I mentioned to a colleague of mine that I wanted to get into home automation as one of my many many home projects. He recommended SmartThings to start out with. I researched and found that SmartThings is pretty much exactly what I wanted, or so I thought…

SmartThings uses Z-Wave and ZigBee technology. These are open source radio specifications used to communicate with necessary sensors, switches, lights and alarms around the home.

Home Assistant is “open source home automation that puts local control and privacy first. Powered by a worldwide community of tinkerers and DIY enthusiasts. Perfect to run on a Raspberry Pi or a local server.”

Current Setup

Installed on Docker and configured with a series of YAML files, Home Assistant offers more control and customization than SmartThings does. For now, I am using the SmartThings integration with Home Assistant. This integration requires any request for lights, sensor updates or any alarm triggers to go from (1) the sensor itself, (2) back to the SmartThings hub, then (3) to the internet to notify the SmartThings servers, then (4) finally SmartThings servers notify my Home Assistant installation. This is potentially problematic because if you loose your internet, then your whole house doesn’t work. Granted there are other work around options, but since I already have a z-wave and zigbee controller, I just have yet to actually decide to move all of my sensors, lights and switches over to my local z-wave configuration.

The Code

I’m very new to this system so I’m still learning how to use the YAML files. Just for this post, I started using the secrets.yaml file so I could publicize my config files.

There is no real “this is cool, so I did it this way” to point out. You will see that my automations directory contains a series of smaller yaml files that I’m starting to break out the massive automations.yaml file into sections so they’re easy to digest.

In upcoming updates I will add a GIT integration so any time I update the git repository, the config will automatically get deployed and the application will restart.

Project Updates

Below are some updates on this project.

Home Automation Config Updates

the !include directive for Home Assistant really saved the bacon here…