For a long time I’ve watched the world of home automation with eager interest in the hope that one day I would be able to apply it in my own home.
Over the years I have read about various systems and protocols used in home automation such as the X10, Z-Wave, ZigBee or Insteon. Some of them use cables or the power line for signaling and control, while others communicate wirelessly via radio waves. Some of them proprietary and others open. But usually incompatible with each other.
Unfortunately, due to their high cost, the difficulty of acquiring the components at that time, their technical limitations, their complex installation or their bad UX from inside and/or outside the home made it impossible for me to implement them in my own home. Until now.
Several changes in recent years have made home automation more and more accessible. The advent of smartphones or the introduction of new control systems such as Apple Home, Google Home or Amazon Alexa has helped us to interact with our home automation system in a more natural way, even using our own voice. The emergence of a new generation of smart home devices, from lights to sockets, thermostats to locks, some of them quite affordable like Xiaomi’s smart home product line, plus the arrival of small and inexpensive wireless microcontrollers like the ESP8266, has made me regain my interest in home automation.
But the existence of various manufacturers with different ecosystems that usually do not interact properly with each other or depend on a proprietary cloud service made me reluctant to choose any of them. The discovery of Home Assistant was the piece that I needed to jump right in and install a home automation system in my home.
Home Assistant is an open source project supported by a great community that can be installed on a small computer like a Raspberry Pi and is capable of interacting with home automation systems of various manufacturers without relying on an external service. So you can buy smart devices from different vendors, install Home Assistant on a Raspberry Pi (or other computer) and have them interact with each other without using a proprietary service that is somewhere on the web out of your home and your control. Isn’t it cool?
In the following articles I will show you how to install Home Assistant, how to configure it and how to use it in your daily life. Stay tuned!