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If you’ve been thinking about introducing smart home automation for a while, why not try building your own version? This is a project that you can tailor to meet your own individual requirements, shaping the automation box to fit both your home and your lifestyle.

So, where to start? Here’s a look at the equipment you’ll need to achieve the setup you’re after.

What is smart home automation?

Before you begin planning your project, it’s worth getting to grips with what smart home automation is. In a nutshell, this refers to the devices or appliances connected to a shared network that can be controlled remotely.

What devices and appliances can be used?

Some areas of your home you may want to connect using smart automation could include the locks and security system, making this a useful tool for protecting you and your home. It can also control the thermostat, potentially creating a more energy-efficient way of living. Other things such as the lighting, audio, TV, and appliances such as your kettle are all potentially controllable via the home automation box.

What are the advantages of smart home automation? 

As well as offering the peace of mind that comes with having energy saving and security credentials, smart home automation can help you make you feel more comfortable. You get to manage everything from one place, controlling everything through an app, making it easy to connect your appliances in one central hub.

Additionally, you can set up your home while you’re out. You might need to cool your house down on a hot day so you can turn on the air conditioning before you get home. Or you might want to preheat your oven so that all you need to do when you get back from the supermarket is pop your food in.

Ultimately, this a device that enhances efficiency and makes things run smoothly.

How to build your own

Home Assistant is the go-to open-source smart hub for those hoping to build their own smart automation box. This offers over 1,400 integrations, but the Z-Wave integration is ideal for this project as it is a wireless communication protocol designed for home automation.

Home Assistant is compatible with Raspberry Pi. The Pi, a small, single-board computer, is the ideal choice for those planning a project like this as it’s designed to accommodate development tasks at this level.

While Home Assistant works well with earlier integrations of the Pi, the latest, the Raspberry Pi 4, is a high-performing computer that comes with upgraded capacity and functionality and is an ideal fit for a project like this.

As well as the Pi, you’ll need an SD card. This will store all the information you need for your automation box. You’ll also need a case kit and power supply to make sure you’re charged up and able to keep working.

Once you have everything in place, you can start building your box. There are different ways to do this, however, once you start, you can begin to build in controls for additional appliances.

Whether you’re an established tinkerer or you’re new to DIY projects, this is a great way to update your home.