Is HA right for me?

Hello all! This post might be a little long winded, so I apologise in advance.

I’ve been building my smarthome for some time now, starting with mostly wifi and generic zigbee stuff (smartlife) and now using mostly smartthings. Smartthings has honestly been more trouble than it was worth, and I was much happier back when all I had was wifi bulbs, but I’ve become accustomed to having a certain level of customization, so I’m looking to move forward instead of backwards.

For various reasons, I would like to move away from smartthings, and I’m looking to settle with either hubitat or home assistant. I have a few specific needs and wants, and I was hoping the good people here could help me figure out if HA is the right platform for me.


  • must retain Google home and Alexa integration, specifically the ability to trigger Alexa scenes with physical or virtual buttons, as well as using Google routines to turn on and off devices.

  • ability to control devices if my internet goes out (I know this is largely based on the devices I choose, but smartthings currently won’t let anything but basic local automation run when my internet goes down and it drives me nuts)

  • ability to set device state after powered on (once again, mostly device-side. Currently all I’ve seen as options for this are Philips hue and Shelly. I’d really prefer to not get into the hue ecosystem, so if anyone has other suggestions, it would be much appreciated).


  • a mobile interface / app that doesn’t lag or hang or report the incorrect bulb brightness on a regular basis like the smartthings app.

  • the ability to control zigbee devices so I can be fully rid of the smartthings hub. This is not a must if my zigbee devices on smartthings will retain functionality during an internet outage, but I haven’t found any way to make this happen.

  • the ability to integrate with the smart life app (and possibly the Shelly app if I go that route for bulbs).

  • as little coding as possible. While I’m great with computers, I have zero Linux experience, and I’m notoriously bad at coding (I only failed two classes in college, and they were both coding courses). I can manage some basic copy and paste, but I would prefer to not have to write any code.

Any and all help is appreciated!!

supported by HA

there are a couple of ways to do it tho. One way is WAY easier but it costs $5 a month (which also goes to support the HA project so it’s a fair price). There are other more fiddly ways to do it that are free but I no longer use those so I can’t offer any help there.

Supported by HA for devices that don’t inherently need access.

I’m not sure what you mean by this.

HA itself is very quick but that doesn’t mean the device you run it on won’t hold you back.

Supported by HA but…

There are a few ways of doing it which depends on which devices you have.

A lot of people use a Deconz stick with the Deconz integration and love it. I assume most zigbee devices work there but I’m not sure since I don’t use it.

I use the ZHA integration with the Nortek HUSBZB-1 stick. That one is nice since it has a zwave and zigbee radio/controller in one device. It works with everything I’ve wanted to run on it except my one Xiaomi button. Others have gotten it to work but for some reason I can’t get to be stable on ZHA. So I run it on the next option…

You can also run zigbee2mqtt along with a few available zigbee dev sticks.

I don’t use it but I have heard it discussed here so I’m pretty sure it works. Shelly works too.

that’s going to be in the eye of the beholder.

there is a UI for most stuff but you will likely need to do some coding eventually. Especially if you get into the more advanced stuff. And you WILL get into the more advanced stuff. :wink:

Depending on how hard and fast this rule is then it will either make or break your decision to use HA based on the above comment of mine.

I had almost zero Linux experience before HA also (only experience was running a retro gaming system on a Pi) and I’ve learned a lot over the last three years of using it.

Besides, most of what you will ever need to “code” has nothing to do with Linux. HA uses both YAML and Jinja2 for it’s advanced coding.

And I never had any experience at all with either of those and they aren’t too bad to learn, especially yaml. Jinja2 is a bit more complicated but there are documents all over the net to help and there are a few “gurus” here on the forums to help if you get stuck.

And the forums are a very helpful and “generally” friendly place to get lots of help. My rule is as long as you try to figure it out first on your own and ask for specific help on where you get stuck I’m more than happy to help out where/when I can.

Bottom line is to try out HA. I think you’ll really like it.

Basically I want all of my devices (specifically bulbs) to return to their last state (on/off) when they regain power after a power outage. I assume most of this is handled on the device end and not the hub end (hence why I’m looking at either hue or Shelly), but if HA is somehow able to manage this, that would be a huge selling point for me.

I’m assuming a RasPi4 is generally considered good enough? If not, is there a better option?

I don’t know of any way that HA can do that aside from being able to set up an automation to set certain entities to a certain state based on the HA started event.

But that wouldn’t work if HA itself didn’t get restarted during that power outage (if for example HA was kept running via a UPS).

there may be other workarounds but it could get a bit tricky figuring all of the things necessary to be sensed and reacted to.

TBH, i’ve really never been that concerned about it since it’s not a very frequent occurrence for me.

Yeah, a lot of people run HA on a Pi4. Lot’s of people still run it on a Pi3b as well.

I started out on a pi3b but eventually switched to running it on a NUC for no other reason than 1. I had one and 2. I wanted to run some other stuff on it that needed a bit more oomph.

Some people do report having issues with corrupted SD cards occasionally due to the high write rate to the card for the recorder. I personally never had any issues with any SD cards running it on a Pi3b for over a year tho.

But you can mitigate that by running either a separate external DB or by running HA from SSD.

At least it’s way to get started with HA inexpensively to decide if it’s something you want to stick with (you likely will) and at that point you can decide what hardware you ultimately want to run it on.

Also, there are many number of ways to run HA on equipment you already have. VM on a NAS or Proxmox on a MAC, or…etc.

there are lots of guides on how to install HA in different environments in the “community guides” section of the forum.