Home Assistant is an open source home automation system that allows you to use a wide range of devices and services to automate your home, all from a single interface.
This is where I keep my notes on how to configure Home Assistant.
There are 2 ways of installing Home Assistant: Container and Home Assistant OS.
Container is much more portable as you can run it inside a docker container. However, it requires you to install any services separately, whereas in Home Assistant OS these can be installed as part of installing Plugins. Home Assistant OS is usually installed directly on the hardware.
My setup consists of an Unraid server that runs the Container version alongside various other services.
Services are tools that can be installed and deployed separately. I'll commonly refer to
applications that are installed in their own docker images as services, (e.g. InfluxDB, Grafana,
Zigbee2MQTT etc.). Many services have a dedicated web interface, but can also be integrated with
HomeAssistant by using
These are the services I use in my setup.
|HomeAssistant||Home automation system|
|HA Cloud (Nabu Casa)||Secure remote access to Home Assistant (needed for Google Assistant, Alexa etc.)|
|InfluxDB||Time series database|
|Zigbee2MQTT||Zigbee to MQTT bridge|
I'll refer to functionality that you can install inside the Home Assistant docker container as integrations. They work as part of the Home Assistant executable and may connect to - and make use of - services to offer their functionality.
These are the integrations I use in my setup.
|Backup||Backup Home Assistant|
|MQTT||Read/write to Mosquitto|
|Tasmota||Interact with Tasmota devices|
|HACS||Home Assistant Community Store|
|UniFi Network||Monitor network hardware (like PoE ports)|
|UniFi Protect||Access to security (like cameres)|
To connect your devices to Home Assistant, you need networking capabilities. I use a combination of (powered) Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Zigbee. I've thought about leaving zigbee away entirely in favour of Wi-Fi, but I've learned that connecting too many devices to Wi-Fi can cause issues.
- Ubiquiti UniFi U6 LR (Access Point)
- SONOFF Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus V2 (ZBDongle-E)
There's also Z-Wave, which is a similar technology to Zigbee, but its downside is that it uses different frequencies in different countries.
These are the devices I've adopted into my home. For some of them I've described the installation process.