Easy Alexa Notifications from Home Assistant

At this point, I'm all in with the Alexa ecosystem.  Amazon announced Alexa notifications in September last year and I haven't used it much. The built in notifications for deliveries were not super useful. I would get an email, Android notification, AND an Alexa notification for each delivery; and I usually found the delivery before … Continue reading Easy Alexa Notifications from Home Assistant

The Xiaomi Robot Vacuum, Home Assistant, and Alexa

**This post will cover setting the Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum up to work with Home Assistant. If you don't use Home Assistant and want to control your vacuum with only your Alexa device, go here.** I recently splurged and got myself a robot vacuum and I think it's been the best purchase I've made in … Continue reading The Xiaomi Robot Vacuum, Home Assistant, and Alexa

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The information in this post is outdated.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

Organize and Customize Home Assistant

Organize By default, Home Assistant will show all of your devices and services in the default view. You can change this from within the groups.yaml file on the server. Open your groups file in Visual Studio Code and you'll find a blank slate to work with. Let's start by grouping up some items. Here is a … Continue reading Organize and Customize Home Assistant

Configuring – The Home Assistant Learning Curve

The Home Assistant page we just looked at would be considered the front end. This is the part you interact with. Currently, Home Assistant does not have a built-in way to configure the files from the front end. In order to configure you devices, you will have to connect to Home Assistant as a server … Continue reading Configuring – The Home Assistant Learning Curve