What is KNX?

This European protocol is looking to more global markets
BACnet what is KNX protocol

BACnet gets compared to a lot of other protocols on the market, including LonWorks, Modbus, and KNX. Over the next few articles, we’re explaining how each of these protocols are different, and how they stack up against each other. In this article, learn about KNX.  

KNX (short for Konnex) is not as well-known in North America — compared to BACnet, Lon, and Modbus — but it is oft-used in other building markets. KNX is an open protocol that’s popular in European building networks, and has begun to grow in China and India, according to Hidden Wires. While, again, its adoption isn’t on par with BACnet in North America, Hidden Wires adds that it is growing in popularity in the US.

Part of the benefit of KNX is that every KNX-approved product has undergone testing to make sure it conforms to the protocol’s standards, according to Cedia. That means products carrying a KNX stamp of approval really do abide by the protocol’s requirements. For reference, BACnet Testing Laboratories (BTL) claim to practice rigorous testing, but we have heard from customers who’ve bought “BACnet compliant” devices that weren’t actually compliant. (Learn more in our whitepaper on adopting BACnet.) It’s important to make sure, at a bare minimum, that the “certified” devices you purchase are actually certified by the BTL. 

KNX also uses a “decentralized topology,” according to IoT for All: essentially, a KNX network doesn’t work off of a central unit, meaning that the components are self-sufficient. “There is no need for centralized control centers since all devices speak the same language and communicate via the same Bus,” as Build Your Smart Home explains. More importantly, if any single network piece breaks down, the others can still function normally.  

Buildings running on KNX can easily integrate devices from different manufacturers, and with different protocols: KNX has a very wide variety of devices including audio, stats, and various other devices; this makes it very powerful when blending multiple protocols. As an example, many building systems use both KNX and BACnet, simply because of design.

Additionally, KNX works on all different transmission types: twisted-pair, Ethernet, radio, or powerline, according to WAGO. Users can network together all different systems, including lighting and HVAC. And according to Build Your Smart Home, KNX has low energy consumption.

For more information, check out the KNX Association.



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Recent Projects

Coventry University


Chris Goodman, the Senior BMS Technician at Coventry University, had broadcast storms that were happening more and more frequently. 

Ongoing construction due to Coventry’s campus expansion meant lots of new activity, with technicians installing new devices and making network changes. Already juggling these constant additions and alterations, Goodman and his small team then had to deal with the subsequent broadcast storms. As the broadcast storms became more frequent, Goodman and his team needed a solution.

Find out how Visual BACnet helped Chris solve the broadcast storms and improve Network Health in our free case study!

Data center expansion with OTI and Optigo Connect


Stack Infrastructure is a portfolio of hyperscale computing data centers. OTI completed work on Phases I and II, and returned for the Phase III build-out of a 4-megawatt data hall and brand new central plant. The Optigo Connect network put in place in Phases I and II was expanded on this project. The team achieved quick roll-out of a large, multi-service redundant network using the Optigo OneView management interface. Going forward, the facility management team can use OneView to remotely monitor equipment, manage power usage, and meet up-time goals.

Optigo Connect MR Soluciones The Landmark


The Landmark is a sophisticated mixed-use high-rise in Mexico. The owners wanted to integrate all OT systems in the skyscraper, while maintaining separate networks for each application. The Landmark is the fourth joint project between Optigo Networks and MR Soluciones. Together, these companies provide robust services to meet any challenge.

Australian Bureau of Statistics at 45 Benjamin Way with Delta Building Automation


Delta Building Automation (Australia) had a big job renovating the Headquarters for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) at 45 Benjamin Way. The building owner wanted to improve the building’s energy use and increase their National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) score to more than 4.5 stars, out of a possible total of six. Securing the network both internally and externally was a big priority, as well.

Penn State University Optigo Networks Visual BACnet


When Tom Walker looked at Penn State University’s Navy Yard network, he saw huge issues. The system was busy and loud, to the point where the overrun network was bringing down the entire building. Because this was happening on the MS/TP network, pinpointing the problem would mean boots on the ground to segment and test the chain, piece by piece.

Penn State University Optigo Networks Visual BACnet


When Tom Walker first started working at Penn State University four years ago, there were a lot of network issues. Buildings were dropping offline. Broadcast traffic was pushing 90,000 packets per hour. Walker was on the phone almost every single night because devices were down or had to be reset.


Torre Manacar Mexico City Optigo Connect


When MR Soluciones began work on Torre Manacar, they knew they needed a flexible and scalable network infrastructure to support a wide array of integrated systems. Optigo Networks was a natural fit for the massive project, designing a robust network at a competitive cost.



Short Pump Town Center, an upscale retail center, underwent a complete renovation in 2014. The flexibility of Optigo Networks’ solution meant the retail center’s unknown final design was not a barrier to placing IP surveillance equipment in the field.



Optigo Networks connected New York-based Boulevard Mall’s security surveillance devices in December 2015, using a Passive Daisy Chain topology.

Visual BACnet tech support team


One tech support team at a manufacturer purchased an account with Visual BACnet in April 2017, for technical problems around the world.