With the explosion of the smart homes and smart buildings in recent years, several protocols have emerged. Here, we will focus on two of them who have proven themselves and who always stand out from the others because of their specification: the EnOcean and the Zigbee. 


What are the characteristics? For what uses ? 



  • EnOcean, the ingenious protocol ! 

Dealing with battery changes can quickly become an ordeal on an installation that has dozens of sensors. This is where the EnOcean comes in! EnOcean is a great home automation protocol that offers self-sufficient devices. In fact,  EnOcean devices have this particularity in generating their own energy which then allows them to return the state information to the home automation controller. This is done through simple and ingenious principles such as kinetic energy or solar energy. 

On the operating principle, the EnOcean protocol uses a frequency of 868 Mhz and has a return of state as for the Zigbee. It is therefore a protocol that can also prove very interesting in a home automation installation. 

  • The Zigbee, the protocol that grows ! 

Operating in a mesh network, it has a large range and a certain redundancy. It is also Open Source. This may explain why several brands have chosen this protocol over another. Philips Hue, Xiaomi … To name few of them, chose this protocol for their smart devices. In addition, this protocol is perfectly controllable from a home automation box! 


And more precisely … 


  • Energy

Works without a battery!  The energy needed to send information when using a button is generated by a piezoelectric effect or with solar energy. Batteries are needed to operate the various devices. But in Green Power, no battery! However, its consumption is very low because the size of the data packets sent is small. 


  • Communication

Most EnOcean devices are two-way! They communicate with each other to transmit information, such as the return of status. If a device is manually turned off, the information will go back to your home control. Using mesh network. Each device is connected to another without a hierarchy! This allows you to extend the range of your devices without the need to add repeaters. 
  • Scope

The EnOcean protocol uses the 868 Mhz radio frequency. Thus, little interference, but also wide range! Up to 300 meters in open field. However, since the network is not mesh, it will take repeaters to extend the range. Several tens of meters of range in open field. But thanks to the mesh network, the range can be extended beyond 100 meters! You don’t need repeaters. 


Characteristics specific to each protocol !


  • EnOcean profiles let you know what type of devices they communicate with. Thus, with the right information, the data is better interpreted, and this facilitates the integration of devices on home controls. Unlike Wi-Fi devices, EnOcean equipment does not communicate constantly overhead! But only when necessary (at the touch of a button of a remote control for example, to trigger the sending of the frame). Many well-known and reliable brands (including NodOn) manufacture EnOcean devices. So you will have a choice for all your projects, especially those that do not require batteries to operate. NodOn designs interoperable products that allow you not to remain blocked with a specific brand environment, but to be able to develop your installation.
  • Zigbee is a simple protocol. Less settings so more simplicity in installation and configuration. Thanks to its mesh network,  it is possible to integrate a very large number of devices. For professionals, it is very advantageousIt evolves and grows richer thanks to the Zigbee Alliance, of which NodOn is an active member, set up which allows in particular to improve interoperability. 


To conclude…


These two protocols are very interesting, and each have their advantages. They are, and will remain, those acclaimed by both the end customers and professionals. Each use case is different and each situation lends itself better to one than the other. That’s why it’s very important to make the right choice before embarking on a new home automation installation! 😊 

At NodOn, we have a complete EnOcean range (actuators, sensors, controllers) and this year we are launching our Zigbee range for the pros, to be discovered very soon on nodon.pro !