Starting with Home Assistant

Starting with Home Assistant
Photo by Stephan Bechert / Unsplash

I've had an interest in smart home automation for a while now but never really done anything about it. But now, the time is right and I have decided to setup Home Assistant and to document the process along the way. First things first, I need to install HA on a local server.

As with most things, there are plenty of different options for the hardware to use. Probably the easiest way to start would be to buy Home Assistant Green direct from Nabu Casa. It comes with Home Assistant preinstalled and ready to go for around $99 in the US.

For those who already have a server at home, you can install Home Assistant within a virtual environment such as Proxmox or Docker.

I decided to install on the Home Assistant operating system HAOS on a NUC - a small form factor x86-64 PC which typically runs quietly and using low power. I decided to buy second hand on eBay and managed to grab an i5 2.7GHz NUC with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD disk for just £65. It's not hard. Just set a maximum price and be patient!

I then installed HAOS by following the instructions here and also this YouTube video.

Once installed, you can connect up to your server in a browser on the same network by entering the URL homeassistant.local:8123.

My next post on Home Assistant will show how to setup remote access.

After that, I'll cover the initial setup and how to backup your data. I'll also connect up to a smart plug and a smart bulb.

After that I'll have a go at measuring how much power we generate (from both solar panels and our wind turbine), how much we consume and automations that make sure we don't waste energy when we are generating more than we need. This is the reason I'm so interested in Home Assistant.