My philosophy to building any solution is it must be flexible and it must play well with others. There are plenty of smart home Ecosystems out there but let’s be honest they rarely do a few things well let alone everything. I don’t want to be locked down to one Ecosystem only I want the ability to be able to pick and choose the best or most affordable parts from each and use them together. Can you imagine a world where you you can pick a camera from one vendor but use it with the facial recognition software of Facebook. You can buy sensors from Xiaomi and use them to set the conditions for your light bulbs from the Hue range and your climate control from nest. Yet the reality is for the average user to achieve this is basically impossible, they can try using work arounds using IFTTT but just how many different vendor apps do you have on your phone right now? I don’t see the point of using an app to control my lights or media players, true Automation requires no human input and it should replace the manual task without having to perform another manual task on an app which in most instances can take longer then going and doing it the old fashioned way in the first place.
In Home Assistant I have found a gateway that can integrate 90% of what I throw at it, into a central place of management and a wonderful UI, if you are willing to get your hands a little dirty that is. The flexibility of Home Assistant allows me to team it up with an Automation flow controller like Node-RED this combination allows me to perform almost any automation I can think up and edges me ever closer to my dream of a fully autonomous home :). Let me take you through what I currently use in my Smart Home and if you have any questions or topics you would like covered by this blog please reach out to me I’m always happy to help.
I have now moved across to using an Intel Nuc i7 running Ubuntu Server with HASSIO in a docker. This move has been amazing and the install from start to finish took no more than 30-40 mins. I still run separate pi for MQTT Broker but have moved my Automation’s onto the Nuc with Node-RED also running in a docker container. My reboot times are down to 55s even with a lot more being thrown at it great move and I highly recommend it if you can justify out laying more coin for you HA server.