Home Assistant vs Everything else

So this is slightly OT, but I keep seeing a lot of negative stuff about HA in the HA forums and while some problems are definitely hard to overcome, I would definitely urge people to be patient or rethink how they are trying to do certain things. I have been using HA for about 2.5 years now ( running currently on Rpi 3) and while I haven’t used any commercial solutions, I would definitely say HA is every bit as robust and far more configurable than anything else out there. I have integrated components into my home automation that would be impossible on any other platform. Since I am posting in Share you Projects. Here are some high points of what I am doing at my house:

When I first decided to do my home automation, it was hard to decide between Z-wave and Zigbee. I went with Z-wave and have not regretted it. I use an Aeotec Z-Stick and Z-wave devices from multiple vendors

I had some issues early on with my SD cards corrupting. About a year ago I purchased an Industrial Class SD card. It has worked flawlessly. Yeah, its $35 for a 16G card, but worth it. Also, I use a 25A power supply (the kind you use to drive high power LEDs) and that is on a UPS. The setup as been very solid and reliable.

I have integrated several 433 Mhz devices using an RF to MQTT gateway on a RPi Zero. This is a great way to buy cheap sensors and use them in HA.

I have multiple ESP8266 sensors doing things from a custom weather station, entry sensors, leak detectors, etc.

I have speakers throughout the house for music and I can control the speakers (via relays attached to GPIO of the RPi running HA). This is one of the things my family and I use the most.

I built a custom thermostat using an RPi (written in Python) that talks to HA via MQTT. It integrates very well.

Recently I started using the HA Manual Alarm Control Panel. I really like it. Its simple, but does the job.

There is a lot more I have done and plan to do, but I wanted to take a minute to share my experience, but mostly thank everyone that has put this incredible open source project out there or contributed to the community.


I agree. I’ve only been using HA for a month or so (also on a Rpi 3) and it’s so much better than the SmartThings Hub I was using previously. Because ST depends on their cloud service it is very sluggish. And although there’s a reasonable automation language called webCoRE, I found it very buggy. I was constantly trying to find workarounds to implement relatively simple automations. And if I wanted to write “real” device drivers and/or SmartApps, there was a very steep learning curve with their unique Groovy language. HA is much more responsive and much easier to customize/enhance using Python.


up with you here. ex user of domotiga, this was far better in terms of compatibility, support and customisation…

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I’ve been using HA for about year and half now; so far I don’t have anything to complain. Yes it’s a learning experience for me but it is very enjoyable. The help that I received from the community is fantastic. My HA setup is sit on Ubuntu 16.04 server: mosquitto, zwave, a few customs switches flashed with tasmota firmware. To summarize, I could say that HA is very stable to me.

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I agree but I enjoy automating my house so I put way more work into it than the average user who probably doesn’t want to learn yaml / python.

Why do you control your speakers with GPIOs? I would think most people control HA house speakers with a media player so they can TTS and play music from the pi. (I use the 3.5mm jack with VLC on RPI3)

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I would say the same about myself.

My speakers are connected to a Bluetooth amp in the attic. We stream Amazon Music and/or Spotify from our Amazon Echo in the Kitchen area. We don’t always want music in every room, so we can say “Alexa turn on/off Bathroom speaker” to listen or mute music in a given area.

Tell me more about your TTS setup. I am intrigued :slight_smile:

I use TTS to get HA to says stuff like

“I am closing the garage door”
“The school bus leave in 15 minutes”
“Soccer begins in 15 minutes”
“The mud room door is open”
“John has arrived home”

I also get Alexa to turn on HA house speakers. I have HA search youtube and play the top result. I call it sam

“Alexa, tell Sam to play rolling stones paint it black”

I just turned a old nest thermostat into a dial for the house speakers. When I turn the nest to 60 - 70, it plays a internet radio stations, from 70 to 80, it plays music files contained in a folder and from 80-90 it plays the last alexa youtube searches.


That’s awesome! I have often thought about doing the TTS for the exact things you mentioned (esp doors being ajar) Which TTS are you using?

I use amazon because I had the account from Alexa and she sounds similar. I have never been charged to use it.

  - platform: amazon_polly
    aws_access_key_id: !secret AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID
    aws_secret_access_key: !secret AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY
    region_name: 'us-east-1'
    voice: Salli
    cache: true
    time_memory: 60
  - platform: vlc
    name: speaker
    arguments: '--alsa-audio-device=hw:0,0'
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I might have to give this a go sometime. Thanks for sharing.

Long time ago in a dumb home far away… I have started to play with openhab. But what was killing me was Java with the huge amount of resources used and kinda slow speed of growth. Just a comparison that I remember… Rpi3 with fresh install of openhab was using about 650 megs of ram only after a few days of usage, meanwhile hassbian was using less than 200 megs. As I wanted my system to expand with new features, I have decided to switch to HA and never regret it. So far my rpi is HA server with RaZberry card controlling z-wave thermostats, about 20 Sonoffs (light, rgb light, floor heating and boiler) and kiosk to control HA in the same time.


Nice. I saw you mentioned your boiler. I replaced a mechanical controller on my whole house wood burner with an Arduino using a thermocouple to read the temperatures in the plenum. My home brew thermostat gets data from this and in the winter if the fire is warm, it controls the blower and won’t kick on my heat pump unless the fire goes out. All controlled in once place by one thermostat.

I have an electric water heater, so I control the time when it’s on/off optimizing the cost based on my habits (including different pricing for the electricity during the day). I have also forgot to mention the smart vent based on the humidity sensors values comparison. HA is awesome.

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I suppose the predominant nature of the forum being people trying to get help to solve the issues they can’t solve would likely skew the overall picture of things.

Also I think the nature of home assistant (I have no experience of any other similar hubs/software) being so configurable maybe attracts more than it’s fair share of “tinkerers”.

Tinkerers by their nature (and I include myself in this) are always looking at the next project or upgrade or way to make something just work a bit better.

That said I have no doubt that choosing home assistant as my next step for home automation was the best move I ever made. I was using various apps before but it was slow and limited in scope and quite often just didn’t work.

I am not techie and the learning curve is steep but by no means impossible. I have Hassio on Rpi3 and apart from a few dodgy moments at the start it’s been rock solid. Automations and scripts just work every time, all the time and instantly. Alexa integration is also much better than I had before and everything I have works together.

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You make a good point about people looking for help and I did consider this. It is fun to exchange ideas and thoughts too just like we are doing in this thread.

I agree it’s good to be able to exchange positive stuff. The thing I have been most pleased with is my doorbell integration although it still needs some tweaking. I neither want nor need a ring doorbell. For a start it’s sooo big a could probably use it as the front door! But most common hubs and certainly apps only integrate with these types of companies.

I have been able to take rfxcom and home assistant and make an ordinary rf doorbell dead smart. Now it pauses my Sonos plays a doorbell sound through all my Sonos speakers in the house, sends an iOS notification to mine and OH’s phones, flashes my hue lights if I am watching Telly (my cinema room is on the third storey of my house) and the next phase I am working on pauses my current harmony hub activity, oh and finally if it’s after sunset turns on the kitchen light if I’m at home.

Strapline for the developers: “Home Assistant: Making the humble awesome”

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That is a pretty sweet doorbell. Good work. The Ring Doorbells are pretty pricey too. I still have just a regular “dumb” wired doorbell. Mainly because I live in a rural area and its rarely used. Thanks to some other sensors and HA, by the time someone gets to by door, I already know they are there anyway. I have several 3D printed “decorative light fixtures” with smart LEDs in them that display different colors for different actions (driveway movement, flood light motion detected, even leak sensors (light turns blue))

I have posted a picture of this before, but here is one of them I have in my hall

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I’ve been here just over two years but I’m a software developer turned manager. My CEO is impressed with my setup, but I couldn’t recommend he gets it himself yet as he’s not technical enough. HASS is definitely still geared towards techies, although hassio is making good steps towards correcting that.


I’m intrigued on your setup with the Amazon Echo to different speakers.

Its not very fancy. I simply have a Logitech Bluetooth adapter connected via an audio cable splitter to 2 (4 channel) amplifiers in my attic. I have about 6 wired speakers located around the house. The living room ceiling speakers are “always on” as that is where my main Echo “talks”. The Echo connects the Logitech Bluetooth adapter. All other speakers are connected to 1 of the 8 audio channels I have. I run the negative terminal of speakers I want to switch on and off through a relay connected to GPIO pins of my HA RPi. When the relay if off, the speaker doesn’t play. When its on, it does. I pass the GPIO switches (the relays) through my Hue Emulation and then the Amazon Echo sees it as a switch which I can turn on and off. (Alexa, turn on bathroom speaker or Alexa turn off patio speaker)

If you want more info, I can post my config