Starting with HomeAssistant integration in a new house

Hello to all,

I’m starting to build a new house and I would like to HomeAssistant and automate some things.

For start, some of the thing I would like to do:
-turning on / off all the lights in the house through HA
-adding motion sensors for some light control
-controlling garage doors
-adding main door dorbell in some way

I am still in the phase of researching. For the lights, I would like to have some kind of smart switches, not smart bulbs(so the HA would control the switch, not the bulb directly).
I am looking at something like this :

Any advice from someone who has done something like this or know a bit more? Which way to go? Any tutorial or example where it was done already?

Latter on, I would also like to add some more thing to my house. Plan is to install HA on a mini PC in the house, and also to had some Plex server and some surveillance system.

For start, I would like to get some advice on how to start, what I need to get to get started (Hub, wifi…?)?

Location: Europe, Croatia (I saw in some posts that this matters for hardware)

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Hello and welcome to the community.

You’re bringing up a lot of topics here. What exactly is your question? What are your requirements?
This way it is difficult to help you.


So, the first thing you need to decide is your primary wireless protocol. Your choices are basically Zigbee, Z-Wave, and wifi. There’s plenty of advice on this elsewhere so I won’t repeat.

The great news with Homeassistant, though, is that you can easily mix and match. Like, my house is mostly Z-Wave, but I’ve got a bunch of Zigbee stuff from Ikea, and am probably going to end up adding some DIY Zigbee arduino stuff.

You’ll need a computer to run all of this. It could be a VM on a PC, although many people use a device like a Raspberry Pi. The mini PC will be fine — and that can serve as your hub. Get a USB stick for Zigbee and Zwave (possibly one that does both).

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If you are building a new house consider choosing for a wired solution and let all the cables come back to one central area, where you can do all kind of switching from one central place with relays.

This is a good video imo that illustrates such a set up: Home Automation with Homekit | Raspberry Pi 3 | Hardware #1 - YouTube

Wired is more reliable, not expensive and more future proof because wireless standards can differ in the future. Usually scaling up with wireless will be more expensive vs a wired solution.

For your light switches, wall pulse switches (Retractive Switches) are a possibility cause these fit in a scenario in which you both can turn on/off (or dim) lights from Home Assistant as well as trough the wall switch.

A couple of weeks ago I watched this youtube video about a partly wired smart home Tweakers Meet-up - Femme Taken - ''Het slimste huis van de Achterhoek'' - YouTube . It’s in Dutch, but autotranslating subtitles by youtube might be an option.

A possibilty to consider is using PoE (power over ethernet) ESP32 with ethernet cables to it from a PoE switch, to create (ESPHome) hubs in a room for things like motion sensors and temperature sensors. The Olimex POE-iso is an interesting board for this imo. PoE is easy because it’s a power source and data source at once. This saves cost and effor to power such a hub.

Sometimes GPIO cables can go a long distance too, for onewire sensors like the DS18b20 temperature sensor.

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You got me thinking. If I were to build (or re-build) today, what would I do?

First and foremost, I wouldn’t force any dependency on any current technology. Back in the day I wired my whole house for phone and TV cable. Now I use wireless phones and TVs, and all that cabling is abandoned.

I agree with your approach to lights. I think light switches are going to be around for a while. Wire them all up, maybe with extra-deep boxes to allow plenty of room for smart switches. These are relatively easy to replace as the technology changes. Be sure to bring neutral wires to every three-way switch, even if they don’t need it today. Maybe run some Ethernet cable to key places so you can build a solid WiFi mesh.

I’d consider separate systems for things like a security system, sound system, and HVAC system. Sure, you can integrate all that into HA, but those should really be able to stand alone.

Using HA would obviously be my first pick, but even that doesn’t future-proof anything. Compared to locking into any one vendor’s ecosystem, HA has a far better chance of long-term viability, but the trade off is near constant maintenance. And there’s still no guarantee anything you depend on (e.g.; RPi_GPIO) can’t be yanked when nobody feels like maintaining it any longer.

Exciting project. Have fun!!

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First of all, thank you all for the responses.

I will try to answer some things asked here and comment on things.

@FPro Yes, I know there are a lot of topics here, I am starting out, so I am still a bit confused and not sure where/how to go. More informations will come

Mini PC is the current idea to go with (HP Prodesk Mini G4 600, maybe a bit too much for only HA, but if this will be the way to go, then I will use it for some other things also).

Currently, the wired solution is not something that I would like to go with. If I got this right, I would need to have one more wire to every wall switch or other device that will be connected for HA?

What exactly do you mean for switches and wire them all up? Idea is to have them wired as regular switches (with neutral) and connected with some wireless protocol.
Ethernet cable is in plan on number of places in home, for example where the TV will be or where the PC will be.

Yes. Wire them just like regular switches. For one thing, consider resale value of the home. I think it was on this forum that someone wrote “nobody wants to inherit your hobby.”

As for wired Ethernet, I should add that even that changes. I once ran a bunch of coax cable for thick-wire Ethernet around my house. Later Cat5, then Cat5e. Now it’s all mostly unused, since most everything is WiFi.

I’ve heard it suggested to run conduit to and from a few key locations, so you can easily fish new wires for Whatever Comes Next.

Yes you will need more wires. But I think that’s an advantage you have when you are building a new house, it is easy to cover these wires away within walls if you do a new build.

With extra wires you will make more costs, but you will also save money on wireless hubs. For instance a board with 20 relays will cost less then 20 in-wall wireless switches.

Like this ethernet relay board.


But it’s up to you of course what has your preference. Good luck on the design en build!

Yeah it’s good thinking to wire it like that, so that there is also a ‘dumb-switches’ scenario possible. However I would also like to add that a well working and designed, future proof, smart home system can also add reselling value to a house.

I agree that also wired standards can change. Although I expect ethernet cables to be around for a long while considering it’s widespread use and it being suitable for a high range of purposes. However a wire will still be a wire, so it can transmit signals from all kind of protocols. If protocols change, wires will be still suitable for transmitting the low data signals needed to run smart home applications.

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Ok, so after a bit more of reading, googling and researching let’s say I have some more info in which way to go with.

So, plan is to have HA installed on HP Prodesk Mini. Next I need some hub(usb dongle possibly?) to be able to connect wall switches on HA(zigbee or z-wave)? Is there some hub you would recommend?

Next thing is to chose the wall switches. Do you have some switches to recommend that are similar to the ones I posted in first post (similar physically)?

There are those who would disagree. I’m not a realtor, so I can’t say for sure.

HA is far from future-proof. Just look at the list of breaking changes every month. It’s more of a system by developers, for developers. If we’re very polite the developers won’t scoff at us tinkerers too harshly. But it does happen. Ordinary users don’t stand a chance.

I don’t blame HA. Despite the frustration of changes for change’s sake, updates which break other things, and abandoned support for working features, it’s still the best option out there if one wants to try to keep up with the technology. But I don’t see it as a selling feature for a home.

For that, I think you’d have to go with a high-end, proprietary system from one vendor whom you hope will be around for a long time. Even then the technology changes and support for previous versions is dropped.

If it were me, I’d be planning on taking anything “smart” with me when I moved, leaving behind standard, dumb switches.

I think the main thing I would do if I were building a new house is put Ethernet with power-over-ethernet basically ridiculously everywhere. I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve thought “wow, I wish this device were on wifi and using batteries”.

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I am in the same situation. I want to keep it simple and for light control I want to use Shellys, 1-2 ethernet to the rooms (even if I only use wifi), maybe a little more for TV (TV, STB), blinds: Shelly. LED controlling: Quinled. What I miss? I don’t need ceiling speakers, whole house audio system.

I want everything to work normally with the classic wall switches even if there is some problem with WiFi or HA. With Shellys I think it is possible.

Yes, usual recommendation is to add cat6 everywhere (windows, switches, ceiling, floor, across the room), 10 HDMI cable in every room, 10 cable for audio, etc. Yes, it is great, but maybe not everyone needs that.

You can do a lot even with wireless sensors, my favourite inspiration is by Smart Home Solver. Yes, you need to change batteries every x year, but it is not a big deal I think. If you get bored of it all, you don’t depend on the system. Use it as a classic home and disable automations.

Maybe something to think about is window open/close sensors, curtain or blinds closing/opening, movement sensors, and temperature/humidity sensors for each room.

Also you can consider smart options in designing your heating system. Like being able to close the heating to a room by zone valves or by closing radiators.

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Just run conduit to every possible location (all device boxes, all door/window frames, a commonly accessible box in every room, etc.). Now 25 years later you can run a new wire for the food replicator without banging holes in walls.


I found this article on building blocks with holes in them, so you can later add wiring a lot easier than with solid blocks. The OP already said he prefers wireless, but I decided to post this anyway for others as inspiration.

They are called BOB-in-system by Masterwall. The article is Dutch, I don’t know whether these or similar are available in other countries.

You add a wooden panel with room behind it, to run wires.

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Hello again,

I have been away for a while but now continuing with this.

In meantime, I got my mini PC(HP elitedesk 800 g2). Now I am looking to buy some switches (just a couple) to test and configure some things before the real thing starts.

Anyone has experience with this => Buy Products Online from China Wholesalers at

Also, as I found many items that support wifi, but not zigbee, would there be a option (good option) to have 2 wifi networks? One regular and one just for smart home things that don’t need to be connected to internet(the second wifi would be just local wifi, without network access).

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That is what I do, keep all smart appliances on a seperate network, also the kids on a different one that does’nt allow them to operate the smart appliances bhind our backs :wink: