Concepts and terminology


Now you’re in Home Assistant, let’s look at the most important concepts.

Integrations

Integrations are pieces of software that allow Home Assistant to connect to other software and platforms. For example, a product by Philips called Hue would use the Philips Hue integrationIntegrations connect and integrate Home Assistant with your devices, services, and more.
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and allow Home Assistant to talk to the hardware controller Hue Bridge. Any Home Assistant compatible devicesA device is a model representing a physical or logical unit that contains entities. connected to the Hue Bridge would appear in Home Assistant as devices.

Integrations

For a full list of compatible integrationsIntegrations connect and integrate Home Assistant with your devices, services, and more.
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, refer to the integrations documentation.

Once an integrationIntegrations connect and integrate Home Assistant with your devices, services, and more.
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has been added, the hardware and/or data are represented in Home Assistant as devices and entities.

Entities

Entities are the basic building blocks to hold data in Home Assistant. An entityAn entity represents a sensor, actor, or function in Home Assistant. Entities are used to monitor physical properties or to control other entities. An entity is usually part of a device or a service.
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represents a sensorSensors return information about a thing, for instance the level of water in a tank.
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, actor, or function in Home Assistant. Entities are used to monitor physical properties or to control other entitiesAn entity represents a sensor, actor, or function in Home Assistant. Entities are used to monitor physical properties or to control other entities. An entity is usually part of a device or a service.
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. An entityAn entity represents a sensor, actor, or function in Home Assistant. Entities are used to monitor physical properties or to control other entities. An entity is usually part of a device or a service.
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is usually part of a deviceA device is a model representing a physical or logical unit that contains entities. or a serviceA service carries out one specific task, for example: turn on the light in the living room. A service has targets and data and can be called by actions, a dashboard, or via voice command.
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. Entities have statesThe state holds the information of interest of an entity, for example, if a light is on or off. Each entity has exactly one state and the state only holds one value at a time. However, entities can store attributes related to that state such as brightness, color, or a unit of measurement.
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.

Devices

Devices are a logical grouping for one or more entitiesAn entity represents a sensor, actor, or function in Home Assistant. Entities are used to monitor physical properties or to control other entities. An entity is usually part of a device or a service.
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. A deviceA device is a model representing a physical or logical unit that contains entities. may represent a physical deviceA device is a model representing a physical or logical unit that contains entities. , which can have one or more sensors. The sensors appear as entities associated with the deviceA device is a model representing a physical or logical unit that contains entities. . For example, a motion sensor is represented as a deviceA device is a model representing a physical or logical unit that contains entities. . It may provide motion detection, temperature, and light levels as entitiesAn entity represents a sensor, actor, or function in Home Assistant. Entities are used to monitor physical properties or to control other entities. An entity is usually part of a device or a service.
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. Entities have states such as detected when motion is detected and clear when there is no motion.

Home Assistant device

Devices and entities are used throughout Home Assistant. To name a few examples:

  • Dashboards can show a state of an entityAn entity represents a sensor, actor, or function in Home Assistant. Entities are used to monitor physical properties or to control other entities. An entity is usually part of a device or a service.
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    . For example, if a light is on or off.
  • An automation can be triggered from a state change on an entityAn entity represents a sensor, actor, or function in Home Assistant. Entities are used to monitor physical properties or to control other entities. An entity is usually part of a device or a service.
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    . For example, a motion sensor entity detects motion and triggers a light to turn on.
  • A predefined color and brightness setting for a light saved as a scene.

Home Assistant device

Automations

A set of repeatable actionsActions are used in several places in Home Assistant. As part of a script or automation, actions define what is going to happen once a trigger is activated. In scripts, an action is called sequence.
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that can be set up to run automatically. Automations are made of three key components:

  1. Triggers - events that start an automationAutomations in Home Assistant allow you to automatically respond to things that happen in and around your home.
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    . For example, when the sun sets or a motion sensor is activated.
  2. Conditions - optional tests that must be met an actionActions are used in several places in Home Assistant. As part of a script or automation, actions define what is going to happen once a trigger is activated. In scripts, an action is called sequence.
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    can be run. For example, if someone is home.
  3. Actions - interact with devicesA device is a model representing a physical or logical unit that contains entities. such as turn on a light.

To learn the basics about automationsAutomations in Home Assistant allow you to automatically respond to things that happen in and around your home.
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, refer to the automation basics page or try creating an automation yourself.

Automations

Scripts

Similar to automationsAutomations in Home Assistant allow you to automatically respond to things that happen in and around your home.
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, scripts are repeatable actionsActions are used in several places in Home Assistant. As part of a script or automation, actions define what is going to happen once a trigger is activated. In scripts, an action is called sequence.
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that can be run. The difference between scriptsScripts are components that allow users to specify a sequence of actions to be executed by Home Assistant when turned on.
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and automationsAutomations in Home Assistant allow you to automatically respond to things that happen in and around your home.
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is that scriptsScripts are components that allow users to specify a sequence of actions to be executed by Home Assistant when turned on.
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do not have triggers. This means that scriptsScripts are components that allow users to specify a sequence of actions to be executed by Home Assistant when turned on.
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cannot automatically run unless they are used in an automationsAutomations in Home Assistant allow you to automatically respond to things that happen in and around your home.
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. Scripts are particularly useful if you perform the same actionsActions are used in several places in Home Assistant. As part of a script or automation, actions define what is going to happen once a trigger is activated. In scripts, an action is called sequence.
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in different automationsAutomations in Home Assistant allow you to automatically respond to things that happen in and around your home.
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or trigger them from a dashboard. For information on how to create scriptsScripts are components that allow users to specify a sequence of actions to be executed by Home Assistant when turned on.
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, refer to the scripts documentation.

Scripts

Scenes

Scenes allow you to create predefined settings for your devicesA device is a model representing a physical or logical unit that contains entities. . Similar to a driving mode on phones, or driver profiles in cars, it can change an environment to suit you. For example, your watching films sceneScenes capture the states you want certain entities to be. For example, a scene can specify that light A should be turned on and light B should be bright red.
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may dim the lighting, switch on the TV and increase its volume. This can be saved as a sceneScenes capture the states you want certain entities to be. For example, a scene can specify that light A should be turned on and light B should be bright red.
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and used without having to set individual devicesA device is a model representing a physical or logical unit that contains entities. every time.

To learn how to use scenesScenes capture the states you want certain entities to be. For example, a scene can specify that light A should be turned on and light B should be bright red.
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, refer to the scene documentation.

Scenes

Add-ons

Depending on your installation type, you can install third party add-ons. Add-ons are usually apps that can be run with Home Assistant but provide a quick and easy way to install, configure, and run within Home Assistant. Add-ons provide additional functionality whereas integrationsIntegrations connect and integrate Home Assistant with your devices, services, and more.
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connect Home Assistant to other apps.

Add-ons

Edit the dashboard