My Smart Home

I’ve been building my system for a while and have amassed quite a few components, all of which are tightly integrated together.

  • Google Home – 5 of these around the house serve as our primary controllers for all devices and automations.
  • Amazon Echo – 3 of these are used primarily for playing music.
  • Wink Hub 2 – This hub serves as a bridge that integrates many of the Z-wave devices in the home (sensors of various sorts) with the rest of the system. It also provides a convenient and secure interface for external management.
  • SkyBell HD WiFi Doorbell – I went with this doorbell over other more popular ones like the Ring because they don’t have any monthly fees for storing and viewing your saved video recordings.
  • Raspberry Pi 3 – The Pi is a tiny computer about the size of a wallet. I use it to run Home Assistant, a free, open-source platform that allows for highly customized and advanced controls and automations.
  • Nest Thermostats – I went with these because I got a good deal on a couple used ones, but you could go with any cheaper WiFi thermostat if you’ll be mostly controlling it by voice or automations anyway.
  • Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum – I looked long and hard for vacuums and settled on this one over the more popular options. It seemed to have the same features as the more advanced Roombas but at 1/3 of the price. It has been great, but a little more DIY since it’s a Chinese model.
  • KwikSet Door Locks – These are great for home security as you can monitor and adjust them remotely and ensure your home is always locked when expected. They use SmartKey technology, so you can rekey them yourself at home in about 2 minutes.
  • GoControl Garage Controller – There are many options for these, but this is a Z-wave opener that links up with the Wink Hub 2. Other garage door options like MyQ may come with their own hubs, but I prefer not to need yet another device.
  • Broadlink Infrared Controller – I use this to control my dumb TV. When I tell Google to turn the TV on/off or adjust the volume, it works through Home Assistant to send custom infrared commands to the Broadlink, which then emulates the signal of my TV remote.
  • Door/Window Sensors – There are many of these around the house on doors and windows, but they can also be used on other items you wish to protect or monitor like cabinets, drawers, or even refrigerators!
  • Motion Sensors – Self-explanatory. Some of these also double as temperature/humidity sensors.
  • Amazon Dash Buttons – Amazon makes (and heavily subsidizes) these $5 buttons to make it easy to quickly reorder your favorite home goods. However, the WiFi signal they emit can be hijacked to create buttons around the house that trigger different events.