Home Automation using Home Assistant

First post on my re-launched blog! I hope this time I will keep this up with musings from both my personal and professional worlds with all things computing related!

So first blog is to introduce my chosen Home Automation platform I am getting to grips with at home, and a little background as to why I have gone this route.

Why automate your home?

Many an answer to this question out there, however for me, it’s a fun and interesting subject, which seeing the results brings great satisfaction. There is plenty of challenges to provide the right balance of home automation. The ability to ‘set and forget’ a number of routines is nice, and without there are many things which would be ‘forgotten’ around the house. Such as switching on the dehumidifier in the mornings, and off in the evening.

What do I automate?

Lots of things! Simple things like power sockets, lighting, the home A/V equipment, and some more advanced things like our terrarium (turtle aquarium).

What do you use to automate the home?

There are many different components to my home automation. Here is but a few:

  • Telldus Tellstick Live .NET (433 Mhz sender / Receiver)
  • 433Mhz switches for lights
    • Home Easy
    • Nexa
  • 433Mhz sockets for plug based devices
    • Home Easy
    • Nexa
    • Conrad
  • Logitech Harmony Ultimate Touch
  • ESP8266 devices (more on this later)

Where does Home Assistant come in?

Home Assistant provides the ‘gel’ between the different devices across the house, and other external components, such as weather, sunrise/sunset, and presence detection. These allow the devices across the home to be fully automated based on various conditions. It is an incredibly powerful platform, but can be daunting at first. The extent of devices support is vast, and very intricate.

I can use Home Assistant to automatically switch on the outside lights when arriving home after sunset, then switch off again after 10 minutes. Automatically turn on lights based on sunset levels etc. More on how I ‘gel’ my home together will come in future posts.

Where can I get more information?

The Home Assistant website is the best place to start learning about this platform, and the components supported. Development is very active, and new components are being added monthly! So it’s worth keeping an eye on if there are devices you are looking to automate but are not available yet.

More to come on how I got this setup, and how to get going to come!

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