A Quick Overview of Home Assistant

A Quick Overview of Home Assistant

So you’ve installed Home Assistant, now what? This software may be a little confusing at first, but with a little practice it can become very comfortable. We left off with a fresh install of Home Assistant, which discovered my Roku. This overview was updates with the releases of Hassio 0.53.

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States

  • Clicking on the icon in the top left corner reveals the menu. The show the first tab is the States tab.

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Map

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  • Home Assistant can be configured to track people, items, and cars, depending on your needs. The whole system can be personalized based on what you want to set up.

Logbook

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  • The Logbook section is pretty self explanatory, it keeps a log of what has occurred in Home Assistant.

History

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  • The History tab shows the states of your entities along a timeline.

Configuration

Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 1.54.04 PMThis is a new tab with the introduction of Hass.io, the installer that was just used.

  • The General tab will let you check your configuration. This is very important. If your configuration is invalid and Home Assistant is resarted or stopped, you will not be able to access the webpage.
  • The Customization tab is where the Customize editor can be found. Here you can update any possible entity customizations.
  • The Automation tab can help you get started with automations. Automations use triggers like the time or a button press to begin a task, like having the lights turn on in the morning.
  • Scripts run tasks that you create. When I go to bed, I use a bedtime script that turns on the lamp and fan in my bedroom, turns off the living room, then waits 2 minutes and shuts off the living room lamp.
  • Scripts and Automations make Home Assistant very powerful in terms of options.

Hass.io

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  • The Hass.io tab is what makes Hass.io so special. Add-ons, prior to Hass.io, required running command line and a whole other set of skills in order to use Home Assistant. This is a big push in the right direction to get more users.
  • Many add-ons are already available for Hass.io, and many more are being created and added all the time. There is bound to be some transition time as developers make their add-ons compatible with Hass.io.

Services

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  • The first section amongst the Developer Tools is Services.
  • This area will let you test actions after you have some devices set up.

States

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  • The States section of the Developer Tools is where you can find all of your connected devices and services.
  • It shows their current state as well as a list of attributes for each entity.
  • You can also manually change the state of an entity here.

Events

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  • You can fire events from the Events section of the Developer Tools.
  • This is another place you can test things. Personally, I have yet to use this section.

Templates

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  • The Templates section shows how to use templates to interact with Home Assistant’s data.
  • This is cool, but not necessary to know to get started. Don’t let all of the quotes and {} scare you.

About

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  • The About section shows what version of Home Assistant you are running and is also one of the ways you can read the error log.

 

Home Assistant is a continuously growing piece of software developed by a bunch of awesome people. It is not perfect, but can work very well. Occasionally you’ll run into weird hiccups or devices that won’t connect. This is okay. Most of the time rebooting the Raspberry Pi will fix any small issues. If you run into any larger issues, you can reach out to the Home Assistant Community for help.

Next, you’ll learn how to configure your devices.

If these guides have been helpful to you , please share them! If you have any questions, please reach out to me in the comments. Thanks for visiting!

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