The start of my smart home

I’ve always been interested in IoT and smart home automation, but being a tenant it’s not every been something I could get stuck into.

Now I’ve moved this is the start of my journey. I’m going to share everything I learn as a I go along and hope to share my mistakes and wins so those reading can make better choices.


I started by looking at the tech out there and what was compatible with what. My main concerns at this point were cost and maintenance. There are a lot of systems out there that don’t talk to the other and just as many that require proprietary hubs and just as many again that need cloud subscriptions. I wanted to keep things as open as possible and as cheap as possible to maintain. I would rather layout money for a dedicated computer to manage everything than pay for a cloud service that requires a live internet connection to work.

I looked at how I could build redundancy into my solution and how to spread my risk by having different products all talk to each other.

I’ve not taken a particularly keen interest in the voice activation such as Alexa and Google Home. While I use google assistant in my car a lot because it keeps my hands on the wheel I don’t need that in my home, at least most of the time.

The rest of the time I was trying to think of times when my hands would be occupied or I wouldn’t have a personal device (phone, watch, tag) with me.

To get started I went out and bought/utilised some devices:

  • Hive home hub
  • Hive lights x2
  • Hive socket switch
  • Nest Thermostat
  • Nest Protect (battery operated)
  • Phillips Hue White Light
  • Hive motion sensor
  • LG R Watch
  • x2 Android phones
  • Windows Surface tablet
  • 4TB External Drive
  • MSI Gaming rig
  • Oco Pro HD Camera

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