BOULDER, Colo. — Wireless networks are helping fuel a major shift in the commercial buildings controls market; wireless controls are increasingly being used to link devices across a variety of building systems, including HVAC, lighting, fire and safety, and security and access, says Navigant Research. According to a report from the firm, the worldwide market for wireless control systems for building automation will reach $294.8 million by 2020.

“While wireless controls are generally more expensive than their wired counterparts, they offer building owners and managers a number of economic benefits,” said Bob Gohn, senior research director with Navigant Research. “The labor costs for installing wireless systems are much lower compared with wired, and wireless systems often provide networked control in buildings or areas where wired controls are simply too challenging or expensive to install.”

The adoption of standards-based technologies, such as ZigBee and EnOcean, is increasing, but most wireless devices and control networks continue to use proprietary, vendor-specific wireless radio frequency technology, which ensures device interoperability and ease of installation and operation. Some vendors have adopted a hybrid approach, according to the report, using standards-based technology for the physical layer, media access control, and networking layers of a wireless network while developing their own proprietary applications for managing and controlling data.

Publication date: 7/8/2013

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