I’m a recent Openhab adopter and I though that my feedback would be useful for anyone who is willing to start with OH.
I’ve started to use Openhab during Covid-19 and I must admit that this took me sometimes to get familiar with the solution.
The following text describes all PRO & CONS I’ve encountered since the first day.
I’m leaving in a house in south France and I’m lucky enough to have a garden slat (gates), garage door & swimming pool.
The first usage was to open gates & garage door automatically thanks to our iPhone presence detection.
Second use case was optimise pool pump electric consumption with my solar plant installation (12 solar panel + 1 SMA 3Kw Inverter).
Lastly I was looking for a unique place to manage my house components.
I can’t really compare with competitor but after few weeks of usage I’m 100% happy & satisfied with this service.
Very reliable despite the large customisation implemented.
Even if the exercise was interesting & fun I realise I’ve spent a lot of time debugging my devices.
I guess this is normal as I didn’t know anything about home automation, Zwave, Raspberry & Openhab before starting.
Why Openhab ?
Probably thanks to recommandation from a friend and online benchmark.
This solution is fully customisable with a large English community (English is important if you want to start on Openhab)
Regarding the flexibility - I’m not a developer but I can code with basic scripting.
I have first tested Openhab on my Mac - then quickly reinstall OH on a newly acquired Raspberry pi 4 (around 100$)
Devices : I decided to go for Qubino relay - 4 in total :
1 for Garage power (with Dry connection - Connection SEC) 50$
1 for Slat power (with Dry connection - Connection SEC) 50$
1 for pump pool 50$
1 for electric consumption 50$
- Finally a USB Dongle for Zwave as everything is Zwave Plus compliant. 50$
Total : Around 300-400$
OH 2.5 is pretty stable but I’ve faced few issues during the setup:
Homekit - I’ve lost lot of time trying to setup Homekit add ons in OH. It has been somehow very complicated to sync accessories at the beginning. I finally decided to use Homebridge with the combination of Locative.
I’ve then move to Geofency (4$) and OH REST APIs to get a more stable et robust configuration.
Missing / Not up-to-date plugins : I was looking for an add-on for my Internet box (live box) + add ons for my SMA inverter / Sadly it was not existing or not adapted for my needs.
Hopefully I manage to use exec bindings instead with some python & bash script. Technical but great capacities.
My alarm system (cheap one) was not available in the add-ons list so I had to screen-scrap the alarm back office system connected with a ethernet cable. It works but took my few hours to setup it perfectly.
Items - It took me something to understand the notion of things, items despite the fact that the documentation is pretty good. Maybe I missed some good hints at the beginning.
Rules - I had something to customised rules extensively - I love that but this is time consuming.
Zwave & Qubino - Few issues related to the USB dongle not compatible with my Raspberry pi 4 (I had to connected to useless keyboard in between to make it works with keyboard usb hub)
But the main issue I faced was related to the poor Zwave things settings interface - somehow buggy and hard to understand. I’ve lost hours due to that.
Old material - None of my slat, garage, pool & aircon are connected to web - as a result I had to use Zwave relays & lots of custom (lot …)
Airconditionning - I didn’t manage to configure my airco Daikin split with OH - the split is not wifi compatible and there is not web server associated as far as I know (+ it is not recommended to turn on & off via electric wave)
I will probably have to setup an infrared setup if I really need this to be connected to OH.
The result is amazing : My pool pump is connected to my solar inverter and only runs when sun is producing enough energy (with the exception of bad weather conditions)
My garage & slat are opening automatically when I’m 100 meters close from my house - this is so cool when I’m on my bike without any keys handy … btw I’m not taking my keys anymore with me
I can use my iPhone & Siri to open gates & garage door easily - this is so cool knowing that you can also create Shortcuts & automation script on your phone.
Lastly no need to activate alarm manually - it turns on & off automatically when leaving & coming back to my place.
Heating was already pretty automatic thanks to Netatmo but I manage to connect it easily to OH thanks to bindings.
I can now close & open doors when I’m not at home - check if pool pump is still working fine … very useful
What if is I decide to move house - I don’t think most of people will be able to understand the overall setup - too technical & too customised I’m afraid and I should remove all of that before selling the house.
I understand this is a comment that fits to most of House IT stuffs but I’m sure that some All-in Box solution can be easier.
What if I need to reinstall OH due to an new issue on my raspberry (I had one after installing apache & php on it) - I realised that some setup as not associated to my config files (rules, items , things) and I can hardly have a ghost image in case something goes wrong (I might be wrong on this)
What about my Qubino lifetime ? Nothing related to OH but still important.
I had to open few external ports on my router to make it works (especially for Geofency presence config) - I know this is not good but I didn’t find a better solution.
Just some fine tuning now as customisation is somehow not perfectly.
I guess I should document things & answer Q&A if you have some.
Thanks Openhab team & contributor - very useful feedback from @rlkoshak and the rest of the team !