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.

 

Getting started.

So as I have a RaspberryPi blade centre (see article) I used one of the Raspberry Pi 3's in the centre to install HomeAssitant from there onestop RapsberryPi image @ https://home-assistant.io/getting-started/installation-raspberry-pi-image/ which was a great start. You can see a fantasic tutorial of this from BRUNAutomation. Ben's channel is awesome for some of the HomeAssiatnt work I have done.

Also using Ben's tutorial I made my configuration process easy by adding a SAMBA share so my windows based main PC can update these files as I need.

This got me the basic core of the system and in the next few articles I will describe the features I have added (enabled) and some of the more custom things I have done with this. My intention was/is to automate the following.....

  • Power Sockets - for control of table and standing lamps etc
  • Heating and AC in the Office
  • Dimmable lighting in the Office
  • Presense detection (who is at home)
  • Central Heating control