The mindless ramblings of a bow shooting network engineer.
Home Automation

Home Automation

I’ve dabbled with home automation in the past but have been fairly limited in what I could do as we didn’t own our own home. As I mentioned in a previous post, a recent sequence of events means we now own our own home, so now I’m free to get deeper into my home automation journey.

I’ve had basic home automation in place for a few years, even in the rental property. I used products from TP-Link coupled with TP Link’s Kasa app and Amazon Alexa for the basic home automation functions. My pretty basic smart home consisted of lamps, connected to smart plugs and controlled by Alexa. While we were renovating our new home, I started to look again at home automation systems and what was possible.

After a bit of research including talking to a few people who I know also have some more advanced home automation systems, I settled on Home Assistant as my system of choice. My hardware of choice to run Home Assistant is a Raspberry Pi 4. There is only one problem with this, you can’t buy them anywhere and second-hand ones are crazy expensive.

After keeping my eyes on the RPi locator website for a while without any luck, a friend of mine decided to sell his Pi Lab. This is a 1u rack mount unit with space for four Raspberry Pis. The unit had three Pi4s installed along with the headers to use PoE to power them. Just what I was looking for.

Raspberry Pi Rack

I got this set up on my PoE switch and downloaded the Home Assistant image for the Raspberry Pi. This was quick and painless to set up and get running. As soon as it was connected to the network, it started discovering my devices. Home Assistant has many integrations built in that work with all the most common smart devices. It took very little time for me to get all my third-party automations moved to Home Assistant.

The next step is to get a Zigbee dongle and move the devices and automations I have in the Tuya Smart Life app over and have all my smart devices controlled by Home Assistant. That will be another post though. Check back for new posts.

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