So with a list of everything I wanted to do with my new system I started with something at the core. I wanted the system to know when people were at home and when they were away. Fortunately in my house there is only my wife and myself so not too much to track. Looking at the options for presence detection in HomeAssistant gave me many options.....

Read more: Presence detection

I decided to add some 'smart' to my office and eventually extending to the rest of my home. There are many options available from total commercial systems to 100% DIY options. As I didn't wish to spend too much money on my system a fully commercial option was out. Investigating the open source options I found two very popular solutions.....

openhab logo top

http://www.openhab.org/

openHAB is a very popular system and the one I started out with, however while its user interface is superb I found the setup and configuration system to be very complex and difficult to understand. This lead me to the solution I'm using today.....

alexa 512x512

https://home-assistant.io/

Home Assistant is also very popular and easy to work with. It's interface is web based and while good it's not perfect (at time of writing there is no single push button or calendar components) however it's compatibility with other systems and products is very extensive. Check out the components section for compatibility.

Read more: Starting with Home Automation