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#1 Mark S.

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 06:34 PM

I've heard a little bit about Home Assistant as an alternative to Homeseer (searched here but didn't find much).  I'm a long-time Homeseer user, but increasingly frustrated with it over the past few years.   But I'm concerned that Home Assistant might be a bit too raw, less featured, more complex, and maybe even less supported and documented than HS.  I've always found this forum to be down to earth and less biased than others, so I thought I'd ask about any Home Assistant experiences and opinions.

 

Thanks,

Mark



#2 picta

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 07:19 PM

I am also a long time HS user, and have been searching for an alternative myself. I checked out HA and found it similar to what HS used to be when they released a beta version for HS2. That is: not well documented, frequent updates break things, simple tasks are difficult to do, support is through the forum (which means you may or may not get your answer). On a plus side there are many "platforms" (aka plugins in HS) that are available to jump start integrations. Writing your own scripts is a chore, but doable. Most of the HA forum seems to be dedicated to UI rather than automation, but there are some interesting threads as well. In short, I would say it is not ready for prime time but going there (just my personal opinion). So I will continue on with HS as my main software controller, will utilize some functionality of HA mainly for some new components and hope that something better will come along.



#3 LarrylLix

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 07:41 PM

Check out ISY994i in the Universal Devices forums. Many have switched from HS and HA to ISY and are very happy with it.

 

Ignore the "beta" label as it will remain until Zwave stops changing and/or adding devices. Someday the device tables will be separated and the firmware will be the official release, at that point. Never heard of one crashing.



#4 upstatemike

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 09:55 PM

Currently running HS3 and ISY994i/Polisy combo. Since there is a HS plugin for the ISY it is easy to work with both and have them compliment each other. Home Assistant looks interesting but also looks like it would eat up a lot of time to get anything done. Also I depend a lot on quality TTS and Homeseer is the only platform that gives me good options for voice fonts, remote speaker client instances, etc. I wish more platforms would put some effort into their TTS offerings.



#5 pete_c

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 11:21 PM

Here running Homeseer and Home Assistant on the same Ubuntu computer.  The two applications talk to each these days.
 
The box is also running Docker and Node Red and is a Mosquitto Broker these days.
 
Running same on two boxes; one light box which is a BeeLink BT3 Pro and and another box which is using a Haswell Chip set i3.
 
Doing a lot of MQTT stuff lately and have been updating WiFi devices with Tasmota or Espurna (both are nice).
 
On the same computer run Oracle Virtual Box with mini 7, 7e, W20016 for using Homeseer SAPI voice fonts (which I collect).
 
Been able to do TTS to my Alexa devices.  I have one Alexa Dot audio connected (mixing) with the SAPI audio out going to the Russound zoned audio these days.
 
If I have issues with any of the HA plugins I write to the authors and they always respond to my questions.

 

Recently added a lightning sensor using the AS3935 Franklin board, an RPi2 and a AS3935 to MQTT app.  Works with HA (and custom plugin) and Homeseer.  



#6 Mark S.

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 06:28 PM

Thanks, guys - all helpful info.  I suppose I should jump in and play with HA to try it.  The core of my system is the ELK M1G, so that integration is mission-critical - any experience with ELK+HA?



#7 bbrendon

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 01:34 AM

I went from CQC to HA about 3 years ago. I’m very glad I did. It’s definitely worth checking out. Openhab is also popular which I tried as well before settling on HA. I use a DSC so I can’t comment on the elk support . I also don’t have zwave.

#8 upstatemike

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 11:36 AM

Check out ISY994i in the Universal Devices forums. Many have switched from HS and HA to ISY and are very happy with it.

 

Ignore the "beta" label as it will remain until Zwave stops changing and/or adding devices. Someday the device tables will be separated and the firmware will be the official release, at that point. Never heard of one crashing.

One note about ISY994i to consider is that the forum is not very active. I have had a question on there for days to get help with a Philips Hue question without a single response. The Homeseer forum has a lot more participation. Not sure what response time is like for the Home Assistant forum.



#9 LarrylLix

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 07:34 PM

One note about ISY994i to consider is that the forum is not very active. I have had a question on there for days to get help with a Philips Hue question without a single response. The Homeseer forum has a lot more participation. Not sure what response time is like for the Home Assistant forum.


Wow! I thought 40-60 posts per day on the ISY994 forum was enough to read. Maybe not many use Hue any more. Mine all sit in a box now after I found better bulbs for  less than 1/8th the price and Philips dumped on the original users.



#10 ano

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 07:48 PM

I use HA and like it. Its functional, but I wouldn't say its very user-friendly, but for me, its more of a behind-the-scene type software.  More of gathering data in and sending data out, for which it's very reliable. Then I use other things to act on that data. 



#11 upstatemike

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 09:12 PM


Wow! I thought 40-60 posts per day on the ISY994 forum was enough to read. Maybe not many use Hue any more. Mine all sit in a box now after I found better bulbs for  less than 1/8th the price and Philips dumped on the original users.

Maybe there are better bulbs that are cheaper but my Hue kit is sunk cost so no matter how cheap another bulb is it will be additional cost as opposed to free to keep using the Hue bulbs I already paid for.

 

Also Hue is the shortest path for many situations. I want to kick off Alexa routines triggered by motion sensors in several rooms... Hue works directly with Alexa with no further effort beyond writing the routine (approximately 60 seconds). Many rooms that used to have pull chain fixtures now have Hue bulbs and Hue stick up switches instead. (5 minutes per room to make the conversion). Still looking for other brands that can duplicate these scenarios as quickly and easily as Hue.

 

I also have about 20 Lifx bulbs. They look great but it seems 1 or 2 are always offline when I try to access them with the Lifx app or ISY/Polisy. (not the same ones all the time).

 

My ultimate goal with Polisy is to have an Insteon 6 button keypad in certain rooms with the large ON button turning the Lifx or Hue bulbs on white and the 4 smaller buttons (with color filters behind the button labels) setting other colors and the large OFF button turning the lights off. This needs to be rock solid before I can deploy it for family use. 

 

What other bulb brands are cheaper than Hue and have more reliable comms than Lifx? Offering accessories similiar to Hue motion sensors and Hue stick up switches would be a good bonus. Nobody in my house will ever control lights from a smart phone so I don't care if their app sucks. I will only be using it once for setup anyway.



#12 picta

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 09:49 PM

I use HA and like it. Its functional, but I wouldn't say its very user-friendly, but for me, its more of a behind-the-scene type software.  More of gathering data in and sending data out, for which it's very reliable. Then I use other things to act on that data. 


What kind of data? I am still trying to figure out if and what for I could use HA.



#13 bbrendon

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 07:35 PM


What kind of data? I am still trying to figure out if and what for I could use HA.

Home Assistant can dump the data into other applications like InfluxDB [1] and there is even an AI addon someone wrote. The AI addon [2] is technical but really gets the wheel spinning as to what's possible if you really spend the time on it.

 

[1]  <

 

[2]  https://data.home-assistant.io/


Edited by bbrendon, 19 September 2020 - 07:38 PM.


#14 ano

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 11:14 PM


What kind of data? I am still trying to figure out if and what for I could use HA.

Just look at some of the plugins/integrations out there, and its built-in functions also.  Like with no effort it tracks all the drum life of my laser printers. Let's see Home Seer do that.  It tracks if the doors, windows, locks, sunroof, hood and trunk are open on my car, and if the parking lights are on, and my can be anywhere with a cell signal, not just in my driveway. It reads how many ads are being blocked in my AdGuard Home Raspberry Pi box. It can monitor my blood glucose from my Dexcom G6 sensor. It can tell me how many Covid-19 or Flu cases nearby. There are literally 100's and 100's of plugins that people have written and they are all free.  What do you want to do? I'd be surprised if it can't.  



#15 upstatemike

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 09:50 AM

Just look at some of the plugins/integrations out there, and its built-in functions also.  Like with no effort it tracks all the drum life of my laser printers. Let's see Home Seer do that.  It tracks if the doors, windows, locks, sunroof, hood and trunk are open on my car, and if the parking lights are on, and my can be anywhere with a cell signal, not just in my driveway. It reads how many ads are being blocked in my AdGuard Home Raspberry Pi box. It can monitor my blood glucose from my Dexcom G6 sensor. It can tell me how many Covid-19 or Flu cases nearby. There are literally 100's and 100's of plugins that people have written and they are all free.  What do you want to do? I'd be surprised if it can't.  

My next project is to put a presssure sensor on all of the toilet handles in the house and have a program that figures out who is flushing the toilet based on their pressure signature. That way a voice prompt can thank them by name for remembering to flush the toilet. Is there a plugin for that?






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