Any of you do HA installs as a business? Do you skip updates?

I agree with most if not all your points. I wouldn’t mind a long term support plan, in fact that would be best case scenario for me.

I want to offer a “base” package, which would include a Rpi with HA install, two light switches, two door sensors, and two cameras.

The main focus would be a security system rather than a smart home system. I would then explain that with that base they can expand their system little by little. The set up would be that if in “alarm on” mode the door sensor is triggered, it would capture and send video/pictures, and it would also send immediate alerts to those we put in the list, which would be neighbors and/or friends that live close by.

Some friends of ours had their house broken into, they put in cameras, and they got broken into again. They have an ok picture of the two guys that did it, but that doesn’t help them at all, since it is not like police here run face recognition on the pictures or anything. For about the same amount of money they paid for the 8 ch DVR and 4 camara system, i could have set them up with my base package, and they were literally 3 minutes away when it happened, so they would have had a good chance to catch them in the act.

Are there any good and well know companies in USA setting up and configuring people’s smart homes?

I actually find that a good idea.
You could add a smoke machine in the package, or have it as the “extra”.
I have no clue what they cost but they are probably very effective.

That is why I really like HA, since I am building my own sonoffs myself I can cheaply add different kind of sensors. For what it is worth, smoke detectors are not that common on private homes in Mexico, at least not here in Cancun.

For the most part no one has carpets, and since our homes are built with center-blocks and cement, they don’t catch on fire.

I know the potential is there, just not 100% sure on how best offer my services/products. From the experience that I have, I am confident I could set up something that would be stable for many years as long as nothing is updated, the only draw back is that since it would be connected to the internet, not updating might end up leaving the system very vulnerable.

That is the thing, since most clients will want remote access, ongoing maintenance will be required. I myself would have trouble putting together a price that would be both appealing and cover my expenses+profits. It would have to be subscription based, but even then what, $10/month? What would ppl be willing to pay for said ‘base system’?

Remote access to the HA is not that hard with ngrok. Would be easier with DuckDNS and port forwarding, but in Cancun we don’t get a public IP at all.

My service is a work in progress. Leaning towards informing the user of the limitations. 200 pesos per month might be a stretch, but they might pay 200 pesos per call.

For my personal setup I have zoneminder for my cams, and then I integrated zoneminder in HA. Plan on ordering a wyze cam, but seems with the new version we can integrate wyze cams onto HA, and at the same time the native wyze cam options remain available.

I personally don’t like having to connect to outside servers to get my stuff to work. The only thing I have now that I use often that does use a cloud service is alexa.

Users could easily send me a link to get to their system, and I can help them trouble shoot that way.

One thing that I’ve learned, is that I am very bad at predicting market responses. I would have never thought people would be willing to pay $5 for a cup of coffee they could have gotten at gas station for 50 cents, but look at startbucks.

Because of the unemployment in Cancun at the moment, there are a lot more burglaries than usual, which is why I think a security system might be something people might consider investing in, even though moneies are tight at the moment.

Sorry for being vague/bad at explaining.
I meant a smoke screen machine.

That is a device that, when the alarm is triggered it filles the home with smoke so that you can’t see anything.

Are people really doing that? I am pretty sure with little tinkering I could actually make it happen. I’ve actually seen videos on home made fog machines. I do use a vape, and make my own liquid, so I do have plenty of glycerin at hand. To make a fog machine is very similar concept to making a vape, but at a much larger scale.

What I could add for little extra money is buzzers. For example I have a cheap $25 alarm on my motorcyle, and the little buzzer/noise maker is pretty damn loud.

My girlfriend laughs at me, but I offered to set up a system where if we detect an intruder in her back yard, a voice warning would go off, if 10 seconds later still on property, a sprinkler system would go on, with a voice command saying “if you are not out within 30 seconds, we will be turning electric currents on” (electrocuted while wet hurts much more. I wouldn’t actually electrocute someone but if I was a burglar I would be surprised by the water, and if I hear about electricity, I am getting OUT ASAP!

I had a feeling that is what you meant, but for like party automations not security. :slight_smile:

Lol, where I live (california) the criminals would lay down, look at the camera, get out their phone camera, and say, “See you in court.” :smiley:

[Edit: I hear you on the increase in crime with economies as they are. There is an uptick in security sales here as well. The private security guard companies are growing fast in my area.]

I am an ex pat, and I did find it odd, interesting, funny and sad all at the same time. In USA you have the 2nd amendment, right to bear arms. This is so that you can protect yourself, your family, and your property. Yet if you put measures in place that would hurt a wanna be burglar, you end up in trouble. You can shoot them, but you can’t booby trap the place?

Here in Mexico, broken glass in cement around your center block/concrete fence is not only allowed, but encouraged. In addition we can put electrical wire on top of our fences, with razor barb wire, etc. I am not sure if I could legally get someone wet then electrocute them, but again if I ever find myself in a strangers back yard with a speaker saying " you have 30 second to get out, electricity is next" while they are already getting me wet with a sprinkler system I would truly freak out and get my ass out of there ASAP.

If you are part of the community you know that to accomplish what I am talking about, except the electrocuting them part, is relatively easy to accomplish. Speaker, motion sensor, a relay, and a electric water valve is all that would be needed.

Just a quick google search and I found this video

just 10 seconds after the smoke started and it’s hard to see anything in the room.

If you can build it yourself then it will probably be cheaper and you can offer them as a two pack since homes usually have larger areas to cover/protect.

Over here you can buy (or probably rent them to a hideous fee) them with commercial security systems.

As a criminal lawyer I applaud the increase in crime rate… (Joking of course).

If I was going to do this I would choose a very basic set of components that use solid (hopefully non-cloud) integrations. Standardise standardise standardise; your job will be easier. One brand of bulb, one brand of switch, one brand of camera … you get the idea.

No cloud based services if you can avoid it, you just never know when the cloud people change things.

Weather, choose something that will still be around in 5 years. (Yeah people did that with Weather Underground and with Dark Sky and look where that ended.) Weather is pretty important in most automation systems. It warns you when the washing is gonna get wet on the line, and tells the system when to water the garden. People also love to see the weather displayed on their UI.

Also choose a fairly standard UI. You don’t want to maintain a different UI for every customer. On that point, look for a standard display device. People have good luck with Amazon Fire from what I read.

If you want examples of marketing of home automation companies - look at Control-4. Wince at the prices. Then think why people are prepared to pay those prices.

@CancunManny I’m a travel agent myself and I’ve explored on offering HA installs as a service to supplement my income during this downtime.

I guess I could start off with a basic package of some smart switches + HA. Use case will be as follow:

  1. control lights using phone
  2. remote control of light/switches from outside
  3. automation of lights based on timing
  4. auto on lights when triggered by sensors

The above use case are all nice to have but not necessary. If throw in a voice assistant then it will be more fun and useful but again its a nice to have.

I’ve showed my home HA setup to some friends that are in the electrical appliance industry and they are impressed with the speed of HA can control the lights. But what impressed them the most is my cctv setup which can send picture alert of successful AI person object detection to my phone using telegram.

The cctv AI object detection will have below use case:

  1. CCTV detected motion and AI confirmation of Person/Human detected, alert home owner by telegram/notifications/home speaker annoucements. This use case can be for early detection even before the trespasser breaks in to the house.
  2. Auto turn off lights upon detection of Person/Human to deter thief, can even make the lights flash or sound the alarm.

So if combine the security with some automation of lights/curtains as a start. It might be a viable solution. If without security, its just nice to haves not necessity.

If only we are living in the same continent, we could team up and do something. hahaha

I am using zoneminder, and I got side tracked, How are you adding the AI human detection?

I use check it out, it’s good

Hello again,

I haven’t had a chance to play with deepstack yet. At this moment, people in Cancun are not really looking to make their house “smart”, but many are very concerned about security. I am calling my service “Casa Segura Inteligete” (CSI), which means safe intelligent home.

A regular RF base for door/window sensors would cost just under 400 pesos here, which is right under $20, then for each door/window we would have to purchase the battery operated sensors that are glued to the doors, which are running about $5 locally (sonoff door sensor I think it is)

For under 200 pesos, I can get a hilink 5v power supply, a D1 Mini, a 2 channel relay, a reed switch or hall sensor with their magnets, two touch sensors to act as switches, a 3.3v buzzer and a blank wall plate.

My first set up is at my gfs house. The buzzer were my new idea of the week. There is a buzzer on the wall switch by the door, one in my gfs room and one on her daughters room (all inside the wall switch plates).

When alarm sets, it gives a short beep on all the buzzers, when alarm is disarmed, it sends two short beeps. If the alarm is triggered the buzzers go off immediately, and about 7 to 10 seconds later her 3 Alexas start giving the warning messages.

There are no exposed cables, no weird boxes glued to her doors, etc. Turned out real nice!

For notifications I am using telegram as well. Here in Mexico most use whatsapp, and few are using telegram. Seems there is a way to now use whatsapp again, so might look into that on the future.

Another oddity about Mexico is that two of the major boradband providers have us behind a NAT, so we can’t do port forwarding to get into the system from the outside.

So I am using ngrok to create a tunnel. Each time a new tunnel is created we get a telegram with the new link. Each time her alarm is triggered we get a telegram message, and to get her used to using her alarm, when ever she leaves home and the alarm is off, she gets a telegram reminding her in case she wants to arm it remotely.

I did a quick read through of deepstack. Seems it would work with any video feed, doesn’t have to be through zoneminder. It also seems it can be installed on a raspberry pi (which is what I am using).

I know raspberry pi’s are not very good to run zoneminder on them. Do you think if I used two cheap WYZE cams, integrated them onto HA (which I am pretty sure we can), I could then run deepstack on the same pi to get real alerts?

I played with cams motion detection, but way too many false positives to where I just started ignoring the messages I would get. That is why I recommended my girlfriend not to even bother with the wyze notifications, instead rely on the door sensors.

Having a “smart” camera that can send a notification only when actual HUMANS are walking in front of her gate would be a nice plus!

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Hello from Russia. I have started smart home “business” after finishing university, 3 years ago. I spent around 2 years on finding Home Assistant, getting into it, trying out different architectures and around a year ago I started a “business” things (I had my house, my friend’s house, 2 grandparents houses done for testing at that point). And I’ll say it was going pretty bad in Russia. I also was targeting on the mid range (not luxuries, but so they can afford Home Assistant).
Boy, smart home is not popular in Russia, people are not ready for it. But they should be ready in more developed countries.
That being said, I still had some projects, but was working on a regulars job too. For near future I have 3 projects approved, waiting for it’s time.

Speaking about updates. I do not update installs. I give needed functions and all I need is the system to work solid.

Good luck


I believe it’s hard for anyone who can’t see the potential to be interested.
I noticed just after Christmas there was a ton of “new” Google home and Alexa speakers on second hand market.
When the market was flooded, I could buy them cheap :smiley:

When we have friends over and they see and hear what we have, bear in mind it’s a simple setup so far, they all get impressed and want it but they don’t know how to.
I have of course offered my help but it seems there is a fear of “going there”.

I believe the people you should try and target is the young guys with fancy cars.
They probably find it cool and most likely want the brag factor, and have the money.
The average middle/low upper class probably aren’t interested until it’s more mainstream.

Do not go for battery powered wifi sensors, the battery will not last long enough. Also using telegram here for notifications to family/neighbours (if we are not home). CCTV with constant recording and in case a person is detected, a picture is sent (when not home or asleep). I am using a Google Coral for detecting persons.

He isn’t using batery powered wifi sensors.