My transition to Home Assistant (Yep. It's true.)
I finally did it. I moved a while ago from completely running on HomeKit (Using HomeBridge) to Home Assistant. And there's a good reason for..
This question is actually pretty easy to answer: I have no idea. Really. (JK)
My friend Marco tried to convince me a couple of times (For almost a year now ^^) and also my boss at cloud37 tried to convince me in some way to do the transition.
Marco for example showed me things I could not do with HomeKit such as Dashboards and some cool automations, I can't do with HomeKit at all. Even with the huge load of apps that offer new functionalities for automations or workflows, it is simply not possible to get the freedom of automate everything you like.
In the end it was an easy decision.
Especially since I wanted to share the whole thing with my girlfriend and she wouldn't have had the opportunity to do so with HomeKit because she doesn't use an iPhone.
How did I make the transition to Home Assistant? Oh that was a long road.. It took quite a bit of planning to make sure I could replicate all the integrations and automations.
A big advantage here is the web interface to build automations. This helps enormously when creating automations or routines. And if I want to be really nerdy, I can do the whole thing with YAML in an editor.
Home Assistant offers a number of advantages over HomeKit when it comes to automation. So I can easily fire automations just once a day. With HomeKit I would have to build a script in the Shortcuts app for this. I don't need that with HA.
And I can even use all my devices without any problems. Sometimes even better than with HomeKit.
Dashboards, dashboards, dashboards.
Compared to HomeKit, Home Assistant offers the option of building dashboards.
For example, I decided to build a shared dashboard for me and my girlfriend, which is easy for us to use and provides all the important information we would like to have about the day.
I created individual rooms to better manage the entities in each room, to have an overview of values such as temperature, humidity and light (but sometimes others too...) and of course to control them.
So I attached an Aqara temperature sensor to the wall in each room to get the respective values.
Every single light source in my apartment is smart and can be controlled centrally.
Of course, automations should not be missing in a sensible smart home. Not in mine either. I've created some automations and of course I'm far from done with them.
So I have an automation running on weekdays that tracks my working hours when I'm sitting at my desk.
This is triggered when the vibration sensor under the desk detects movement for the first time between two specific times. Then a virtual switch is activated and an API call to Timetrack (our time tracking) is fired via Node-Red.
But I also have some automations running in the bedroom that make my everyday life easier (or make me extremely lazy :-D).
I placed two car seat sensors under my topper in bed, which are integrated into Home Assistant with an ESP32 via ESPHome and recognize when someone is lying in bed. (Thanks to @flotomation on Instagram!)
If someone is in bed, the blinds in the bedroom are lowered, the light behind the bed is dimmed to 30% and the socket strips go out if I don't need certain sockets overnight.
When I get out of bed in the morning, these steps are reversed.
There are almost endless possibilities for automations that can be brought into Home Assistant.
My conclusion so far
Home Assistant is the system for me when it comes to smart homes.
Of course, the current status of my smart home does not represent all the options that are available.
But I will continue to expand my smart home over time and report about it in my blog.