Foxon's Home Automation Hardware List

in #hive-1024963 months ago (edited)

Hello, people of the smart home!

Home automation is one of my most loved hobbies. It would be fun to share where we are at - let's steal each other's ideas and push things further!

There is probably more going on in my house than should be put in a single post, so it's probably best to start with the list of hardware involved

Google Home Screen x 3
Google Home Audio x 3
Nest Hello Doorbell

WiFi Plugs x 2 (flashed firmware to control via MQTT)

Home Theater PC

Raspberry Pi running Openhabian

Hue Hub
Hue White Ambience Bulb x 4
Hue White and Color Color Bulbs x 3
Hue Remote Control

Bluetooth Bulb (it needs to go away)

ZWave Motion/Humidity/Brightness Sensor x 3
ZWave Wall Dimmer x 5
ZWave Wall Plug

Wish List:
ZWave thermostat
ZWave sprinkler controller
ZWave wall switches (yes, more)
ZWave Wall Plugs
Garage Door Monitoring and control (probably a blend of protocols, not straight zwave)

So there's the hardware! ZWave is by far my preferred radio/protocol, but that might change as 802.11ax (WiFi 6) picks up steam. It's incredibly consistent and interoperates very well. Zigbee has too many standards within that consortium. It's true I could make up for most of that with the Pi, but ZWave doesn't need any mucking with. Hopefully ZWave continues to open its hardware further

Hue is in there despite its Zigbeeness because it's beautiful. Most smart home seems to creep people out a bit, but the wow factor with Hue is strong and OpenHAB monitors/controls the Hue hub well (it can even emulate a Hue hub)

OpenHAB is my current server preference, but that might change in the future. Local control is a must. Cloud services are used for some of the Google/Nest things. The fam loves those. We know the privacy implications and accept them, but I refuse to lose my automation because a company shutdown or the internet goes out


There is a real and critical distinction between "Smart Home" and "Home Automation". Not everyone will agree with that statement, but the usage will be consistent when it's coming from me

  • Smart Home: Controlling the lights and whatnot around the house by interacting with a connected device (ie, smart phone, smart speaker, in wall panel)

  • Home Automation: Lights and whatnot around the house responding to the normal activities of the inhabitants

These terms tend to breakdown along other usability lines, but there is certainly overlap as well

Next time, I plan to cover the sleep/wake routines. They are complicated enough to warrant their own post. Everything else will probably fit in one other post, but we'll see how that goes down the road

Looking forward to hearing where you are at in your smart home journey!
I would like to know from you - does anything on that list sound strange and need further explanation, or are you already familiar with these things?


Great setup!

Why do you prefer ZWave? I have two Zigbee networks hanging around at home. One for Hue, One for Conbee. :)
They're pretty stable.

Compatibility checklist when adding ZWave devices:

  • It's manufactured for the same region as your other ZWave devices

Compatibility checklist when adding Zigbee devices:

  • It's manufactured for the same region as your other Zigbee devices (kind of, there is a lot of play at 2.4Ghz)
  • Radio: 900Mhz and/or 2.4Ghz are available. 2.4Ghz shares with wifi and is prone to interference. Without interference, you still have a reduced range at 2.4Ghz (higher bandwidth, but that's not usually a need in HA/SH)
  • Protocol - Zigbee 3.0 is similar to ZWave in interoperability. Anything 3.0 should work with anything else 3.0, and that will only become more common with time. Right now, you need to line up protocols. ZLL devices will not interact with HA devices. SEP is separate from both, but really only used in monitoring


It's not a huge difference, and Zigbee is totally manageable. I appreciate it's more open nature, too. Reliability can be similar depending on which Zigbee protocol and radio is used, but I'd rather just have everything work without having to line those stars up

I like your distinction between Smart Home and Home Automation. I do not have anything in the SH category at this time and the only HA device came with the house a smart WiFi thermostat and have not dug into if I can control in locally instead of the cloud. I do have a number of Raspberry Pi's doing temperature monitoring to a database which could eventually be part of HA.

From your Pi posts, I kind of assumed you would already have a sweet home automation setup 😄

If you get into it, I def recommend having a Pi to act as the home automation server. Having as much control as possible locally is a big convenience, and programming in something like OpenHAB is a blast

Thanks, for checking out my channel. Yes, I might get there and would definitely run the server on a Raspberry Pi. Would probably start with HA, but being currently unemployed money is short for learning(playing).

What an impressive array of gadgets.
My home is about as smart as a rock. Nothing talks to anything.

lol, thank you
Dumb homes aren't going anywhere. They have their own appeal

God damn you have a lot. I've got a wifi thermostat and its not even set up(just sitting on a shelf in its box right now).

haha! It's nowhere near enough! In addition to the wish list on the post, there are curtains, blinds, and locks that need love! I am an addict

'Smart vs automated' comes into play big time on the thermostat. Whatever I get there must be controllable from the home automation server

Technically the current thermostat I have installed is automated, it can have set scheduled temperatures to run(If I can ever figure out and be bothered to change it).

I sort of don't want to get smarthome stuff because of the hack risk. Don't want someone to be able to control my whole house because I forgot to secure it.

Dude - those clips of strangers suddenly talking through the smarthome stuff is freaky. I'd probably drop a jumbo can of yams in my pants if a random voice started out of my speakers

Well, screw machine learning, I'm gonna learn how to hack just so I can start speaking out your speakers. I played through watch dogs again recently and that got me scared about hacking.

Watch Dogs was amazing. Frickin' loved that game. Watch Dogs 2 isn't terrible, but it's not on the same level with the story

It taking place in Chicago(my city) is even better. I played a bit of 2, was just a bit too busy for me.

There was a surprising learning curve on there. Turned the cheater on right away so I could have fun :D

It definitely wouldn't help with your hacking paranoia

Your post has been boosted with ESTM. Keep up the good work!
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