|Training course on personal home automation - Chapter 8|
Final management tools
How to choose a personale HUB
Here it is, the page more important of all inDomus.
The HUB personal, therefore, that is the keystone in a personal home automation of real value, structured, flexible, worth the investment you make proover time.
If you have read the previous dedicated pages to the basics the time has come to shed light on the reality that motivates the existence of this site and its educational purposes: existence of operational realities (software o hardware) adoptable in probefore they act as "Automation plants (HUB)": From here on we will call them
For some years the lively international Open Source community has given birth to several projets, all of great value, such as to allow anyone to equip themselves (for free) of one or more personal HUBfor the profirst home automation. In parallel, some promanufacturers have defined hardware solutions (for a fee) with the same purpose.
That of a personale HUB is to harmonize, in a single environment and in a single interface, very different devices, above all if made by prodifferent drivers. A single one bridge for all our home automation.
Il proBlema, as explained above, is that the adoption of different domotic components, of prodifferent manufacturers, with different compatibility certifications (such as Appthe HomeKits, Google Home, Amazon Alexa etc.) they create a domotic environment that is anything but integrated and harmonious: the lamp of the room the control with that app, the room air conditioner with another but maybe does not work with my wife's smartphone, the sprinkler that I vocally control with Amazon Alexa but not with Siri, and so on.
Technology it must simplify life, don't complicate it.
The personal HUBaddress and solve precisely this proBlema. Designed in modular logic, the HUB are personal solutions that can be enriched with additional components - typically free - which allow accessories, sensors, devices, components of different nature to interact with each other, independently from proproducer and technology, thus making them controllable and orchestrable through a single operating environment, typically manageable via web or through the final management tools described in the previous chapter.
Furthermore, the adoption of these HUB allows, in many cases, to make domotic something that, by itself, would not be, without making it necessary to replace it with a more modern component. But we'll get to this by degrees.
The enormous value in the introduction of a personale HUB in the prothen domotica:
- in equipping of a single harmonious environment at which to check any component present in home automation - even different ones productors and different basic technologies;
- in automating the functionnamento of domotics, making interact different devices that natively could not do it;
- in checking remotely domotics using a single "bridge";
- often able to make domotic what it would not be.
Let's start with the analysis (and opportunities) with respect to those who own at least one device AppiOS (iPhone / iPad) and anyway devices only Apple.
Apple, as explained in the previous chapter, has equipped itself with what is - currently - a very valid home automation management environment, or Appthe HomeKits. It is neither a matter of fans nor of particular love towards the brand of bitten apple: it is a simple fact. Appobjectively the only big player to have, so far, endeavored to do so.
Apple HomeKit exposes a set of accessories currently unmatched by other players both in terms of functionality and in terms of completeness and ease of use. Furthermore, the centrality of theapp"Home" (or "Home") allows users to manage and automate all compatible devices AppHomeKits from a single environment.
Tale applation is in effect a central automation.
Il proproblem is however in the presence or absence of the HomeKit certification in the various domotic components present on the market.
The devices compatible with this standard are still relatively few and, above all, many may already have sensors, actuators and home automation devices NO compatible HomeKit - especially if economic - but fully functional and adequate for their specific purpose, at least if driven by them appns.
The answer is Homebridge. This prodeveloper's cast Nick Farina allows you to create a HUB HomeKit compatible staff who, opportunameconfigured (via the many additional plugins available), allows us to integrate most of the prohome automation products available on the market NO natively compatible with HomeKit.
Outcome: I have an iPhone / iPad /Mac, I give myself a Homebridge, I configure it and so control (and above all I automate) all my personal home automation through a single, very simple app"House" of Appthe iOS.
|Nb. In reality we have so far said that i personal HUBthey are central automation, or where the logic of management and automation (as well as control) resides: this is why in reality refer to HOMEBRIDGE How personale HUB is improprio. Homebridge it is in fact more a BRIDGE/Gateway that a central automation: logic, automation, remote control live inside theapp "Home" present on each AppiPhones and iPads. HOMEBRIDGE it allows to convey to the latter components not natively supported by "Casa" as not certified HomeKit. It does much more, actually: it allows, through some additional elements, to domotize non-domotic components and make them indirectly compatible with HomeKit.|
That said, for simplicity we will consider HOMEBRIDGE un personale HUB.
Unfortunately, however, as we will see in the prossima and last card of this journey, the adoption of Homebridge it's not all roses anymore as at the beginning of this projet.
Non-WorldApple (or mixed)
If they own themselves final management tools of different types (Computer, or Tablet and Android Smartphone), the solutions are the most disparate, but we will mention three:
- Home Assistant
These three free software solutions are equivalent in functionality: they are all three BRIDGE modular (can be enriched with additional components / plugins for the same purposes described above) in addition to being "Automation central", because they allow you to configure, appgrease, the domotic automatisms that, in the case of the use of HomeKit / Homebridge, are decentralized on theapp"House" indication of Appthem.
I am therefore true e proprio HUB personal.
All three have a web interface and a appdedicated licenses (both Android and iOS) for local and / or remote control of home automation. Finally, they are compatible with the major Smart Speakers.
Home Assistant and maybe the best known and the most apprezzed between HUB personal. This software brings with it a large number of additional components (the complete list is available here). It is not overly complex to install / configure and is - despite being not the most mature - the absolutely recommended solution. This is a very valuable tool that is worth considering for profirst home automation. It has a frenetic pace of evolution, which places it at the top of inDomus preferences.
If "mixed" final management tools are used, a big point in favor of Home Assistant is also in native integration towards Appthe HomeKits: the entities defined on Home Assistant they can in fact be conveyed towards theapp "House of Appthe. This means allowing you to control the profirst home automation either through theapp "Home Assistant Companion"(The excellent one app dedicated mobile) and via HomeKit (without the need for Homebridge).
openHAB is another tool on the same level - but superior in maturity - of Home Assistant. It also has a very large basket of components / plugins available to expand the possibilities (see list), but turns out to be more complex to configure compared to Home Assistant, which is equivalent in terms of functionality.
In utimo, Domoticz it is a similar solution to the first two, but thanks to the minor interest of the Open Source community it is less supported and has fewer additional components useful for its expansion. It remains a good alternative solution to the previous two.
How to make yourself personal HUBsoftware
A computer, you need a computer.
To acquire one or more personal HUB(usually one is installed, but no one forbids to implement more than one) it is in fact necessary to have a true e proyour computer connected to the home network on which to install the necessary software from case to case and which, always on, provides the domotic functions involved in the matter.
But there is a but. Keep a traditional h24 computer turned on it costs a lot, in terms of energy. Notwithstanding that the solutions listed above allow the installation also on computer Windows, Apple Mac or Linux, that kind of implementation is to be considered only for experimental purposes, because in everyday use this would be an approeconomically unsustainable.
To implement an operational home automation, it is necessary to find an economically sustainable solution, and it is here that the - God bless him - comes into play. Raspberry Pi.
In short, Raspberry Pi is a low-cost microcomputer (around 30 €) and low energy absorption (less than 10 watts / h) able to connect to the network and allow constant execution of personal HUBdetails mentioned above, as well as dozens of other features. It is recommended to read This Page to find out more about this irreplaceable component.
For those who do not want to tackle the challenging road anyway - although at 99% it is all a matter of willingness - to achieve in probefore installing a personal HUBsoftware, turnkey, hardware, paid, solutions are available to help you achieve the same results as above, with the advantage appto get everything right away.
One of the most popular solutions on the market is that of the Dutch Athom: HOMEY is a white sphere equipped with everything necessary to integrate the profirst personal home automation. Once purchased and carried out its initial installation, it is possible - profirst as a HUB software - start installing free modular elements called "Apps "such as to integrate the domotic components already in proown possession, as well as those to come.