The Ultimate DIY Smart Home Hub: Home Assistant on Raspberry Pi

Feb 18, 2024 | Nexa DIY Initiative

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Home Assistant is an open-source home automation platform that allows you to control various devices and services in your home, such as lights, thermostats, sensors, and more, from a single interface. It’s designed to be highly flexible and customizable, enabling users to integrate a wide range of smart devices regardless of brand or protocol.

With Home Assistant, you can create automation routines, set up triggers based on events or conditions, and monitor your home’s status in real-time. It supports integration with popular smart home protocols like Zigbee, Z-Wave, Wi-Fi, and many others, allowing for extensive compatibility with different devices.

One of the key features of Home Assistant is its ability to run locally on a Raspberry Pi or other hardware, which ensures privacy and security by keeping your data within your home network. Additionally, it has a large and active community that contributes to its development, creating plugins, integrations, and custom components to extend its functionality. 

This project is the heart of DIY Home Automation, this powerful Smart Hub can be connected with most internet connected devices. The capabilites are limited only to the creators imagination, remotely controlled Smart Door Locks, a home Camera Control Center or a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device used for hosting your own Movie Server. The possibilities are endless, you can create your own devices, protect your own privacy and customize your entire Home Automation System to your liking.

Required Parts:

Nexa Recommended-

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 8GB Starter Kit

The CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 8GB Starter Kit includes a Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB of RAM along with essential accessories like power supply, microSD card, case, and HDMI cable. With its powerful specifications, particularly the 8GB of RAM, it’s well-suited for hosting Home Assistant, a popular open-source home automation platform. This means you can easily set up and manage various smart home devices, automate tasks, and monitor your home’s status using the Raspberry Pi as the central hub. This kit is not required but is HIGHlY recommended, and is the kit I used to build my Smart Hub. The 8 GB of RAM really comes in handy, especially as the number of devices increases as more DIY projects are added to your Smart Hub.

Alternative Option:

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B

The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (2019) is a compact and affordable single-board computer. It features significant upgrades over its predecessors, including faster processor options, increased RAM capacity (up to 8GB), multiple USB ports, dual micro HDMI ports for dual-display support, and Gigabit Ethernet. These improvements make it ideal for a wide range of projects, from basic computing tasks to more demanding applications like media streaming, gaming, and DIY electronics projects.

Cat 6 Ethernet

An ethernet cable is not required due to the Wi-Fi capability of the Raspberry Pi, however an ethernet cable is recommended. As traffic increases to your Smart Hub the Wi-Fi module will eventually get bogged down greatly affecting the performance of your Smart Hub. The Cable Matters 10Gbps Snagless Short Cat 6 Ethernet Cable is a high-speed networking cable designed for reliable data transmission. With a length of 5 feet, it’s ideal for connecting devices in close proximity. This cable supports data transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, ensuring fast and stable network connections for demanding applications. Its snagless design helps prevent damage to the cable connectors during installation or removal, enhancing durability.

Micro SD Card Reader

The COASD SD Card Reader is a versatile device that allows you to read various types of memory cards, including SD cards and microSD cards. It serves as both an SD card adapter and a USB card reader, providing convenient access to your data on different devices. With support for SDXC cards, it enables you to transfer large files quickly and efficiently. Its compact design makes it portable and suitable for use with laptops, desktops, and other devices with USB ports.

Micro SD Card

The SanDisk Extreme Pro MicroSDXC UHS-I U3 A2 V30 64GB is a high-performance memory card designed for demanding applications. With its UHS-I U3 speed class and V30 video speed class ratings, it offers fast read and write speeds, making it ideal for capturing high-quality photos and videos, as well as running apps and games smoothly on compatible devices. Its 64GB capacity provides ample storage space for multimedia files, and its rugged design ensures durability in various environments.

Micro SD Card

The CanaKit 3.5A Raspberry Pi 4 Power Supply (USB-C) is a dedicated power adapter designed specifically for the Raspberry Pi 4. With a power output of 3.5 amps, it provides sufficient power to the Raspberry Pi 4, ensuring stable and reliable operation. The power supply features a USB-C connector, which is compatible with the Raspberry Pi 4’s power input port. Its high-quality construction and safety features make it a reliable choice for powering your Raspberry Pi 4 projects.

“The cloud is a magical thing. Somewhere in the world there are computers collecting the data that your house generates, testing them against your automation rules and sending commands back when needed. The cloud will receive updates and improve itself over time so it is able to serve you better. Until it’s not. There are many reasons why your home might lose its connection to the cloud. The internet can stop working, an update might have gone wrong or the servers running the cloud crash.

When this happens, your house should be able to keep functioning. The cloud should be treated as an extension to your smart home instead of running it. That way you’ll avoid awkward situations like when Amazon AWS was down and the Amazon Echo stopped working.

Good home automation never annoys but is missed when it is not working.

-Paulus Schoutsen

Writing the image with Balena Etcher

Use this procedure if Raspberry Pi Imager is not supported by your platform.

  1. Insert the SD card into the computer. Note: the contents of the card will be overwritten.

  2. Download and start Balena Etcher. You may need to run it with administrator privileges on Windows.

  3. Download the image to your computer.

    • Copy the correct URL for the Raspberry Pi 3 or 4 (Note: there are 2 different links below!):

Select and copy the URL or use the “copy” button that appear when you hover it.

  1. Paste the URL into your browser to start the download.
  2. Select Flash from file and select the image you just downloaded.
    • Flash from URL does not work on some systems.


Following these instructions will fully set up your Smart Hub! In my opinion, this is the easiest method of setting up Home Assistant and is the same method I used. After inserting the flashed MicroSD into the Raspberry Pi, Home Assistant is up and ready to go, youll want to take note of the URL that is displayed on the Command Line Interface (CLI) after booting the Raspberry Pi. The URL diplayed in the CLI is the URL you will navigate to and use for administration of your Smart Hub! 

If your’e strugling with any issues check out this video for help! It has everything you need for setting up your Smart Hub.

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