Home Automation

Hi Guys,

I’m new to the forum so I thought id make my first post a kind of response to Wendels IOT video from yesterday.

I have been doing a lot with home automation lately using multiple different open source projects. such as home assistant, Tasmota Firmware, ESPHome and lots of other bits and pieces that all link back to my home assistant install.

I have also been making my own sensors and effector systems such as temp sensors or relays to switch things on and off using basic off the shelf parts that again with firmware like tasmota link back into home-assistant via MQTT. I also have Ikea smart bulbs and switches that connect to my home assistant install via a USB stick that is plugged into the system.

My home assistant install runs on an HP thin client along with a few other systems such as PiHole and Octoprint. These systems all run inside docker on an ubuntu server instance. I had to redo the ports for octoprint and pihole but Home assistant runs on port 8123 natively so didn’t conflict.

That’s the basic initial setup but ill add more information in the near future about how I manage it all and the different extension I use. I will also add links to various YouTubers that I like and learned a lot from about these topics.


It’s great.

I too use home assistant with esphome and a bunch of temperature sensors and bluetooth sensors and zigbee sensors and lightbulbs … it’s great stuff.

It got me interested into electronics again. I haven’t properly soldered anything for 10 years prior to getting some BME280 dev boards from ali express.

I’m now looking into to using an esp01-s running esphome + a mosfet like an IRLZ44N to build temperature sensitive / humidity sensitive fan controller + fan for my bathroom. =) … it won’t be as efficient as a Lunos eGo that’s basically a 90% efficient heat exchanger … but it’s cheap and fun, I can get a Lunos later

What type of capabilities do these home assistants have?

It’s an extremely modular appliance like piece of software; that maintains states of various things (sensors switches etc…), it also processes events that are state changes themselves and can trigger whatever you want them to trigger.

You don’t have to run it as an appliance, it’s a piece of Python, you could install dependencies with pip or you could run it in a venv … But for non development, non hacky use you’d typically just run the whole os that the project supplies, or you’d let their “supervisor” handle docker containers with stuff.

Basically you get a web ui with some current state, and some buttons and a bit of history and it integrates with a bunch of things.

For example, I’m exporting my custom temperature sensors to Google Home (same way Ikea or xiaomi would export the sensors they make that their customers buy to their customers Google Home) which means I can talk to my Google Assistant to ask it what’s the temperature in my attic right now…
… or I can just open home assistant on my phone and read the number…
… or I can lookup the graph of that temperature for the last year in grafana =) and cry over how much insulation I’m missing.

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I see home assistant as a core controller. on its own it has some function to integrate with already made IOT devices such as IKEA Tradfri devices, Phillips hue etc but when you start adding services from the add on section which also has community ad-dons you can vastly increase its functions.

The first thing i added was the MQTT broker. What this does is send and receive messages to devices e.g. “light bulb 1 turn on” to which the bulb would send an MQTT message back saying “I am on at 50% brightness”.

I have also added a system called node red which makes it easy to setup automation tasks for example If I press button A then turn on Light B.

To be honest the simple answer to the question what can it do is, what do you want to do?

The main thing about HA is that there is a huge community behind it and as long as you dont start opening it up to the world it is secure.

I installed lets encrypt on HA via the store and setup my own SSL certs so that I could use HTTPS.

I also enabled 2FA which is built in and put the code into my authenticater app.

The first developer I would like to mention in this thread is Frank Nijhof. He has made a lot of plugins for home assistant and has made sure they are secure. I use his Nginx proxy manager and also his web based shell terminal to securely access and configure my setup remotely aswell as my dads system.

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I am a bit of a noob when it comes to IOT devices. Do we like openHAB? It looks promising and open source software. Works with Linux, Win10 and Mac. I think its a front end that all your devices, from various vendors, talk to. It looks to be something you would run on a home server/NAS etc. Although they have a cloud service too. I think i’m gonna play with it, any objections from the class? Is this crap, has anyone used it?
It was written in java, is that a deal breaker?

Hi Hacksaw,

I looked into open hab but preferred home assistant and there was a community and youtubers i liked. From what Ive read open hab is a good solution its just another camp for home automation and neither is bad tbh.

Here is a video from a youtuber called Dr Zzs, he did a stream with someone else about open hab and looked into it compared to his HA install:

I would recommend running it in a VM or on something like a raspberry pi and keep it away from your main OS, this isnt specific to Open Hab or HA just best practice really. My advice is to run it on linux as thats the OS a lot of people run it on with docker. I know Home assistant has a raspberry pi distro called hassio previously but i dont know about open hab.

I haven’t run openhab, I just read a long list of java stuff it’s based on and thought “nope”.

Between the two, home assistant is a lot more popular.