Which devices fit best with the no-cloud philosophy?

I’m pretty new to home assistant; I have 2 shelly plugs and I read my energy use/production.

For future investments into home automation, I’d like to keep as much as possible to the following principles, which I think are at the basis of home assistant as well (please correct me if I’m wrong!)

  • devices should be configurable without connecting to an external cloud service first
  • devices should be usable without connecting to an external cloud service
  • after installing the device (switch/dimmer/sensor) it should still work without being aware of the smartness of home assistant

I’ve set up a separate vlan and wifi ssid which has no dhcp, no gateway to the internet, home assistant is the only way to do something with the device. My home assistant VM is dual homed, so I can access it from the home network (and from outside via haproxy), but devices are unable to connect to the internet.

Last weekend I got myself a WiZ device to try out, but I couldn’t get it to work within this set of restrictions. I may be able to get over the first step if I can be sure the device can be used after the initial installation without any dependency on an external internet connection.

Since I’m new to all this, I’d love to hear about devices that can be most easily used in this kind of setup. I’m aware that ESPhome and similar firmware is a great tool that does exactly this, but apart from the shelly devices, which do seem to fit into my category even without installing ESPhome on it.

I’m wondering if there are more devices that would fit, do you know of some good ones?



Wired Z-wave switches follow your rules — they work as local dimmers or switches without any need for Home Assistant, and then can do other things if HA is active. You can do similar with Zigbee and directly-paired remotes and lights.

I think maybe this question is too broad, and would work better if you started with the things you want to automate and then looked for solutions for those specific problems that fit your criteria.

You’re probably right that it’s too broad a question, but your answer is a useful broad answer :wink:

I don’t have many things I want to automate, there’s one application where HA can be useful for me and that is a light-switch automation for when we are not home and want to make the house appear occupied.

Another would be to have certain combinations of switches for when e.g. we want to watch tv for a bit, these are called scenes, right?

I like the shelly devices, but zigbee and zwave are interesting, but I don’t have anything from either, so I have to start fresh on them. I’ll go look for some options here on the forum and elsewhere to see which devices would fit best. I also have a few “klik-aan-klik-uit” devices, but that is not a protocol I want to expand with…

Zigbee and Z-Wave devices are the first things that come to my mind when talking about off the shelve products. I personally use a CC2531 based zigbee stick preflashed with the zstack firmware i got fram amazon as my coordinator and a hand full of Ikea components: 1 ON/OFF-Button (keeps track about my medication), 1 5-Button-Remote, a Symphonisk remote and a Trafri Plug. From Osram im using a smart+ plug and the small remote. Out of the mentioned devices i cant recommend the small osram remote, its battery type isnt as common to buy anywhere. The Ikea devices are for me pretty reliable, but burn currently batteries a bit quick, atleast thats the data i get from the devices.
For other devices, I´d take a look at DIY them or mod existing devices. My AV receiver is made “smart” by controlling it with a DIY IR blaster powered by ESPHome, which also acts as a remote receiver for my multipurpose IR remote. With that I can control basically all my appliences I integrated into HA.