That’s only half true!
it it true, you need the ETS for your KNX setup. If your electrician is a good one, he’ll
- document his installation in your house
- leave you the open ETS file
With that, you can always either call the electrician, if you have some changes (new devices, different programming) or you can buy the ETS software yourself. 1000€ is the retail price for one licence. In KNX forums (like german knx-forum.de) there’s constantly some thread for a discounted version. But yes - that adds up.
Whats completely wrong, is KNX wasn’t aimed at home automation. The opposite is true: yes, KNX is stable and industrial grade (that’s its DNA) - but then again it’s also 100% aimed for home users. (https://www.knx.org/knx-en/knx/benefits-advantages/home-owners/index.php). Not only is there a vibrant community for KNX within openHAB, but also elsewhere - and they’re nearly all non-professional users.
My advice for everyone building a new (smart)home is indeed to go with KNX. Not only, because I use it, but because I know:
- it’s stable
- it’s a widely accepted industry standard (meaning there are plenty of vendors on the very same protocol: ABB, BuschJaeger, GIRA, Mertens, MTD, … just to name one of the big ones - https://www.knx.org/knx-en/manufacturers/list/index.php) - that means you can easily mix hardware from different vendors without any problems.
- it’s wired
- it’s extensible
- and is commonly used
all this is in my eyes key, if I want a house, that still functions in 20years from now. I’m not so sure, what homematic and likes, who are on their own proprietary protocols and stuff will do in even 5years. Will they still support their “legacy” hardware? Sonos’ firmware update in April will brick old (>5years) devices for example.
So - yes, it’s a higher price but the TCO over 10-20years will pay.
So, for the TO: the usual way to get to a smarthome is:
- get to know, what KNX is capable of
- make your main use cases
- browse around in some KNX forums and see, what others are doing and planning
- find a decent electrician with KNX experience (they’re not to find that hard as suggested)
- let him make the installation (I guess, you must either way as you aren’t a certified electrician, are you?)
- make a deal with him to help you with later adjustements on your installation - or add the licence for the ETS in your budget (as I and as I see many in this forum have)
- have fun with a stable, running environment. I never even once had to call my electrician again, because he did an amazing job setting up the whole thing for me including documentation - and it simply runs.
and that’s the beauty of decent and well-established systems: Yes, they are more expensive than DIY-stuff - BUT you get support from the manufacturer if needed and the system simply runs flawless - with KNX it should, because it’s decentralized, no central server needed, wich could crash or just stops, if you accidentially load up a wrecked configuration in some distant part of the system.