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Home Automation Using Home Assistant

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 12th, 2019 1:22 pm
[OP]
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
30497 posts
5037 upvotes
East Gwillimbury

Home Automation Using Home Assistant

Home Assistant is an automation hub. It's open source, runs locally and maintains your privacy. It will run on a Raspberry Pi, a Virtual Machine, a NAS, Linux, Windows etc. Currently it supports over 1330 components (as of March 24th).

Why would you want this?

1. Control or monitor: lights, appliances, thermostat, alarm system, video cameras, garage doors, people, locks, televisions, door bells
2. Create automation rules
3. Use your cell phone, tablet or voice to control anything even when you're not at home. No need to run apps, works from any browser
4. It is cool (Warning: It is very addictive)

The purpose of this thread is to share automation ideas. Here is a glimpse of my setup

Main Page

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Alarm Panel (Not sure why the numbers are so small)

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Thermostat

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Weather

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Sample Automations

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I am no expert, but I will be happy to help where I can. My setup is 99% Z-Wave, the only WiFi device I have is the doorbell. Voice is done with Google Home (you can see it on the main screen). It also works with Alexa but I don't own one.

I ran it on a Raspberry Pi 3B initially and moved to a 3B+ when it was released. I currently have it running on a spare Intel NUC. The hub is constantly monitoring the state of each component and I can trigger events based on weather, time, presence, motion.

For example, I can have the lights turn on in the drive way 15 minutes after the sun sets or I can have my garage door close once it detects my car is parked for more than 2 minutes.
157 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2007
2123 posts
1442 upvotes
SW Ontario
What did you use for a Thermostat, assumong it's Z-wave?

I've been using EcoBee simply because it was free, and I liked there additional room sensors at the time.
I'd rather be outdoors camping, kayaking, and mountain biking ...
Deal Addict
Nov 27, 2005
2901 posts
213 upvotes
Have you tried openhab? If so why did you choose HA?
[OP]
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
30497 posts
5037 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Jojo_Madman wrote:
Mar 24th, 2019 7:36 am
What did you use for a Thermostat, assumong it's Z-wave?
I am using a Radio Thermostat CT80

https://www.aartech.ca/ct80-zwave-thermostat.html

I signed up for a pilot project with the local electric utility and they promised me a free EcoBee, still haven't received it. Even if they send it to me, I wouldn't use it.
crimsondr wrote:
Mar 24th, 2019 7:44 am
Have you tried openhab? If so why did you choose HA?
I started with OpenHAB and switched within a week to Home Assistant. This was 2 years ago. OpenHAB was in transition from version 1.8 to version 2 beta

I choose Home Assistant because it was easier to setup. OpenHAB 1.x was cumbersome. I know they improved it with version 2 (openHABian), but at the time it was still in beta. I find YAML a lot easier than Xtend
Sr. Member
Sep 23, 2006
820 posts
113 upvotes
I'm currently using HA with an Intel NUC as well.

Here is a recent video of my custom interface:

Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2007
2123 posts
1442 upvotes
SW Ontario
Gee wrote:
Mar 24th, 2019 9:24 am
I am using a Radio Thermostat CT80

https://www.aartech.ca/ct80-zwave-thermostat.html

I signed up for a pilot project with the local electric utility and they promised me a free EcoBee, still haven't received it. Even if they send it to me, I wouldn't use it.
Thanks I'll have to check it out. I can't say that I've had any complaints with EcoBee so far other than maybe just that its WiFi.

So does this mean you don't use any Zigbee as well? ...
I'd rather be outdoors camping, kayaking, and mountain biking ...
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2010
1031 posts
515 upvotes
ottawa
Asmegin wrote:
Mar 24th, 2019 9:50 am
I'm currently using HA with an Intel NUC as well.

Here is a recent video of my custom interface:

That's awesome - is that a fire tablet you secured to the wall? If so, what'd you use for the floor plan? I've been meaning to set that up but right now just have a dashboard open on an ipad.

Then I got worried about everyone saying leaving it plugged in 24/7 will cause the battery to swell.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
30497 posts
5037 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Asmegin wrote:
Mar 24th, 2019 9:50 am
I'm currently using HA with an Intel NUC as well.
Here is a recent video of my custom interface:
That's awesome. I really like the tabs you have at the bottom for everything you're monitoring.

What did you use to render the image? Paint3D? I am assuming you're just using Lovelace with a Pictures Element Card
Jojo_Madman wrote:
Mar 24th, 2019 11:30 am
Thanks I'll have to check it out. I can't say that I've had any complaints with EcoBee so far other than maybe just that its WiFi.

So does this mean you don't use any Zigbee as well? ...
No ZigBee either. When I was researching, I determined that Z-Wave has the best technology. WiFi is the most popular (because it is cheap) and the easiest to setup. It will be impossible to get away from it completely.

EcoBee is a great product (It's Canadian too). But a thermostat is one of the few things that don't require automation. Most thermostats are programmable. Just set your schedule and leave it. If your schedule needs adjusting because you went out shopping and forgot to turn it down, do you think the few hours with the heat on will cost that much?

There are two things about the CT80 that I don't like. The interface on the actual thermostat is very basic (ugly). Fortunately, you never need to look at it or touch it. The second is that it only comes with a Z-Wave module. I had to go to eBay and buy a Z-Wave Plus module. The whole thing ended up costing me $300 ($200 for the CT80 + $100 Cdn for Z-Wave Plus). The CT80 is full featured, it can do everything (multiple furnaces, heat pumps etc). I only use it to monitor humidity and I have three schedules set. Home, away and weekend. You can get all the same features as the EcoBee if I put sensors throughout the house and monitor movement. No movement? Use Home Assistant to automatically lower the temperature. You can get really fancy and use presence detection on your phone. If you are within 5 kms of your house, you can tell Home Assistant to raise the temperature so you come back to a warm house.

If you want a new thermostat. I suggest you look at the CT32 instead. It is a lot cheaper ($50 - $80 cdn). I should mention that the Radio Thermostats support everything (Z-Wave, Z-Wave Plus, WiFi, ZigBee). You just need to use the appropriate module(s). there are two slots and you can use two modules.
Sr. Member
Sep 23, 2006
820 posts
113 upvotes
barqers wrote:
Mar 24th, 2019 4:17 pm
That's awesome - is that a fire tablet you secured to the wall? If so, what'd you use for the floor plan? I've been meaning to set that up but right now just have a dashboard open on an ipad.

Then I got worried about everyone saying leaving it plugged in 24/7 will cause the battery to swell.
Yes it's a Fire 7 with Fully Kiosk Browser. A bit slow but it does the trick. I just attached it to the wall with velcro. I bought a $2 QI receiver pad from Aliexpress and cut off the ribbon cable/right angle USB. Soldered them to a normal USB cable which plugs into a recessed outlet.
Sr. Member
Sep 23, 2006
820 posts
113 upvotes
Gee wrote:
Mar 24th, 2019 4:39 pm
That's awesome. I really like the tabs you have at the bottom for everything you're monitoring.

What did you use to render the image? Paint3D? I am assuming you're just using Lovelace with a Pictures Element Card
Yup. Floorplan (which is mostly just for show) was created using SweetHome3D and Gimp to add transparency.

I am using Lovelace with Picture Elements w/ Kiosk mode. I'm about 65% done all the tabs and my Lovelace config file is upto 3000 lines already.
Newbie
Mar 9, 2016
40 posts
11 upvotes
Gee, do you have any zwave plus dimmable plugs? I have some old leviton plugs but they constantly show up as node dead in homeassistant, so I am looking at replacing them.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
30497 posts
5037 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Mar16M wrote:
Mar 25th, 2019 4:38 pm
Gee, do you have any zwave plus dimmable plugs? I have some old leviton plugs but they constantly show up as node dead in homeassistant, so I am looking at replacing them.
Have you tried to unpair the plugs from your hub? If you have a Aeotec Z-Stick, push the button till it is flashing yellow. Then exclude the Leviton plgus by turning the lamp on. You should see the lights flash rapidly on the Z-Stick. Then try pairing it again. If you get no feed back, the radio on your plugs are not working.
Deal Addict
Nov 27, 2005
2901 posts
213 upvotes
My Leviton switches are horrible. After awhile instant status stops working and they eventually completely drop out of the network. I have GE and Zooz switches as well and they work flawlessly.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
30497 posts
5037 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
@tatung

Here is the code to monitor your Pi or computer running Home Assistant
- platform: systemmonitor
resources:
- type: memory_use
- type: memory_free
- type: memory_use_percent
- type: disk_use_percent
arg: /home
- type: disk_use
arg: /home
- type: disk_free
arg: /home
- type: processor_use
- type: last_boot

- platform: uptime
unit_of_measurement: hours
Put this in your configuration.yaml. I have mine in sensors.yaml to keep it clean

Sorry about the formatting. The quotes doesn't keep the proper formatting

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