Best binding for a complete new installation + OpenHAB Integrator in Switzerland

Dear all

I’m quite new to Home Automation in general and OpenHAB in particular. I do have some Linux experience but that’s it.

My wife and me are planning a new home in Switzerland and we would like use OpenHAB from the beginning. I have read through the installation and configuration and I think it is pretty straightforward. Still, for the (hardware) planning, installation and initial configuration, I prefer to have a Smart Home integrator do the job. Thus my two questions:

  1. I know you can bind basically any (common) protocol to OpenHAB. Still, if I have the chance to build everything from zero, what binding is most mature, stable und properly maintained? Preferably it would be a protocol/manufacturer that is widely used in central Europe by system integrators/electricians. Loxone, digitalSTROM and KNX come immediatedly to mind. I am very interested in good value for money (which probably puts KNX out of scope).

  2. Do you know of any system integrator in Switzerland (or southern Germany) that acutally - professionally! - use OpenHAB as the automation software?

Right now, i would prefer a wired solution but I’m basically open to any feedback. We will start building our house in ca. February 2019…

Thank you already for your valued responses.


Maybe try to consolidate all power cables (e.g. of outlets, switches, rollershutters) in a small cabinet on each floor.
This way you can use larger i/o modules which lets you save on devices.
Also wire your house up with ethernet cables - one can never have enough of them. Put them everywhere! Kitchen, Toilet, etc. etc… You can later even misuse them as a power supply (see PoE) for self built stuff. Please be aware that you may not put ethernet cables next to power cables.
That being said Z-Wave has been really advancing with the Z-Wave+ and I have two house installations running quite good with it. But there it depends on the device manufacturer how good the device is. The price is okay (~50€ per device) and once it is running it is quite solid.

Hi Sebastian

thanks a lot for your tips. I will take the idea of consolidating the power cables into account and let the electrician know that I want such a solution. I agree with you about Ethernet layout. Indeed, I was already thinking of having every single room in the house (with some small exceptions) ethernet-wired, sometimes maybe even two outlets.

Z-Wave is a posibility but if I can have (at least initially) a cabled system, this would be my preference. Later, if you realise you need more actuators, etc, then you can still opt for a wireless solution like Z-Wave, I guess. From what I understand, the Z-Wave binding is quite mature, is that right?


Definitely go the cable route (rather than wi-fi). Most Swiss new-builds are ugly rectangular structures made of re-enforced concrete full of iron bars and wi-fi can be quite patchy with plenty of dead-spots.

A lot can happen in two years in technological progress so as long as you plan your new build with plenty of ethernet, you can keep your options open for a complete solution.

Just a word of caution… I can fully understand your desire to use a wired system, but wireless systems like Z-Wave and ZigBee (and probably others) that use a mesh will work much better if you have lots of nodes. If you wire your house, then later need to put a small number of extra devices, you might find it doesn’t work well… It might be ok if the house is small, but a larger house will need a large number of devices to allow the mesh to function correctly.

Just something to consider if you think you might end up that way in the end…

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If it should not get too expensive. By the use of relays for every light, possibly for some plug sockets, rollershutter, motion detector… together with push buttons the installation can be done by every integrator/electrician. This system works w/o you, even when you sell the house in the future.
The personal contribution: Smart home comes with an additional I/O system that drives/reads the relays. This additional I/O system is then binded to openhab.

Hi Chris

I was reading on Wikipedia about Z-Wave and just read about the mesh network. Completely agree, if Z-Wave (or any of the similar protocols) then more than just a few and they probably would need to be placed strategically to allow the routing to work smoothly across nodes. Thank you for highlighting this!

Hi Tom & Maxico

I know about the issue with the Swiss Faraday cages :wink: My parents have a wifi router on first level and you barely get any signal exactly below the router on ground floor. That’s exactly the reason I prefer wired solution.

@all: thanks a lot for the tips, they are very important points. Still, I’m not sure what provider/manufacturer to use. Are there bindings (e.g. KNX, digitalSTROM, etc) that are more mature/reliable than others?

And from Maxico’s answer I might have found out that I’m missing something from a system architecture point of view: I thought you could simply install the necessary hardware and then bind this hardware directly to OpenHAB. If I understood correctly, you still need a vendor/protocol-specific I/O-system inbetween? I think I need to dig into the documentation to see if there are explanations to this OpenHAB structure. You see, I’m really new to all this.

Thank you all again.