, which were not or only rarely possible in electrical installation until then. The market and the demand for smart homes is getting bigger and bigger and there is a real lack of qualified companies which can cover this demand. For this reason, Manfred Meier recommends "relying on KNX, investing some time and money and reaping worthwhile orders".
Which training courses to attend
It doesn't matter which KNX training program is attended. Whether this is a basic course, a workshop or a KNX product presentation, you always take something valuable with you. Listening and asking is the fastest way to learn. Everyone has access to such courses and offers, just get started.
At the very beginning, a basic course is recommended to learn the basics. But there are a couple of different offerings: courses, books and even an ebook for self-study (the ebook “Ultimate Guide to KNX Programming” has been published by Manfred in which he shares his knowledge and experience from more than 20 years of KNX, find more information at https://www.knxtutorial.com).
Everybody should start learning the basic functions first as they are simple to understand. These functions cover switching, dimming, shading / blinding and heating. Once these are understood, Manfred advises to familiarize oneself more deeply with the functions of the related devices. Almost all of the current actuators have a large number of advanced functions (e.g. central switching, scenes, logics, time functions and much more). The above mentioned ebook covers all of this.
Only if a certain requirement cannot be covered by the basic features, it is suggested to look to get these covered by other devices like KNX visualizations.
KNX visualizations take a bit more time to learn. They are indispensable nowadays and a good eye catcher in one’s property. However, it is recommended that you start working on it only once a KNX installation is fully functional based on basic components. Please keep in mind that KNX is a decentralized bus system and if a device fails, only its function should fail, everything else should continue to work without impairment. Visualizations, however, are often a temptation to control as many functions as possible via the visualization in order to save one or two KNX devices. Of course, this works perfectly, until it fails as a single point of failure. If the complete heating control system is based on the visualization and this device fails it can create a very uncomfortable situation for the builder and the installer.
KNX is and remains the only bus standard that enables a smooth cooperation of many different manufacturers. With this, KNX is very far ahead