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Home Automation: Home Assistant or Someone's Cloud (Google, etc.)?

Home Automation: Home Assistant or Someone's Cloud (Google, etc.)?

Home Assistant vs. Google Home (and other cloud providers)

Home Assistant excels in the following

  • Privacy
  • Control of your own data and devices
  • Highly-customizable automations
  • Integration of the widest variety of smart devices
  • Local control in the event of an Internet outage
  • Making a home that's more inclusive of individuals of all ability levels

Google Home (and some other cloud providers) excels in the following:

  • Voice control (although voice control can be added to Home Assistant)
  • Overall simplicity of installation, with limited or non-existent automation

Here are some examples gleaned from the Internet of automations possible with Home Assistant, most of which would not be possible with cloud-based automation providers

  • Using a light sensor in a window to turn on specific lights when the light level drops below a certain level.
  • When Home Assistant detects a family member's phone arriving in the vicinity of home and a separate light sensor is below a certain level, it turns on the pathway and porch lights.
  • If a child's phone is present at home at a specific time on specific days, a smart speaker verbally reminds the child to start getting ready for school, to take their medication, to brush their teeth, etc.
  • If motion is detected in a bedroom after a specific time and no motion is detected in other non-bedroom areas of the house, slowly dims and turns off lights in the rest of the house, closes the garage door if it is open, and slowly starts dimming the light in the bedroom over a period of 15 minutes.
  • Monitors the weather forecast and disables the sprinklers if there is rain in the near-term forecast.
  • Cross-referencing sensor history with security cameras to quickly pull up any events of interest (like verifying the FedEx guy did indeed drop off the package and a porch pirate didn't steal it).
  • Send a phone a reminder when the garage door has been left open for a specific period of time
  • Turn on the walkway lights at sunset and dim them to 1%. If motion is detected near the walkway, ramp them up to 100% over 1 second. One minute after motion ends, dim them back to 1%. Turn them off at sunrise.
  • Turn off the sprinklers when a family member's phone arrives home. Turn the sprinklers back on for the remainder of the schedule when one of the doors are opened and closed again.
  • When it is after sunrise and before sunset and it is warmer outside than it is inside, close the windows and curtains.

Basically, if you can imagine it, you can make it with Home Assistant!

Previous article Step-by-Step Guide: Installing Home Assistant on the ODROID-M1

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