Why use openhab?

So I was sitting and wondering. What are the exactly advantages of using openhab? Why are you guys using openhab?
So I have started to prepare for using openhab, but before beginning I began asking myself crital questions (as I believe you should for every thing you do before you begin) and I actually sat and wondered: What are the advantages of openhab? Why not just program your own mqtt page and use a simple wifi-board/chip like the NodeMCU, which is much cheaper for instance. Obviously you would be able to just make that particular item host a simple web-server or use a mqtt-client app to connect to it and get control that way. I do believe it would be possible to connect multiple of these to the same website and boom, you got yourself something similar to openhab without having to use a device like for instance the Raspberry pi which uses a lot more power than a NodeMCU board does.

One reason I could come up with was the possibility to access it from outside the particular home-internet. But I am kinda at a loss at what other advantages openhab has?

So I just wanted to hear your guys thoughts and ideas as for, why you should use openhab over a much simpler mqtt or web-host setup?

Err now that’s a kinda strange view on things you’re exposing. Leaves me somewhat puzzled TBH.
You just can’t compare OH to a specific combination of HW/OS/transmission technology/automation engine/ecosystem. OH’s scope and applicability is WAY larger than that.
openHAB is meant to be applicable to as many different HW and SW environments as possible, to run gazillion of different use cases in everybody’s home, to integrate with existing and newly bought and DIY devices, to provide centralized, seamless automation across many different technologies (devices, subsystems, protocols).
Just browse this forum to discover what people use it for, how much these are different in terms of required knowledge ranging from the electrical basics to operating devices and servers to programming skills.
Most of these usage scenarios you wouldn’t be able to do with NodeMCU and MQTT at all, and many home automators to happily make us of OH to get their use case working likely don’t even know what those are, let alone how to program them.

Basically ok but I would add to use the openHABian Raspi image and to make use of its backup capabilities.
Overall though, you should start by making up your mind WHAT you want to automate or in general what to achieve with your setup rather than spending thoughts on how to achieve is. The beauty of OH is that it lets you use and combine everything so there’s always many possibilities how to get a use case such as say a lighting scenery implemented, but the more important it is to have a strong vision where you want to get.

I know it’s a kind of strange question, but I just wanted to hear you guys thoughts on it, and I see what you are saying. Obviously openHAB is made for this purpose and it is very developed compared to any simple program you would just be able to make/setup yourself.

This paragraph belies either an extreme naivete about the home automation domain or a deliberate misrepresentation of the problem that OH was actually designed to solve.

If and only if you believe that OH’s sole purpose is to enable DIY electronics enthusiasts to build and integrate there self built sensors and relays then this might be a reasonable question. Indeed, if that is your view of the problem space then indeed OH will seem overly complex and heavy weight.

But that isn’t the home automation problem space so the question illustrates the Strawman Logical Fallicy.


THIS is the home automation problem space. Only it’s not 15 competing standards, its hundreds.

The problem that OH solves is being able to build a home automation system using devices from many different technologies and standards and APIs in a seamless manner. For example, I can use information from a home built weather station to inform grass irrigation decisions controlled by my Rachio. I can use Zwave motion sensor combined with a Zigbee light sensor and network based presence detection to control a Sonoff light switch.

So if you built a bunch of NodeMCU devices with MQTT and a web page then no, you would not have anything at all like OH.


I see what you are saying. Thank you, that actually helped me understand it a lot better!!