ESP8266 or Arduino for DIY Security System with Home Assistant

I have a couple of questions:

  • Which boards would you use as part of a DIY security system that communicates with Home Assistant? ESP8266 or Arduino?
  • Do you go wireless or wired?
  • What would be the difference between the two boards from a security system perspective?
  • Can either of the boards power motion detectors?
  • What about smoke alarms? I could care less for Nest Protect as I don’t want to have a cloud account for that.

The reason why I ask is I like to go the DIY route. I want to go with USB and not Wi-Fi or Ethernet for directly communicating with my Home Assistant server.

If I go wireless with this kit:

  • What contact and motion sensors are compatible with the kit?

Anyway, I’ll be getting myself a high-capacity UPS for my server and networking equipment so that should not be that much of a problem, but I do want to know what other Home Assistant users are using for their setups when it comes to home security.

Personaly I’m managing my home automation like that:
Sensors<—433mhz—>Gateway Arduino + W5100<—Ethernet---->Raspberry

All + the router is connected to an UPS, I have also some wired sensors.

Gateway handle also the alarm function (siren) and if the raspberry fail the alarm function still work


Will these two work?


I’m living in United States.

The second link is a pack of 8 door/window sensors and the motion sensor has an on/off switch which is a big no-no to me. I suppose I could put in a white electrical tape over it.

Either board would be suitable for a DIY security solution. ESP8266 is great for wireless connectivity but has limited IO capability (especially on the analogue side), so you might end up pairing with an Arduino Pro-Mini or attiny anyway. You should also check out Arduino with MySensors, which is a lower power option suitable for battery operation. Both boards should work with motion detectors, since internally most of those PIR sensors use 3v3 logic.

I would be hesitant to use a DIY system for smoke alarms, since you and your family’s life might depend on the basic smoke detection/alarm functionality. Maybe take a look at a Z-Wave option.

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Thanks. I will go with Arduino for contact/motion sensors and Z-Wave for smoke detector then.

No worries, good luck!

They should work , they look the same as mines.
Here is a list of easy hackable RF sensors:

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Will the USB cable below work with Arduino Nano? I’ll want at least 10 feet.

Also, is it possible to expand the number of analog ports with Arduino Nano?

I got a couple of the Hue sensors for lighting, but set it up to send me a notification if any of them are tripped whilst I’m away from the house. 2 birds, 1 stone

Not to be rude, but how is Hue sensors have anything to do with Arduino/ESP8266?

Well you could produce the same functionality with the Arduino/ESP8266 by attaching a PIR, a light sensor and a battery, and having a sensor which controls the lights whilst you are in and switches to an alarm system when you are away. It is working nicely for me with the Hue. I did have an ESP8266 doing this previously (sans light sensor) but switched to the Hue as a very neat package. cheers