Author: Darhan Saami
With the rise of SBCs and microcontrollers, home automation is no longer a far-fetched dream. It is the reality. From automatically scheduling gardening and cleaning to operating lights, window blinds, and heating, anything is achievable within a budget in 2021. Millions of people use home automation to control everyday functions remotely and conveniently. All you need are a few devices and software to get started. We covered the step-by-step procedure of home automation in a separate article. In this blog, let us dive deeper into the best possible Smart Home Software options out there.
All of these options are supported with Raspberry Pis, and although you can technically run these on a model as old as the Raspberry Pi 2, it’s recommended you use a newer model like the Raspberry Pi 4. We suggest you start with a kit like this one from Raspberry Pis official partner Canakit, which has everyhing you need to get started. We did a review on what comes in this kit and why it’s awesome here.
Before we get started with the list of software you can choose from, it is crucial to assess what exactly you are looking for. Does your home automation project involve a lot of voice assistance, or would you like to use your smartphone to control the devices? How often do you want to interfere with the system? What sort of user interface do suits you? You do not need to have the complete design of your project jotted down. All that you need is a good sense of your expectations from your project.
With that out of the way, let start having a look at all the fantastic platforms you can incorporate into your smart home project.
Home Assistant is a beautiful piece of software designed for smart home control with useful smart home automation features. It is popularly recognized for being an open-source Raspberry Pi home automation software. The Hass.io is a Raspberry Pi-compatible OS that offers services from the Home Assistant’s installation to managing the Home Assistant user interface. This software has plenty of add-on options that allow you to incorporate third-party software and devices, including Alexa and Google Assistant. It is even compatible with Nest, Samsung SmartThings, Zigbee, Z-Wave, Plex, and Philips Hue products, which exponentially raises this platform’s functionality. Since it does not transmit any data over the cloud, Home Assistant is perfectly secure. Lastly, the UI is incredibly intuitive and easy-to-use, making this software an even more complete package for your smart home automation project.
Home Assistant is compatible with almost all Raspberry Pi boards, including Raspberry Pi 2, 3, 3A+, and 4.
MisterHouse is another excellent software for home automation. It uses scripts written in Perl to monitor items and possess the capability of accepting voice commands. What makes this software stand out is its ability to run on Linux OS, Windows OS, and macOS devices. Like most software, MisterHouse is compatible with Raspberry Pi circuitry and can assist with everyday functions such as switching lights, reading voicemails, recording shows, etc.
MisterHouse is ready to be used on Raspberry Pi 2, 3, 3A+, 3B+, and 4.
OpenHAB is an open-source smart home automation hub. The HAB stands for “Home Automation Bus.” This software is popularly used as the nucleus of a smart home automation system. OpenHAB brings incredible functionality to the table due to its ability to integrate with numerous smart home products. With a strong presence of its dedicated community and an array of companion applications, this software is limitless in usage. Together with the powerful processing of the Raspberry Pi, it seamlessly streamlines the home automation setup. It is supported by Linux distros, such as Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSUSE. Besides the Raspberry Pi, the OpenHAB can run on any device capable of running JVM.
OpenHAB can be used with Raspberry Pi 2, 3, 3A+, 3B+, and 4.
The next one on our list is Calaos – a free software project dedicated to control and monitor your home. This home automation software comes with a touchscreen-compatible interface. It is integrable with standard Android and iOS applications and Linus OSes, web apps, and even servers. Installers include a Raspberry Pi image, images for Intel chipsets, Cubieboard releases, etc. Calaos is relatively simple and easy-to-understand amongst the bunch. Probably the only downside is that most of the supporting medium online is only in French. In case you are unfamiliar with the French language, you might not have many mediums to guide you if you face trouble using the software.
Calaos is compatible with Raspberry Pi 2, 3, 3A+, 3B+, and 4.
Mycroft is one of the world’s leading open-source voice assistants. It is a private and completely customizable platform. Rather than a standard home automation software with manual controls, Mycroft offers smart voice-assistance alongside automating your everyday tasks. Its voice stack is open source. This means that they can be freely remixed, extended, and deployed anywhere. To get this magnificent software working, all you need is a Raspberry Pi board, Mycroft image, a speaker, a MicroSD card, and a microphone. From news and web searches to media control, Mycroft can become your perfect smart assistant.
Mycroft is compatible with Raspberry Pi 2, 3, 3A+, 3B+, and 4.
The smart home automation services Domoticz boasts primarily include combability with a wide range of devices and products. You cannot only integrate Domoticz with gadgets, but it can also support MQTT and Apple’s Home Kit. You can keep yourself notified through messages on the smartphone coming from this software. Domoticz can be operated on several OSes with a scalable web front–end. The software also has one of the best supporting-mediums online for its users. It can run on Raspberry Pi, Cubiedboard, Unix, Apple, and Windows devices.
It is compatible with the Raspberry Pi 2, 3, 3A+, 3B+, and 4.
Jeedom software is another open-source home automation software. It’s few unique features include transparency and fluidity. It does not use external servers to work. The only local user is you alone. Jeedom is also compatible with multiple protocols, including Z-Wave, EnOcean, KNX, Legrand Bus, RTS, etc. You can be sure not to miss out on upcoming new protocols as Jeedom Market keeps its compatibility updated. Other popular features of this software have included a variety of personalization options through widgets and interfaces. Jeedom runs seamlessly on Linux OSes and Raspberry Pi devices.
It is compatible with Raspberry Pi 2, 3, 3A+, 3B+, and 4.
LINUXMCE (LINUX MEDIA CENTER EDITION)
The LinuxMCE or Linux Media Center Edition is known for the automation of media setups for a smart home. It is a Linux distro that is dedicated to being used with the Raspberry Pi. The LinuxMCE is famous amongst the gaming community. The software perfectly suits projects like retro gaming consoles or low-powered home theatre PCs (HTPCs). Its features include numerous integrations for gaming, multimedia, lighting, security, weather, etc. In case you are looking to automate the mini theatre in your basement, the LinuxMCE might be a great option.
It is compatible with the Raspberry Pi 2, 3, 3B+, and 4.
The OpenNetHome software is another open-source smart home automation. This software is famous for being convenient and intuitive to install, personalize, and use. With this software’s help, users can automate functions like dimming lights, fire alarms, moisture sensors, security alarms, etc. The software is on Apache and Java. Nevertheless, it is supported by Linux, Windows, and macOS computers.
OpenNetHome is perfectly compatible with the Raspberry Pi 2, 3, 3A+, 3B+, and 4.
MyPi is an open-source smart home automation software dedicated to being used with the Raspberry Pi technology. The software allows you to take charge of GPIO headers on up four Raspberry Pi boards and dedicates each one to a specific task. MyPi comes with numerous mobile applications on iOS and Android, which supplement your control over your smart home. While it is a perfect option for DIY enthusiasts, the supporting documentation for MyPi online is not the best out there.
MyPi is compatible with all models of the Raspberry Pi boards.
The next software on our list is PiDome – another Raspberry Pi open-source home automation platform. In addition to a wide range of smart controls, PiDome also monitors your Raspberry Pi device’s performance and conditions. It has a user-friendly and customizable interface. It comes with supported plugins for utility measurements, universal remote controls, SMS, Media, and even weather. PiDome’s unique dashboard supports all client types and helps keep track of statistics and data, for example, temperature, gadgets in use, security, etc. It even allows you to write a client of your own with Java client libraries. PiDome is an excellent choice for professional developers as well as hobbyists.
It is compatible with the Raspberry Pi 2, 3A+, 3B+, and 4.
The last one on the list is a smart home automation server called Mycontroller. This lightweight server allows you to take charge of your smart home from any place in the world. It supports multiple gateways with multiple protocols such as Serial, Ethernet, MQTT, etc. It can carry out time-based operations, push notifications, configure alarms, and create graphical reports.
With an easy-to-use dashboard, Mycontroller supports most Linus, Windows, and Raspberry Pi devices.
That was our list of the twelve most popular and useful smart home automation platforms. We hope you may have found clarity to the questions we talked about at the start of the article.
Get started on automating your home with a Raspberry Pi here.
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