New here and new to smart homes

Hello. Couldnt find a place to introduce myself. I’m a liscenced plumber by trade for 30 years and have been in construction for over 30 years. I have discovered how smart, smart homes can be and am falling down the rabbit hole at warp speed.

Just purchased a DELL Optiplex 3050 Micro, Intel Core i5-6500T, 8GB DDR4 Ram, 256GB SSD that should arrive on the 14th to use just for HA. I know its a little overkill but prefer it to a matchbox sized device that everyone is saying is really underpowered and risky with a memory card. Im not nocking the rasperry pi’s but i prefer everything in one box and not several little boxes connected to eachother taking up realestate on my desk.

More to come and deffinately more to ask LOL

1 Like

Welcome to the rabbit hole! Ask away!

1 Like

I dont know if I should put this here or in the share your projects section, it seemed like that space was for completed builds.

I plan on using this thread as a timeline and process repository of my progress to refer to to keep on track.

If there is a more appropriate place for this please let me know before I proceed to post in this thread, thanks in advance

I just ordered a 16 foot 24V COB day light LED strip, 18 feet of channel and diffuser, 24V 60 watt power supply. I am going to plug strait into switched power for now and will replace the outlet with a smart WIFI outlet after my Dell 3050 Optiplex arrives and i get theat figured out (I know absolutely nothing about Linux). I should be recieving all of the LED components by the 13th.

More to come

I was going to go with Google Home and Google Assistant but I found out that I would have to utilize the cloud an I will not do that and that their current google Nest is going to be replaced by the end of 2024. I am going the HA route primarily because of these reasons. I have discovered that there are so many other reasons to do this and I havent even scratched the surface of HA yert.

I live in a 40 year old mobil home that I will be learning smart home and HA with while im building my new house on the same property by my self. Are you seeing the hightech redneck reference here heheh.

the biggest thing I could recommend is before jumping in to buying a bunch of stuff make sure that what you buy is able to be controlled 100% locally and can be integrated with HA. A lot of those off the shelf wifi devices will require you to set them up via an cloud app that you will then integrate into HA. But you are still stuck with that cloud interface.

They may be cheaper but the cloud dependency is potentially problematic.

You need to look into anything from Shelly (I believe is a Croatian company) as they have good quality stuff and you can configure them as all local control.

Also don’t discount the value that other protocols like zigbee and zwave offer. They can be a bit more than wifi stuff (mostly zwave as the zigbee stuff is usually comparable) but they are by definition all local control. The downside to them is that you will need an additional USB style controller that connects to your HA machine. Again it’s all local tho.


Good and welcome advice, TY. I have seen that there is a “cloud cutter” tool (rooting?) possibility out there also? Havent loooked into it though.

I’m not really sure what you might be referring to as the “cloud cutter tool”.

There are some devices that lend themselves to flashing with alternative firmware that allows local control (the most popular alternative firmwares are TASMOTA and ESPHome). But again not all devices are able to be flashed so you still need to do the research on the device before you buy it. Otherwise you may be disappointed.

Zigbee and zwave devices don’t suffer from any of those limitations as they are local already and can’t be flashed anyway. Wifi devices are the only ones that are of any real concern.

sorry im really new to this. This is what im getting

looks like I’ll be going with

would this be correct?
I also plan to make my home truly smart by using HA Voice Assistant

You might want to bump this up. I have the same strip you are looking at, but one that’s just 4000k (no color temp control) and it pulls a pretty consistent 66W with spikes up to 71-72W.

Yes, but not without setting up some advanced stuff if this is your first foray into HA. That controller can’t natively do color temperature control which the strip you’ve selected uses. You can use it for temp control, but would need to setup some custom entities for it.

Alternatively, you can get a static color strip like this one:

The Shelly has an option to change the firmware to do just white (basically just on/off/dimming) with each output instead of RGBW.

Ok, I have done a little research in the zigbee arena and im not liking it. Zigbee has Tuya wifi and you have to use a zigbee hub also. Anything cloud concerns the crap out of me, especially when it is connected to a foreign government. I want to keep my personal info and data private and secure.

This is the one I was just looking at but when I saw Tuya…

theres this one too. This is getting very confusing very fast and Im not even dealing with the smart part yet LOL

The devices are usually separate…either a Zigbee version or WiFi (they don’t do both). You do not need the Tuya hub. You can add a Zigbee dongle to HA and use it instead.

I have a few of these:

And a few of these (hate the wire terminals on this one):

And a bunch of these (with internet access blocked):

Plus the Shelly RGBW2 and this one from Athom (there were two but the device page had that they supported 24V and the bad smell they make when you apply 24V said otherwise; they’ve since updated the page).

Did you mean Zigbee hub for the zigbee controller? It was the first link in the last post. Also it says in the printed info on the controller that its zigbee, 2.4 Ghz., Wigi, Tuya. Not arguing with you just trying to understand clearly. Also none of them mention anything about being able to use on HA OS

I have a few of these:

huh, that first one was the one i was looking at using but I saw the Tuya and ran away like Mac in Mac and Me movie LOL

You’ll see that with these white label devices. They’ll generate photos with both logos and forget to remove the right logo for the posting. Here’s the BTF-Lighting ZigBee one I posted above:

The “hub” would be a ZigBee USB dongle in this case for HA. Many won’t mention being HA compatible because they want you to buy their branded hub

ZigBee uses the same 2.4 Ghz radio space as WiFi but is a different protocol (just like Bluetooth).

I dont mean to be a bother but thanks for replying.

Im trying to learn as fast as I can . My bicycle has training wheels on it and someone went and welded them on…anyone have a cutting torch LOL

No bother. We all start somewhere

Oh, ok. This one that ive been looking at same as yours but also has Wifi written on it. Would that mean that its also Wifi? Thats what it would think seeing aall three, but that may be them just being sneeky

I think Ill get this one and find out.

I need to get this project started. I think I also need to follow yalls advice about the 60 watt power adapter and look into something better. I have 24 feet of under cabinet lighting to run which means i need to buy another 16 foot roll grrrrr.

That PSU is barely enough. I recommend a real power supply.

If you are so terrified about the cloud, then why are you on the biggest cloud of all? The Home Assistant forum server is in San Francisco, but Internet traffic never takes the path with the shortest distance. Data can be bouncing all over the world looking for the fastest path to its destination. You have no control over where it goes. Very few IOT devices require the cloud connection to function. Some require a cloud connection for setup, but work just fine locally. Wyze cameras with RTSP firmware for example.

My only concern with cloud connections is if the device won’t function without the Internet. That would be a non-starter. I am not important enough for any hacker or foreign government to know my name. I am just not that interesting.