Home Assistant

IFTTT has changed their business model and wants to charge me to continue using a handful of integrations. This turned into an excuse to take a look around at alternatives to running all the glue logic for my home automation system in “the cloud”. I discovered Home Assistant is the perfect solution for me.

It only took ~10 minutes to spin up a VM running Home Assistant using the OVA they provide on their installation page. The resulting machine is a barebones host OS running Docker containers for Home Assistant itself and any number of add-ons. Dead simple to manage. I’ve since moved it to a $60 Raspberry Pi so I could connect to BLE devices and it’s been solid.

Out of the box, it discovered a number of existing devices on my network and I manually configured a number of additional integrations including:

  • Universal Devices ISY994i Insteon/X10 Controller with all my sensors, switches, dimmers, etc.
  • Ecobee thermostats
  • Google Cast and Roku media players
  • Brother and HP printers
  • Home Assistant mobile app for UIs, trackers and notifications
  • Ubiquiti UniFi controller (kick the kid’s devices off the wifi)
  • Ring doorbell
  • Life360 trackers
  • BroadLink IR
  • Recteq Smoker (my custom integration)
  • MQTT broker (Tuya devices running Tasmota)
  • Qustodio (online activity monitor for the kids devices)
  • Spotify audio streaming
  • Hunter Hydrawise irrigation system

No more IFTTT or other cloud-hosted services needed to automate useful things like adjusting lighting and thermostats when we’re home or away, warning when we’ve left the garage doors open, warming up the house before our wake-up alarms go off, etc. I get notified when the commute to the office is longer than usual, there’s a freeze warning tonight, the kids leave school, the propane take for the grill is low, the plants need water, etc.

I may be spending too much time playing with this…

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