von Reckmann,


Lighting and air conditioning are essential in retail – after all, salespeople and customers should feel comfortable. On large areas, however, this requirement quickly increases energy costs if you do not – as the Finke furniture store in Hamm – rely on the right technology.

Light attracts people – and that is why sales areas and facades all over the world shine particularly brightly. A pleasant climate is also important for salespeople and customers. However, heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting also require a lot of energy. The energy consumption of a sales floor is therefore a decisive economic factor. Because gigantic sales areas lead to gigantic energy costs.

This does not have to be the case, said Dietmar Schneider, energy consultant at the furniture store chain Finke and consistently relied on KNX sensors and actuators as well as on the “EIBPORT” and “FACILITYMASTER” from BAB TECHNOLOGIE GmbH and reduced the energy bill by almost 50 percent.



Finke houses – is to continuously determine the actual state of light, air and heating and to adapt it to the respective requirements.

Light shines only where it is needed. This means that many networked presence detectors had to be installed. Light switches are almost completely missing. Because one thing energy consultants have learned: The biggest disturbance factor for energy optimization is spontaneous human intervention. Although light is switched on in rooms, it is often not switched off again. The heating temperature is corrected upwards by one employee, the next lowers it. In extreme cases, the air conditioner “fights” against the heating system.

At Finke, sensors ensure that ideal climatic conditions and lighting conditions always prevail for customers, employees and the energy bill. In the background, KNX ensures that all rules are executed. “KNX is reliable and offers all possibilities of automation, even with such a large and complex installation as here. FACILITYMASTER, EIBPORT and the visualisation tools were an important prerequisite for making the building control system compatible with that of caretakers,” explains Schneider. Components that are not KNX-compatible have been modified accordingly. Among other things, this was necessary for the two boilers – with positive consequences.

As a result of the integration into the overall system, the boilers now operate at the lowest level as required 90 percent of the time. Both boilers complement each other if required. Heat is only generated when the room sensors on site report a demand. The number of boiler start-ups was reduced from 271,000 to around 80,000. The goal of reducing costs by 30 to 40 percent was achieved, with a pleasant side effect: maintenance costs were also reduced. With fewer startups and lower operating costs, the components wear out more slowly than in normal use.



The store opens daily at 10 am. From 7 am until the opening, everything is tidied up and organised. Of course, the sales areas do not have to be continuously illuminated for this purpose. Wherever work is being done – and presence detectors detect this – optimal lighting conditions naturally prevail, other areas are still dark. Without this control, a lot of electrical energy would be wasted on lighting. At the end of the business day, lighting will be reduced by a third. Daylight is also measured and taken into account. At Finke, every room and every segment in the sales area can be addressed individually.

Peak loads are an important factor in the electricity bill. These are created in conventional houses in the morning when the building is “started up”. Thousands of luminaires and electronic control gear start simultaneously, as do fans and pumps, and ovens, coffee machines and heating systems in the catering trade. The result is an enormous peak in consumption. Not so with Finke’s managed system. It is designed to avoid peaks.

Weekdays, Saturdays, Sundays open for business and the pre-Christmas periods have different scenarios. The control system by Dietmar Schneider and his team, which was developed on the basis of the EIBPORT and FACILITYMASTER, naturally has a calendar. But even short-term changes, for example due to city festivals and other events, can be set at the click of a mouse. A tedious switching of hundreds of lights and manual control of ventilation and heating is no longer necessary. The focus is not on convenience, but on reliability. The facade is a real eye-catcher. The Philips RGB LED spotlights can be freely controlled in colour and intensity by Dietmar Schneider’s control desk. Whether French national colours after the terrorist attack in Paris or Christmas lighting – with the KNX control system it’s possible.



An important aspect of such complex systems is IT security. After all, it could be interesting for criminals to hijack the IT system with the building control of a furniture store and blackmail the company. Finke has also taken precautions here so that something like this cannot happen. Externally, high standards of protection have been implemented for the Internet, but the best possible procedures have also been implemented against internal attacks thanks to the EIBPORTs and the FACILITYMASTER. Thus, it is practically impossible for criminals to “take over” building control. The Finke furniture stores in Paderborn, Münster, Jena, Erfurt and Kassel are equipped in the same way as the building in Hamm and can be controlled and monitored from there.


Project management Dietmar Schneider, Energy Commissioner
Customer Furniture Store Finke