Connected Home Devices

Posted on Wednesday September 28, 2022
Reading time: 5 minutes

The Internet-of-Things sucks. But I like having data and control over parts of the house. So here's the devices I use for that as I'm often asked what ones I use.

These all communicate through Home Assistant so any WiFi devices don't have access to the internet, and can only talk to Home Assistant or any other device I specify in VLANs and firewall rules on my router.

A lot of the Zigbee devices are Aqara, they've been reliable for me. They can be picky over what devices they connect to as a repeater, but they work with Ikea Tradfri plugs and I have those around the house so it all works nicely.

Note: Where possible, links below are affiliate links

Zigbee Gateway

This is connected to the Raspberry Pi that runs Home Assistrant for me, it's been solid!

Temperature Sensors

I use temperature sensors in each of the rooms of the house (for information only at the minute, no temperature-controlled heating yet), as well as in our reptile enclosures to monitor their environments as they need different temperature and humidity levels!

Door & Window Sensors

Door & window sensors are used for security purposes (if we're out and a door or window opens, I get an alert), as well as used in automations to turn things like lights on when we get home at night and open the door.

The Sonoff ones I have haven't been nearly as reliable as the Aqara ones in my use.

Motion Sensors

Much like the door & window sensors, these allow me to get notifications if away from home, or activate lights when movement is detected, such as turning on the upstairs landing light to 30% at night if one of us goes to the bathroom

Plugs (Tradfri, LocalBytes)

The Zigbee plugs are used to control reptile lights, as they only have basic on/off functionality.

The WiFi plugs that run Tasmota allow me to monitor power for devices / areas of the house, which I covered in a blog post about my energy monitoring.

Buttons (Aqara, 4-Button-Zigbee)

I use buttons all over - they're not all easily visible. I use one under the edge of my desk to control the fan, A/C and webcam light in my office. My wife and I each have one on our bedside tables that let us turn the lights off and control the fan. I use the 4-button ones to have presets for different light levels depending on the button pressed.

Thermostatic radiator valves

These are new and I'm in the process of experimenting with them. But so far they've connected to ZHA and respond to control really well at least!

Cameras

Not much to say really, except there is a Home Assistant integration for Tapo Camera Control which allows you to control pan/tilt and privacy mode. Useful if using them indoors and you don't want them watching you.

Magic Cube

This one... is just fun really. No real useful purpose!

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