Buying a device to run Home Assistant (April 2022 edition)

The processor on these boxes really is a great fit for this type of application. It has enough power to host websites without lag, runs extremely well with Linux, and even with memory and hard drive runs only at about 12w tdp.

hello everyone, sorry for the obvious question but I don’t know anything about this subject and I’m learning about it thanks to what’s happening on insteon. According to what I am reading with a mini computer I can make it work home assistant.

Depends what you mean by mini computer I guess

But to answer more seriously, you can run home assistant on any reasonably modern PC. The size is irrelevant. Most people want low cost, low power and reliability.

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Jajajaja. I was referring to a mini computer like this one. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09KPKLCPF/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?pd_rd_i=B09KPKLCPF&pd_rd_w=gn26O&pf_rd_p=34ddd399-3313-4562-9a30-685d1d7ce226&pd_rd_wg=kRHuv&pf_rd_r=8ZS0H7G07TDK9RBACW7Q&pd_rd_r=b3628cac-0e51-4688-b497-f7372530ef23&s=pc&smid=A38A2JHWJ5XQ18&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyVENXTlFTMzgwTlFWJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMjY2NTIxM09GNk02QUpKTVVVTCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNDUzNzI0M0dKUVlEVUcwQkNUSSZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2RldGFpbF90aGVtYXRpYyZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU&th=1

I think that falls into the definition of “reasonably modern PC”. Of the options on there I would choose 8G/128G just to puture proof it. No one ever got sacked for buying too much RAM or storage.

By the way you don’t have to post that full url. This is enough

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I switched from a RPI4 to this Beelink SER3 Mini PC lately available from Ali Express and preconfigured it with these tweaks.

Replaced the preinstalled Windows with the latest Debian 11 and installed HA Supervised onto it following kanga_who’s Guide.

All went flawlessly no hiccups during the whole installation process and during continuous use ever since. It just works. The system is very snappy, no waiting times and plenty of ressources left for future-proofness.

For users with some basic Linux knowledge definitely a recommendable device and much cheaper than a NUC with similar specs.

Since the Mini PC is compatible with the latest Debian 11(out-of-the-box support for all hardware components) I believe installing Home Assistant OS instead of HA Supervised should not pose problems.

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thanks for your answers I decided to buy a mini pc to install homeasistant, someone can share with me a video or manual to install home asistant, what happens is that the mini pc comes with windows and what I read is that the operating system is home assitant.

Just make sure that Mini PC supports/is supported by Linux. No matter whether you are going to install HA Supervised (not really recommending this to you) or Home Assistant OS (recommended): Home Assistant OS is also based on Linux.

Watch this video to learn about the latter.

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Don’t follow videos. The instructions are here Generic x86-64 - Home Assistant

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If you watch it you’ll notice that it is not something to follow but to help to decide about a instalation method.

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BTW, all the options are listed here and includes a table for comparison: Installation - Home Assistant.

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Hi Brandon, hoping you can help me connect to my Home Assistant Bundle - Standard ODROID-N2+ 2GB/16GB eMMC. Server wasn’t found when Scanning for Servers in the iOS HA app so I connected a keyboard and monitor and obtained IP address. When I type http://192.168.1.107:8123/ (or https)

In a browser I get the message 192.168.1.107 refused to connect ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED. Following another suggestion in this thread I tried http://192.168.1.107: 4357/ and I get this message:

Home Assistant observer

Supervisor: Connected
Supported: Supported
Healthy: Healthy

Tips/pointers greatly appreciated!

Be sure to watch the power consumption of that old computer. An old laptop might consume 30 watts idle. That’s 262.8 kWh a year. Depending on your electricity rate, it could be a non-negligible amount of money. Electricity can be expensive in some countries (Europe) or US states (California). For example, around here, non-solar users, PG&E charges between 32 and 41 cents/kWh at current rates, and those are slated to go up further. 262 kWh a year costs between $81 and $107/year of electricity. At the average US rate of 14 cents/kWh, it’s about $36/year - still not negligible. There may be additional electricity usage from your air conditioner, also, since the laptop puts out heat.

A Raspberry Pi 3B+ in comparison consumes about 3W idle, which would mean just 10% of the electric bill usage annually. Pi 3B+ is what I’m running Home Assistant on currently. And 3W is what I measured with an energy meter, a TP-Link KP125. Even with the crazy shortages of new Raspberry Pis, you can still find a used 3B or 3B+ for under $100 with PSU and SD card. It can still make financial sense to buy one vs an old laptop.

Laptop’s built-in UPS may not do you as much good as you think, depending on devices you use. Your Ethernet switch, Wifi access point, and any plug-in devices will be offline during a power outage, unless they are all plugged in to a UPS. HomeAssistant will not be able to accomplish much in those situations.

Keeping the laptop’s battery fully charged 24 hours a day also consumes some energy. If you already have a UPS for your other devices, and still choose to use a laptop to run HA, it may make more sense to remove the battery from the laptop, and plug in the laptop to the UPS, to avoid the cost of charging multiple batteries unnecessarily.

Also the battery is usually the first thing to go in a laptop, so might not give much protection.

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Every watt for a device that’s on 24/7 adds up. Personally, I would rather save the money, and use less energy. 8 watts seems reasonable to run HA, though. I currently use a Raspberry Pi 3 with microSD which consumes just 3 watts.

11 Watts.

Electricity is 7 cents per kWh where I live and is hydro-electric (a tiny but growing fraction is from wind). Operating costs are negligible.

I also run a second instance of Home Assistant on an RPi3. FWIW, the old laptop is faster.

A UPS keeps all essential network equipment operational for about 2 hours. The laptop is shutdown a few minutes after the UPS kicks in (not much need for Home Assistant when all lights and gadgetry are unpowered) and turned back on when the UPS reverts to the mains.

I assume others will have the good sense to do their homework before deciding what to use in their home.

I would consider that to be negligible when compared to the annual operating cost of other household appliances. However, to each their own.

Indeed it does. When you add up the power consumption of every mains-powered smart device (switches, plugs, speakers, sensors, etc) it can easily exceed the few watts of the machine hosting Home Assistant.

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You are very lucky to have power as cheap as you do. I have been measuring the idle power consumption of every device in my home - over 100 of them. It really adds up quickly.

One of my primary uses for HomeAssistant is to control power consumption and automatically turn things off with smartplugs that measure wattage and turn devices off when warranted. For example, when my home theater receiver drops below 5 watts, HAOS can turn off the 4 subwoofers - 1 in each corner of the room - that each consume about 10 watts idle in so-called “auto” mode, or 40 watts for the se of 4. For this particular case I have HAOS also automatically turn the subs on, when the receiver’s power consumption gets over 50 watts, which means I manually turned it on with the remote.

In this case, there are 5 smartplugs involved that consume 0.6W in the off state, and 1.1W in the on state. The smartplug on the receiver is always on - the other 4 normally off. So, the 5 smartplugs involved consume 3.5W year round, which has to be deducted from the 40 watt savings. The net savings is 37.5W. That’s 328 kWh per year. And at 30 cents/kWh, $98/year purely wasted. The smartplugs have a fixed one-time cost of $15+tax each, also, or about $82. That means the smartplugs will pay back for themselves in less than a year.

This is just one of many automations I use to reduce unnecessary power consumption.

Unfortunately, 2 of the most energy-consuming plug-in appliances I have are built-in - my 48" Monogram side-by-side refrigerator, and a built-in Monogram wine cooler. I can’t easily access the plug to put an energy monitor smartplug on them. I can probably manage to pull out the wine cooler, but the 48" refrigerator is just a beast. There is no automation HAOS could perform with it, I’m not going to ever turn it off. However, with the monitoring smartplug, it could detect when there is increased power consumption, which can indicate something is wrong, for example with the thermostat, or door left ajar, or the vents at the top need to be cleaned.

As a matter of fact, my 13-year old, 20cu ft Energy Star rated Kenmore freezer had double the daily kWh consumption yesterday than it does usually - 3 kWh instead of 1.5 kWh. Something apparently went wrong with the door seal at 4am on Saturday. I discovered it at 10pm when I went to get some food from it. A lot of the food went bad, unfortunately. I wish HAOS could have sent me an alert earlier about the increased wattage. It is easy to see on the power curve after the fact - the freezer stopped cycling on and off. Having the freezer never go to 0W for an extended period is something I could have used an HAOS automation to detect, and which I’m going to program for all the appliances that cycle on and off. Strangely enough, the freezer started cycling again on Sunday afternoon around 3pm. I’m not putting any more pricey Haagen Dasz ice cream or Prime beef in that freezer, though, until I know what’s wrong with, and either repair or replace it.

Hey. You should use a different part of this forum to debug your installation issues, not this thread :slight_smile: .

@madbrain76 This is of course entirely up to you and other users and sure, go for it if you like. But I encourage everyone to do this calculation by themselves, but I am still willing to bet that an average user of HA is better off with an old laptop for the reasons stated above. @123 has answered better than I would.