My goal is to keep my home automation as local as possible. I have a few rules:
- Everything has a manual override. If we lose internet, everything should still function as much as possible. This means occasionally purchasing extra hardware that seems silly - until all my stuff still works when we lose power/internet.
- Nothing is network-enabled that can grant access to my home or burn it down.
- Ideally, everything can be managed via Home Assistant.
- Everything should be local wherever possible, i.e. no internet access required for functionality.
- Avoid shipping any data or network access to any external company.
- Z-Wave over Zigbee.
As always, rules are made to be broken, and this is aspirational where viable alternatives simply don’t exist.
Everything operates via Home Assistant, using Neon and OpenVoice OS (OVOS) as my smart assistants. These two products took over for Mycroft when it went bankrupt.
Built-in Alexa or Google Home is a dealbreaker for me on smart hardware.
Smart Power Strips
TP-Link Kasa HS300 Used this script to set up local internet, connecting to the strip’s local wifi and executing:
power_strip = SmartPowerStrip("192.168.0.1") power_strip.set_wifi_credentials("MYSSID", "MYPASSWORD", "3")
Blocked tplinkcloud.com via OpenDNS to prevent the power strip from reporting home or receiving updates. Eventually I’d like to flash the firmware altogether but that’s going to be more work since they aren’t using standard chips.
- Sonoff S31 plugs flashed with Tasmota.
- Ideal article for hardware portion but the web flashing utility for Tasmota is insecure in most browsers.
- How I actually flashed them
- Great explanation of using a graphical utility to flash it, plus setting up Home Assistant and MQTT if you don’t already have it set up
- Amcrest 1080P Video Doorbell Camera Pro Didn’t activate the free cloud storage. Set up Surveillance Center on my Synology NAS and access it directly there via Home Assistant.
Eventually I want to block the doorbell’s outbound access. I’ve also set up better alerting with Home Assistant, Node-Red, and Telegram.
- Martin Jerry Tasmota Switches
- I love these things - great price, they come with Tasmota installed by default, easy to hook up, can’t beat it! My only complaint is that they don’t have a slim version so I can’t fit two in a two-gang box, but their support said that should be on the way.
- Logitech Harmony Hub
- Plex running on the Synology, connected to my local media files.
- Apple TV 4k
- Synology DS920+
- In addition to storing my data and media, it’s also running Plex, my Nomad server, and my Consul server.
- Home Assistant, running Home Assistant OS on an x86 Mini-PC
- Zooz 700 Series Z-Wave Plus S2 USB Stick
- Google Home Mini or Nest Mini in each room, with the microphone switched off and no reporting services, using Home Assistant to set up AirPlay for each of them off their Chromecast services. This allows me to use them as HA
media_playersources and send messages throughout the house for various automations. Inexpensive, reasonable quality for TTS voice messages, and the only commercial smart assistant I could find with a real hardware microphone switch.
- One day I’ll replace these with OVOS/Neon devices, but for now they’re a good stopgap.
- Gaming laptop with an NVIDIA 3070 GPU, running Windows 11. I use this for gaming, but I also use it for machine learning (local LLMs) and other tasks.
- Node-RED for automations in Home Assistant
- Google Wifi - AC1200 - Mesh WiFi System
- A Raspberry Pi 3B+ print server running Ubuntu 22.04 lite. Since I rarely use Windows at home but we almost exclusively have Apple devices, the printer is served via CUPS. Native AirPrint support and now I can wirelessly print from every device I use regularly at home, including our phones and iPads.
- Monoprice Delta Mini 3D Printer - Got it from a friend who had swapped out a part and it stopped working, so I fixed it up and now I’ve got a nice little 3D printer!
Yes, I realize using Google for my mesh wifi is in violation of a lot of principles in my home automation. However, it seems to be the least invasive of the mesh wifi options available. Nobody is offering mesh wifi at any kind of reasonable rate without shipping data off to who-knows-where. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.
- NFC215 Coins for triggering automations via my phone.
- Mycroft Mark II running Neon
- 2 Mycroft Picrofts
Eventually I’ll replace the Mycroft devices with OVOS and I have more Mark IIs and hopefully a Mark I coming soon. I had a pair of Amazon Echo Dots, but now that personal private voice assistants are in place, those have been decommissioned.
- Shelly relays, which I can use to trigger Scenes and Automations in Home Assistant via Node-Red
- Homemade motion sensors
- Raspberry Pi clusters to perform tasks and process data, using the Synology as long-term storage
- Software-Defined Radio set up on one of the Pis (right now, it’s plugged into the print server, but not doing anything)
- Local Git setup with CI/CD (GitLab or similar)
- Local container registry
- Tailscale - I have it in place on a few devices and love it so far
- Take the OVOS software services and decentralize portions of them, so I can have minimal setups that just handle input/output and the rest is processed on my home network