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Home Assistant: Open-source home automation platform running on Python 3 (home-assistant.io)
540 points by fanf2 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 196 comments

I've been using Home Assistant for a couple of years now. I won't go too much into what I use it for, there's a bunch of info about that, and the guys on the Discord have entire public repos full of all their cool automations (on Github).

What I would share is that in the couple of years I've been running it, I've been through a dozen Sandisk and Samsung MicroSDs on my Pis _even though_ I was running my time-series database, and my MQTT server on a separate server.

Running on Raspberry Pi it's a nice toy, but when you get serious, install it on a proper box with an SSD/spinning rust.

I bought a NUC-like device which is what most people will recommend to run it on, installed Arch (you can use whatever you like, Debian is probably best supported) and get going.

Briefly though, I log all of the temperatures and light levels in each room of my home using Z-Wave sensors, store them in Influx and graph them in Grafana.

I have my desk lamp turn on when motion is detect at or around my desk, I have my cameras start recording when nobody is home (based on location reporting from our mobiles using Owntracks back to my self-hosted MQTT server).

I have hue lights in every light socket in the home so I can switch them to various moods based on motion, time of day, lux, whether the TV is on, the weather, the temperature, etc etc.

The Home Assistant dashboard shows my server load in my rack , temperature in my rack (via a temperature sensor connected to an ESP8266 talking MQTT back to the server), all info on my UPS, load on various power meter wall plugs (Z-Wave) which can also be controlled on/off via HA, it shows the current temperature and light level and motion in each room via Z-Wave motion sensors.

Most importantly, the community that sit on Discord are a friendly and helpful bunch so it's nice and easy to get started.

By contrast, I've been running Octoprint (a 3D print server) full time for over 2 years on a RPi with a 64 GB SD card and I've seen no issues with the SD card or RPi. I've been capturing camera snapshots every 15 seconds. I've only used half of the capacity of the SD card.

It's possible that my use of an extra large SD card has allowed the card to write to previously-unused memory cells rather than erase and overwrite memory cells, helping the card last longer. I wonder if anyone has studied that.

There might be some wear leveling logic. When writing, it would use an area that’s written to less.

SSDs have something like this. Not sure if SD cards or if it could be done on the Linux side.

Man, so glad it isn't just me. I've had so many problems with my SD card corruption on my Pi/HA setup, it's ridiculous.

The Pi3 can boot directly off usb, alternatively just have the boot partition config (fat filesystem) on microSD point to the real rootfs on ssd/spinning hdd.

I have a raspbian cups fileserver thats ignoring all this and keeps running for 3 years on the same cheap sd: have it set up to offload almost all writes to tmpfs to reduce wear: /tmp, /var/run, /var/tmp, /var/log, the cups spool folder and more (/var/spool/*). Noatime mount option.

> /var/log mounted on tmpfs

I would never do this at my job, even if I ship logs. I might do this on cheap hardware at home though.

> Noatime

What makes noatime better than relatime?

It's at home, an old raspberry was used as a wifi bridge for a laser printer. I basically used only spare/scrap parts. Also: s/fileserver/printserver/ though, my bad.

> relatime

Sits somewhere between atime and noatime, where "somewhere" is tunable. I wanted the least writes, so i went with noatime.

I had this issue and it turned out to be fluctuations in the power source. Purchased an official RPi brick, and put the root filesystem into read-only mode and the Pi became much more resilient. (https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=161416)

Get "industrial" cards if you care about them not dying.

I have almost the identical setup as you - everything is ZWave (plus ecobee, sprinklers, attic fan, and some other sensors) and goes into Influx and grafana via mqtt. All of it is running on a single RPi3. Only difference is I’m using smart things not HA. I have had zero issues whatsoever. I got sidetracked for about 4 months over the winter with other projects and assumed this setup would crash or at least need a reboot when I came back to it. Instead it just hummed right along. So there must be something about the way HA uses storage.

Does Home Assistant let you make all IOT devices safer? For example, I imagine the business plan for products like Hue involves selling information to data brokers, but after glancing at the Hue section[1], I couldn't quickly tell whether you are still publishing information about your home environment.

[1] https://www.home-assistant.io/components/hue/

The Hue does not rely on HA for network connectivity. The Hue hub connects to wifi, and you talk to it over the network. I don't believe HA is doing anything other than reading/writing the state of the bulbs.

Hue and company use Zigbee - you can ditch the hub:


(I can personally vouch for Scott Darby's ability to put together a device for UK users - see comment 162. I've got one of his)

> see comment 162

Well, I learned something about HN today!

Probably not, if they use wifi these devices can phone home or even worse - act as an insecure bridge into your network [0] or accept commands from the cloud that anyone can inject.

[0]: https://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/43486.html

If you’re able to talk to them via LAN they might not require internet. If so, you can block their outgoing connections.

Hue has a local API, you can firewall them if you want and HA will still be able to talk to them over the LAN. You can also get a Zigbee dongle and control the bulbs directly if you want, Hue bulbs are Zigbee compliant.

Does Home Assistant let you make all IOT devices safer? Yes, for a given value of yes!

For starters, you need to ditch all those hubs and apps and that means you need to look into Z Wave and Zigbee. Briefly and in my experience and testing, Z Wave devices are more expensive but more compatible with each other. Z Wave has a longer range without any relays. Both are very well supported but I think Z Wave is better supported. Philips Hue is Zigbee as is Tradfri (Ikea). I've got both USB dongles plugged into a VMWare esxi in a VMware cluster at work and both survive vMotion and are very stable. I'm using this for Z Wave: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00YETCNOE/ref=oh_aui_de... (£43) and people on the forums offer to make up Zigbee USB devices with ready flashed firmware for about £20 or you can buy your own bits from Alibaba and DIY for a bit more for one but a lot less for more than say five.

You should also investigate the MQTT protocol and consider say Mosquitto and proper SSL for it for external stuff like Owntracks. Internal only access can be satisfied by using the built in MQTT broker in Home Assistant.

Also, consider ESP8266 (or ESP32) devices. You can get two for £8 on Amazon with pins etc already to slap in a small breadboard. Note that you can power them using PoE and a PoE to USB converter to get them up to 100m away. You can fit these things inside the sort of wall mount box you might have for a light switch or ethernet ports.

When I've finished testing at work (!) I'll be looking to control my underfloor heating, lights (note that you need three wires (live, neutral, switched neutral) for switch box controls or something like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fibaro-FGS-213-Single-Switch-Black/... that can go in the light fitting itself. I'm in the UK BTW. Also I'll be putting in window and door open/shut detectors and a fair few of something like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0141FQDJQ/ref=oh_aui_de... to see what is going on in a room. I aim to defang my Sonos speakers eventually. The TVs already go through Squid with quite a lot of monitoring and a lot of pfSense keeping an eye on things.

ZoneMinder is well supported for cameras.

Proper home automation is not cheap but is very cool if done right. Do your research very carefully. If you have a SO, then be very, very careful and test, test, test otherwise you will be kicked into touch very quickly. I'm aiming to have manual overrides (switches etc) for nearly everything and will be putting in a lot more wifi and UPS, RAID etc along with proper backups. If you are going to do more than a toy lighting system than do it right.

I don't fear my IoT stuff because they live on VLANs with names like THINGS and SEWER (for the really scary ones) but I'm not your average home owner (IT-wise) and am extremely pissed off at the vendors of these things for the frankly cynical approach taken to security and your privacy.

Were you logging to the card? I'm using a flash drive rather than an SD card, but I've mounted /var/log and /var/run on a tmpfs, then re-mounted / as readonly, and it's been running like this for years.

I've had cards fail even in RO mode. Consumer cards are shit, get "industrial" cards.

> temperatures and light levels in each room

I'm curious what kind of sensors you're using and what kind of battery life you get out of them. Every z-wave sensor I tried had abysmal battery life at any kind of reasonable update rates.

I've heard about the problem with the RPi's constantly corrupting SD cards before. I'm curious though, did you try out any other microcomputers in the RPi's price range before upgrading to the NUCs?

Have you tried using special "high endurance" SD cards on your Pi?

"Industrial" is the keyword you want for the premo shit.

What hardware did you end up picking?

I’ve been looking to replace my RPi with something a bit beefier. Some of the components I’m running are memory heavy, and my pi is struggling to stay responsive.

Honestly, raspberry pis are a joke for anything serious. They only make sense if you are extremely limited when it comes to space.

You can easily buy a mid-level desktop computer for $200 (either brand new, or off ebay/craigslist/newegg). I would recommend getting an i7 with at least 8 gigs of RAM and an SSD. As of right now, newegg has no less than i7 30 desktop pcs for sale under $200.

Slap linux on it, plug it into your power and ethernet under your desk and forget about it.

You will have a dedicated server whatever you want. Home automation, gaming servers, docker containers, whatever. Just leave it running 24/7.

If you really want to get fancy, plug it into a backup UPS for in case the power goes out.

How many watts is that?

There's kind of a quick progression in the bill for an always on device from irrelevant to noticeable to large.

Have you looked at high write endurance cards?

Had a SD card die in my Pi a few months back, good to know HA was the cause. Now running on a proper box.

HA wasn't the cause, just consumer level SD cards are shit. Get an "industrial" card.

Couldn't quite find the phrase for it. HA isn't at fault, but does cause shit SD cards — which are the norm — to fail.

I was unsure if it was a random failure or attributable to my use of the card. The parent comment cleared that up for me.

I mean, I'm not being pedantic about root cause. Like I've seen name brand cards fail while in read only mode. It has nothing to do with HA, and everything to do with the cards.

An (old/spare) 60gb ssd + usb sata adapter may come cheaper. Also very reliable.

I've had USB->SATA adapters fail on me from not being powered down cleanly. : \

Network boot is possible.

Founder of Home Assistant here. Happy to answer any questions.

My initial experience with Home Assistant has been very frustrating. I filled my house with HomeSeer HS-WD100+ and HS-WS100+ wall dimmers/switches. I thought I was safe as they are best sellers in zwave devices. But Home Assistant doesn't seem to support them without elaborate workarounds that, as a noob, I haven't been able to penetrate. The forums have been talking about a solution coming soon ... for years now. In the meantime I'm stuck with a house full of home automation that I can't automate.

I may be too dumb for this, but I do manage to survive as a full time developer, in linux, using yaml daily. Yet the learning curve on Home Assistant has been brutal.

Can Home Assistant improve on this? Can we someday buy best selling devices and expect them to work with it? I realize that Home Assistant is not intended to be and will never be as noob friendly as the proprietary consumer hub software. But can it at least get friendly enough for a professional dev to figure out how to turn on a light without several weeks worth of head banging?

On the YAML front: we've added support for configuring integrations via the UI, no YAML involved[1]. However each integration will need to be adopted individually for this. YAML will still be around for power users and people who like to use version control.

For Z-Wave: the current integration is based on openzwave, a reverse engineered implementation of the Z-Wave protocol with an irregular release interval. As we depend on their releases, it's out of our control.

However, there is hope :) Sillicon Labs (owner Z-Wave) has recently published an official SDK for Z-Wave[2]. Once Home Assistant Cloud is generating money, the plan is to pay a developer to integrate it into Home Assistant. Once we're on an official stack, I expect our Z-Wave story to improve significantly.

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qpKe-FW9Yk [2]: http://zwavepublic.com/developer

Glad to hear there are plans to improve it. I'd be willing to do a patreon or monthly donation just for better zwave!

Keep up the great work!

My experience has been a bit different to yours but has included a fair bit of headbanging 8)

Zwave support seems to be really good to me. This: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00YETCNOE/ref=oh_aui_de... works passed through to a VM after a vMotion to another host! All Zwave devices I've tried seem to simply work but to be fair I have not done anything like an exhaustive set of tests.

The support on the forums is awesome - one of the best communities about. I'm not quite there yet to really give decent advice but I'm close.

Home Assistant is being developed at a breakneck pace. That means that you must be careful and treat your project with respect. Backups and backout plans and testing must be taken seriously. You have to read everything you can get your eyes on - the forums and docs are very, very, very good. If you do all that then you will be richly rewarded.

I would be happy to contribute $ towards an improved Z-Wave implementation in HA if its based on an official SDK. I'm pretty sure I know a few others who would do the same if you set up a funding campaign somewhere.

Have you looked at AppDaemon [0] [1] or Node-Red [2] [3] as alternatives to using YAML to write automations? AppDaemon allows you to write automations in Python, and Node-Red allows you to do it in a visual workflow editor. I haven't made the switch from SmartThings to Home Assistant yet because I haven't been limited by SmartThings yet and it was simple to set up, but when I do switch, I will probably start with those tools since the paradigm is more familiar to me. You can't get away from YAML completely since you would still need to build your sensor and device definitions in YAML, but I think the YAML structure works better for that use case anyway.

[0] https://appdaemon.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ [1] https://github.com/home-assistant/appdaemon [2] https://diyfuturism.com/index.php/2017/11/26/the-open-source... [3] https://nodered.org/

I only tried Node-Red, it was good enough that I felt no need for AppDaemon, even though as a programmer it probably is even easier than Node Red.

One huge problem with YAML compared with Node Red is the turnaround, node-red restarts blazingly fast. HA, not so much....

I've struggled with this as well. I actually find the YAML harder to write than a full programming language would be. For example, conditional logic such as "Turn on this light when the sun goes down only if this person is home" get complicated quickly. The breadth of options and plugins available is impressive but the documentation presents a lot of small snippets and not many explanations of how to design a coherent system.

I have a feeling that my next step will be reading the source code to get a better sense of how the YAML is translated into the internal state machine, but an official "beginners guide" would go a long way to making this not necessary.

See my reply to the parent

Thanks, I hadn't heard of AppDaemon. It looks a lot like what I found lacking the last time I tried to set up Home Assistant.

... and find the alert module.

Home Assistant should offer basic support (on/off/dim) for your switches out of the box - I've also got a house full of them. The work around should only be required if you want to use multi-tap gestures that the switches support. What's not working for you?

The multi-tap workaround is not terribly involved. If I recall correctly, it consisted of pasting a couple of lines of XML in the "zwcfg" file for each switch.

I can't get specific because my house was struck by lightning a month ago and fried my pi and a half dozen switches (among lots else), and I don't remember the details. Replacements are on the way. Important tip for home automators: don't get struck by lightning. The affected switches didn't just turn off, they started to strobe the lights in the connected fixtures. I had to turn off the circuit and pull them out of the wall to stop the disco dance party.

I did get a few other zwave devices connected, and these do pair with the zwave hub, but otherwise Home Assistant can't see them at all. I messed with zwcfg with no difference.

I had a similar experience with home assistant. The yaml configuration was so obtuse.

I basically just ended up writing my own python scripts and/or batch files and then I would have Home Assistant simply execute them.

That's how I managed to do some of my more complex, un-supported integrations with Home Assistant, anyways.

Is it possible to combine this with snips.ai? So you have voice control on the device it self or run snips on another device and let it send commands to the home assistant device?

You can flash our operating system Hass.io[1] to a Raspberry Pi, install an MQTT broker and Snips via the Hass.io UI, connect a microphone and speaker to the Pi, upload your Snips assistant and you should be good to go. See the instructions [2]

[1]: https://www.home-assistant.io/hassio/ [2]: https://www.home-assistant.io/addons/snips/

Awesome, thanks for the reply!

Yeah curious to know too if Home Assistant is compatible with snips.ai? They're also heavy on privacy and essentially developed from the ground up with privacy being built into it BY design

Thank you! Snips is the bomb, been tinkering around with it past week or so and really enjoying it.

What are your thoughts / experiences towards snips? Anything cool I should try out

Depends on how experienced you are with raspberry Pi. Good to start with their more basic tutorials? Found this https://snips.gitbook.io/getting-started/

Thank you so much! We work hard to give the best open-source VoiceAI platform for hackers and makers like you guys!

I am using it for basic stuff mostly and the experience was very positive. Also have a dev friend that introduced me to snips, who ordered a maker kit and can’t wait to code some stuff for the platform

If only there were giveaways or competitions to win one. It's not too pricy but my wallet disagrees atm

I can't thank you enough for what you have started. I have been using HA for over a year now and enjoy it more every month.

Have you guys thought about, or talked with anyone else who has thought about trying to make HA, or a subset of the HA functionality, accessible to non-technical people? I often show my setup to friends and family and the first thing they ask is "how do I do this?", and I normally have to tell them they can't really do it themselves.

It's in progress. We added a framework to allow integrations to be configured via the UI and are working on adopting the integrations to work with this. We're also adding users to limit permissions for certain accounts. These things take time, but we'll get there. I hope 2019 :-)

Are there plans for an Android app similar to the iPhone app? It's the one thing I miss about Smart Things

I don't expect an official app. There are some 3rd party ones.

Our frontend is a PWA which integrates very well into Android.

Actionable push notifications can be achieved with the notify.HTML5 platform[1]. Nice writeup what you can achieve here[2].

The only thing that cannot be achieved with the PWA is sending location updates for presence detection. But that can easily be achieved with OwnTracks [3] sending updates over HTTP.

[1]: https://www.home-assistant.io/components/notify.html5/ [2]: https://blog.usejournal.com/how-i-use-home-automation-for-wo... [3]: https://owntracks.org/ [4]: https://www.home-assistant.io/components/device_tracker.ownt...

Not much to add other than thanks!

Home Assistant was a key piece of not having to fiddle with lights while moving to a living room to do an early morning feeding for a baby.

First, I wanted to say I really enjoy Home Assistant!

I was wondering, how has development been since you have been with Ubiquiti?

Being paid by Ubiquiti to work full time on Home Assistant is awesome. I no longer work early mornings, late evenings and weekends. It has allowed me to start larger projects (user system, Lovelace) and able to break them down in smaller pieces that can then be picked up by both me and contributors.

Still struggling a bit with finding the right work/life balance now that my hobby has become my job but it's going in the right direction.

It shows. I pointed my new HA at our Unifi controller and suddenly a huge number of attributes were available on each wifi connected device.

I don't care who pays for it but Ubiquiti are not daft: Amazon, Apple, Google etc have all got their feet under the table with their hardware "assistants". UBNT can't compete directly with that but they sponsor Home Assistant. Your salary plus a few other bits and pieces is not much cash in the grand scheme of things but the value gained is close to priceless (I would suggest).

Oh and did I say thanks for your work? Absolutely bloody awesome.

Try going the left direction. Way more fun.

Since this comment thread involved a lot of people talking about their smart devices, I’ll just put out a PSA: don’t bother with cheaper zwave light switches and dimmers :) if you’re looking for a high quality decent price option, just get Lutron Caseta. Or if you want higher end / better style, get Lutron’s RA 2 Select hub (basically Caseta++) for $100 more and then you can use Caseta dimmers or higher end Maestro dimmers that have a nicer interface (but cost 2x).

I’m speaking from experience: I put in a bunch of $35 zwave switches but they are physically worse (ex: thicker metal margins that make fitting wall plates more awkward) and they are more painful to work with the software (ex: setting high/low dimmer trims is awkward compared to Lutron’s in-app approach). I wish I had just gone with the $60 Casetas switches (plus remote if white is your color). The price difference is well worth it.

Lutron devices don't form a mesh network, though?

And a limit of only one range extender.

And only 50 devices?


I'll stick with Z-Wave, even though it's not perfect. And it's true that there's some terrible Z-Wave hardware but there's also better (and pricier) gear.

The two biggest drawbacks of Caseta for me were the vendor lock-in, and the cheap feeling switches.

With Z-wave you can pick your hub and devices. If things don't work how you want out of the box, chances are someone has already written the code you need for whatever hub you're using. If not, you can write it yourself.

I am currently using (and pretty happy with) all GE switches with SmartThings hub (soon Vera?), Schlage Locks, Visonic door sensors, Ecobee Thermostats and Harmony remotes for control/automation overrides.

I solve my vendor lock in problem by ask having SmartThings. In fact, I have a zwave Schlage lock. My point wasn’t to go with Lutron for everything, but that when it comes to dimmers I haven’t found anything better.

I've tried both Z-Wave and Insteon, and have settled on Insteon. It forms a mesh network over both powerline and RF and it's been extremely reliable so far. With Z-Wave, I had quite a few range problems.

zwave is unfortunately VERY dependent on the devices you use.

If you get high quality devices across your whole network, it works great. It's fast, it's reliable, and it'll work over pretty long distances with the mesh networking stuff.

But even one shitty device can bring a whole network down, not to mention that you tend to gamble the first time you buy a device if you are gonna get a good one or not.

Things are MUCH better now if you stick to zwave-plus only as the zwave people are taking a much more "hands on" approach to ensuring that you can't sell garbage with the zwave name on it, and they've added a ton of really nice improvements to the system.

But unless you are just starting out it's gonna be tough to get a full zwave-plus network.

> over both powerline

Ack. Please don't tell me this isn't a widely supported thing. powerline communication wreaks havoc on RF spectrum, esp in the HF range.

Caseta is 50 devices. RA2 Select is 100 + 4 extenders and is backwards compatible with Caseta dimmers, so that's your upgrade path.

After that, you go with RadioRA 2 and an installer, which is no fun for DIY.

Caseta is the way to go.

I HAD a mix of Elgato, iDevices, Belkin, and Insignia switches and outlets, added ad-hoc based on promotional pricing and free time.

It was an unreliable mish-mash with varying levels of compatibility with iOS, Android, and Alexa. Seeing or hearing "The device is not responding" was common.

I scrapped it all and went Caseta for everything, giving every device a "one last chance" and swapping it out with a Caseta device if it failed to do what I told it to do. My home is now 100% Caseta. I haven't had an unscheduled outage since the the hub was installed.

This stuff is going to be in your walls for years. Pay the extra $25 per device.

Also, throw your wire nuts in the trash and use Wago lever connectors every time you unscrew a wall plate to replace something.

I used Elgato devices, I would have got more pleasure from burning my cash. Biggest waste of time I've ever experienced in my life.

Thank you. A few minutes ago, I had never heard of Wago. And now I have the urge to replace every wire nut in the house.

Wagos look nice and elegant, but can be minorly controversial in the USA:


I’ve had the opposite experience. Just had a Caseta switch installed to control some LED recessed lighting.

* the switch itself feels very flimsy and low quality.

* dimming only sort of works.

* the control is extremely laggy. Hit the buttons and wait up to a second before something happens.

* sometimes, the lights just don’t turn on. I’ll watch the LEDs on the switch light up, and then turn off. And then try again. And fail again...

I’ve had it a week and I’m ready to throw it out a window.

Strange. Definitely haven't had any of the lag issues or random on/off issues. Bummer.

The dimming could be two things:

1) The high/low trim may need to be adjusted, which is IMO way way easier on Lutron than others.

2) If you have LED bulbs, the brand makes a huge huge difference. FWIW I found that Parmida LED retrofit kits are the best, by far. No buzzing and dims down to 1% (most are 10%).

As for the buttons, I agree actually. That's the one thing I like about some of my zwave switches. BUT, even better than both are the Lutron Maestro buttons, which you can get for ~$125 if you go with RA2 Select (vs Caseta). They are really nice.

I can’t speak to caseta, but I would highly recommend RadioRa2 from lutron.

The signals are flawless and continue to work even if there are otherwise problems with my raspi. ClearConnect (the wireless protocol) has its own spectrum and doesn’t interfere with anything else in my house that I have found, which sets it apart from all other wireless switch ecosystems that I know of. There is a wide range of dimmers for all types of loads (even very small led loads and fan loads) and physical remote controls. The pylutron library that homeassistant uses is solid - there’s room for improvement, but that just makes it more interesting from a hobby perspective. I also like that there’s no visual difference between wireless and “normal” maestro switches, so everything will look consistent even if you don’t go all in on wireless.

It took a few hours of my life to get certified and access the configuration software for radiora2, but I think it was worth it.

Lutron doesn’t pay me :) I’ve just found it to be a great platform to hack on. It is expensive but it’s a bit cheaper second hand.

Can you tell me how much the hub cost? The RA2 Select hub is $249 and the main difference (besides fewer devices and extenders) compared to RadioRA2 is that it’s “programmed” through the same Caseta Android/iOS apps vs the higher end / certified-only RadioRA2 and HomeWorksQS systems.

Caseta is a fantastic product. Works well, looks great. Lutron switches in general have a high-end "feel" when you press them, and these are no exception.

That said, I went with Insteon switches in my current place to save a few bucks--they're ~$37.5/switch in a 5 pack [0] which adds up pretty quickly.

I've had them for about a 18 months now with no issues. The Android app is pretty terrible, but gets the job done. Alexa integration works well with their hub. I've added a few Insteon outlets, fan controllers, and motion sensors over the last year as well; all solid.

[0] https://www.smarthome.com/insteon-switchlinc-dimmer-white-5-...

My problem with Caseta is all of Lutron’s smart switches have INDREDIBLY flimsy physical buttons. A $35 General Electric ZWave switch is actually pretty sturdy, yet paying 2x as much for Caseta gets a device that feels far cheaper. Lutron is generally considered a lower quality brand for their non-smart switches and outlets, and that does seem to apply to the physical build quality of their smart switches as well.

And if you use them a lot, I can only imagine they’ll be like the display models at Home Depot / Lowe’s: Lutron Caseta buttons wobbling loosely as if they’re about to fall off, while GE rocker style switch is just fine.

Flimsy isn't quite what I'd describe -- but I agree that the four buttons are clumsy and that my lower cost zwave buttons are nicer in some ways. But I haven't found any zwave switch that ties nicely into my wall plates as cleanly as Lutron dimmers.

My solution for when I want a really nice sturdy single button is Lutron Maestro dimmers, which are even nicer (but now 2X the Caseta costs).

The range of the smart hub is what concerns me. I see you can buy the plug-in dimmer switch to extend, but only one is allowed per hub. Otherwise the reliability of Caseta is attractive. Do you also have the hub integrated with other things like a thermostat? I'm curious as to how that's working out.

Z-wave is designed to be repeated by any device with constant power. So door locks won't act as repeaters, but switches, plugs, light sockets, etc. will.

The home-assist docs link to this blog post [1], which is a great walk through on some common pitfalls when building a zwave network.

1. https://drzwave.blog/2017/01/20/seven-habits-of-highly-effec...

Thanks - I'm aware of this. My questions were on Caseta and his/her use.

Range has been pretty solid for me, in a pretty good sized home. But you can also go with RA2 Select and get 4 range extenders, which should make it a non issue for most people.


Just put in a bunch of Caseta dimmers this week and agree. I wish they had the same design as their other dimmers(one large button, rocker for dim) but they're still a great product regardless.

Consider upgrading to RA 2 Select ($250 hub) someday. Then you can install their nicer dimmers (Maestro), though they also cost 2x the Caseta dimmers so it gets pricey.

HomeSeer is also very good.

I have a raspberry pi where I installed Home Assistant a few months ago when I moved into my new home. I did a little bit of messing with it, but stopped while waiting to have more devices that could communicate with it.

What are some of the more useful things people have found they are able to accomplish with this, and what was the best way to go about them?

Ideas I currently am toying with: presence sensors to turn lights on/off, somehow measuring the voltage used by appliances (washer/dryer, dishwasher, etc) to notify me when they finish running, a camera in my backyard that uses basic image processing to tell when my dog squats and I have to go pick it up.

some of the stuff i've wired up around my house:

* zwave motion sensors that can turn on the stairs lights at night when I start to walk down

* door/window sensors that will automatically turn the AC off if they are open for more than a minute.

* several methods of presence detection for anyone in the house, and ensuring the doors are locked, lights out, and garage doors down if nobody is home (after an announcement on the google homes just in case anyone somehow is still home)

* automatic notifications to my wife's phone when i'm on my way home after work so she would know when to start dinner (we don't use this one any more as I work from home, but it beat getting phone calls and me guessing how long I was from home every day!)

* notifications that show an image of who is at the front door when there is motion there

* an alert if a door in the house is left open for more than 1 minute

* a vibration sensor combined with a tiny hall sensor on the door of the washer/dryer to notify me when laundry is done (trying to measure power usage on 220v wiring was looking to be more annoyance than it was worth, so i went a different route!)

And one of my favorites that i'm working on right now:

* a system to measure rainfall amount and only turn on the reclaimed water sprinklers when it's not enough, but adjust the runtime accordingly.

>* a vibration sensor combined with a tiny hall sensor on the door of the washer/dryer to notify me when laundry is done (trying to measure power usage on 220v wiring was looking to be more annoyance than it was worth, so i went a different route!)

Your option was likely much less expensive, but aeotec does make a clamp-on energy sensor[0]. It's made for reading your whole-home energy but it should work for your purposes. But like I said, your solution was likely much cheaper (these are about $99).

[0] https://aeotec.com/z-wave-home-energy-measure

I thought about that, and like you said it was pretty expensive, plus it would require me to cut the power line for the dryer to pull one of the lines out.

And then I was back at square 1 for the washer, which turns out uses little enough energy in a lot of cases to be hard to tell when it's "done" vs when it's just pausing between cycles or swapping water out.

I also wanted to have the notifications continue until you actually empty it, and that required a door sensor anyway!

I really want to get one of those for the oven though, my wife tends to worry that she left the oven on (she never has!) and something like this connected to it might help ease that worry. And I REALLY don't want to do anything invasive to the oven, as that's one thing that i REALLY do not want accidentally turning on or shorting out.

What's your setup for the front door camera? That's something I'd like to add to my house, I know there are a packaged solutions but I want to build it.

So I bought a ring a while back, I fucking hate the thing. It's unreliable, it's closed off, and has an awful API.

But until I get around to replacing it, I also have normal IP cameras out front. So i combined the API from Ring with the IP cameras that let you access the video stream to take a snapshot on motion or a doorbell ring, and use HTML5 notifications to send it to all my devices.

Get a doorbird. More expensive with the same feature set as the ring but a few big benefits. Their REST api is documented and they support callback webhooks. So you can have your doorbird make a webhook http post with a blob of json telling home assistant it detected motion or someone pressed the doorbell. I’m planning on using this to have a “doorbell” automation play on our Sonos speakers, which home assistant also supports very well.

This is great to know. I’m doing a big home remodel and ran CAT6 to my doorbell and have an unopened DoorBird just waiting to be installed in a few months. I love this idea!

Yup. I've got an outstanding person TODO item to see if anything in the HASS side of things needs enhancement, since I'm a python dev and have the Doorbird http api docs.

This is a great list of things you can do. Just reading thing went a good way from changing my mind from "useless contrivance maybe a bit fun to hack on" to "actually sounds useful."

Where do you buy your sensors, and which ones do you use? Sounds like they are all over the place so they need power and wireless (or a lot of cabling....)

the motion sensors and door/window sensors are zwave.

They are battery powered, but i've had the oldest ones for almost 2 years now and haven't had to replace the batteries yet, and when I do I can get a pack of like 10 for $15 so it's not bad.

All of the light switches are zwave as well, and they go in the wall behind the toggle switches, so from the outside you can't see any difference.

I get most of them from amazon, and i've used a bunch of vendors over the years. Aeotec, ecolink, linear, and a few no-name brands.

Can you share specifically which zwave sensors you're having good luck with? I have had mixed luck with sensors.

By far my favorite was the aeotec micro smart switch energy gen2

It's not sold any more, and it's not zwave plus, but I have like 12 of them and they are by far the best i've used. They are small, run consistently 100% of the time, have good range, and more.

I have 2 of the aeotec nano switches which are zwave plus, but they are also $60 so it's almost double the money...

I've also used fibaro but ended up removing it because there was a delay between when i flipped the toggle and when it would turn the light on, and that was not okay in my book.

I am looking to replace the light switches with zwave-plus modules simply for the extra security, but i'm not in a massive rush.

In the sensors world, i use ecolink's door window sensors. They are cheap and work well enough, although I did have 2 out of about 20 that were bad and needed to be replaced shortly after installing them.

I am also trying out zooz 4-in-1 sensors for motion right now. They work pretty damn well with a lot of control over sensitivity and range, so I'm happy.

For the garage doors I use linear/gocontrol's GD00Z-4 modules, and my door locks are kwikset with a zwave plugin board, and there are a few plugs around the house from various companies that all have worked perfectly so I don't really have anything bad about them (ge, aeotec, r-tech)

> ...notify me when laundry is done

You could hook into the buzzer circuit for this notification.

I have a rule that all my "modifications" must be easily undone, and can't impact the "thing" if it stops working.

So where possible, I shy away from any modifications to the device itself that aren't extremely simple to undo.

A vibration sensor and hall sensor on an esp8266 is cheap, works consistently, and is VERY easy to take off if I don't want it any more.

I did hook into a humidifier once kind of like this, I hooked the esp8266 up to the on-off button, but I try to avoid it if I can.

it would be interesting to hear what hardware and sensors you ended up using.

pretty much mostly zwave (from various companies over the years), with some one-off stuff on a few esp8266 chips that I got for a few $ each on aliexpress.

For more ideas with actual code, the "home-assistant-config" tag on GitHub [0] is very popular to find those who have put their configuration into version control. Here's mine [1].

[0]: https://github.com/topics/home-assistant-config [1]: https://github.com/robbiet480/Home-Assistant-Config

My current favorite ones: - My GF is a bit forgetful and sometimes leaves her purse behind when leaving somewhere. I had an automation setup with an ibeacon in her purse and owntracks on her phone to detect when the purse is far away from her, and send me and her a notification

- i built a bed occupancy sensor so hass knows if we're in bed or not, and disables automations that would otherwise be annoying (mainly the motion-detected lights in the bedroom)

- i come home and say "hey snips, i'm home" which turns on the tv and sets kodi to a plugin that i tend to use.

- i have a snips.ai command (hey snips, let's party) which turns on my lifx bulbs and makes them change colors

- also whenever Eric Prydz comes on my living room kodi, those party lights come on

- i have an announcement go out over snips.ai tts when my 3d print starts (so i can go ensure the first few layers are good) and when the 3d print is done. I also have snips commands to tell me how much time is left on my 3d print job, and if the temperature of the nozzle spikes too high.

"also whenever Eric Prydz comes on my living room kodi, those party lights come on"

Does it also supply instant spandex and leg warmers?

"i built a bed occupancy sensor so hass knows if we're in bed or not,"

Do you use a pressure sensor or PIR for that?

2x of these https://www.adafruit.com/product/1071 between the mattress and box spring, ultimately hooked up to a raspi zero w

Aha those are exactly what I was looking for a few years ago when I tried to do the same, I only found tiny ones with difficult to use interfaces. Thanks!

i made an account because i noticed you mentioned snips. I own a 3d printer and just began toying with it, setting tts is bloody genius. is it hard to pick it up?

Sorry - TTS or snips?

Snips is straight forward as mostly it is integrated into my home assistant, but with a lot of custom voice commands to pull specific data

You can find more information on their Doc Site https://snips.gitbook.io/documentation/

I find their telegram (https://t.me/snipsair) pretty useful to ask poke around. Looking for their Discord because Dev community is mostly there! Plus i believe you get rewarded for helping em in their token. Not so much into Crypto but it seems to have some viable utility in their ecosystem.

Arduino Hobbyist here, usually lurking on /g/

In addition to most of the things other people have reported above, I have:

- Scripts that open/close curtains depending on sunset/sundown and whether we're on holiday (presence simulation)

- My seedling box - it's an Ikea rack with styrofoam in which I have LED grow lights, a heating element and a fan to control temperature and which simulates different lighting conditions, to start seedlings and to do first fermentation of wines

- Monitoring/reporting of solar power generated

- Automatically switch off devices that use a lot of standby power but are only used occasionally - printer/copier, that sort of thing. I made the money the switches cost back within a year.

I'm curious what printer you run that uses a lot of standby power. I have checked several with a kill-a-watt and none of them seem to use more than a watt in standby mode.

It's actually 3 devices behind one plug - Xerox Phaser 6600 printer, Brother MFC 7840 multifunctional and a ScanSnap ix500 scanner. I don't quite remember, I think they used 20w in standby (combined)? I remember being shocked at the time, but I don't think I really dug any deeper.

Hi. Can you provide details on the hardware and interfaces for the curtain setup?

I use Forest drapery rails (https://www.forestgroup.com/). They're awesome, they have a zwave interface build in (the ones I use - they have multiple systems) and they have been 100% rock solid for 4+ years for me. They behave like light dimmers, so you just send them a '50%' message to close them half way etc. Also, you can still open them by hand; if you give them a slight tug, they will open or close the rest by themselves depending on the current positions. Many electric curtain rails, you can't open and close by hand. So if, say, the babysitter tries to close them and she doesn't know that they're electrical, and she starts yanking them, it'll damage the motor. The ones from Forest don't have that.

Furthermore, the company had great service. I wanted these rails when they were just on the market, and I told my installer what I wanted, but he didn't know about the zwave type yet. So I called my local Forest office (in the Netherlands) and they immediately put me through to an engineer who gave me the SKU for the installer to order, and he also gave me excellent advice on how to configure things (in a technical way, not in a 'this is what the manual says' way) and on the different options. They have different types, with different motors, depending on the curtain length. He said 'try the light one first, I think they'll work fine for your length. If they don't work as you want, you can just swap out the motors, it's all compatible. Just tell your installer to return it to <address>, label it <this guys name> and have your installer call me on <guys' cell phone nr> if he has any questions.' That was such a breath of fresh air, being used to companies that jerk you around from one call center lackey to another, reading you prepared scripts with snippets of the manual that you've already read half a dozen times.

Fully second this, we also have Forest. They have proven to be the most reliable Home Automation part in our home. Prices start at about EUR 500, but increase with curtain length (excluding the curtains). Seems like at lot, but having to recalibrate / repair a cheaper system every now and then will be more expensive in the end when your time is valuable.

Is this the kind of thing that requires a professional installation? Any sort of guides or kits available?

You can do it yourself, but if you buy from your local window decoration shop, they will probably install it cheap or even free of charge.

No this can be diy'ed, especially easy, straight rails.

Do you remember roughly how much they cost?

I don't quite remember, but e.g. this online shop https://www.hashop.nl/Shuttle has them for e460 = USD533 (includes 21% VAT). But it must depend on the length, and on whether you need special shapes (e.g., I have two bay windows), so YMMV.

Sounds like a lot of money, but out of all automated things, the curtains are the things of which I most often think 'that is very convenient, glad I spend the time and money'. Most other HA things are fun to play with, but not really all that important (in my experience).

My favorite things for it is a lot of the "scripting" you can do for it:

- I have my outdoor lights turn on when the sun goes down and turn off 4 hours after sunset - If it is after sunset, if it detects mine or my significant other connecting to the wifi, it automatically turns my Nest from away mode and turns on lights inside. - It will automatically turn off all my lights and my nest to away mode if it detects that no one is home.

There is a lot more flexibility to it (i.e. it can send you an email if someone gets home and you are not home, things like that).

You can do a lot of those, I do not know how much work you have to do in it, but you can make your own "sensors" and it will integrate into home assistant.

For those who don't want to go all in on home automation, you can buy solar timers for your lights that have an on off button, but also accept your lat long as a parameter and contain a solar calendar internally; they will turn your lights on and off automatically around dawn and dusk (and variations of).

There are now even LED lightbulbs (~$7-10 each) that have light sensors in them that will run dusk-to-dawn. Is a lot better than trying to remember to switch the porch lights on/off every day! :)

The most useful one I've done is opening the garage door from my phone or Google Home (yes, anyone can stand outside my windows and open the door on voice command, but noone would know to do that), and notifying me when I left it open for 5 minutes. I used a Sonoff relay switch for this, coupled with custom firmware based on homie. A LOT of hours went into this, but it was also a lot of fun and learning.

I've also made temperature and other sensors using esp8266 boards, but that wasn't quite worth the time spent.

I'm using it with z-wave door sensors to play a simple chime sound (helps keep track of curious toddlers). Also have a few IP cameras connected to it, may be adding presence sensors too. Planning on adding an "armed" mode where I can get alerts if motion is detected when we're not home.

This project is far and away becoming the standard for Home Automation. Incredible to watch over the last couple years.

Not only that, but Home Assistant is by far my favorite example of a well run "crowd run" open source project.

There's no big company bankrolling it (well there kinda is since ubiquiti hired the creator, but not to the same extent something like Chromium is just google), there are a HUGE number of committers, and the structure encourages people to maintain and improve their own contributions via 3rd party packages.

There's no fighting, there's not much gatekeeping, it's not overly complicated, and they are EXTREMELY welcoming to new contributions, no matter how "unique" the use case is (look at some of the integrations! There's integrations for local bus schedule systems!). And on top of that, there's world-class documentation! That's rare enough in paid products, but to see it from a project like this, and the fact that it's almost always up to date is simply amazing.

They held my hand through creating 2 new integrations, and I haven't developed in python for almost 10 years, and they were extremely helpful, responsive, and at the end of the day the product got better for everyone.

I really don't have enough good things to say about Home Assistant.

Thank you, really appreciate this kind of feedback :)

I store these kind comments in my notes and whenever people are asses online, I always go through the stored notes to know why we do what we do.

Agreed 100%. I think a lot of the credit goes to @balloob (Paulus Schoutsen).

and @fabaff (Fabian Affolter)

I'm like 80% sure that guy never sleeps...

I really wanted to love this project, but it had all sorts of odd problems with finding devices reliably. Had another weird issue where the "delay" had to be hacked in the config to recognize dimming properly.

I tried out HomeSeer and it has worked flawlessly. The downside is it is written in VB Script, yes you read that right so its nearly impossible to extend with your own plugins.

I really wish this project worked as reliably as HomeSeer so I can actually contribute and extend it. Maybe thats changed in the last year ?

Last discussion was ~10 months ago[0], but lots of progress has been made since then, including the new Lovelace UI[1] and HassIO[2] for the Raspberry Pi, based on the new HassOS[3] (a very small and efficient OS to run Docker like a hypervisor).

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15521743

[1] https://www.home-assistant.io/lovelace

[2] https://www.home-assistant.io/hassio/

[3] https://github.com/home-assistant/hassos

Multi-user auth is another exciting development, and it just hit RC status


Could someone explain or point me to where I can find the reasons behind the move from ResinOS to HassOS? I've been thinking of moving my pi project to use ResinOS but I'd rather use (and contribute to) OSS.

I use an Intel NUC* with Hass.io and am absolutely thrilled with it (switched due to slower reboot times on the Raspberry Pi — HA requires reloads when changing device config)


Am actually running Hass.io within Proxmox, so I can easily run other stuff on the machine as well. Haven’t yet tested USB pass-through for my Z-Wave and Zigbee USB sticks.

+1 for the NUC. I replaced my Raspberry Pi with one because I was building custom versions of OpenZWave, and I found cross-compiling painful and compiling on the Pi even more so.

I run Hass.io, but just installed it manually within a Debian installation. It's worked fine (including plugins/updates) for ~6 months.

At the time I started rolling my own home automation software, Home Assistant didn't do what I needed, but if I was starting today with where it's at now, I would almost certainly also be using Home Assistant. It now supports what it was missing before.

Truly unreal number of integrations built for it now.

Is there an on-device voice assistant for home assistant? I looked at snips.ai but debating if this fits my use case. I just need something to turn on/off my lights (and adjust color) and maybe play music through my TV.

I use snips regularly, set it up for music and lighting control just like you haha. I really enjoy how easy it was to setup - have a ton of Pis sitting and gadgets sitting around. Are you looking to get their maker kit? Or use your own setup?

I plan on using my own setup, I'm might get there eventually when I actually buy a Philips Hue set...Do you have any good tutorial? I saw the two on Snips' medium blog but I am not sure if there is anything else out there?

It depends on how much DIY you want to do. Snips.ai is the easiest to set up and can be installed from the Hass.io dashboard.

There is also Rhasspy[1], a voice assistant toolkit for Home Assitsant. It has instructions and custom components on how to integrate a full voice assistant (wake up, speech to text, intent recognition, text to speech) into Home Assistant using solely open source tools with different choices per category. It's very cool.

[1]: https://github.com/synesthesiam/rhasspy-assistant

Snips is very good imo, especially if you need only these features

I've been interested for a long time in an AI assistant but bringing one of big tech's spying devices into my home has always been a total non starter. So for me personally, Snips is an extremely promising project. The team is very responsive in their Telegram as well (https://t.me/snipsair).

Incredible project. Such a well-run open source system- monthly updates with great release notes and documentation.

Yep fully agreed - eager to see where they go - mass adoption is huge but I think because their platform targets newb and prosumer audiences it'll be easier. Also, the website does a good job at showing features - some competitors out there are NOT doing this enough. Privacy aspect + edge vs cloud is what triggered me to get it :P

I have a question for the home automation crowd. Are there any wifi switches (wall-wart style that don't need to be embedded in the wall) with an open spec or open source that I don't need a custom app with a weird protocol to talk to?

I'd really like to wire up some automated switches but after days of research, found that just about every wifi-enabled switch requires some bullshit android app that requires phoning home to a third party. I'd like to keep everything LAN-only.

This doesn't answer your question but I've been reliably using 433Mhz rf outlets[0] with homebridge and now with homeassistant with millisecond response times using Siri or browser at almost 100% success rate for years. I'm using twelve of them, and adding another is just adding one line to my config file.


Thanks! I actually have these already, I didn't even think they could be automated though. What do you use as the transmitter (I'm assuming you don't have a robot arm pressing the button on the remote ;))?

A decade ago, I soldered a relay directly on the remote to achieve this. It looked terrible with wires hanging out, but it still worked reliably.

Now I just use cheap rf emitters from amazon (you may have to solder an antenna to increase range). As soon as I got an AppleTV, all my switches became available outside my LAN, thanks to Apple Home without having to worry about security.


You're probably going to have a hard time finding consumer networked light switches that run on anything that isn't a wireless protocol. It's been a minute since I did any of this kind of work, but as I recall it, most US building codes forbid high-voltage (for residential values of the term, meaning ~120V wall supply) and low-voltage cabling from being run in the same conduits or boxes. That makes Ethernet and any other wired protocol (that isn't powerline) impossible, at least unless you're OK with risking your network cabling becoming live at mains voltage, and/or not getting a payout from your fire insurer if your house ever burns down.

In any case, good luck!

I'm looking for something like this: https://www.amazon.com/RockBirds-Required-Function-Control-A...

Except, doesn't require a custom android/ios app. I do want wireless protocol, but once the switch is networked, I want to be able to control it without some middle-man app that is phoning home outside of my network.

There are many options. For the wireless part my suggestion is to use zwave or zigbee devices as both protocols are open and widely used.

You can use a raspberry pi with a controller and Home Assistant (or equivalent) or an Athom homey which is not fully open but freely programmable.

Option: https://xiaomi-mi.com/sockets-and-sensors/xiaomi-mi-smart-so...

And Ikea will release zigbee wall plugs this year, their gateway uses the open coap protocol (no need to use their app) and as said you can also use any zigbee controller you want.

Fibaro sells zwave wall plugs, but there are others.

Finally sonoff has wifi plugs which can be flashed with open firmware.

No need to wait for Ikea (expect for probably lower price)

Innr smart plugs


Look for the X10 protocol.

Problems with it: - doesn’t work across phases, but I believe there is a ‘bridge’ for that. - noise ie from switching power supplies on the lines can be a problem. Use filters / better supplies.

MyStrom has a simple web interface which I talk to with a bash script — but they come with Swiss plugs only AFAIK

Yes, this is exactly what I'm looking for...a wifi switch with a documented REST API. I am in the US, but maybe I can get an adapter ;).

I last took a crack at setting up a home automation system about 10 months ago. At the time I found Home Assistant to be the easiest open source solution to setup and configure. Unfortunately this was a very low bar.

Although the basic documentation regarding installation and configuration of the core Home Assistant was ok the documentation for the individual components used to integrate and automate were either extremely incomplete or outdated. Successful configuration of the system required searching forums to dig out the required configuration items that weren't documented anywhere else.

Creation of a usable interface was another struggle. Again proper documentation was an issue and even once that was found configuring anything useful was just a tedious process.

Unfortunately I had to give up on an open source solution and reluctantly moved to a commercial home automation system which turned out to be worlds above any of the open source solutions when it came to ease of configuration and UI/UX.

Hopefully the open source solutions mature quickly and using them nolonger approximates the experience of maintaining my linux desktop in the 90s.

I worked with Home Assistant for some time, but ended up falling back to OpenHab2. While I don't like the "enterprisey" java-ish feel of OpenHab2, the documentation is much better that Home Assistant, and the support for components is much broader. It's been nearly flawless in production for me for over a year. ymmv

Try Hass.io which bundles the install and update process quite nicely. Also the components have had a lot of work.

Also agreed with the zwave sentiment on a hardware side lightbody. I'm building out a multi car garage at the moment for the wifey and looking for something that adopts to multi-room voice commands and automation. So far tried a few open source pi configurations but felt at a loss for additional benefits. Home Auto was nice and did good stuff! Moved to Snips recently (someone mentioned them in the thread i think?) and have really enjoyed it. Tried out their live console which is quite nice. Privacy is an added bonus in my opinion but the multi language support (french) is fantastic. A ton of cool projects going around though.

UI for end user is also stinging point so many do wrong. What else are you looking for? Purposes, end goal?

Since there are eyes on this thread: Has anyone successfully linked their HA Cloud account with Alexa? I keep on getting "We were unable to link Home Assistant at this time."

We're working with Amazon support in trying to pin down why this is happening but the support response time is slow. Our end looks all fine and the majority of people are able to link their account.

You can try some of these troubleshooting steps[1]. If you are on Twitter or Discord, PM me (@balloob) your username and an exact timestamp that linking failed so I can forward it as another example to Amazon.

[1]: https://twitter.com/clstokes/status/1019039457339535360

Thanks balloob. Tried all the solutions in the thread. None worked for me.

Have been using https://www.home-assistant.io/components/emulated_hue/ for sometime. It does not use HA Cloud though (not required actually). With this, all the components registered in HA are emulated as hue devices for Alexa.

Note: I use Echo Plus, which has the abilities to discover devices. Not sure if this works with Echo or Dot.

Thanks. I'll have to look into that. Might not work for my use-case (AC units).

I found the troubleshooting section really helpful, especially the part about exposing a single entry when linking with Alexa. Once I did that I successfully linked the two.

That didn't work for me :/

Yikes Alexa - I'd navigate toward more secure solutions if I were you :P If you want a PA better solutions out there.

This might be what I'm looking for, but the components page is broken. I need small, affordable temp+humidity sensors that multiple people can monitor via a web page or app. I did something similar years ago with a solution from a company called "One wire" and a lightweight PC interface, but it's pretty dated now and new components are tough to find. Any suggestions?

I believe you want the esp8266 or esp32 microcontrollers with esphomelib:


You can get esp8266 devices as cheap as about $1.30 on Ali express or you can get the super tricked out ones (mainly just for prototyping) from adafruit for about $9.99. They call theirs the Huzzah and it comes with stuff that you don’t have to solder on to most esps anyways. But a small cheap wireless sensor (3.3V) that can attach to any small sensor makes for some interesting automations.

Xiaomi Gateway + Xiaomi temperature sensor (it records temp and humidity). They have a bunch of other stuff like lights, switches, window/door sensors etc. Easiest way is to use Mi Home app, but you can also use Homebridge to have data in Apple Home (if you are a fan of that), or Home Assistant.

I wish automation platforms were language agnostic. That way you can mix scripting/programming langauges and take advantage of the libraries that exist in each platform. some vendors only release integration APIs in certain languages; they are hard to predict and also may not be the language you want to use for your backend logic, as opposed to your job logic.

I've been running Home Assistant for a while in Docker on my home NAS server. It runs great, is reliable, very scriptable, and so easy my wife can use it! I run it on my LAN without needing any additional online services and I VPN when away from home if I want to check anything out.

For me it still has the same frustrations as Smartthings or some other cloud based solution, but having more integrations and deeper insight as to what's happening, when, where and how is the big selling point for me. That and the speed... Push a button, lights come on instantly!

I couldn't find this easily before, but are there docs for how to build a new device that would be Home Assistant-ready right away to facilitate easy integration? Most of the docs appear to be how to get existing devices managed by Home Assistant..

You can always leverage existing MQTT based components https://www.home-assistant.io/components/mqtt/, by making your component MQTT compatible.

Adding new component is also relatively straight forward. For ex, have a look at https://github.com/home-assistant/home-assistant/blob/dev/ho... and other components. You implement couple of methods of existing traits, in this case, SwitchDevice.

You should be able to look through the supported Home Assistant components. MQTT, as mentioned, is a good example. You could also do a RESTful interface and use the REST component


Home Assistant is super dope. https://github.com/jnewland/ha-config is my config if anyone's interested!

I see the home assistant works with a family of devices. But how many of them are streaming personal data to the cloud?

Many of them literally can't. My general recommendation is to avoid home automation devices with a network connection. If you're using things like Z-Wave and Insteon, they can't talk to the Internet, they're not network devices, and they rely on an RF adapter or the like to talk to your PC. If you control the computer/software they talk to, you control what information can get out.

Does anyone use something like this to help them wake up in the morning? During the winter in the UK I find it very hard to wake up. I think it would help if I simulated the sun. Is there a bulb that supports a soft, warm light in the evening and bright sunlight in the morning?

I've done that using Home Assistant, it's pretty easy. Adjusting temperature isn't that important, but I'm really light sensitive and having a light slowly fade on in the morning is enough to wake me up gently.

Many smart bulbs support color temperature adjustment, e.g. Phillips Hue, IKEA Tradfri, and LIFX all sell bulbs that have that.

I do this with home-assistant, Phillips hue bulbs, and f.lux. f.lux controls the color temperature of the bulbs while home-assistant controls the brightness and emulates the sunrise at dawn.

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