Need Advice on the Preferred Way to Create OH2 UI Control Panels

I’m a new OpenHABian2 user (V1.2 image). My system consists of a RP3 Model B, Insteon 2245-222 Hub, and a couple dozen Insteon dimmers & switches. It’s working great with my Amazon Echo Dots; The voice control functionality is all I originally planned to do.

But my success / excitement with OpenHabian2 has encourage me to retire my Insteon HouseLinc (running on Win10) and move everything over to my new RaspberryPi OH2 system. So I’ve spent several days Googling my options for creating a nice looking Control Panel. Long story short, I’m a bit lost!

To get my feet wet I setup a simple HABPanel Interface, as well as a similar UI with HABmin using Config files and a text editor. I even installed Eclipse Smarthome on Win10, but could not figure out how to best use it.

I realize that OpenHabian2 supports more than one way to create control panels. Some are database driven, others use Config files. I somewhat prefer the Config file method, but I’m not married to it. And later on (when time permits) I’d like to add a smar’s remote dashboard too.

The problem is that I don’t know enough to make a educated choice on what UI creation method (and tool) I should start with. So that’s the reason for my post – I would appreciate any advice on what works best with the current version of OpenHabian ((V1.2, 3-18-2017) ).

  • Thomas


I’m afraid there is no easy answer. The right answer depends on what your goal is from a hardware (e.g. control with rather smallish display phone,big tablet,pc/mouse one device per room…etc…) and from a more personal factor. Personally, I’m using the Android App in a one (mostly old…) device per room scenario so i need items and sitemap files with Designer to edit the files. And i prefer the file based approach. I have played around with HABPanel and i think if i had only bigger tablets in use i would change to that. There are some pretty awsome HABPanels out there :slight_smile:
So the best advise would be play around with the possibilities and pick the one best suited for you.

I have personally chosen Habpanels with different configuration, e.g. RPI for the Raspberry PI, Phone, Tablet and PC.
Inside the panels I made use of template widgets to easily navigate through panels.
In every panel I have created a template widget that looks like this:

…and that is configured like this:

Once created the navigation panel it is easy to import it into each panel and have a unique navigation system.

Drat, I was hoping for an easier answer. :slight_smile: However, the feedback has been helpful.

Most of the time we will be using the Echo Dots for manual interaction (my wife is having fun with this feature). Being a gadget guy, I’d also like a couple wall mounted (or table top) Amazon Fire dashpads. Admin will be from a Win10 desktop that’s built into my kitchen cabinetry. Overall, I’d say the targeted screen sizes are decent and should pair nicely with any of the UI methods.

At this point I’m leaning towards HABPanel. But I’ll do more investigation, followed by any needed coin tossing. In the meantime any further comments are welcome.

  • Thomas

Just to put closure on this, I decided to use HABPanel. It works well for what I want to do and the custom template is a life saver.

One thing is for sure, the more I dig into OpenHAB the more I realize I’ll never learn it all! But the posted example code and even the old forum discussions are helping me along.

@s1r: Thank you for sharing your template code; I added the menu navigation to all my screens.

  • Thomas