Getting Started with Open Home Automation

I am Marco Schwartz, and I created the Open Home Automation website. If you’re new to the world of Open-Source Home Automation, or to the Internet of Things, this page is for you. It contains all the information you need to understand what this website is about, and how to start building your own home automation & IoT projects. Let’s start!

What is Home Automation?

Home automation englobes everything that concerns the automation of your home, flat, or building in general. It includes alarm systems, control of lighting, temperature sensing, heating systems … and everything that can improve the quality of life in your home. More and more, these systems are more intelligent, can talk to each other and are connected to the web for remote control.

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things is the term used to indicate devices that are connected directly to the web. It is becoming more and more important in the home automation space, where many devices are connected to the web and can be controlled and monitored remotely. For example, a typical Internet of Things application is to monitor a webcam remotely from your smartphone, even if you are at the other end of the world.

What is this Website About?

I believe that open-source hardware is a great addition to home automation and the Internet of Things. Indeed, it is easy to go to the store and buy most of the systems I will talk about on this website, like remote temperature sensing or alarm systems. However, it gives an enormous satisfaction to actually understand these systems and build them yourself. By building open-source systems, you will have the full ownership and control over what you built, something you could never do with a system you just bought at the local store.

Why “Open” ?

All the material that is presented on this website is based on open-source systems, both for the hardware and the software parts. Open-source software have been around for a while (for example the whole GNU/Linux ecosystem) but open-source hardware is relatively new. It means that all the designs you will find on this website will be freely available, and that you can modify them for your own needs, and share them back with the community. The tutorials you will find on this website make an extensive use of the Arduino and Raspberry Pi platforms.

How to Get Started ?

In order for you to get started right away with open-source home automation, I selected my 5 best articles that will help you build your own home automation projects: