Home Assistant makes the Raspberry Pi fit for the Z-Wave world

Z-Wave components, a RaZberry module, and the free Home Assistant software make the Raspberry Pi a powerful smart home control center.

What is causing the smart home hype? Do you really need socket outlets that can be switched on by your cell phone, and if so, what is it all good for at the end of the day? Starting a Raspberry Pi project to find the answer to such questions has always proved to be a workable approach, thus far. Even if my answer to the “Do I need it?” question was, “No,” one thing is for sure, open source and Raspberry Pi can do it.

Of course, a targeted solution needs to meet a number of criteria. It should be based on standards for which sufficient numbers of different components exist, while being open source. All components need to harmonize with the Raspberry Pi, work as self-sufficient systems without any cloud contact, and avoid transmitting unnecessary data on the network. Ideally, I would want to control the whole setup in a web interface that adapts to the small format of a smartphone display.

Every home automation installation includes sensors, actuators, and a control center that evaluates everything and makes link-ups possible. Sensors and actuators not only need to be available over the counter, they should communicate with the control center wirelessly, but securely and with encryption. Rewiring the house is out of the question. Furthermore, the specifications state that the individual components must be economical and run on one battery for a long time. Last but not least, the overall solution needs to remain future-proof and expandable for many years.

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