Organising physical devices


Short: How do you guts organise your physical devices?

Long: I’m awaiting the arrival of some new hardware and will setup my entire home-assistant from scratch again. I’ve learned a great deal and a new start will clean up some oddities that exist now. One of which: the “tagging” of physical devices.
The backbone of my entire setup is MQTT. 95% of my stuff goes through there. When I first started I thought it would be a splendid idea to use topics based on actual location, like home/kitching/light … being the kitchen light at home. worked great for the first few weeks but pretty soon some devices started moving around. So now I have stuff on topics like home/kitchen/light, but they’re actually in the hallway by now. You see where I’m going with this :slight_smile:
So, for my new setup I’m thinking of setting up things slightly different. No longer making topics based on location. But rather based on function + a “tag”. for example, the kitchen light could be: device/light/004. because it’s a device (not a service), it’s a light device, and its tagged as nr 004 (probably going to find a way to write 004 on it).
Before I go ahead with this new rollout, I wanted to check here if there’s other approaches? pro’s and con’s?


My personal opinion is that your original way of using the topic based on location and function (kitchen/light/stove_hood, etc), marking the device as such and then not moving the device around would be best.


I’ve had the same issue as well - and I’m actually still suffering from it now & then, e.g. I have to remember that the kitchencam is now actually in the garage.

I’m not using MQTT that much, but in general, I have started naming my devices generically, e.g. my TP-Link HS105 plugs are called MPlug1 to MPlug4. This works much better for me now because last Christmas two of the plugs drove my Christmas lights, but now one of them is used for the humidifier while the other one gets assigned to odd tasks :grin:
And I just rename them to whatever is needed in Lovelace directly.

Not sure what I’ll do when (if?) I get more of 9 of these plugs, but in the meantime, I started naming my Sonoff S31s S31_01 and S31_02 - you get the reason why :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Sounds exactly like what i have planned :slight_smile:
I will use 3 digits Just to make sure i don’t run out of digits :stuck_out_tongue:


One thing I haven’t completely figured out for myself yet is where I assign a friendly name.

On one hand, it’s easy to do it in the Lovelace UI - but then you have to do it everywhere where you want it to show up (and in the history, it still shows the un-friendly name).
On the other hand, it’s probably more convenient to do it in the customize.yaml - which makes the update even without an HA restart.
For now, I have a real mess on my hands because I did it in different places for different devices :frowning:


I’ll probably tackle this one in yaml. I haven’t quite picked up all the Lovelace UI stuff yet :stuck_out_tongue: but 90% of my interactions happen through Siri / homekit so I’m not too stressed about this yet :slight_smile: