My smart home devices

There is a nearly endless amount of smart home devices out there waiting to be used. Unfortunately not all of them are created equally. Some are good, some are just not worth their money. Here is the list of devices I am (or have been) using that I know work well together.

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Lights

Lights are maybe the easiest but also one of the most rewarding parts of a smart home. Here is my personal ultimate smart light system.

Lightbulbs

All of them worked well with Zigbee2MQTT and ZHA.

ProductLinkNotesProjects
Hue filament light bulbsAmazonlooks awesome, very warm white lightCustom ceiling lamp
Hue warm/cold white dimmable bulbsAmazonpretty simple but the color temperature change is more important than multi-color in my opinionused as a normal ceiling lamp
Tradfri bulbAmazon
IKEA DE
cheaper than the Hue version, higher base brightness & can’t be dimmed as muchused as normal ceiling lamp

LED Controller

LED strips are great for indirect lighting. Make sure to decide beforehand what you need: white/RGB/RGBW or digital (single pixel) LED strips.

ProductLinkNotesProjects
H801 RGBWW controllerAmazonflash with Tasmota for great local control over RGBWW LEDsPart of my smart light system
Wemos D1 MiniAmazonESP8266 boards with WLED is great for controlling digital LED strips like the WS2812/NeopixelCustom wardrobe lighting

Sensors

Sensors help you by collecting all the data you need for your home to become smart. They enable everything else. There are many many different kinds of sensors but I concentrate on a couple of very useful ones. There are many different kinds you can use but I am mostly focusing on Zigbee sensors. They are relatively cheap and can run for a long long time on a small coin cell battery.

ProductLinkNotesProjects
Aqara motion / brightness sensorAmazonUsed with ZHA/Zigbee2MQTT and the CC2531Part of my smart light system
Aqara temperature / humidity / pressure sensorAmazonUsed with ZHA/Zigbee2MQTT and the CC2531Used to automate my smart fan and to display the data in Grafana
Aqara door / window sensorAmazonUsed with ZHA/Zigbee2MQTT and the CC2531Used to monitor my door and for my custom wardrobe lights
Aqara water leak sensorAmazonUsed with ZHA/Zigbee2MQTT and the CC2531Used to send an alarm in case of a water leak

Buttons/Switches

App/voice control and automations are great, but sometimes you still need manual control. I prefer wireless buttons that can be placed anywhere.

ProductLinkNotesProjects
Aqara button singleAmazonwireless, runs a very long time on one small coin cell, uses Zigbee as most of my other devicesPart of my smart light system
Aqara button DoubleAmazonwireless, runs a very long time on one small coin cell, uses Zigbee as most of my other devicesPart of my smart light system

Smart home bridges / gateways

The heart of any smart home. There are a couple of bridges from companies but I prefer a DIY solution based on the Raspberry Pi. It is extendable and allows full local control. For starters the dedicated hubs/

ProductLinkNotesProjects
IKEA Tradfri GatewayAmazon
IKEA (GER)
Good system to get started if you are only looking to do some very basic control and automationsBeginner smart home system, Blinds
Raspberry Pi 4AmazonThe Pi in all its version is awesome as a small smart home server. I run a Pi 4 with CC2531 for ZigbeeCustom smart home server
CC2531 USB to Zigbee stickAmazon (preflashed)You need a custom firmware so either buy it preflashed or get a programmer too. Great cheap solution to get started with ZHA/Zigbee2MQTTZigbee2MQTT,
ZHA
Sonoff Zigbee bridgeAmazonAwesome wireless alternative to the CC2531. In my experience it has a better range and can be position anywhere in Wifi range. Need to flash TasmotaZHA

Smart speakers & smart home theater

I am mostly using Spotify to listen to my music and have a set of different devices (all supporting Spotify Connect) to stream

ProductLinkNotesProjects
Roborock S5Amazonawesome receiver for my home theater, integrated into Home Assistant and has Bluetooth, LAN, Wifi and Spotify Connect supportsmart home theater
Echo Dot Gen 2/3Amazonok sound but very cheap. Can be connected to (better) existing speakersEcho Dot upgrades
Echo Dot Gen 4AmazonBetter sound but more expensive and a bit bigger
Fire TV StickAmazonPretty cheap, simple interface with support for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube, Spotify, …
Epson EH-TW7200 projectorAmazonGreat Full HD picture with a lot of adjustability (tilt, shift …)smart home theater
Teufel Concept E 150 speakersAmazonPretty old already but they still sound great for budget speakerssmart home theater

Robots

These little helpers are awesome! I personally use robot vacuums that can also wipe the floor but I might try lawn mower and window cleaner too in the future.

ProductLinkNotesProjects
Roborock S5Amazongood App, great cleaning and relatively low price. Can be integrated into your smart home systemIntegrated into Home Assistant and OpenHab, couple of upgrades
Roborock S5 MaxAmazonnewer model with a bigger watertank and some slight improvements, also works really wellPart of my smart light system

Blinds

Automated blinds can be great for a home theater or just for comfort. I tried a couple of affordable options.

ProductLinkNotesProjects
IKEA Fyrtur blindsAmazonPretty good, no wires needed. Can be integrated with Home AssistantIntegration in ZHA & Home Assistant
Zenismart blindsAmazon
Aliexpress
Cheaper DIY alternative. These can control any existing blinds with a chain. You need to flash Tasmota (but it can be done wirelessly with Tuya convert)DIY blinds