DIY Home Automation Using Node-Red and Raspberry Pi

Most smart home devices come with access to a cloud based dashboard/control panel for monitoring and controlling the device.

These control panels are often vendor specific and cannot be used for controlling  devices from other vendors.

There are a number of smart home dashboards like HomeAssistant that can be used with devices from multiple vendors.

However on this site I will take a DIY approach and focus on how to use Node-Red for creating a smart home and creating automations.

The reason for doing this is because this site is primarily an educational site and the best way of  learning about home automation is to build your own system.

The technologies we use will be the same as those used in commercial ones and having an understanding of those will greatly assist you if you install and use a commercial system.

I will be developing several Dashboards to monitor and control my home network and smart home devices.

So if you want to take the DIY approach to building a home automation system then you might also want to give it a try.

Getting Started

Node Red is a flow based tool written in nodejs . It has a low memory footprint and runs on the the Raspberry Pi making it an ideal system for home automation projects.

Node-Red comes pre-installed on the Raspberry Pi but you may need to upgrade it.

An install script is provided on the node-red site. Here are the instructions on the Raspberry Pi Site.

Although I will be running on a raspberry pi you can also use other Linux systems and also Windows in most cases, as node-red runs on these systems.

What Is Being Covered?

I will be creating tutorials, example flows and dashboards that will show you how to:

  • Monitor Your Home Network and the Internet
  • Automate your Home

If you have any questions then please use the Ask-steve page.

Node-Red Basics

If you are new to Node-Red then I would recommend you take a look at this overview video.

To use node red you will need to create a dashboard. This video covers the basics.

Home automation systems use MQTT and HTTP protocols. Node-red supports both of these protocols.

Video – How to Create a Node-Red MQTT Dashboard

Video – Using the HTTP Request node

Home Networking and Home Automation Flows

Monitoring Your Network

Home Automation

Smart Home Simulator

In order to generate test data and control dashboard I have create a smart home simulator in node-red which currently consists of :

  • sensor simulators
  • Control dashboard

You can read more about it and download the node-red flows- Smart home simulator

Question

Do you have any tutorial suggestions I would be glad to hear them. Please use the comments form below.

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