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Smart Home

Domoticz – the free smart home platform

The top 8 reasons to choose Domoticz for your home automation project.

Why choosing Domoticz

If you are at the point of choosing a management platform and controller for a wireless home automation system – consider Domoticz. It is a reliable, free and open source software that makes possible to build your smart home step-by-step and master the investment.

Top 8 reasons to choose Domoticz

  1. Cost: free.
  2. Security: unlike Zipabox and similar architectures that store your settings in the cloud, Domoticz is trully yours.
  3. Updates: Domoticz is an open, colaborative and popular software. Its libraries are quickly updated with the profiles of the latest smart products.
  4. Hardware: You can install Domoticz on Windows or Linux distrubutions (including on Raspberry Pi). Use your old laptop to test and set-up, then go with an optimized and energy efficient hardware – RPi, Synology NAS or other small linux PC.
  5. User-friendly interface and programming: if you are new to programming, Domoticz features easy to understand logic blocks (blockly). They will help you to build your function intuitively – almost like a puzzle. Advanced users can use lua, python or php scripting.
  6. Control interface: You can control your smart home from a browser or with apps for Android and iPhone.
  7. Protocols support: The software supports a number of wireless and wired protocols (Z-wave, EnOcean, 1Wire, X10, Chacon, LightwaveRF, Oregon Scientific, Visonic, Somfy RTS, WiFi, Ethernet IP etc.) All you need is to plug an adapter for your portocol. Ex. for Z-wave add a Z-wave USB dongle to your machine.
  8. GPIO support: If your hardware is Raspberry Pi, the GPIO are available in Domotics and you can input signals from sensors or control relays and contactors.
RPi 4 for Domoticz
Raspberry Pi is the most energy efficient hardware to run Domoticz.
Blockly programing
Easy programming with logic blocks (blockly).

Controlling your home

When installing Domoticz on your hardware it creates a webserver that gives you access to all settings and device managment features from your browser. Here you can create scenes and events, set-up cameras and notifications. From the web interface you can also manually control your devices.

Although the web interface is fully responsive, for home control from a mobile device it is not practical to use a browser. In this case the Domoticz client app for Android and iPhone lets you control and monitor your home remotely .

Domoticz app on a smartphone
The Domoticz App on smartphone
Domoticz running on a tablet and iPad
The Domoticz client app on a tablet.


The DIY solution

Is Domoticz for you? If you are a DIY enthusiast and having full control on your system (and home) is important, Domoticz is for you. It is flexible and extendable solution, having large community of adopters and developers. You can count on helpful advices for setting-up specific applications through forums, blogs like this one and an official wiki.

Installing and setting-up Domoticz require basic computer skills. If you doesn’t fill comfortable with PCs, Linux, router configurations – choose a ready to use dedicated controller like Fibaro Home Center, Eedomus, Zipabox or a KNX system.

Domoticz will run great on low specs hardware, like single board PCs. With only 5 to 10 W/h power consumption it is an ideal solution for aways On Domotics server. Raspberry Pi is the most supported platform, but you can install it on other arm boards like Cubie or ODroid. It will run also on Synology NAS.

I recommend the latest Raspberry Pi 4 or the previous generation Raspberry Pi 3 for their wide support, energy efficiency and good processing power.

Get Raspberry Pi on Amazon
Get RPi on Aliexpress

My Domotics
controller

Today, I control my lighting, heating, garage door and security with Domoticz. I use mainly Z-wave devices in order to avoid pulling new cables. My controller is composed by a Raspberry Pi 3, Reaspberry 7″ Touchscreen and a small UPS battery in case of power failure.

RPi3 for Domoticz
Domoticz all in one set-up on RPi3 with touch screen, UPS PIco and a zwave controller.
Screen, RPi, UPS Pico running Domoticz
Assembled controller without casing.
Rear view of the controller with casing and Aeon USB Z-wave adapter.
Front view of the controller with onscreen controls.

What are the advantages of this setup? It isn’t convenient to frequently connect the RPi to a display, and it isn’t cost effective to set aside an entire monitor just for direct system control in case the Internet connection is down. This solution uses the official tactile 7″ screen for the Raspberry Pi. It achieves a compact and standalone controller, which is also a local control terminal in addition to a smartphone or tablet. It controls the z-wave devices without internet connection, by accessing localy the web server at 127.0.0.1:8080.

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