And finally, After months of planning and construction, My Smart Home Journey commences with Apple HomeKit & Homebridge that not only met my family’s needs but also incorporated Sustainability & Smart home technology from the ground up.

Yes I Have been MIA for the last 5 months or so, No videos and No Updates.

And I’ll be Honest – I missed it as well.

However, The good news is that we are no longer renting and finally we moved in to our New Home thats incorporated Sustainability & smart home technology thats all linked together.

Thats Why, I’m excited to share with you’ll my Smart Home journey finally commences first with Home bridge

and then at some point in time on that same very journey we will transition over to Home Assistant in a step by step manner.

And yes I will be documenting my Home Assistant journey with you’ll as well.

However, my interaction with the Home will always be thru the Apple Home App. I am not going to put in additional effort in creating Dashboards.

So, If you’re like me who lives in a Beautiful Third world country or where ever you may be and for some reason there are no Apple HomeKit or Matter smart devices available around you or its simply just too expensive.

Then you probably already have a mix of smart devices from different brands. Some bought from online marketplaces like AliExpress and you have to open different apps to interact with them.Β  YUCK !

Now since, My family and myself are all locked in the Apple Ecosystem – That’s where Homebridge comes in.

For me – It’s an entry level open-source software that allows you to integrate various smart home devices and control them all from one platform like Apple HomeKit.

It’s a fantastic way to streamline your smart home setup and make everything work seamlessly together in Apple HomeKit.

Now with HomeBridge – The value proposition is crystal clear – Bringing HomeKit support where there is none.Β 

That is HomeBridge is just a β€œbridge” to make devices HomeKit compatible.

Meaning it allows you to integrate with smart home devices that do not natively support HomeKit.

So In short – Everything that has been made for Homebridge, was designed to be used and controlled in Apple HomeKit by basically installing, configuring and using plugins.Β  Which in turn makes devices HomeKit compatible.

And your main method of Smart Home control & automation is going to be all done within the Apple home app. In addition, the software is free to use, widely supported in places like GitHub or Reddit, and it is simple to get it workingΒ  for individual smart home setups.

Now with this new Home we are in – Homebridge has provided me the

  1. Ability to Meet my smart home needs.
  2. Ability to control different smart device types in Apple HomeKit
  3. Ability to have a Smart Home Experience all by using one App.
  4. Last but not least- Able to have and Build a Smart Home on a Budget.

So, I started by installing Homebridge on a Raspberry Pi. Setting it up was surprisingly easy, thanks to the detailed documentation available online and I have tutorial videos on how to Install it on multiple platforms and I have left links in the description.

Now – Once Homebridge was up and running, Here is where I started integrating my smart devices and can control them all via the Apple Home App.

Now some of them I already have tutorial videos on, some of them will be updated and I will be creating new tutorial videos as well. So lets go ahead and see what they are:-

  1. Lets start first with Security – My entire Security system is the Unifi protect that comes bundled along with the Unifi Dream machine Pro. Everything works locally, no subscription costs and NO invasion of privacy. Thanks to this plugin – it has also provides HomeKit Secure Video Support. I will be also updating this tutorial video.
  2. Next up is the OutDoor Lights – All of them are Tuya based and by using this awesome plugin that also broadcasts camera feed as well as provides Adaptive Control for your lights. So be prepared theres a new Tuya Plugin Tutorial coming soon.
  3. Then comes the Indoor Lights – All of them are Xiaomi & Yeelight based and can also be controlled locally. However the plugins dont support Adaptive lighting so I use Home Assistant to get that effect.
  4. Now with Climate Control – In this part of the world we live in – we typically use split AC units. So prior to going and purchasing those units – I checked and I knew that the LG Thin Q was available in Brazil and supported by this awesome plugin. So all of the units in the bedroom are from LG and I also use Sensibo that supports the Living Room Daikin Split AC Unit. Dont worry I will be doing Tutorial videos and I also pushed it further to get Thin Q supported Fridge as well as the washer – that all can be accessed / controlled via the Apple Home App
  5. Next we wanted Cover Control So Thanks to zigbee2MQTT – all of the bedrooms have window blinds that can be controlled via the App or Voice. Plus I will be gradually implementing them in the Ground Floor as well.
  6. My next favorite is the Pool Pump Control – Now thanks to this Tasmota plugin and with some configuration and professional install. I am able to control the pool pumps and lights. Plus use Timers to control them on a Daily Basis. Dont worry this one will have its own video on how I put the entire setup together.
  7. Next is not forgetting the Electrical Switches – Again thanks to zigbee2MQTT – all of my electrical switches as well as inline modules support zigbee allowing me to have strong zigbee network as well as supports both smart and manual control over the lights.
  8. And yes we do have Sensors – but here’s the thing – they are zigbee based, powered by electricity and are all installed in the ceiling. They do luminance, person detection and also have other features. I have currently 4 of them installed. I will do a video on it. However, I still need to do some discovery on our daily routines and external factors to build automations.
  9. Well, How about battery operated devices – for now only 3 have been setup which is a button for the sink lights, a 4 scene panel for the gourmet to primarily control the lights and a slick 6 Scene Panel to control the lights in the kitchen as well as the living room that I have currently setup.
  10. Last but least – our favorite is the Cinematic Experience – We love our movie time and love to have a cinematic experience that supports Dolby atmos using Bose as well as the immersive lighting experience that is controlled by the Philips Sync Box and Hue Lighting. I will be doing a video on it as well.

So thats what I currently have, Will I add more – Yes for sure based on our needs. I do have some prototypes being tested that can be used in Home Assistant which is measuring water consumption, Rain water tank levels as well as automating certain appliances based on the Solar Panel output.

So, Let me know in the comments section on your smart home journey with Homebridge. And Of course I do have devices that support Apple HomeKit out of the box – which are the door lockers from Yale & NukiΒ  as well the Nanoleaf panels which was my first purchase that supported Apple Homekit out of the box.

And there you have it, folks! It’s not just a house; it’s a living, breathing entity that will adapt to my family’s needs and will enhance our everyday lives. However Theres work still to be done.

Thanks for joining me on this journey into the world of smart home technology with Homebridge, Home Assistant & Apple HomeKit. If you enjoyed this video, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more content. Until the next time, stay connected and stay smart! Cheers & have a nice day.

🌟 Looking for a Smart Home Advisor πŸ“§ info@buildasmarthome.org

⏱️ TIMESTAMPS ⏱️:
================
00:00 Intro
00:22 Opening
00:39 Why I Have been MIA
01:36 Why you need to Homebridge
02:16 What is Homebridge
03:36 Homebridge Advantages for my Smart Home
04:02 Getting started with Homebridge
04:37 Smart Device Integration with Apple HomeKit
08:20 Smart Home Journey Plans
08:39 Apple HomeKit Devices
09:02 Closing

➑️ Homebridge Official Page – https://homebridge.io/

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🌟 My Smart Home Services 🌐 https://www.buildasmarthome.org

πŸ–₯️ Homebridge Installation Links πŸ–₯️
βœ”οΈ Install Homebridge in a Synology NAS DSM 6 – https://youtu.be/CTe-gSrzLFE
βœ”οΈ Install Homebridge in a Synology NAS DSM 7 – https://youtu.be/ai51lXT2zIA
βœ”οΈ Install Homebridge in macOS – https://youtu.be/Nqh2vSeTzC0
βœ”οΈ Install Homebridge in Windows 10 – https://youtu.be/5mxhAgryuVo
βœ”οΈ Install Homebridge in a Pi 4 – https://youtu.be/D0YfkdGAIhY

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