Home Home automation ideas

20+ Best ideas to start your Home Automation journey

Every journey starts with an idea!

There are countless ways to get started with home automation! Sometimes you just need a nudge in the right direction. I've put together this list of what I think are the best ideas to get started with your next home automation project. We all need some inspiration from time to time!

Air quality monitoring

Great air quality in your house is essential for good health and a great mood. Dust, mold, and other particles in the air can cause headaches and other health problems. You can make your house a much more pleasant place if you know what the air quality is. Let's build an automated monitoring device for this!

You can read a step-by-step guide on how to build this using the Instructions.

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Nodemcu 1.0 ESP8266 1 https://amzn.to/3OFcl9x
MQ2 gas sensor 1 https://amzn.to/3bshovU
MQ9 gas sensor 1 https://amzn.to/3bu3l91
1.3 inches OLED monitor SSD1306 1 https://amzn.to/3QKH8Uh
180ohm resistor 2 https://amzn.to/3Ot2LqQ
330 ohm resistor 2 https://amzn.to/3ylDOHS
3.3V to 5V boost converter 1 https://amzn.to/39PFVua
7.4V Li-ion battery 1 https://amzn.to/3ygc8Ep
Analog Multiplexer 4051 (CD4051BE) 1 https://amzn.to/3xM36O4
Breadboard 1 https://amzn.to/3neN2zs
Li-ion battery Charger Board 1 https://amzn.to/3xRppln
PMS3003 G3 particle sensor 1 https://amzn.to/3Oi2arI

Alarm system

Alarm systems are very expensive and often don't quite do what you'd like it to do. So why not make your own system? You can configure your own alarm system and take the action that you want to when it detects suspicious behavior.

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Nodemcu 1.0 ESP8266 1 https://amzn.to/3OFcl9x
PIR sensor 1 https://amzn.to/3OLwpHz
Female to Female jumper wires 1 https://amzn.to/3ndx9cG
(Optional) Micro USB cable 1 https://amzn.to/3nzPqkJ
(Optional) USB charger 1 https://amzn.to/3Oz2zGc

Automatic pet feeder

If you have any pets, you'll know the feeling of haste when you're out during your pets' normal feeding times. If you ever want to go on vacation, you have to find someone to take care of your pets, this can be a struggle if everyone else is also on vacation. What you need is an automatic pet feeder. There are several types, like a gravity pet feeder and an electric feeder. The gravity feeder will constantly feed your pets, while the electric pet feeder has a timer at which it dispenses food. If your pets always eat all of their food right away, an electric feeder might be a good option for you, but if your pets eat a little throughout the day, the gravity feeder is a perfect solution while you're out!

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Electric pet feeder 1 https://amzn.to/3dq5XG3
Gravity Pet feeder 1 https://amzn.to/3PjPC2E

Cheap bluetooth speakers

Bluetooth speakers can be expensive if you want to go for great quality. But what if you already have incredible speakers and just want to make them smarter? You can great a little device, connect your speakers to it, and you're ready to go!

The best part of this project is that you don't need a lot of components! All you need is a raspberry pi, an SD card, an AUX cable, and you're ready to build your own smart speaker system. You can even configure it to be a multi-room system.

Find the instructions on balena.io.

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Raspberry Pi 1 https://amzn.to/3oGPXl6
Raspberry Pi case 1 https://amzn.to/3zH6HyW
3.5mm to AUX cable 1 https://amzn.to/3djGcqE

Electrical timer

Do you want to turn off the lights at a certain time at night? That's something you can automate! Use an ESP device to automatically turn off the lights at night, so you never forget about it again. Are you going on vacation but want to make it seem like someone is home? This home automation project will turn the lights on and off, so no one will ever realize you're gone!

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Smart Plug 1 https://amzn.to/3vpPSGf

Smart thermostat

A smart thermostat can save you hundreds per year on your utility bill! Only turn on the heating when you're home and you're never spending money to keep your house warm for no one to enjoy it.

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Google Nest Learning Thermostat 1 https://amzn.to/3zHEDvv

Flood sensors for basements

If you're dealing with a flooded basement, it'd be nice to know if and when your basement is getting wet. Is it due to rainfall or is there a leaking pipe?

An easy way to find out whether your basement is flooded is to connect a water detector an Arduino or ESP8266 and let it notify you when it's detecting water. You can let go of the constant worry of potentially having a flooded basement, because the flood detector will tell you when something is wrong!

You can find instructions on how to make a water detection system here!

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Rain water level sensor 1 https://amzn.to/3Ptr2MM
Arduino UNO 1 https://amzn.to/3Qo5BhM
ESP8266 NodeMCU 1 https://amzn.to/3zUX5PY

Home Assistant dashboard

When you start your home assistant journey, you'll want a central place to control your smart devices. This central place allows you to create more complex automations to make your life a little easier. You can use Google Home, Homekit, but also an open-source solution: Home Assistant. Home Assistant is easy to install on a raspberry pi and has a large community, so if you ever get stuck, there are plenty of people that can help you to solve any issues.

Home Assistant is completely free and is constantly being updated by talented people, so you even get new features for free.

You can follow these instructions to install Home Assistant on your Raspberry Pi.

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Raspberry Pi 1 https://amzn.to/3oGPXl6
Raspberry Pi case 1 https://amzn.to/3zH6HyW
256gb Micro SD card 1 https://amzn.to/3vVcjmT

Homemade vending machine

A vending machine is a fun way to learn how you can build your own home automation projects! You'll combine a lot of different skills to build a nice final product. These skills are completely transferable to any future project you can think of.

You can find the instructions on retrobuiltgames.com.

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Arduino UNO 1 https://amzn.to/3Qo5BhM

Humidity control center

Humidity levels in your house change all the time, but what if you could control this at all times? Perhaps you'd like the humidity levels to be a little higher during the night and you'd like dry air during the day. With a smart device that can control the humidity, this is exactly what you can do! You could combine such a device with your nighttime automations to start raising the humidity in your bedroom 30 minutes before you go to bed.

You can follow these instructions build this humidity control center yourself. It's quite easy to make and you only need a handful of components.

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Arduino UNO 1 https://amzn.to/3Qo5BhM
1.3 inch 128 x 64 I2C OLED Display Module 1 https://amzn.to/3C0pQ0t
DHT11 Temperature Humidity Sensor 1 https://amzn.to/3A0km3d
MB-102 3.3V/5V Power module 1 https://amzn.to/3QnQuVq
5V relay module 1 https://amzn.to/3AqGhCh
DV 5V , 300mA , 2W , 108KHz Atomization humidifier 1 https://amzn.to/3zR18Np
DC 12V charger (6.5V-12V) 1 https://amzn.to/3QAoZaQ
Breadboard 1 https://amzn.to/3neN2zs
Jumper wires 1 https://amzn.to/3w0Zjwl

Mesh Wi-Fi network for connectivity indoors & outdoors

If you've got spotty Wi-Fi in parts of your house, this is a project you need to try! You can turn ESP-8266 devices into Wi-Fi repeaters and even combine them to create a mesh network in the house for a fraction of the cost of off-the-shelf solutions. Configuring these devices is not too difficult, but it does help if you've got experience with the terminal or command prompt in Linux/Windows/MacOS.

You can find the needed software and instructions on GitHub.

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
ESP8266 NodeMCU 6 https://amzn.to/3zUX5PY

Mood lighting

Mood lighting is perfect for a lot of different situations! You can set it to track the weather, perhaps make it blue when it's really cold and red for very warm days. Whatever your use for mood lighting might be, it's surprisingly easy to build your own mood lighting set-up with some RGB LED-strips, an Arduino or ESP8266, and a little bit of spare time!

You can find the instructions on how to build mood lighting on YouTube!

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Arduino UNO 1 https://amzn.to/3Qo5BhM
RGB LED-strip 1 https://amzn.to/3AqtO19

Motion detected lights

Motion detecting lighting can help make your life much easier in many ways! You can always see where you're going, you're never wasting electricity with lights that stay on, and you never have to think about your lights again!

If you're often struggling to find your way during the night and you can't find the light switches, the motion detecting light bulbs are a perfect addition to your house. You can forget about finding the light switches and just make your way to where you need to go. The lights will illuminate the way for you. How easy!

If you're looking to reduce your utility bills, motion detecting lights are something you absolutely need to have! These lights will never stay on by accident and won't waste electricity on lighting rooms you're not in at the moment.

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Motion detecting light bulbs 1 https://amzn.to/3OHZhQn

Plant watering system

One of the toughest things about going on vacation is to keep your plants properly watered! Even if you don't go on vacation, but you always forget to water your plants, an automatic watering system is the perfect home automation project for you!

Never forget to water your plants again, even better, always water your plants at the right time with the right amount of water! An automatic watering system for plants makes all of this possible! It can be small-scale, just to water a single plant, or you can automatically water your entire garden without ever leaving the house.

You can find instructions to build your own plant watering system here!

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Arduino UNO 1 https://amzn.to/3Qo5BhM
ESP8266 NodeMCU 1 https://amzn.to/3zUX5PY
Capacitive Soil Moisture Sensor v1.2 1 https://amzn.to/3QJGO7q
5v Water Pump 1 https://amzn.to/3ST2lfI
8mm water tube 1 https://amzn.to/3Qs5wtq

Security cameras

Security cameras are great when you're on vacation and you'd like to check up on your house every once in a while! Perhaps you'd like to see what your cats are up to during the night! A security camera is easy to build and has very many uses!

If you want a security camera that also has night vision, it's not any more difficult, because you can find many different night vision cameras for the Raspberry Pi or Raspberry Pi Zero. You won't have to write any software, as someone has already written a great operating system for security cameras that even allow you to import the camera feed in your Home Assistant installation!

You can find instructions on how to create your own security camera with a Raspberry Pi here!

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Raspberry Pi case 1 https://amzn.to/3zH6HyW
Raspberry PI Night Vision Camera 1 https://amzn.to/3QsAnGb
Raspberry Pi 1 https://amzn.to/3oGPXl6

Smart Coffee Maker

A smart coffee maker can make your mornings more pleasant! Can you already imagine waking up to a perfectly hot coffee that's freshly made for you? It's quite a simple project to try out!

The best part of this project is that you won't even need to have a "smart" coffee machine. You can make any "dumb" device smart by plugging it into a smart plug. With this smart plug, you can control the coffee machine from your phone and even set an alarm in the morning at which it'll start to brew your coffee.

The smart plug will only supply your coffee machine with power when it's time to brew your coffee, so set-up is very simple. The night before, you can add your water, add your coffee beans or ground coffee, and turn on the machine. Since the machine doesn't get any power from the smart plug, it won't brew your coffee until the morning.

It's a simple, yet very pleasant home automation you should try out!

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Smart Plug 1 https://amzn.to/3vpPSGf

Smart lighting

Smart lighting offers you many benefits, even some you might have not thought of before! You can create light shows for house parties, dim the lights during the evening to get ready for bed, or even pretend you're home by automatically turning the lights on and off while you're on vacation!

Not only is smart lighting an easy home automation project, it can also help you save a lot of money on your next electricity bill.

When you combine smart lighting with motion sensors, you will never forget to turn the lights off again. The lights will turn on when you enter the room and turn back off as soon as you leave.

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Smart light bulbs 1 https://amzn.to/3bdkPXl

Smart mirror

Do you enjoy reading the news, looking at the weather, or do you want to know the time while you're in the bathroom in the morning? A smart mirror might be the perfect smart home addition for you!

You can buy smart mirrors ready-made, but if you're looking for a bit more of a challenge and you want to customize your smart mirror to be perfect for you, you can quite easily build one yourself!

You can read the build instructions here.

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Raspberry Pi 1 https://amzn.to/3oGPXl6
Raspberry Pi case 1 https://amzn.to/3zH6HyW
Two-way mirrored glass 1 https://amzn.to/3zF5nwI
Computer monitor 1 https://amzn.to/3Br1oFa

Temperature monitoring

Monitoring the temperature in and around your house doesn't just create cool graphs in Grafana, it can also help you predict and improve your life across a few years. Yes, this is quite a long investment of time, but it can help you to see whether you're making your living space more pleasant throughout the year!

Imagine, it's the height of summer and the sun is blazing hot, what is the impact of covering your windows? Will it actually make your house cooler? Will covering the windows make your house warmer in the winter? This seems like a silly example, but when you're monitoring the indoor and outdoor temperature, you can carefully improve the temperature throughout the year and make your house a pleasant place all year round!

Here you can find instructions on how to read temperature sensors in Home Assistant!

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
ESP8266 NodeMCU 1 https://amzn.to/3zUX5PY
DHT11 Temperature Humidity Sensor 1 https://amzn.to/3A0km3d

Touchscreen coffee table

What's something you don't know how you could've lived without? A touchscreen coffee table! I know, it's a bit of an unnecessary home automation project, but it's such a cool project to build! You'll have the most unique coffee table out of everyone you know!

This touchscreen coffee table is a cool addition to your home and has more uses than you might expect! Your coffee table can double as a gaming table for virtual board games with your friends and family. If you want to know the weather, you can go to your table rather than your phone. Okay, this project really is a "Why not?" type of project, but I know I've always dreamed of having one of these!

You can find instructions on how to build the touchscreen coffee table here!

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Raspberry Pi 1 https://amzn.to/3oGPXl6
32 inch TV 1 https://amzn.to/3PHD6dP
LED IR 1 https://amzn.to/3dCO46E

Turn on the garden lights after sunset

Turning on the garden lights when it gets dark is a very easy project to help you get started with home automation. Home assistant makes it very easy to configure automations that are triggered when it detects "sunset". You can combine this with ESPHome events to let Home Assistant turn your garden lights on and off when it sees fit!

You can find instructions on how to control your lights using Home Assistant and ESPHome here!

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Raspberry Pi 1 https://amzn.to/3oGPXl6

Utility usage monitoring

Monitor your electricity and gas usage through Home Assistant with their new Energy dashboard! You can easily build your own device to send data from your electricity and gas meter to Home Assistant and get instant insights on your energy usage. You can track your electricity and gas usage without having to wait for the bill at the end of the month!

To track your usage, you can attach some custom hardware to your electricity and gas meter, which converts the information into a format that Home Assistant understands!

You can find instructions on how to set-up energy monitoring in Home Assistant here!

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Raspberry Pi 1 https://amzn.to/3oGPXl6

Weather station

Weather enthusiasts be ready! You can make your own weather station with the exact sensors you want to measure what you find useful! You don't have to buy a complete weather station that comes with extra (and more expensive) features you'll never use. You can truly make it your own!

This project can be as easy or as difficult as you want to to be, so whether you're a beginner or you've build home automation projects before, you can build your own weather station!

You can find the instructions for building a weather station with an Arduino here!

Things you'll need for this project

Product Quantity Where to find it
Arduino UNO 1 https://amzn.to/3Qo5BhM
Davis Anamometer 1 https://amzn.to/3AnfVAX
DC-DC Voltage Regulator Step-Up Boost Converter 1 dc-dc-voltage-regulator-step-up-boost-converter.com