The idea of building a smart home sounds great but it is a little difficult to enter. Until now, we needed some skills and money to enter. If you want products that communicate with each other, you will have to spend at least $100 on each item. And then there are additional costs that you have to bear to use these products.
There is good news, you don’t need to be rich to build and create a smart home. If you know enough coding, you can build your own smart home on a short budget.
Here is how I started these DIY ideas which I will be sharing shortly. I like to open up electronics and study how their mechanics work. And I like to hoard parts of these electronics to build my own projects. I realized that I don’t just need the right apps and spare parts, but also high-speed Internet to get things done. This why I am currently debating which one of the Spectrum Internet packages should subscribe to.
Coming back to how to build a smart home, these are top 7 DIY projects that you can try:
1. Make Your Home Smart With OpenHab
OpenHab is an app that can help you design a Smart Home hub. It can connect to any home automation hardware.
It’s a free app that supports over 1000 different devices like Apple, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. It’s installed locally but it can also provide cloud services. It is a bit complicated to set up though.
2. Use Siri to Activate Lights
HomeKit is great at letting you control your home through smart devices. Lots of devices are already compatible with it but some budget-conscious users are always concerned. You can create DIY Siri controlled light. Apple users can integrate Siri for creating a DIY smart home project.
For this, you are going to need a HomeKit device, Raspberry Pi, and an ESP8266 controlled light. The best part is this system can open up Siri and HomeKit to control any smart home device you like.
3. Build Door Sensors
To build door sensors, you will first need magnetic door sensors. They are cheap and they can work with any microcontroller. You can make them work like a switch whenever the 2 halves of the switch move apart or come together.
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You can make the best use of these switches in your windows and doors to keep your house secure. You can either use them for triggering an alarm or to log the entry and exit times. This will help you keep an eye on suspicious behavior. If the magnetic sensors are used with OpenHab, you can see who entered or left your home from your smartphone.
4. Building Smart Thermostat
If you just carefully monitor the temperature of your home heating system, you can save a lot of money. Most of the modern heating systems have a level of control that’s built-in. So far, there is no substitute for a fully automated experience.
You can create a DIY HVAC thermostat controller. Using NodeMCU board and cheap relays, you can take control of the heating system of your home.
5. DIY Security Camera
Who wouldn’t like this idea – setting up a DIY camera in your home? For that, you will have to learn how to set up a USB servo camera using Arduino and Raspberry Pi. If this project is used in conjunction with the cloud service, you will be able to monitor your home from anywhere in real-time. How great is that?
6. Flood Warning
If you are looking for something cool, you can create a DIY flood warning project. It warns homeowners about the presence of moisture in a place and possible flooding. You can either use standalone devices for creating a unit or integrated ones.
7. Fridge Door Alarm
Do your kids leave the fridge door open? Are you tired of calling them out for that? You can build the smart fridge idea. It uses a sensor module to warn the user with a text message if the temperature inside the fridge gets warm i.e. when the door is open. You won’t have to worry about spoiled milk anymore because someone let the fridge door open.
There are tons of DIY home automation projects that I would like to experiment with. I just have to check Spectrum Internet availability to be sure it’s available in my area. Once I have the fast speed Internet, I can focus on making my home smart by staying in budget.