New to HA- thoughts on these devices/this ecosystem?

As stated, I have no experience with home assistant beyond countless of hours of YouTube watching and starting to listen to the HA podcast. I am building a home and want to make it as smart as possible. Based on my research, here are devices I have seen/heard are top tier for usage. What are your thoughts on this list? Are there any devices that are a pain or could be easily replaced to make my life/future dashboard and work easier? I appreciate any and all help in advance!

Beelink mini-pC
Open Garage
Agara door sensor
Eufy doorbell
Eufy S40 (if can’t wire in)
Reolink RLC-811A smart poe cam (if can wire in Ethernet)
Schlage Connect deadbolt
Lutron bridge
Lutron switch
Lutron switch with remote
Lutron dimmer with remote
Lutron occupancy switch
Ecobee thermostat
Ecobee smart sensor 2 pack
Aotec home energy monitor
Lutron Serena Roller Shades
Switchbot curtains and buttons

My recommendation after a few years…
I suggest using Z-wave devices and Lutron Caseta devices as much as possible. I found that too many wifi devices started causing issues with my wifi network and roaming devices could be slightly problematic at times. Also I prefer to have local control of my devices and I had a few ‘cloud’ based devices that would just stop working sometimes due to server issues (garage door opener / roomba / ect) or they would rate limit me (wifi thermostats - I constantly change the settings based on weather)

I know Z-wave costs more than wifi / zigbee devices and Lutron Caseta is also expensive. However, Z-wave does not interfer with wifi frequencies. The only signal interference I have with Z-wave is my ecowitt weather station. Caseta has its own dedicated frequency as well and has no interference at all.

The other neat thing about Caseta, their wireless switches. They can be setup to control anything within home assistant. Say I wanted to have one raise / lower the thermostat… or perhaps open / close my garage door… unlock a door? Honestly anything and I was excited when I found that out (I was planning on using wireless z-wave switches)

About Your List
–mini-PC – probably fine
–Open Garage – works sure but its wifi (mine is wifi too atm – using myQ)
Recommend: I would use a z-wave contactor with a z-wave tilt sensor or a contact sensor
–Agara door sensor – agian with zigbee (causes wifi interfernce)
Recommend: Z-Wave Smart Hinge Pin Door Sensor (I use these) or ZW187 Recessed Door Sensor
There’s other Z-wave sensors for this use case, just really depends on how you want it
–Eufy doorbell – I don’t know if they support RTSP yet but all other features look good
Recommend: Amcrest AD410 – I use this and it’s great
–Cameras – thats a whole story on its own. Again, I am using Amcrest products
–Door Locks – I would use the Z-wave variant (mine are… I have outdated zwave Quikset locks)
–Lutron bridge – You dont have any choices but they work flawlessly
–Lutron Switch – Pick your poision. Dimming? Toggle? Fan? All have been excellent
Recommend: Get a few with wireless switches, they are extremely handy and cheap when getting them in a combo kit &&&& I am specifically talking about Lutron Caseta (nothing else)
–Lutron Occupany Swtich – I wouldnt use this… I would install a caseta switch & a zwave motion sensor somewhere in that area… Then write an automation → if motion in hallway closet, turn on closet light
–Thermostat – Agian wifi blah
Recommend: Honeywell TH6320ZW2003 T6 Pro (I have 2 of these and they’ve been lovely)
–Energy Monitor (CT Clamps) – Hey they’re Z-wave =D
Recommend: Depends on your level of desire and electrical aptitude – I am using a wifi device =( but it not only gives me reading on main power like the Aotec one, but its also setup on 16 different circuits in the panel. I am using Emporia Energy Monitor with 16 50A Circuit Level Sensors (Also I am a certified electrician)
–Shades → can’t speak to it, havent used any… but I’d still shy away from wifi if possible =]

Last little note I’ll leave you with. When it comes to setting up my automations, I strictly use NodeRed. Home Assistant has come a long way with their automation platform but I absolutely love NodeRed and I recommend you take a look it. It’s very versital and its nice to visually see what is happening / going to / supposed to happen lol

Cheers to you on your new adventure!

Here’s a screenshot of one of my NodeRed “Flows”

At the moment I have around 100 devices connected to ha from which are like 95% esp(home) based solutions. image

Even ha allows you to mix and match vendors, devices and technologies in the end it is still you who is in charge of maintaining them all. If you don’t want to “waste” precious time that one could ether use to improve your automatons or have some “display free” time you might want to consider choose a “main platform” to rule them all. :straight_ruler:

The great thing with esphome is that you have full control over your devices and you can make them even resilient to cases when wifi or ha isn’t available. I have my setup like this because I want to have a “guaranteed” set of functions while the “comfort features” (like turning light groups for example) obviously only works when ha is available. :white_check_mark:

Another thing which I miss with almost every other solution out there (like z-:wave: or z-:honeybee:) is the “right to own”. It’s about the possibility to repair, change, add functionality and update on your own. I’m not aware of any vendor out there “allowing” you this with the stock firmware - otherwise they would maybe loose you as a future customer? Like you have this z-xy device? You want to have it talk with your matter/thread/whatever hub? Sorry, that device doesn’t support it, you need to buy z-xy v2 with the exact same hardware features but that little plus that the software is up2date now. :put_litter_in_its_place:

Last but not least the variety with esp based device is huge. A lot of pre build stuff but also easy to get your hands “dirty” with your own builds if you like. Beside that esphome is also working on supporting non espressif chips too :shushing_face:

So just to give one example :point_down:

That I have solved with the very cheap (~$10) and very accurate (not sure if there is something comparable out there in terms of accuracy per buck) pzem004t v3 modules. Other than a plain ct clamp it does not only measure current (which will not really be sufficient for power monitoring) but also voltage, power factor, power as well as frequency and supports a very high update interval (if you wish that).

So, that were my 50 cents :moneybag:

If “building a home” means you’re in the planning process, than I wouldn’t do such a search right now. :open_mouth: Why you ask? Well, for now, you know not a lot about your future home, and how it will “work” if it is finally finished. There are always things, you won’t consider right now, that will make life harder.

To avoid this, I’d personally take the extra step and put in empty tubes* whereever I can. :slight_smile: Every electrical line you plan right now, put two empty tubes in there as well.

This will give you the chance, to update/change your wiring afterwards, and only God knows, what the “cool new standard” will be in five years. So prepare for that.

I know, sounds complicated and not really straight forward thinking, but trust me, I’ve done a big house and a farm (both not mine, a friend asked to help) in the last year, whatever you prepare for, before you build the house, is in most cases undergoing a change, before you even use it once.

Let me give you an example: we planned with some cameras for the barns, turns out, whatever we did wasn’t enough to get a stable and reliable setup. So the solution was to span a new Wifi network only for one barn at a time and connect these with a Pi installed in the barn, that was wired and with PoE. We could have spared the powerline to that place completely, but should have taken the “empty tube” approach, so we wouldn’t have bought meters and meters of cable, that will now not be used as such.

What I’m saying is, the only plan you need to have upfront is this: Do I want/need something hard wired like KNX? If so, use more empty tubes just to be safe. All the other things will come step-by-step and you will likely see what you want, when you live in that house.

And in these uncertain times, you should as well consider what is available at the time you need it… Example: go and get 15 RaspberryPis now, for a considerable price…not that funny… And who wants to live without a door bell for the first six months? If you work with one or two systems, whatever they are, you will depend on them and their availabilty. But if you just plan with a “smart door bell”, it makes it easier to find a product, when you need it!

To sum it up: HA is intelligent enough to work with most products on the market, don’t make yourself crazy with specific systems and products. This will come, when needed! Just plan ahead with power lines and outlets (as you will need lots of them), maybe even with some outlets where USB ports are already available, and you’re good to go. You don’t need to know what specific product/device you will use, just where and what type. Take this into account, and you will safe a ton of money down the road and you will have more fun in your house! :slight_smile:

*= I don’t know how this is called, in german we say “Leerrohr” that roughly translates to “empty tube”.