WELLINGBOROUGH, United Kingdom — A recent IMS Research report found that air waves in buildings are increasingly being filled with signals from building automation systems.

Titled “Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA), and Americas Markets for Building Automation Controllers, Software, and Sensors – 2011 Edition,” the report states that wireless sensors accounted for just over 15 percent of the 21 million building automation sensors shipped in the EMEA and the Americas markets combined. The number of wireless sensors is forecast to increase to over 25 percent of total building automation sensors in EMEA and the Americas by 2015.

The IMS Research report presents base year and forecast data for wireless sensors and controllers used in building automation systems. The report segments the building automation sensor market by five major sensor capabilities and 17 sensor types.

“The increasing traction for wireless building automation was apparent at the AHR Expo show,” said William Rhodes, IMS Research market analyst. “Some of the show announcements, including those from Ecologix, E+E Elektronik, and Can2Go, have already hinted at the many wireless sensors and wireless products being released in early 2012.”

Wireless solutions offer many advantages in retrofit installations. Rather than drilling holes and running cables — electricians, integrators, and contractors can install wireless sensors, saving on installation costs and time. Wireless building automation sensors are also popular in buildings with high ceilings as wireless sensors are easier to install than running cables for wired systems.

“There are obvious installation cost savings from wireless solutions. However, despite the cost savings in installation, the price of wireless devices is generally more expensive than wired equivalents,” said Rhodes. “In terms of the continued growth of wireless building automation systems, the additional price of the devices could inhibit adoption when users do not take into consideration the installation costs. Consequently, IMS Research predicts that wired sensors will maintain the largest share of the market over the next five years.”

Publication date: 01/30/2012