[ASK] How to start?

Hi, I’m new to this forum and community and I’m looking for some tips to begin with.

  1. Lightning
    I wish to have dimmable light in my house
    What i want to ask is what dimmable device should i buy?
    Dimmable switch? dimmable bulb? dimmable fitting? or i should buy them all?
    Please refer me a product that compatible for this requirement that connected directly to openhab without gateway

  2. Socket
    I found one brand Sonoff S26 for this requirement, can it connect directly to openhab?

  3. Air Conditioner
    I wish to turn on & off my Air Conditioner using IR, which IR product that i can use?

  4. Television
    I wish to turn on & off my TV and control it using IR, which IR product that i can use?

  5. Environment
    I found one brand Sonoff SC for this requirement, can it connect directly to openhab?
    Can it integrated with air conditioner? ex: if temperature = 30 then turn on air cond

  6. If i buy device with zigbee technology should i buy zigbee gateway too?

  7. Should i buy the smart devices in same brand or i can buy with different brand as long it compatible with openhab?

Thank you in advance for all the advice’s that you could give me. I`m really new for this smart home stuff.


What works with openHAB you ask? Well this => https://www.openhab.org/addons/

  1. Depends on the use case, Phillips Hue are expensive, IKEA Tradfri is good, without a gateway, why?
  2. Sonoff S26? Depends on the Firmware flashed, with Sonoff Tasmota it works via MQTT mqtt binding doc mqtt generic thing doc mqtt broker aka. Server
  3. Why IR? There good ones with Wifi, ZigBee, ZWave etc.
  4. TVs can be controlled via. IR and or HDMI readup
  5. The Sonoff SC is for measurements please read up on the product information
  6. again depends on what you want to do, some ZigBee setups come with a Gateway like Xiaomi
  7. Really dude? Common… read some docs… openHAB has so many bindings for use with so many devices… https://www.openhab.org/addons/


First, I want to apologize for post improper question.
Im just 72 years old man who want to start from zero. Last week I went to my friend house, He use Control4 for his smart home, but the price is to high to implement, and he told me about OpenHab. I already read the documentation and i dont understand at all (Im not a kind of tech guy actually, to be able to post on this forum, it's been a improvement for me). So, I dont start from openhab first, but on devices that maybe I can understand.

Second, our country maybe different, I`m from Indonesia that Smart Home stuff are not many people use here, and not all devices on addons available in my country.

Third, I wan`t to thank you for your advises for me. I hope I can learn much from this community

Regarding to your answer,

  1. Depends on the use case, Phillips Hue are expensive, IKEA Tradfri is good, without a gateway, why? – From my perspective, I thought that OpenHab will replace the gateway, it came to me the question "Why use OpenHab if you still use Philips Hub for example, why dont just use Philips software" (Im sorry maybe its not based on Tech Perspective, its just on my logic) Please correct me if Im wrong (I am definitely wrong,hahaha…)

  2. I will learn how to flash the sonoff S26 from the link you gave.

  3. My Air cond is the old one, and I use common IR remote (original remote) so i thought it will work with IR too.

  4. Hmmm… I think I need a lot of time to learn this. But its okay…

  5. Sorry for wrongly post the product, what i mean is this https://sonoff.itead.cc/en/products/sonoff/sonoff-th

  6. Noted

  7. My point is, is it better to use a product with the same brand for all devices? let say I use sonoff for light switch, is it better to use other smart device from sonoff too (for socket, thermometer, bulb, etc?)
    In my mind if we use the same brand, it will work smoothly (correct me if I`m wrong)

Thank you in advance for all the advice’s that you could give me

Never stop learning huh? That’s good!
Well sorry if I seem a bit sassy.

Well okay lets start from new :smiley:

My way for “SmartHome” is the following.

  • If a device is stupid, no network, no communication, just electric ON/OFF I use the Sonoff hardware since its cheap and works very well.
    I always check Sonoff Tasmota Support which devices I can use.

  • Can I make a semi smart device stupid? Like my fogger for the terrarium, I could select the power output from Level 1-5, but I only want to trigger it ON/OFF. Sonoff again.

  • Do I want to measure stuff? Well… Sonoff :smiley: Or build it myself with a ESP8266 dev board.

Controlling complex things is a different topic.
I will report back, but got work to do now.

It`s okay, I understand from your point of view, maybe I would do the same :smiley:

I think I will try sonoff for socket & measure stuff, because I only need them to turn ON/OFF

I think I don`t gonna buy something that can do extra function to used only for ON/OFF :sweat_smile:

Totally agree

And for lightning maybe I try with Tp Link HS220 (is it good?)
But what I try to find out is only switch devices enough? or the bulb must also be dimmable? how about lamp fittings (dimmable too?)

Good luck on your work :+1:

I won’t answer your specific questions largely because it is impossible. You do not provide nearly enough information and while we here on the forum are happy to help when you run into trouble, we are not going to design and build your home automation system for you.

So my recommendation is to start small. Automate one or two things. The purpose of OH is to bridge between different technologies so if you happen to choose wrong initially then it’s not that big of a deal because you haven’t purchased much yet so you can move to something else.

Each technology is different and each technology is represented with a separate binding. For specific answers as to what is needed/not needed for any given technology will be documented in the documentation for the binding for that technology. So for example, the Zigbee documentation lists the Zigbee coordinators that are compatible with the binding.

Search the forum for “getting started” and you will see lots of similar postings with lots of great advice.

Home automation is a rewarding hobby but it’s going to be a lot of work. Good luck!

Yes, I think I wanna start from lightning first

Thank you for your advice :slightly_smiling_face:

That is how I started, from the lightning.
One thing I noticed, for me at least, is that as your automation grows your requirements will change, usually a lot. Because when we plan we plan big, which is what we should do, but when you start using some smart appliance and you might realize that something else would suit you more. And that is absolutely fine, just be prepared that you will often throw money and replace things, so it might be wise to start as cheap as possible (f.eks., start with ikea lights, and as you learn more you might migrate to z-wave hardwired switch due to different reasons, even though they cost more).
For 3 and 4, I know people use some Logitech harmony solution, I do not have it (yet) so do check it, a lot of people are satisfied with it.

Answer to other points will come natural to you after you played some months with f.eks. lighting only.
but lets say 5, check ikea again, they have wall plugs that you can use to control some wall plugged heaters. (later you can check z-wave if needed)
6, yes, almost for any technology/protocol you need some gateway, f.eks. ikea hub or xiaomi hub, or z-wave controller (do check z-wave products, they are usually more reliable/robust (well, when they work as intended)). You usually do not need anything for wifi devices, although it might be wise not to use wifi for iot, as it is not its purpose (traffic pollution, speed, power consumption for battery devices, reliability etc… )
7. mix it if you wish, that is the strength of openhab. But again, I prefer Fibaro products, as they look and wok nice, aeotec, ikea, xiaomi (look and work fine for env. sensors). I would stick to the brand I know/like, but not limit myself