Smarthome automation can start with self-adjusting heating system, remotely controlled lighting solution or simple temperature and humidity display. Home alarm system is good example: it observes and reacts to environment changes, then performs alarming sound and notifications. Current automation systems can ideed be full-featured smart hubs for all digital devices at home.

With many end-user solutions already available I do believe many of them locks user tightly to proprietary hardware and profit-based release cycles. Therefore open source and (as much as possible) open hardware is key solution building flexible, integrated and sustainable smart home solutions. This is fundamental idea I believe in building smarthome automation solutions that consists of:

Home automation server

Center of home automation system: software based server that picks up data from devices and controls them. Typically runs on low-energy device like Raspberry Pi or other ARM-based SoCs. Domoticz is excellent choice.

Smart gateway

Can be either software based and run along with home automation server on low-energy SoC or be a separate hardware device which interacts with home automation server. I have experience with two:

  • Xiaomi Gateway (Aqara) – proprietary device effectively communicating with ZigBee devices and is able to interact with Domoticz via WiFi;
  • ZiGate – French chip that can be plugged into home automation system directly or connected via WiFi to pick up data and control Zigbee devices.

Smart sensors and devices

Some of devices I’ve had success adding to home automation system:

  • Aqara Temperature and Humidity Sensor
  • Mijia Smart Socket
  • Aqara Water Leak Detector
  • Ikea TRÅDFRI bulbs and controlled power socket

Open protocols

  • Zigbee – standardized protocol for low-energy IoT devices to communicate in mesh network.

Contact me for consultation.