Home Assistant - 2020 top tips and best compatible device buys

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Posted 6th Jun
Thought I'd try starting a discussion around the best tips for Home Assistant for both newbies and power users. Also as this is HUKD, the best compatible devices and any deals going on them.

I'm not new to home automation, having been a SmartThings user for a couple of years now, but I'm just now starting to move to HA instead. Part of the reason is because I have a lot of Xiaomi sensors which seem to be easier to keep paired with HA, and also I want to move away from reliance on the cloud and 3rd party hubs.

Although the HA forums are full of good and helpful info, I do find that it can be difficult finding the latest correct guidance, given changes to the software and the constant update to the add-ons. At times I've spent ages trying to figure out why something wont work, only to find out I'd been looking at an old thread where the feature or function had been deprecated or replaced.

So the point of this discussion is to bring the latest 2020 tips and advice people have.
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I've gone google around my house mainly cos the nest doorbell and nest thermostat. I have and just built around that. Added philipps hue and some plugs recently and all of it is controlled by one google home app
About 2 years ago I moved over all my sensors to HA. My lights are ikea and Hue I still use the gateways for those mainly because they were easy to setup and it works pretty well.

I have integrated a pretty decent presence detection based on connection to my ASUS router amongst other things. If all the family is out of the house the home alarm is armed.

i only use a Pi 4 With home assistant running in a python virtual environment but it seems stable enough I’m not going to bother moving it over to something else. When I first started using it everything was code based and would fall over all the time. Things are much better now.

anyway I’ve done quite a bit of it now I have a conbee for zigbee integrations, MQTT for alarm states with a control panel, LG and Bravia tv, lights, nest and ASUS. So if you need any help Give me a shout and I can look at my config.
ladiesman58907/06/2020 04:47

I've gone google around my house mainly cos the nest doorbell and nest …I've gone google around my house mainly cos the nest doorbell and nest thermostat. I have and just built around that. Added philipps hue and some plugs recently and all of it is controlled by one google home app


Ikea smart plugs pair with hue bridge £10 pop

They used 0.3 watts idle instead of 1-2 watts a typical wifi smart plugs like tuya or tplink

They also work if internet it down and also all in one app
i would love to get into HA but seems like a steep learning curve? anyone got any advice on any YT channels i could follow which would literally start from the basics? ive got a mix of automated stuff at the moment, all loosely tied to google home but the HA is something ive always wanted to go into due to its versatility.
i wish HA would go plug and play for us non tech newbies but been told it aint gonna happen. I dont even want to go complicated, just want a set up where i can cross use the cheaper switches from say xiaomi with the various different bulbs etc. its the versatility im looking for.
EN1GMA07/06/2020 12:32

i wish HA would go plug and play for us non tech newbies but been told it …i wish HA would go plug and play for us non tech newbies but been told it aint gonna happen. I dont even want to go complicated, just want a set up where i can cross use the cheaper switches from say xiaomi with the various different bulbs etc. its the versatility im looking for.


Once you get the hang of HA, it's actually not too hard. It is a fairly steep learning curve at first, but after that it's relatively easy to add new things and automations. If you're getting to the point where you're having to muck around with custom device handlers on SmartThings to get stuff to work, it's not that much of a jump initially. But then it's really more for folks who want to do more complex stuff than just being able to switch lights on and off remotely.
EN1GMA07/06/2020 12:32

i wish HA would go plug and play for us non tech newbies but been told it …i wish HA would go plug and play for us non tech newbies but been told it aint gonna happen. I dont even want to go complicated, just want a set up where i can cross use the cheaper switches from say xiaomi with the various different bulbs etc. its the versatility im looking for.



it very much is these days you link hue with the press of the button, some you just log in and link. You can build some powerful automations now just based on the UI.
Dannyrobbo07/06/2020 07:32

About 2 years ago I moved over all my sensors to HA. My lights are ikea …About 2 years ago I moved over all my sensors to HA. My lights are ikea and Hue I still use the gateways for those mainly because they were easy to setup and it works pretty well. I have integrated a pretty decent presence detection based on connection to my ASUS router amongst other things. If all the family is out of the house the home alarm is armed.i only use a Pi 4 With home assistant running in a python virtual environment but it seems stable enough I’m not going to bother moving it over to something else. When I first started using it everything was code based and would fall over all the time. Things are much better now.anyway I’ve done quite a bit of it now I have a conbee for zigbee integrations, MQTT for alarm states with a control panel, LG and Bravia tv, lights, nest and ASUS. So if you need any help Give me a shout and I can look at my config.


Home security using presence detection is what I'm trying to get working at the moment. I have Blink, revolink & canary cams, plus a mix of Xiaomi and SmartThings door and motion sensors. I have a CC2531 zigbee stick and am using zigbee2mqtt. I have geofencing based presence detection via SmarrtThings at present but I find it doesnt work that well as it takes a while to register that I've left and come back, so either the alarm sets to slowly or doesnt disarm until I'm already in the house. Ideally I'm looking to build a control panel that I can arm/disarm via keypad or fob. Right now my issue is range on the zigbee mesh. I dont have a huge house but I'm having really trouble getting everything to stay connected, even with a couple of smart plugs in the mix as routers. Did you get your Nest integrated before Google stopped letting people register for the developers accounts?
Dannyrobbo07/06/2020 13:54

it very much is these days you link hue with the press of the button, some …it very much is these days you link hue with the press of the button, some you just log in and link. You can build some powerful automations now just based on the UI.


You mean it's very much plug and play? I guess the first thing I need to do is buy a pi
EN1GMA07/06/2020 14:42

You mean it's very much plug and play? I guess the first thing I need to …You mean it's very much plug and play? I guess the first thing I need to do is buy a pi



If you can flash an image to an SD cardthe badic stuff is pretty much plug and play. I’d added hue and Ikea within about 2 Without a line of code. All of my lights integrated with their hue names etc

automations are then written completely in the UI like this.

41008427-EYq54.jpg
41008427-Lyel1.jpg
Edited by: "Dannyrobbo" 7th Jun
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