Migrating to Home Assistant - Questions, advise

Hello all,

This is my first post in this community, I’m in the verge of migrating all my home automation setup to Home Assistant and I’m looking for some feedback, advices that I haven’t been able to find online.

First of all I will tell you a little bit of me and my system, I’m an engineer and familiar with programming / electronics, a few years ago I picked a system that now is definitely dying, for long time I have been refusing to accept this due the amount of work migrating means. I picked this system (Zipato) initially since my wife wanted to add some automation with KNX and at that time Zipato was one of the few systems that allowed to communicate multiple platforms including KNX. I have close to 100 devices at home for multiple purposes and over different comm protocols (at the end never went with KNX due the cost and lack of options), mainly z-wave, zigbee and recently I have been working on some custom interfaces using MQTT / arduinos.

I have been researching about Home Assistant and I think this is the way to go, as of now the hardware setup I like the most is loading it on a NUC running windows, the only reason why I need it to be windows is since I also want to migrate my cameras to Blue Iris, so my plan is to run both HA and Blue Iris on this NUC.

One of the things I liked about the previous system is that it had a Security System embedded, so I was able to double purpose my door locks + door/window/motion sensors as security system when it was armed, or as automation triggers to my rules when disarmed. In addition where I live, security systems such as ADT are not very effective since their interconnection with law enforcement is bad, so also cannot justify the monthly fees. This has been another reason why I haven’t moved from this system, most systems I have research do not have security system add-ons and basically you have to write your own. Does home assistant have an app / add-on that can use z-wave sensors and locks as security system?

Any advise is welcome, below a list of brands / devices I currently use on my system;
Phillips Hue for Lights
Zwave Qbino relays and shutter control
Zwave MCO switches
Zwave Fibaro RGBW controllers
Zwave Yale door locks
Zwave Door/window sensors several brands
Zwave fibaro/zipato/aeotec motion sensors
Zwave water valves
Zwave smoke detectors
Zigbee OSRAM lights
Sonos for audio
Netatmo for interior cameras (Welcome)
Some others via wifi…

Thanks for any feedback.

There are probably addons via the Community Store (HACS), but even without that, you can very easily set up automations that have system armed as a condition, so if the system is not armed, the alarm will not go off.
As for the alarm part itself - that’s built in to Home Assistant: Manual - Home Assistant either hardcoded like this, or you could do it with MQTT ( Manual MQTT - Home Assistant ( so that you could use something like ESPHome or even an Android tablet, to have a proper alarm panel you can arm and disarm.

Hope this helps.

As for Zigbee and ZWave, I use both - Zigbee is running on a Raspberry Pi with a Conbee2 stick and it’s running Zigbee2MQTT. ZWave is running on another Raspberry Pi running ZWaveJS2MQTT (but with the MQTT part turned off) and ZWaveJS integration on Home Assistant connected to the ZWave Pi over Websocket.

After Matter happens next year, I intend to decide on how to go forward, I can no longer justify the massive difference in price between ZWave and Zigbee, so at the very least I will be starting to replace ZWave kit with Zigbee kit.

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Alarmo. This custom component is much much better than the alarm panel built into HA.

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The Hue, Z-Wave, Sonos, and Netatmo devices will all work natively. WiFi devices may, or may not - it depends on whether they have an API that somebody’s written an integration for.

There’s probably some custom components to make it easy, but there’s a built in manual alarm panel integration, which I use. My setup is fully automated using presence detection (using Bluetooth and WiFi) - when the last person leaves the alarm arms, when the first person returns it disarms. The opening of the front door (which also triggers a presence scan) will start the alarm countdown, and any other door or window will trigger the alarm itself.

Oh, and instead of Blue Iris I’d highly recommend a look at Frigate. It does object recognition rather than dumb motion detection, you’ll get far less false alarms about detection.