Nice article

I wouldn’t normally post this but it really hit home… No pun intended


My biggest quibble with the article is he seems to present this as a binary solution. Either go DIY and be unhappy or pay a professional and experience HA nirvana.

I would have much rather seen him describe how a DIYer can approach the design and growth of their home automation to avoid some of these pitfalls. Though given that Control4 is a home automation installer business I guess that would have been against their own self interest.


I only posted it because I recognised myself in it.

That’s not surprising when looking st the source of the article - Control4 a fairly closed eco system of HA that many builders try to use.

This line also got me…

“If you have never lived in a properly automated home, you probably lack adequate context to understand what you really want”

Yes, none of us have vision or the ability to look beyond what we’ve experienced- what a crock!!

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Same here… all I could think is “biased…”.

My favorite line was about how everything should be wired. Well as I could agree that in a perfect world wired is always better, in the real world it is not always practical. I say this based on experience. The number of network things I have in my house has grown exponentially since the advent of wireless. It grew even more once consumer devices became wireless. I just believe it is wrong to say everything should be wired and right to say, how do I make all these wireless things work together?

Openhab…of course :slight_smile:


Should be correctly labeled as advertisement - not “article”. :wink:

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While I am a little harsh on the article above, I don’t encourage discounting it entirely. There are a number of valid points made in the article. The problems he sites are real. My only concern was his only solution was to pay them to professionally install the HA which is demonstrably not the only solution.

Creating a unified UI for our home automation is indeed challenging. Far too infrequently do we spend the amount of time and up front planning to think about how the HA would actually be used. As most of you know, I’m a strong advocate for UI-less home automation for this reason. But OH has a number of tools that let us build a unified UI.

His Dis-Integrated Home section doesn’t apply to this community because integrating everything is the point of OH. And by not even acknowledging that fact does not help the rest of the article.

He does have a very good point in the The Tyranny of Expediency section that many is not most of OH users lack the background knowledge and experience to truly assess the compromises they are making with decisions that they make up front. And this is a problem that I’ve seen on this very forum. I don’t know how to address that but it is a real problem.

However, I find there are two different types of home automation builders. Those who want to build it and be done with it and those who will forever tweak their home automation, adding something here, replacing a technology there and so on. The risk of making a bad decision early on is not so great because there will be ample opportunity for the DIY enthusiast to reconfigure or replace when problems like this arise.

As a case in point “Most DIY enthusiasts will tell you that a vitally important part of home improvement is doing it right the first time .” is a false statement in my experience. Most DIY enthusiasts tend to be like Ms. Frizzle…


The “A Failure of Imagination” section does highlight one weakness of OH, scenes. I’ve no idea what that would look like, but I wish there were better support in OH for scenes.

tl;dr the article raises some good points that are worthy of consideration, but presents a very one sided solution.


Guys in a sense I take this as offensive towards the "diy home automates " us.
we are designers coders and above all specialists in our own way, and if we don’t know we ask and learn.A friend on the form said something and that stuck to me “vzorglub, Said to me “Good luck, break things and learn””. I had a look at the system he is talking about. I also wanted to go that way. but realised that I wanted more.
and started our best friend. “google” lol . and came to my Favourite site . openHAB Community . so I started with my System and I am adding and re designing everything every day. and love it . even my wife comes up with the ideas of some of the stuff that she thinks we can add. normally it goes wife words.’’ Wouldn’t it be nice ‘’
and then the cogs start turning and with some trail and errors it works. but back to the point. why do I do it diy? because I want something specifically and to work like I want it not how the average system overs me. and I can fix it my self. so yes he makes some valid points but. doesn’t mean I need to agree with him. and I am in South Africa. normal guys firstly can’t afford the system. and secondly lack of knowledge is a problem.

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One thing I don’t understand or agree with in this atricle, maybe I had higher expectations of the system from the very beginning or I have the ability to imagine what I wanted, but the quote:
‘One of the most recognizable aspects of a DIY “smart home” is that the only person who understands how to use it is the person who implemented it.’
From my point of view, you shouldn’t need to know ‘how to use it’. It is ‘automation’, it should just work automatically. Like Rick says, it should not need a user interface, it should just work on it’s own. That is how my system works and I’m pretty new to this home automation stuff.
A gadget or convenience or service doesn’t get implemented on my system until it is fully automated, meaning it turns itself on and off, runs when it is supposed to, does what it is supposed to do when it is supposed to do it, proves itself very robust, can be easily manually over-ridden but returns to automated mode on its own in a non-intrusive way and lastly fails gracefully and recovers on it own if possible.
In my opinion, a home automation system should be like magic. Mine is! When I walk in, the lights come on, as I move around, lights turn on and off around me. The music plays, the TV turns on. When I go to bed or work, it all turns off… like magic! I’m amazed how much information can be gleaned from a few sensors and what time of the day it is and how those few sensors and the time can discern my whole daily schedule.
And I want more then that from my smart home, I want it to help me, be my personal assistant, do stuff for me that I don’t have time to do or forget to do. Check the traffic in the morning before I leave for work, remind me when I have an appointment or task. And I want it to let me know in a way I can’t miss, flash the lights or talk to me when I’m to busy to check for myself.
This is the joy of openHAB. Infinitely customize you home automation to do exactly what you want out of it. You imagination is the limit. Every time the system ‘magically’ does something I used to have to do myself, it makes me smile a little bit inside with the pride from ‘DIY’

Very good article , but i think most of the downsides we are all trying to improve or avoid and we are aware
its a long way ,but i am not sure a Pro installer will give me all the funtctions i need … most of them i dont know yet

maybe the best soualtion right now is hybrid system

KNX , or some other bus (for mission critical stuff), and some other DIY for fun things
thats what i am hopeing for…

the main thing is i dont want my wife asking me why the lights are not working let her ask the KNX guy :slight_smile:

In fact, knx isn’t home automation but electrical installation. However, if building a house with knx, it does provide an easy way to automate all that things which are on knx.

In my house, when switching of openHAB, lights, rollershutters, door bell and gate control are still working, but it’s sort of dumb thing, as you have to press buttons.
When switching on openHAB, rollershutters are driven by time and sun position, information about an opening gate or a ringing door bell is displayed on TV, music is playing when turning the bath lights on… just some nice to have things :wink: knx made it easy to control all the lights and shutters…