EnOcean’s Simon Johnson argues the case for a mature wireless technology. Wireless technology finds its way into every aspect of our homes, offices, bars and restaurants, controlling not only “smart” lighting but now HVAC, shading, environmental monitoring, FM solutions, room occupancy and auxiliary living solutions. It offers a whole new approach to smart control, and because it often eliminates the need to look for new wires and make them fine, it is easier to install and sell to homeowners. Is it reliable enough to put your reputation behind? The answer is yes, as long as you do your market research. Like many aspects of technology, wireless networks have evolved greatly. We all rely on phones and tablets that communicate wirelessly, and most homes now use wireless internet rather than the Ethernet routers and cables that were popular only a few years ago. You’re unlikely to encounter customer objections to wireless technology. So, what apps will you be using? Which products? What are the brands? A reliable choice We all remember the first wireless products targeting the domestic market and how fragile they are – but the technology has passed onto the professional installers. EnOcean wireless technology emerged as a safe, flexible, and reliable option. It is mainly used in smart homes and building automation systems (such as other pioneering methods of intelligent control, such as DALI lighting and KNX for high-end projects) and is an open protocol. In other words, it is not owned or controlled by a single manufacturer. In fact, there are about 400 companies making EnOcean complaint devices. Currently, the largest of them, with the widest range, market share and support network aligned with the leadership in the market, is Eltako, a German company establishing a greater presence in the UK wholesale market, from simple light switches to the whole home and building controls. EnOcean technology is an energy harvesting technology, which means that the switches that communicate with the remote wired relays and the actuators do not require batteries. Harvesting relies on slight mechanical movement (such as pressing a switch) or other potentials of the environment, such as indoor light and temperature differences. Power harvesters provide a very small amount of energy, but are quite sufficient for sensors and switches to communicate wirelessly with relays, gates, and controllers that turn on / off and adjust lighting, heating, and electrical appliances. No wires or batteries – Maintenance-free EnOcean-based devices use ultra-low power electronics to operate without batteries, and without wires and batteries, they are designed to operate without maintenance. Radio signals from sensors and switches can be transmitted wirelessly at a distance of up to 300 meters in the open and up to 30 meters indoors, giving you a wide range to provide your customers with control of where they need to be. A common entry-level EnOcean installation is a light and dimmer switch where the switchboard is simply mounted to the wall in the most convenient location and the trigger may only be connected to the light and projected through a sunroof or behind an existing switchboard. In my experience, once they try this, installers are linked and want to know more about the possibilities of expanding this into a complete smart solution using app and voice control. After all, consumer expectations are high. It is not enough to simply equip two sockets, switches or a thermostat. The smart feature requires more, perhaps at least at least, dimming the lights and their scenes, reliable and accurate temperature control, PIRs to monitor presence and automatically turn on the lights, some security alarms or control, and maybe much more. It’s also increasingly assumed that all of this can be integrated and controlled on a phone or tablet. Everything has been covered by the EnOcean wireless standard and it’s coming to a wholesaler near you. View our EnOcean Product Selection Guide to see which products work for you.