We have Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Phillips Hue for smart actions in your home. But they are individual and require different controls. What if all of your smart devices can work together with a master hub? That is Home Assistant.
Home assistant is an automation platform that can run on Raspberry Pi. It acts as a central hub for connecting and automating all your smart devices. It supports services like IFTTT, Pushbullet, Google cast, and many others. Currently there are over a thousand components supported.
It tracks the state of all the installed smart devices in your home. All the devices can be controlled from a single, mobile-friendly, interface. For security and privacy, all operations via Home Assistant are done locally, meaning no data is stored on the cloud.
The Home assistant website advertises functions like having lights turn on upon sunset, dimming lights when you watch a movie on Chromecast. There is a virtual image called Hass.io which is an all in one solution and get started with Home Assistant. There is a guide is to install Hass.io on a Raspberry Pi.
The requirements for running Home Assistant are:
- Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ + Power Supply (at least 2.5A)
- A Class 10 or higher, Size 32 GB or bigger Micro SD card
- An SD Card reader
- Ethernet cable (optional, Hass.io can work with WiFi)
- For unattended configuration, optionally a USB-Stick
Home assistant is a hub, it cannot control anything on its own. Think of it as a hub that passes instructions, a master device that communicates with other devices for home automation. Home assistant can’t do anything if there are no smart devices to work with.
Since it is open source, there are dozens of contributions from tinkerers and DIY enthusiasts worldwide. You can check out the automation examples to know more and use them. The installation is very simple and there is a friendly UI to control your automation tasks.