Perfect Home Automation

five minutes reading time

People often ask me about my vision for Home Assistant. Before I can describe where I want to go with Home Assistant, I should first talk about how home automation would look in my ideal world. This will be the aim of this post. I’m not going to focus on protocols, networks or specific hubs. That’s all implementation details. Instead, this post will focus on what is most important: the interaction between the users and their home.

You should not have to adapt to technology.

When people start using home automation, they always experience home control first: being able to control devices in new ways using a phone or computer. They believe the future is now and their app will be their remote for their lives. They only focus on what they are getting, not on what they are losing. You install some light bulbs and all of a sudden you are no longer able to use the light switches. You’ll arrive at home at night and have to pull out your phone, open the app, let it connect and finally you’ll be able to turn on the light. All while turning the light on could have been a switch away.

Yes, you can solve this with presence detection. What if your phone runs out of battery? You’ll have to resort to the switch again.

If you find that using your new home devices is cumbersome, the promise of home automation technology has failed you. Your lights should work with both a switch (or button) at the entrance of your room and via presence detection. Honestly, there are hardly any valid use cases for being able to control lights from your phone except for showing off.

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0.11: Extended support for DIY solutions

two minutes reading time

First release of 2016 and we are on 🔥! The main repository has passed 2500 ⭐ on GitHub (2596 ⭐ as of now). This release also has a record number of 20 contributors all working on improving and extending Home Assistant. With the continued growth, I am very excited to see what 2016 will bring us 🤘.

Backwards incompatible changes

0.10: Amazon Echo, iCloud,, Twitch and templating support!

two minutes reading time

Alrighty, it’s time for Home Assistant 0.10. A lot amazing things have changed and sadly we also had to introduce a bunch of backwards incompatible changes. I would like to give a big shoutout to Philip Lundrigan (@philipbl) who put a lot in effort in helping the migration to move towards using templates for a wide variety of platforms.

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Set up encryption using Let's Encrypt

four minutes reading time
The instructions in this blog post are outdated. Please have a look at the new instructions.

Exposing your Home Assistant instance outside of your network always has been tricky. You have to set up port forwarding on your router and most likely add a dynamic DNS service to work around your ISP changing your IP. After this you would be able to use Home Assistant from anywhere but there is one big red flag: no encryption.

This tutorial will take you through the steps to setup a dynamic DNS for your IP and allow trusted encrypted connection to it - for free using DuckDNS and Let’s Encrypt.

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Activating Tasker tasks from Home Assistant using command line switches

three minutes reading time
In this tutorial I will explain how you can activate Tasker tasks from Home Assistant command line switches. We are going to set up a switch that when toggled will make your Android device say either "On" or "Off".

You could also do this with the automation component instead so whenever you put your house to sleep mode for example your Android device will open up Google Play Books or the Kindle app ready for you to read as well as dimming your lights, but this tutorial is all about the switches.

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InfluxDB and Grafana

two minutes reading time

The InfluxDB database is a so-called time series database primarily designed to store sensor data and real-time analytics.

The influxdb component makes it possible to transfer all state changes from Home Assistant to an external InfluxDB database.

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0.9: Rollershutters, locks, binary sensors and InfluxDB

Less than one minute reading time

It’s been a few weeks but we managed to polish a nice new release of Home Assistant for y’all!

To update, run pip3 install --upgrade homeassistant.

Community Highlights

Less than one minute reading time

From time to time we come along things that are worth sharing with fellow Home Assisters. Here a list of some cool stuff from last week:

First is the public beta of Let’s Encrypt. Let’s Encrypt is a new certificate authority that is free, automated and open. This means that it will now be very easy to secure your connection to Home Assistant while you are away from home. W1ll1am23 has written up a guide how to get started.

The next thing is a show-off of some of the cool stuff people do with Home Assistant. This is miniconfig talking to Home Assistant using the Amazon Echo!

And last but not least, Midwestern Mac did a microSD card performance comparison for the Raspberry Pi. If you’re using a Pi, make sure to check it out!

Survey November 2015

two minutes reading time

Around a week ago we started with the first survey. Now 30 people have participated. Thank you very much if you did. We think that’s enough time to have some “only partially representative” data. It’s hard to tell how many Home Assistant users are out there. Currently there are 215 members on our Discord chat server and last week PyPI counted 5063 downloads.

The idea was to anonymously collect some details about the usage of the different parts of Home Assistant and a little bit about the environment its running in.

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