Discussion and recommendations about good and affordable devices for smart home

Hi all,

I am newbie for smart home, and only about to plan my new upcoming smart home. I would be interested in discussions and recommendations, which devices you would recommend to get going with the smart home project?

Is it worth to invest in native smart sockets, smart lights switches etc (Schneider elecrics or ABB or such)? Or would you go with something else?

Which you think are good and affordable ones? I see that for example those SE Wiser sockets are quite expensive, so I wonder if there are other good brands that are good quality and more affordable yet are usable with OpenHab?

I look forward to discover the possibilities of smart home for now in order to make a good plan, which I hope I will be implementing in near future.

I am interested in all different areas, security, heating, electric devises themselves and electricity system itself, lights, yard appliances, car chargers and everything. I also look forward to implement some nice solar power station to power my smart home, and perhaps even a small wind station. For the heating I am planning to use geo thermal heating.

I am living in Northern Europe. However, I am also looking into some good quality products in China, if there are any you would recommend and are good to go also considering European Standards. For example for solar power systems, there seems to be a lot of providers in China. Perhaps some good some bad.

Sonoff, tuya, xiaomi, aqara, ikea, Shelly, are some frequent vendors of smart devices that you’ll find.
Sonoff because they are easily flashed with tasmota, and tasmota has MQTT support which openHAB can easily use.
tuya because they are cheap and frequently have zigbee which can also be added to openHAB.
Xiaomi aqara and ikea zigbee devices are frequently compatible with each other.

Hope this gives you some guidance!

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Thank you @Pedro_Liberal for your answer. This will help me to look further for these options.

Happy to help!
Oh and Shelly because recently they added mqtt support so the reason for flashing tasmota on sonoff for mqtt is now moot :stuck_out_tongue:

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A reason to flash Tasmota on Sonoff devices is to replace the Sonoff firmware with something open source and controllable locally only.

That’s completely separate to Shelly devices, which can also be flashed with Tasmota, but can also be controlled locally only without.

Back on track: if I had the money I would only use Z-Wave and ZigBee devices. Robust technology, reasonable standardisation, reasonably priced, very well supported in openHAB. Not as eye wateringly expensive as Control4 or similar stuff, but more costly than Sonoff and Shelly or similar.

All IKEA Tradfri devices are ZigBee, and will be some of the cheaper EU standards compliant devices that you can buy.

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I was browsing these options. I found out that Shelly for example provides relays, which can turn your old school switches and sockets smart. If you would design a new smart home now, would you go with relays or directly smart sockets, switches and other devises, and why?

Maybe relay option provides more flexibility since you can choose from wider selection of sockets that please your eye?


In principle,your question is a VERY complex topic noone can and will answer you on the fast track.
Go search this forum for more generalized advice on building smart homes, there’s several threads often with in-detail discussion.
Planning for a reasonable home automation setup is a tough task with many tradeoffs you have to make your mind up upon.
Think long term what if some device breaks and needs replacement (physical works, compatibility, availability of HW and SW by then …). What’s the deal in locations where you want to replace or reuse existing switches.
Think future (e.g. start with LED lighting based on PWM, rather than to carry on with relays or dimmers even).
Think of availability of critical functions when your setup is degraded, i.e. some device or transmission fails permanently, what if your OH is down.

etc !

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A relay is something that turns on and off.
Sonoff has them, xiaomi has them, Shelly has them, etc etc.
you use relays on stuff you want to turn on and off:
Dumb things like electric heaters, dehumidifiers, coffee machines, fans. So stuff that you can leave “always on” and then supply the energy only when needed.
I agree with the comment above, you have to take stock of what you have, what you want, what you need. And work from there. Find simple challenges and work on them. Expand from there. For example, get your porch light and entrance light to turn on automatically during the night when you open the front door late.
Think of a solution, what you need to make it work, look for examples online, and then work on implementing it.

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Brilliant, thanks for valuable advice @mstormi. I will definitely keep my mind open here and thoroughly plan it, little by little and gradually come up with a comprehensive plan. I think your comment about relays makes sense to me and they indeed provide good flexibility in case of something breaks down. I will look for also other older topics about them.

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