DIY Smart Home

📅 27 Dec 2020 - Mihai Costea


About 2 years ago I started to work on a project I unimaginatively called “HomeManager”. I was fascinated with small computers, sensors and the likes and I wanted to build my own smart home, whatever that meant.

I used this project to learn more about small computers, different programming languages, software architecture, deployment methods and electronics in general, on top of having a cool project to work on whenever I was bored.

So I gathered all the unused small computers in my house and started hacking.

The goals

This one was pretty easy:

  • Self-hosted data - I wanted to store everything locally instead of using the public cloud
  • Scalable - whatever I was building had to run locally on a Raspberry Pi, a cluster of Pis or in the public cloud if needed
  • Containers - I work in DevOps so I was familiar with the benefits of using containers and wanted to use the same technology in this project as well
  • Integrated - I was already the proud owner of some Philips Hue lights, a Google Home, a smart 4K TV, I wanted to integrate with these gadgets and other ones to build complex scenarios
  • Cheap - I was not really looking to invest in expensive software, hardware or services; the more DIY, the better
  • Educational - I wanted to use this project to learn about new things so stepping outside my comfort zone was very important

About this series

The project has evolved a lot in the past 2 years and I’ll try to remember the details and iterations for each part but I can’t promise it’s going to be a great write-up.

I do promise, however, that any new development starting now will be properly documented in this series. But until then, let’s just catch up.

Next up

Read on about the solution overview.

  1. Photo by Chris Ried on Unsplash