Anyone migrated from Homeseer to Home Assistant?

wkearney99

Senior Member
I'm debating making the jump.  Or at least moving a good portion of devices to it.

Why?  More integration options, better web UI and a much easier configuration process are a few of the reasons.

I won't argue Homeseer hasn't been useful and reliable.  It has.  But it seems to be getting pretty stale in terms of integration with a lot of other new things.  Sure, I can lash up any number of ways to sort of 'get there' with Homeseer... but that's how it's always felt, having to lash it together.  HA's autodiscovery and snappy web UI for editing is a huge breath of fresh air.

Anyone else made the leap?  Got any "you had to do it this way in HS, but you do it that way in HA" advice?
 

pete_c

Guru
I am running Homeseer 4 Pro, Cumulus MX, HA and Oracle VB on newest automation computer.
 
Flip flopped a bit running HA in Ubuntu or VB.  Both work fine.  Thinking of adding Zoneminder to the mix.

HA is much more plug n play now. I used to dislike editing the yaml files all of the time.

Updating is very easy now.
 

wkearney99

Senior Member
HS support for Alex has been a real sticking point.  It barely works and when it goes out there's no rhyme/reason or any sort of debugging.  It's a must-have here at the house, as per the wife's demand.  Yeah, cloud dependency and all that... but Happy Wife, Happy Life.

To my delight HA6.6 has really nice Lutron integration.  No importing, it pulled everything in once I added it to the config.  

I agree that past versions of HA were much more dependent on text editing of .yaml files.  They're not gone, but quite a lot is now handled via the web UI.

I've had HS3 running in a VM for a while, with USB pass-thru for a Z-wave controller.  I have HA on the same hypervisor host.  With less CPU and memory HA's web UI is still much faster than HS.  Granted I have HS3 running atop Windows, so there's that added overhead.  The VM for HS3-Win is setup with 4 CPUs and 16g of RAM. HA6 has two CPUs and 8gb of RAM. These on an Intel i9 host with 64g of RAM and plenty of spare cycles.

I have HA running from their .qcow2 KVM image on an Ubuntu host.  https://www.home-assistant.io/installation/linux

I find docker for the 'main' portion of things is often an added layer of abstraction that prevents getting things tweaked the way I'd prefer.  Part of this is my level of comfort for 'bare metal' installs, and a lack of familiarity with adding docker's layer of abstractions.

If I decide to make a go of using HA for 'everything' I'll probably move it onto it's own machine, to avoid any USB/VM abstraction hassles.  Whether that's an x86 box or a pi4 remains to be seen.  I pi4 with it's own high performance boot SSD (not a microSD card) is a pretty impressive bit of gear.  I have two running that way on the boat and they've been remarkably reliable.  I suppose it'll come down to how much of what I want is available via x86 vs arm.

A side influencing factor is my 88yo MIL out of state. She's getting on in years and having some early signs of dementia. No official diagnosis yet, but had an MRI just this past Friday. The most common problem for her is missing the time of day. Getting fixated on preparing for an appointment tomorrow, but not recognizing that it's not 'tomorrow' yet. As in, having a 2pm appointment to get her hair done. But waking up at 11pm the night before, getting ready and heading downstairs to the salon and then banging on the door to be let in... at 1:30am. That it's PITCH BLACK outside... yeah, that just gets ignored. It's a great facility and they have ways to transition for memory care, so it's not a complete disaster.

The saving grace here is I gave her Alexa devices years ago, and she's become quite used to asking "Alexa, what time is it?". I'm hoping to find a way to 'catch' those requests and use them to gently remind her that it's in fact the middle of the night, so GO BACK TO SLEEP. The Alexa subsystem alone won't handle this, some combination of routines and maybe some added automation on something like a pi4 running HA may help.

Thus the complete mystery of Homeseer Alexa integration for anything more than on/off lights is driving me to look more closely at Home Assistant. I've gotten a few parts mocked up and hope to poke at it a bit more this week.
 

pete_c

Guru
How far away is your MIL?  Does she have family or a day nurse visiting her every day?
 
I have my mom's (91 now) Alexa devices all speaking French these days and she does well with them.
 
HA Alexa integration is good plus I use Alexa Media Player to manage the devices.  
 
BTW managing my Kodi boxes and Squeezeplayers (tabletop touchscreens) and Alexa devices with HA.
 
 
 

wkearney99

Senior Member
She's in Buffalo, we're in Maryland, so we can't visit regularly.  But we do have others in the are that can be called upon in the event of problems.

It's a higher-end facility and she's in a really nice independent living apartment.  As in, fall detection, all meals available in a sit-down restaurant setting and regularly cleaning service.  It's a series of 2-story buildings, all with interconnected hallways.  Pretty much it's own self-contained village.  It has options for tenants to move up in levels of care, all the way up to full nursing support.  We have two additional people that come in to check on her morning/evening.  The situation now is either it's permanent decline that may entail her moving into an assistive living or memory-care apartment.  Or it's possible 'water on the brain' or some other treatable neurological issue, which the MRI should help clarify.  A procedure that should have been done last July, but she cancelled her own appointment and my nearly clueless sister-in-law let it happen.  THAT is a whole other story.

But that's the extent of conversation I'll have on her specifics.  

As I mentioned, she makes regular use of her Alexa devices.  Time, music, various facts, even some puzzle skill games.  She's got a good level of comfort using them.

The helpful thing about this is it lets me see a running list of requests she's making, as I keep an old tablet around signed into the same account. I can see the 3am "Alexa, what time is it?" requests.  I would love to tack on some follow up actions when those happen.  Sort of like a burglar alarm, but instead of an alarm, just ask her to go back to bed because it's the middle of the night.  It also lets me see that there haven't been wildly strange requests to it either.  Thankfully there's a good level of trust of us on her part, so being able to have access to this level of control is not a problem.  

Amazon is supposedly coming out with some elder-care options.  I could see where those might be useful, but I think we're on a declining curve here.  Their options seem more targeted toward folks a bit sooner than her condition might seem to require.  
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
I have had Home Assistant running on dedicated hardware for several months but really have not done anything with it. Some of my concerns in migrating from Homeseer are:
 
I use voice announcements and voice fonts extensively. I have never found a Linux based platform thtat can provide anything close to what I use with Homeseer. This is a deal breaker for me to move to any other platform.
 
I depend on voice announcement of Caller ID info and I'm not clear wht hardware HA supports for Caller ID.
 
My Nest thermostat plugin uses the legacy Nest integration that Google no longer offers. The new API does not support the sort of real-time feedback that the legacy one had. Mainly I use it for real-time voice confirmation of manual changes to the themostat and voice confirmation when the schedule kicks in and makes a change. 
 
I use Homeseer virtual devices controlled by Alexa routines to provide an Interface between Homeseer and Yolink LoRa sensors. I have not had any trouble with communication between Homeseer and Alexa to support this setup and response is very fast. I'm worried I might not be able to match this with Home Assistant.
 
I trigger a lot of things based on power consumption detected by my Brultech energy monitor. I need to confirm HA can interface with Brultech as I don't want to spend money changing to a different energy monitoring product.
 
As I start using Z-Wave I like the architecture of the Homeseer Z-Net controller because they let me skip around in deploying Z-Wave devices without having to build out the Z-Wave network to cover areas remote from each other. Maybe you could do something similiar with Home Assistant using Hubitat hubs as your Z-Wave interfaces but I'm not sure.
 
I have a lot of weather announcements triggered on value changes from my weatherflow weather station. I need to confirm that I can easily replicate that in HA without going deep into YAML.
 
I have two options for Insteon Integration with Homeseer which supports the ISY994 and a direct control method using a PLM connected to Homeseer. I'm not clear what Insteon options exist with HA.
 
The integration between my Elk panel and Homeseer is rock solid. I would want to veryfy the HA-Elk integration is just as good. I depend on Elk for over a hundred physical inputs and a couple of dozen relay outputs so this is pretty important.
 
I need to confirm there is an interface for Monoprice multi-zone music systems in HA (I would assume there is but need to confirm). It is important to trigger reminders that outside zones are live or just shut them off after 10PM.
 
I need to confirm that X10 control is still supported in HA for legacy stuff.
 
Maybe over the Winter I can test each of these to confirm that a migration is even feasible before I worry about which system I like better. Have you gone through a similiar checklist to ensure there wouldn't be any gaps in functionality if you move?
 

wkearney99

Senior Member
I also make use of HS virtual devices.  That's top on my list of "how is this done in Home Assistant?"  Likewise schedules, the EasyTrigger stuff for schedules has been quite handy in HS3.
 
No other alarm panel integration involved.

I have voice caller ID coming in via Alexa and their Home Connect.  Likewise all the other voice-related features.  I'd like to use something else but Alexa earns better points among the other household residents.  We have a gigabit uplink so I'm not overly concerned about cloud integration issues, though I absolutely understand why some might.

I use very little z-wave, all my lighting is Lutron.  Most new gadgets I've added have been zigbee.  But I totally hear you on how Homeseer handles z-wave.

My thermostats are Honeywell via their gateway.  Again, cloud-dependent, but I honestly have my thermostats well tuned on scheduled so have really very little need to integrate them with automation.  

I don't use any power monitoring schemes, at least not yet anyway.  I wouldn't mind giving it a go, but have many, many other to-do items well ahead of it.

I haven't used X10 for over two decades now, though I probably still have a storage tub full of the gizmos somewhere.

I have Russound gear and never got around to connecting it in the new house.  Echo devices have provided a 'good enough' alternative.  Certainly "lame" fidelity-wise, but nobody in house cares.

So yeah I hear you on reasons to continue with Homeseer. 

But out of the box, the latest Home Assistant is pretty impressive.  Whole swaths of stuff got auto-detected and other stuff has been trivially simple to add/configure via the web UI. And the UI for stuff like device battery and energy levels is RIGHT THERE, not lost somewhere yet another plug-in for HS3.

I did have to dip into a .YAML file to tell it to use the Lutron integration.   But once done, it automagically populated all my Ra2 devices.  I've had to tweak each of them to get their proper room configured, but that was simple via the web UI.

I don't plan on ditching HS3, and I already own a license for HS4.  But the jump from HS3 to HS4 has been clunky enough to make me willing to consider something else for a lot of it.  I mean, if I'm going to have to reconfigure everything then why not give it a go in Home Assistant instead?  And with what Pete mentioned, it may well be possible to keep an active Homeseer setup running with all the things it does better.

That and the continued lack of support from Homeseer for versatile Alexa integration has driven me to find solutions elsewhere.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
I think some of the Alexa issues might be more Amazon UI than Homeseer problems. I'm not sure how HA gets around those shortcomings. I have thirty-some Echos and have found most of the native sync type functions are useless once you get beyond about 11 devices in your home. I have 10 Show5s in all the bedrooms as clock radios. I have 12 Show8s downstairs feeding into the multi-room audio system to provide local music in each room via good speakers instead of the tiny built-in ones. Plus another 10 or so Echos in places like bathrooms, basement work areas, attic tv room etc. Good zero learning curve interface for guests and fun features like displaying lyrics when music is playing but a lot of native Alexa grouping type features just do not work on that scale.I could probably segragate them into smaller groups using multiple Amazon accounts but not sure if I coud maintain access to common playlists and things that way. I'm hoping Amazon will evolve the platform to scale better so I don't have to invent compromise solutions.
 

wkearney99

Senior Member
I'd venture you're at the fringe end of their target demographic.  It must be supremely annoying trying to do any work in the Alexa app with that many devices!  It'd be interesting to know what of interface Crestron has for Alexa integration. 

As for HS/Alexa, I just get the feeling the implementation on the HS end isn't making much more than the bare-bones level of integration.  Homeseer itself is not a large development effort to start with, so resources have to be put to use where management decides is best.  But I don't get a warm-and-fuzzy for their interest in improving the situation.  I just get the feeling that HS is running out of steam.  It still works and works well for core functionality, but it's not coming across as making much headway on achieving at least parity with how a lot of other automation efforts are approaching app, dashboard and other UI efforts.  
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
I hear you but  until I see serious progress in Home Assistant with CID and voice fonts it is kind of a non-starter for me. I have tried Voice Monkey with Homeseer to test using Alxa as an announcement platform. Besides the concerns about cloud dependency I find once you get multiple messages queued up at the same time Alexa strats dropping things and you get partial messages or skipped messages. So using Alexa as the voice of Home Assistant probably won't work for me unless their integration avoids these problems somehow. 
 
There is the option to use both platforms but then which is the core system and which is the peripheral add-on? Maybe I should use Home Assistant as a UI for Homeseer and possibly as a bridge for anything Homeseer does not support directly? That would be easier than trying to migrate a lot of my existing stuff that is already working.
 

wkearney99

Senior Member
upstatemike said:
I hear you but  until I see serious progress in Home Assistant with CID and voice fonts it is kind of a non-starter for me. I have tried Voice Monkey with Homeseer to test using Alxa as an announcement platform. Besides the concerns about cloud dependency I find once you get multiple messages queued up at the same time Alexa strats dropping things and you get partial messages or skipped messages. So using Alexa as the voice of Home Assistant probably won't work for me unless their integration avoids these problems somehow. 
 
There is the option to use both platforms but then which is the core system and which is the peripheral add-on? Maybe I should use Home Assistant as a UI for Homeseer and possibly as a bridge for anything Homeseer does not support directly? That would be easier than trying to migrate a lot of my existing stuff that is already working.
Right, but at the scale you're attempting to use it I can imagine why it's having those troubles.  It's not that AWS couldn't handle it, but that the tier in which individual accounts are running isn't at all focused on shotgunning a lot of announcements like that.  You're wandering more into a hotel sort of setup with that many devices.  I've seen various marketing blurbs about alexa and hotels, but never looked into them further.

Besides, there'd be nothing preventing using of both HS and HA, and splitting whatever features works best out onto their own platform.
 

picta

Active Member
I have been trying to find a HS replacement for years. I had tried HA several times, it keeps improving but it is fundamentally not designed as an automation server. Assistant is the proper name and it shows. I can do any automation I want via HS with minimal effort, but it has been a struggle for most everything I tried with HA, because unless it is a simple existing integration with default features, that becomes a serious hacking task through a thick overhead of unnecessary code that is also perpetually changing. I have various LIFX lights for example, HA picks them up on the boot, they show status and control but in random order on a page that you need to do a bunch of tricks to organize. I have python scripts that control these lights with sophisticated scenes, like candle glow, music synchronized, weather dependent etc. You can get lost trying to replicate that in HA via multiple templates, or app daemon or trying to implement HA's drivers, while all I want is to have the event loop to start and stop my scripts based on other events. That is just one example. You may consider both HA and HS as part of one's home automation setup, but why would you want to maintain 2 systems if you could have one. So I am still searching for a comparable replacement for HS...
 

DavidL

Senior Member
 some might not realize that Allonis's myServer can front end (or replace) HomeSeer and / or HomeAssistant.  The best user interface tools of both.
There will be a handheld touchscreen remote control on Kickstarter soon that will be the least expensive way to purchase it (and the SmartRemote).
This will also be the formal launch of myServer 6 as well.  You can integrate with Michael McSharry's MQTT on the Homeseer side.  Or use the MLHSPlugin (Krumpy).  Or Blades myServer plugin.
 
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