Just a little hello

Just wanted to say hi to everyone on the forum.

Been researching HA for many years and even played with some other tech but never really had the money/time/expertise to build a whole system. With all the relays becoming more affordable and just about to buy & renovate a house I have decided to create a fully smart home.

Before I bought anything I checked it had at least some support with HA. Just a little intro to my planned set up

-Xiaomi Vacuum
-Xiaomi sensors for alarm & people detection
-Sonoff Basics for lamps, LED strips, Fish Tank and general low wattage stuff that needs to be switched (these are rated to 10A!!! not sure I would go anywhere near it)
-Sonoff T1 Light switches (need a neutral so will be using 3 core and earth for wiring, any other ideas?)
-HoneyWell T6R Thermostat
-Home made, 3D printed Arduinos for each room with, light sensors, CO2, Carbon Monoxide, Smoke & Temperature sensors. Not sure what else would be nice on this, any ideas?

Open to any suggestions but otherwise looking forward to getting started!




Hi. I assume you’re talking Xiaomi ZigBee sensors. Don’t use their hub - you need something more generic and locally controlled like Conbee II (which is what I have). Having said that, I also have a ZigBee hub, but I only use it to play a doorbell ringtone.

Hey @michaelblight Not sure to be honest - https://www.alza.sk/xiaomi-mi-smart-sensor-set-d5522523.htm

Yer, was thinking to get an improved Gateway. I will look at the Conbee II. i found a site I can pick it up for a little less than 40eur.

Check out zigbee2mqtt and the supported adapters page to get an idea of zigbee sticks / boards to use.

Instead of Sonoff, have a look at Shelly products. They are made and certified in the EU, I’d trust those more with 110/220V than any cheap Chinese relay.

Hi, if your are anyway renovating the whole house, I would just throw in cable connections into the hat. If you can, i would opt for adding hardwire connection to as many sensors and rooms as possible. It will always be more reliable than any wireless standard and gives you some options for the future. Furthermore, if that is something of interest to you, think about presence detection in the rooms. Motion Sensors usually are not very reliable when working without some backup sensors or logic especially when the people its supposed to track are stationary. I have read about some very good results achievable with cheap thermal camera modules.

If I could start from scratch, I’d be sure to have ethernet cables (for connectivity and PoE) to every ceiling center of every room at the least.

Added bonus for wired is never having to think about changing batteries

Thanks @Skye, the zigbee2mqtt looks great. It would make sense as I wasn’t really sure what to do to scale the install. What about access points? I saw that people recommended them when adding lots of devices but surely this would not really work as the data still needs to pass throught the router…?

Thanks for the recommendation on Shelly as well. I did check them out but didn’t like the design and the relays that go behind didn’t really fit my house because of the additional room needed behind the switch. I do like the fact they are EU made though but I do wonder where the components come from :smiley:

@AlmostSerious That is a good idea. I didn’t really think about network cables around the place, what would you recommend, just some basic Cat5? It seems a good idea if I just buy a roll and run it around the house ready for connecting up someday.

and yes, I agree on the PIR sensors, the key for me here is the price. A camera costs a min of €20 normally €30 and I am 3D printing and building my own sensors on the WeMos D1 board for about €8-9 so I can just have a lot more. Over time I might consider this though. This is great food for thought.

Thanks for your input :smiley:

Many zigbee devices function as routers automatically (light bulbs, plugs etc. - basically everything that is connected to mains)

But the cost :astonished: -


Is this normal? €20 for a simple sensor like this? :smiley:

Would Access Points help me scale if I choose to use ESPHome to make sensors like this?

There are definitely cheaper ones, especially if you buy from china. Check aliexpress and look for xiaomi/aqara door sensor. They are both cheap and small and work flawlessly with zigbee2mqtt. They are around 6-8 euros each.

Unless you go with Xiaomi devices (Which I use and like), then $20 and up is the standard price for Zigbee sensors, Z-Wave is the same but maybe slightly more expensive.

You can DIY sensors like this for less $$ if you use an ESP8266, but it’s going to be much larger and you won’t get multi-year battery life from any sort or reasonably sized battery (even multiple 18650s and deep sleep won’t give you a years battery life like the zigbee ones achieve with a single coin-cell battery)

Thanks @ciB & @Silicon_Avatar. It makes sense what you are saying about the ESP8266 sensors. I have built some boxes that will be mains powered but it makes sense for the window and door sensors to just get something off the shelf.

Like you @Silicon_Avatar I have prucahsed some Xiaomi sensors and the size is unbelievable, the concern was the battery life as well but if you say years or even 1 year that is more than reasonable and I found if I buy them in bulk I can get the door sensors for $8.50 each roughly.

Thanks fot the tips. How about with regards to making a sound when your alarm sounds? How is the Xiaomi gateway speaker? What else could you use to make a loud alarm :-D?

I have my door sensors now running for over a year and batteries are still fine - same goes for their temperature/humidity sensors.

For making alarm sounds you can basically use whatever you like, I e.g. use my google home minis. That’s the beauty of Home Assistant.

Btw, depending on your skills/interests I would recommend getting a custom solution instead of the xiaomi gateway (check out the zigbee2mqtt documentation for hardware). It’s yet again cheaper and you are in control of your hard&software.