Win A Free Xiaomi Smart Home Kit from Smart-Home Hobby: ENDED

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER, Will G! I've really enjoyed learning about this Smart-Home stuff and sharing it with all of you on this blog. Being able to control devices is a great first step, but adding sensors really changes the game. I've had a great time showing all of you how to start your own … Continue reading Win A Free Xiaomi Smart Home Kit from Smart-Home Hobby: ENDED

Up Your Smart-Home Game, on the cheap, with the Xiaomi Aqara Gateway & Home Assistant

In my search to add sensors to my budget Smart-Home set up, I wanted to find something that was affordable, easy to use, and had a good build quality. I thought about Z-Wave but the start up cost was off-putting. A Z-Wave stick and a couple of sensors would easily set me back $100. Plus, dropping … Continue reading Up Your Smart-Home Game, on the cheap, with the Xiaomi Aqara Gateway & Home Assistant

How I Connected My Smartwatch To My Smart-Home

Shortly after I got my inexpensive set up figured out, I realized I wanted more! Being on a tight budget, I wanted to find things that I already owned that I could piece into my Smart-Home. Enter the Pebble Time Smartwatch. This watch is one of my favorite pieces of technology that I own. I … Continue reading How I Connected My Smartwatch To My Smart-Home

Custom Alexa Skills & Launch Requests In Home Assistant

The information in this post is outdated. The Alexa skill editor shown here, is no longer used. Using Alexa to control my stuff is probably the closest thing to using magic as I'll ever get. You've got to get the "incantation" right or it won't work. Luckily, we can write our own by creating our … Continue reading Custom Alexa Skills & Launch Requests In Home Assistant

Home Assistant Scripts – 2 Ways

A script is a sequence of actions that takes place when the script is activated. When turned on, they run through their sequence of actions, then turn themselves off. Just like customizing entities and automations, scripts can be created and edited using either the .yaml files or with the Script editor in the Configuration tab … Continue reading Home Assistant Scripts – 2 Ways

Home Assistant Automations – 2 Ways

"Smart-Home" and "Home Automation" are terms that seem to be used interchangeably often, though they really shouldn't be. A Smart-Home is the all encompassing term for the home system that is connected to the devices in the house. It can be controlled using direct control, like using your smartphone, voice, or buttons. Home Automation is … Continue reading Home Assistant Automations – 2 Ways

Encrypt Home Assistant With Let’s Encrypt

You've made it this far, you're almost there. Time to secure your Smart-Home devices. This is really easy with Let's Encrypt . This is a free automated service that provides Free SSL/TLS Certificates. This keeps your traffic safe. Forward Ports 80 and 443 Lets Encrypt Add On Forward Port 8123 to 443 Forward Ports 80 and … Continue reading Encrypt Home Assistant With Let’s Encrypt

Remotely Access Home Assistant – Port Forwarding & DuckDNS

Home Assistant is pretty easy to configure for remote access. Using a service, like DuckDNS you can create a personalized URL to connect to your Smart-Home set-up. This will only take a couple of steps. Forward port 8123 Create a domain using DuckDNS. Set a password. Some info before we get started: Your internet service provider … Continue reading Remotely Access Home Assistant – Port Forwarding & DuckDNS

Snapshots – Home Assistant Backups

Now that you've got your system started, now would be a good time to make a backup of it. This can be done from the Hass.io tab. You can see here, I have an update waiting. I recommend always making a backup before updating. From the Hass.io tab, select "Snapshots." Simply name your backup file … Continue reading Snapshots – Home Assistant Backups

Voice Control With Alexa

The last step to setting up a starter Smart-Home is voice control. I was given an Echo Dot last year for Christmas. It was the item that stirred my interest in Smart-Home technology. It is also very easy to connect to Home Assistant.   If your budget won't cover an Echo Dot, there are other … Continue reading Voice Control With Alexa