Home automation software

Regarding our home automation setup one of the first things to decide on was the software. From the beginning I had a few requirements to the software.

  • Free to use and preferably open source.
  • Highly cutomizable
  • Easy to use
  • Possibility to mix various technologies

I quick search on the big internet showed that some of the popular systems are OpenHAB and Home Assistant.

OpenHAB seems to be the classical home automation system when it needs to be open source with support for various platforms. I quickly tried to install it in a sandbox environment. My first impression is that it is very hard to setup. It might be that I just don’t understand the concept of OpenHAB, but it was not intuitive to me. After playing around for a couple of hours, without really knowing what I was doing, I decided to take a look at the next piece of software, Home Assistant.

Home assistant
Home assistant looks like the newcomer in home automation. If you look at the community and on GitHub you will see that it is a very active project. It supports a very wide range of components and there are often new releases. Almost with every new release new components are added. I quickly installed it in a Python virtual environment. It did not take long before I was started and it did automatically find a number of devices on my network. After playing around a bit more I was quickly able to create my first automation. If there is something you don’t know how to do there is a very good chance that you can find help in the documentation or within the community.

Based on above quick experience I tried to see how far I can go with Home Assistant. So far I have not found anything that I am not able to do with Home Assistant.