This article about home automation with a Raspberry Pi is probably the best one I saw on how to do something different than just switch on lights from your cellphone in the field of Raspberry Pi home automation.
Electronichamsters is a dog lover and a few years ago when he became a dog owner he doesn’t want to put his dog in a kennel during the day and watching him on a webcam wasn’t a solution either.
The next step for him was to start reading and that leads to tinkering and that leads to this great Raspberry Pi home automation project.
You can read about the whole project here.
Why this is a great project
In electronichamsters own words (and I agree with him) here is a list of reasons why his Raspberry Pi Home Automation is a lot different than other projects.
- Cheap – each sensor node is less than $20, including the wireless transceiver.
- Flexible – I’m providing the design for wall-powered sensors as well as energy efficient battery powered sensors that can run for a year on 4xAA batteries.
- Best wireless solution – the RFM69HW in this project is energy efficient and has great range. Many other wireless solutions make compromises. Bluetooth is energy efficient, but poor range. Wifi has ok range, but can’t be battery powered for a year.
- Attractive and secure user interface – the OpenHAB UI is available as a mobile app (Android and iPhone), but is also accessible through any web browser. And the communication between the display device and the Raspberry Pi is done using encryption and authentication. So your home automation system stays private. It’s also pretty easy to use considering the sophistication and features.
- Controls commercial products: If you happen to have Sonos speakers, Insteon lights/plugs, or z-wave at home, you can use OpenHAB to control those devices too. OpenHAB isn’t just for this Arduino project.
- Allows you to integrate any sensor to your automation needs. Commercial home automation system might not provide the niche sensing “thing” for which you have a need, maybe because your needs are unique.