What I WANT to do in openHAB

Looking at jumping on-board. But before I bury myself in this too deep, I want to make sure I can get where I want.

I’d like to have two Ring"-ish" doorbells. Two way comms and video.
I’d like to have three outdoor motion detector lights/cameras. Auto capture and live viewable.
I’d like to integrate into my existing honeywell smart thermostat (wifi).
I’d like to control a mix of Phillips zwave? zigbee? LED smart bulbs and a couple phillips Wifi of the same. (no phillips hub required).
I’d like to be able to do basic control with my iphone.
I’d like to use either an ipad mini or kindle fire as may main “panel”.
I’d like to be able to detect door/window sensors.

My brain goes to Ring since we use Alex and Echo all over the place. But, as long as there are some legit options for all the above, I’m happy. The closer to local control (without cloud interaction) the better.

And – examples show temperature in every room. What sensors are people integrating?

There is a Ring binding and some have made this work, but it’s not easy to get two way voice (I think those I’ve seen get this working set up SIP) and I’ve never seen two way video (most doorbells don’t have a screen anyway).

This should be well handled using the IP Camera binding, assuming you choose cameras that are supported by that add-on and some technology for the lights that are supported by some OH add-on.

I assume this is the recently rebranded Residio (I have one of these too). There is currently no add-on to support that in OH. I posted a tutorial and some rules a couple years ago but they never worked reliably. Honeywell’s API is kind of broken when it comes to authentication. However, when I was offered a free Alexa Show I took it and use the Alexa Control Add-on to get minimal access to the thermostat. I can change the setpoint and the mode (heating, AC, off) and get the current temp. But that’s all I need.

I believe the Zigbee binding handles Hue just fine, so long as you have a Zigbee coordinator that OH can use (usually a USB device). I don’t know anything about WiFi bulbs from Philips. I don’t think there is an add-on for that.

If you do have a hub, there is a Philips Hue add-on which can access and control any device on the hub.

There is an iPhone app for OH. As always the OH UI is web based so that’s an option too. There is also HomeKit integration.

See above.

Depends on the technology they use.

I have a handful of custom ones I built with ESP8266s and ESPHome firmware and publish the readings to MQTT.

I’ve also a couple of Govee GVH5072s which the openHAB Bluetooth binding should handle but I run OH in Docker and getting access to bluetooth in a container is a chore. So I use GitHub - rkoshak/sensorReporter: A python based service that receives sensor inputs and publishes them over REST (should work with any API but mainly tested with openHAB) or MQTT. It can also receive commands and perform an action (e.g. set a GPIO pin to HIGH). It currently supports Bluetooth, GPIO on Raspberry Pi, Amazon Dash buttons, command line scripts, and Roku IP address discovery. to sniff for the readings and deliver them over MQTT. With the recent addition of Homie support OH should auto-discover these now. Or sensorReporter also communicates with OH’s REST API directly if you don’t want to use MQTT.

In addition I have a couple of AirThings Wave+ sensors and use GitHub - Drolla/WavePlus_Bridge: Airthings Wave Plus Bridge to Wifi/LAN and MQTT to publish those sensor readings over MQTT. Again, the OH Bluetooth add-on should handle this if you are not running in a container.

But temperature sensors are pretty basic. Lots of options are out there including Hue, Zigbee, Zwave, Shelly, Ecobee, and more.

Here’s a thought.

A thermostat is just a temperature controlled switch. Should be able to MAKE an openHAB stand-alone with no residio, Honeywell, trane, nest…

That depends on your equipment. You can’t just attach a lightswitch to a furnace, heat pump, electric baseboard, radiator, etc., as the controllers are doing more than just turning them on and off. You could DIY your own controller, but there are already some viable alternatives out there.

Since you have a Honeywell thermostat, I’m guessing you have a furnace or heat pump. You’re always going to need a thermostat for it, but you can find ones that use Z-Wave and Zigbee. For example, the Honeywell T6 Pro Z-Wave. I also expect Matter thermostats to show up within the next year or two.

I have a gas fireplace and electric baseboards (mostly found in Canada). The fireplace requires a millivolt switch and the baseboards each have their own wall-mounted, high-voltage thermostats. A few years ago, I attached a Wemo Maker to the fireplace and made an openHAB thermostat with temperature sensors. This past winter, I installed a Z-Wave thermostat on my bedroom’s baseboard (the only one I use regularly) and tied that into the system as well. In the summer, I control my portable AC and some fans with it, using a combination of Kasa plugs and IR controllers.

The logic for a basic thermostat is relatively simple, and some folks have gone deeper. I’m just happy that I can turn on my heating/cooling before I get home, and have it turn off when I leave.

I use Hikvision (one of these kits) and have these integrations with OH:

  1. video recording (using ipcamera binding)
  2. detect bell is ringing and ring auxiliary bells
  3. stop ringing when door is opened (without having to answer the call)

One Hikvision indoor panel can control several outdoor stations, The main indoor panel can connect several Hik indoor auxiliary panels.

The only problem is the iPhone. All was well with iOS15 but iOS16 introduced a new (and not user friendly) way of answering calls. Not Hikvision specific, I have another bell (Fermax) that was also affected by this nasty iOS change.

I’d recommend the Kindle Fire, because you can get Android devices to report information to openHAB. If you use HabPanelViewer, you can turn the tablet on/off with rules.

Saying that, I don’t believe in spending a lot of time on UIs. I encourage people to automate anything that they want to happen 99% of the time, and only exert direct control over things that are less certain.

The magic is when your house just does what you expect–without you having to think about it. The curse is when you over-automate and end up fighting your rules. It’s hard to find a balance.

I have Z-Wave sensors (including my Z-Wave thermostat) and a Broadcom RM4 Mini IR controller with a temp/humidity sensor built into its USB cable.

I use zigbee2mqtt for all my zigbee stuff. I believe it supports Hue too.

For window/door sensors, I use Xiaomi Aqara contact sensors. They are tiny and works well for me.

Also use Xiaomi Aqara temperature / humidity sensors - in my showers, and in almost every room that matter. They also work via zigbee2mqtt.

I also use a lot of Xiaomi aqara PIR / motion sensors scattered throughout the house. They can also be used outside as long as they are sheltered from the rain. They work really well too.

You might look into HestiaPi which is a thermostat built with openHAB.

But in general my home automation philosophy is to build escalators instead of elevators. Like the Mitch Hedberg joke says, “You should never see an escalator temporarily out of order sign. Just escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.”

This means when all else fails, the device is still controllable and still for for purpose, just maybe not as automated. And for a thermostat, that means it needs to be able to operate and maintain temp on it’s own.

I like this thinking as well… good always to think of the failure modes.

With temp sensors I switched to Ruuvi tags partially with this reasoning https://ruuvi.com/

They Use bluetooth low energy (just broadcasting the readings), support mobile apps. With mobile apps I can always confirm if they have run out of battery or just check the temp.

There’s couple of ways to get the data to openHAB, eg using mqtt esp32 with external antenna (I use openmqttgateway on esp32). Olimex even has prepackaged solutions ESP32-GATEWAY - Open Source Hardware Board that apparently work well. There is also ruuvi gateway which has super antenna and can act as ble-mqtt gateway. I have created binding for openHAB to parse the data (not yet merged to official distribution)

I used to have aeotec zwave sensors before but the protocol (it is two way, buggy devices) is much more complex and apparently (my experience) all sort of failure modes are possible. Then again even that has been stable for quite some time now, perhaps the binding is more stable now?

Hmmm. Good point.

So. I’m basically running. I can control my Wemo’s.

My first major job will be temp sensors. As mentioned by some, reliability is going to be important. Simplicity as well.

I’m going to use my (windows) Plex server as my openhab server. Centrally located and has the capacity.

I have a current echo with hub(s). Obviously, I have to have SOME kind of zigbee hub to talk to the devices. Bluetooth is easy yo add.

Opinions. For temp. Bluetooth? Wifi? Zigbee? If zigbee, use the echo as my hub? Or is there a better general purpose zigbee hub?

Thanks again for the failure mode comment. Good reason to use a real thermostat.

I’ve a combo of DIY WiFi mains powered sensors and a couple bluetooth. I’m happy with the performance. YMMV.

I don’t know how well using the echo as the hub works. I really only have the one that I got for free and access to the thermostat and exterior lights is about the only reason I keep it plugged in. I think you get better local control if you have a USB zigbee coordinator. Just check the binding readme for the list of known to work coordinators before going out to buy one.

The major limitation that I’m aware of is the reporting delay. The Echo Control binding only polls every 10 minutes. That’s probably fine with temperature, but would be annoying for almost everything else.

I wouldn’t limit yourself to thinking just about temperature. There are lots of devices that have multiple sensors: temperature, humidity, light, motion, vibration, etc. Even if you don’t plan on using the extra data now, you’ll start seeing ways to use them in the future. That’s the fun part. :wink:

Also, keep in mind that you’re not picking one technology to the exclusion of all others. I use WiFi and Z-Wave sensor, but if I really wanted something that’s only available in Zigbee, it’s easy enough to add a Zigbee controller.

I’d suggest looking around to see what’s available to you, even if that’s just searching on Amazon, and then search the community to see if anyone has talked about those devices. That’s generally faster than asking people for recommendations, particularly since you might not be able to buy a particular device where you are.

Well. Jumping in. My existing Wemo plugs were easy. Ordered a sonos zigbee hub and two temp sensors to start with.

Will stick with my residio thermostat. And will start with a supported security system and use this to enhance, not replace.