Is home assistant for me?

Hi guys.

A YouTuber said “Home Assistant is not a solution, its a hobby”.
I want a set it and forget it solution, not something that requires constant tinkering.
I fear the youtuber is misinformed.

Is HA for me?

Kind regards

As long as you don’t update HA after your have set up your smart lightings, you can forget it. However, certain updates will break something.

Then HA is probably not for you. It doesn’t require constant tinkering, but you need to keep your system up to date for security reasons and because some manufacturers often change their API to communicate with their devices. It depends on the devices you intend to use.

Thanks for the insight @duceduc and @Burningstone

I want to use a bunch of Sonoffs (I’m not yet decided on zigbee vs WiFi) with some Shellys to control my lights.

I’ve not yet decided on how I’ll control my central heating, it will be via a sonoff th10 or a few zigbee tuya trv’s.

Should my product choice influence my decision?

Thanks again


I haven’t had to make changes for many months. I regularly add or change things to perfect them though, bit there would be no need to.

haha, security is a matter of a month or two. Mostly because of annoyances it brought. But you promoted it to something common.

Byt yeah, HA is not something to fire and forget unless it’s not operated behind closed door. Which obviously mean no updates.

First months is investment you need to make just to learn the system and connect to your house (sensors, lights etc). And it’s justifable. But after that you have to make decision: seal it down or not. Both have their cons. no updates means that something might stop working at some point because 3rd party api changes (it highly depends on devices you have chosen for your house).
Updates means a risk of breaking changes done by devs. there are parts of the system which update without your aknowlegment. so it might just stop working anytime forcing you to take actions (requires skills, potentially might even require HA reinstal)

Like Burningstone said it depends on your ‘devices’
Z - wave, No
Zigbee, No
Smartthings, No
Home kit, No

    • (These are all a moving feast)

ESPHome, Possibly

This thing is that smart homes are a new market, they are leaning their way, expanding to encourage new (not that technically savvy) users to buy stuff. What is the best way to present this, how do I expand the feature list, I’d like to hang it on my wall and have guests marvel at the elegance/sexy looks/ability
All that comes at a price.

Now if you go the Tasmota / ESPHome route, you can establish local control over everything and ‘they’ won’t change because ‘you’ would have to change them.

The devices could be as simple as a sonoff or as complex as (and this is a “made up” one based on several projects I’ve seen here) an esp32 controlling every thing in your garage, oil tank, furnace, Re-ordering oil from your supplier when it gets low, opening the garage door when you get home etc.

The problem with this is it requires quite an in depth understanding of the equipment (some of which you’d have to build yourself) and each device would need programming (some just copies of standard wares, but the complex ones you have to write the software yourself)

This system could be built and left to run for years without any intervention (barring failures) but the point is if you have done all that then you are the type to enjoy tinkering and that defeats your objective.

TL;DR I don’t think home automation (of any type) is for you

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I’m sorry I don’t understand what you are trying to tell me. What did I do exactly? I’m not a dev or anyone who can make decisions regarding HA.

My personal opinion, if you enable remote access to your home network in any way, you need to keep all your systems (not just HA) updated to get security patches.

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yeah, but no system I operate breaks as often as HA. I’m not forced to read change logs of any other system I use just to protect myself from potential outage.

I commented on your:

but you need to keep your system up to date for security reasons

Considering you are still speaking about HA, the security reasons have been rised recently only. But you mentioning them like they (incl security updates) existing for years. Or in another worls: it sounds like HA updates are mostly for security purposes. which is not true.
Most of them bring changes to functionality, while security ones are matter of two most recent months

I’m here for almost year and half, and never read about security considerations before recent months.
I can guess that for most users it’s the least important thing to consider (because they have their ha protected another ways)

Then you must be doing something wrong, my system runs for almost 4 years without ever breaking.

That was not my intention, I just wanted to point out that security fixes are part of the updates. Also because these security issues arised recently, I expect more of them to come in the future.

I completely disagree with this, most of the users don’t take any security measurements at all, blindly opening ports for remote access, following a tutorial on Youtube, without even understanding what they are doing. Almost every day there is a post from someone who struggles with DuckDNS and SSL certificates and most of them have no clue what they just configured.


If you suggest that leaving HA connected to Internet, allowing uncontrollable supervisor updates (which caused the system stop working) - then yes, it could be my fault.

look at release threds. How many people report things broken by every update. Is it also their fault?

Yes it’s true. But it’s responsibility of users who decided to use selected technology (DuckDNS etc). If you decide to use private ftp server installed in your network, you cannot expect it will even attempt to check your security issues. Not speaking about resolving them.

As many have told you, it depends on your devices. If you set 100% local devices, there will be little to none tinkering required.

HA is addictive though and it is so powerful that you end up spending more time with it than you had anticipated. The more you discover, the more things you want to build.

It also depends on how many things you want to achieve and how perfectionist you are with it. If you just want to set some lights and switches for basic on/off commands, it won’t take you too long and as long as they are local you’ll forget about it.

If you don’t depend on any API or cloud service you’ll be fine, by I assume that you might very likely want to have alexa or google announcements at the very least? that breaks every now and then when they update, but not that often.

I’ve been very actively building my home over the last year, very very actively, to the point that it’s now finished. It requires you time to learn how to do things, it definetely it’s kind of a hobby, but well worth it. I depend on many cloud services and custom components which are prone to break. When the internet goes down only a 20% of my home works, but that 20% is way better than my previous non-smart home. I don’t have all my integrations upadted nor HA itself.

Now that it’s finished I’m honestly fed up with HA, I want to forget about tinkering all the time and that’s the exact point I currently am at. And even though I depened on many unstable things, I probably need to troubleshoot once a month at most. Now I can definetely forget it, at least it feels like so, but it took a long time to get to this point since I didn’t just want to make basic things.

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That’s one of the main reasons why I don’t use supervisor :slight_smile:

There are many programs nowadays that require a strong password and they won’t let you continue with a weak password.

Anyway this discussion will lead nowhere and is pretty off-topic. There are enoug topics already discussing the pwned password problem (which doesn’t bother me as I don’t use supervisor).

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HA is not set up and forget, so if that is the goal then you will need something else. So be sure to get a single brand/system else you will get multiple apps to install and setup.

Many ppl I see posting about their systems not working are ppl updating from 4-5 months ago versions. So, yes it is their fault for not keeping up on breaking changes. Update regularly and you rarely have issues. I have been using HA for the past year. Once I stopped listening to folks who would say “don’t upgrade unless you really need to” over to update almost immediately my system hasn’t had the severe downtime like I initially had and the stability of my system is incredible. The severe downtime was due to breaking changes that were introduced 10-12 updates ago which then takes hours to fix. Overall, HA takes time. It isn’t a job or extreme hobby but it does take some care to keep your system running smoothly 99.9% of the time.


I had to spend some time thinking about this comment.

For me, it’s true. HA is a hobby. I really don’t see it ever becoming a set-and-forget solution.

That said, my home security camera system was a black box solution, plug it in and go. But there have been a number of time-consuming, and in one case costly, configuration, maintenance and repair tasks along the way. Now the software is obsolete and no longer updated (it uses flash player) and the smart phone app was always crap.

Maybe I’m just a tinkerer at heart. But I suspect that those who can’t or won’t tinker will end up just tossing their hardware every year or two and buying the next shiny thing. This is already what lots of folks do with their phones, and those can cost more than a decent home automation system.

There is no such thing as a “set and forget” home automation or security system… unless you accept product obsolescence, manufacturer discontinuation, stuff breaking or just quit working within 2 years as “set and forget”.
ALL automation and security systems require maintenance, component replacement, tuning. The nicest thing about HA for me is it doesn’t lock me into a single Vendor.


This depends on how you deploy it and other variables including the products you use. I’ve seen a number of posts over the years of users who have systems still happily running on version of HA back in 0.50.x-0.60.x’s as they have no desire to run the latest and greatest and don’t use products that rely on cloud polling and so on.

As OP noted, he may wish to use things like Shelly and Sonoff, which can all be locally controlled, so this could be a set and forget solution as long as some other steps are taken with his network security, amongst other things.

@CrazyFool if you carefully select your products in advance to ensure they are 100% locally controlled (MQTT is great for this), use a version of HA that doesn’t use the Supervisor (i.e. Container or Core) and make sure you have network security measures in place to protect yourself, you could set up an installation that won’t need to be updated.

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Thanks for all of the insight guys.

I agree with the part about a lot of commitment for the first month. and to be fair, I am enjoying it. I still see it as a hobby (for now).

I think what you’re telling me is that if I have 100% local devices then there will be no updates from the manufacturer and therefore less that can go wrong.
I think this fits into what I want to achieve.

I should tell you guys what I want so you can advise me better:

  1. To control lights on and off - I want to use Sonoff/Shelly modules for this - all can be locally controlled.

  2. To control my central heating. I have two choices:
    a) connect thermo-electric actuators to my radiators, these are to be powered by the Sonoff TH - 100% local. The Sonoff TH Turns on another sonoff relay (Also can be set to local) which in turn switches the boiler on.
    b) Tuya zigbee TRV’s, these Zigbee devices are usually connected to the Tuya cloud but I think they can connect to HA / Zigbee2mqtt as a local device:
    Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Many thanks

I’ve personally found the long term reliability of WiFi devices to be better than Zigbee. I only use Zigbee for non-essential items, like temp and humidity sensors. Many HA users have complex and robust Zigbee networks and have no issues, but my own experience is for them to be less reliable than WiFi.

I would choose Shelly or Sonoff devices. These can be flashed with Tasmota and use MQTT to locally control, or in the case of a Shelly, they have a mode that allows you to control them locally without the need to flash additional firmware (from what I remember). I have a large number of Tasmota flashed Plugs and Lights around my house and they work with 99.99% uptime.

If you choose to go the mostly WiFi route, I would recommend investing in some decent network hardware. I, and many other HA users, use Ubiquiti APs and routers. Very good BFYB and I’ve had no issues over a period of years with my equipment.

I’m sure others will have different ideas on what to use and how to set things up, but that’s my 2c. Hope it helps.