Lovelace UI released!
Today we’re happy to announce that our new Lovelace UI, which has been in beta for the last 8 months, is becoming the new default interface of Home Assistant 0.86. With Lovelace we’re taking a new approach to building user interfaces for Home Assistant. We’re no longer storing the look and feel of your UI in your configuration.yaml, requiring restarts for changes. With Lovelace we’re keeping the UI concerns in the UI1, unlocking a whole new set of features:
- 24 cards to place and configure as you like.
- UI Editor. A configuration UI to manage your Lovelace UI including live preview when editing cards.
- Fast. Using a static config allows us to build up the UI once.
- Cards have numerous options to configure how your data is presented.
- Themes; even at a per card basis.
- Ability to override names and icons of entities.
- Custom Cards from our amazing community are fully supported.
In case you’re reading this and want to give it a try right now: we’ve updated the Home Assistant demo. It now features multiple Lovelace configuration examples. The demo is fully interactive, including the configuration UI (accessible via the menu in the top right). You can also access it by updating to Home Assistant 0.86.
For a deep dive into all the new features, check out the latest episode of the Home Assistant podcast, featuring an interview with Zack Arnett from the Lovelace team.
For an overview of all the different features, check out the Lovelace documentation.
1: If you prefer to write your Dashboard config in YAML, Home Assistant also includes an optional YAML mode.
Migrating to Lovelace
You have to do… nothing! If not configured, Lovelace will use the same algorithm to built-up the UI as the old UI did.
With Lovelace we’ve built a foundation that not only provides a lean and sleek interface, but will also allow us to add many new exciting features in the future. The main difference with the old UI is that we no longer store any UI concerns in the state machine.
When Home Assistant was started, I came up with an algorithm that would automatically organize the available entities in badges, cards and tabs; and then show that on the screen. Users demanded more influence; so over time, we’ve added a bunch of components and features of the backend whose main or sole purpose were to influence how the algorithm in the UI shows and organizes entities.
As this kept growing, I realized that we were on the wrong path. It was impossible to get an algorithm that would fulfill all needs and the backend shouldn’t be aware of anything in the frontend. It should just deliver the entities and the frontend should figure out how to display things together with the user.
At the same time as this was happening, we also had some discussions about the development of the frontend. Users wanted more control on what is shown, when it’s shown and how it’s shown. Eventually, @andrey-git came up with Custom UI for the old interface. This allowed users to do whatever they wanted. However, it was limited to power users.
Lovelace was built from the start to tackle these problems. The initial version completely dropped the algorithm and required users to add each card to their configuration. We went from a fully automatic UI to nothing. We launched it under the nomer “experimental UI” and it quickly gained traction. People loved the control and the ability to inject custom cards or entity rows at will.
The enthusiasm was great among our power users, however by switching away from an automatic UI, we were no longer beginner-friendly. A new user would open Home Assistant and they would see a blank, unconfigured UI. We realized that this had to be solved if we were to make Lovelace the default.
To solve this, we re-introduced our automatic algorithm. However, this time the algorithm generates a Lovelace configuration. If a user doesn’t like the automatic configuration, they can take control and configure it to their liking. When you take control, the automatic generated configuration will no longer be updated by Home Assistant, allowing the user to change each detail.
To make configuring your UI as easy as possible, Lovelace UI allows (custom) cards to include a config editor. This way the user will be able to quickly edit a card while a live preview shows how the changes look. If a card does not include an editor (yet), the user will be presented with a text editor in the browser.
Because of the ease to customize and share customizations, we’ve already seen a big community get created around Lovelace. They are very active in the #lovelace channel on our chat, and work is shared on ShareTheLove.io and the Lovelace section on Awesome HA.
Lovelace UI has been 8 months in the making and it has been a big undertaking. We’ve worked hard and are proud of being able to ship this first version. Lovelace UI would not have been possible without the following current and former members of the Lovelace team:
- @balloob / Paulus Schoutsen
- @bramkragten / Bram Kragten
- @ciotlosm / Marius Ciotloș
- @iantrich / Ian Richardson
- @jeradM / Jerad Meisner
- @thomasloven / Thomas Lovén
- @zsarnett / Zack Arnett
I also want to thank the community for adopting this so eagerly, building a ton of helpful tooling and examples and helping one another to create beautiful UIs for their homes.
The transition to Lovelace should be painless for most users. If you are encountering issues, please let us know. For the time being, you will be able to still change back to the old user interface on a per-device basis by going to the info developer tool and following the instructions.