100+ Home Automation Ideas with Tutorials: from Simple to Amazing

100+ Home Automation Ideas with Tutorials: from Simple to Amazing

home automation ideas: a 3d floorplan

No silly gimmicks. This collection of home automation ideas will actually make your home more enjoyable for you and your guests.

I’ve personally implemented many of the ideas in this list.

These all came from our DIY Home Automation project. Pictured above is a 3D Floorplan of our home. It is made interactive with Home Assistant.

As I was building the cabin, I found many of the home automation ideas to be silly and gimmicky. Many solutions end up being clunky and hard to use. For example, changing light scenes with a smartphone app seems fun at first. Until friends come over and turn off the light switch. Or you get tired of pulling out your phone from your pocket and unlocking it when you have an armload of groceries.

After many years of experimentation, I compiled this list of home automation ideas from the things that actually made the home more convenient to use.

About these Home Automation Ideas

Each idea has a difficulty level:

  • Beginner home automation ideas:
    Use pre-built products (linked) and require little experience.
  • Intermediate home automation ideas:
    Include tutorials and link to source-code for existing software on an Arduino/Raspberry Pi.
  • Advanced home automation ideas:
    Bring your own creativity (knowledge of coding, electronics, etc. may be required).

I’ve tried to include links and tutorials wherever I can… but there’s a lot in this list! Leave a comment at the end if you’d like a deeper exploration into one of the topics.

Have home automation ideas to add to this list?

Use the contact form to let me know!

I happen to use Home Assistant for all of my home automation ideas. It’s a popular open-source solution. It does not send your data to companies like Google and Apple. Some of the links below will reference Home Assistant in particular. All the ideas would translate to other home automation platforms.

Lights and Lighting

  • Beginner
    • Install smart lights (Philips Hue, Lutron, or similar).
    • Use smart switches (Philips or Lutron) so power is never cut to the bulbs.
    • Turn on/off lights at certain times of the day.
    • Turn on hallway lights for a period of time after motion is detected.
    • Create different light scenes, like party or relax.
    • Create a kiosk for controlling lights and scenes with Home Assistant (or similar).
  • Intermediate
    • Turn on/off lights based upon who’s home (see: Presence and Motion detection).
    • Add ambient lighting to a home theater (see: Movies and TV).
    • Make light fade in/out rather than switching on/off.
    • Build an Arduino light-up alert to indicate when something happens.
  • Advanced
    • Create “status lights” that change color to indicate when something important has happened, like when a guest arrives (see: Security and CCTV) or the garage door is left open.

Sound and Music

home assistant multi room audio

Related: DIY Multi Room Sound System

Use any speakers to create a DIY multi room sound system. Each speaker (receiver) in this home stereo system is perfectly synchronized with the others, and can wirelessly play music from anywhere.

Read More »

Movies and TV

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
    • Store movies/TV on a DIY NAS.
    • Use ambilight to add a colorful pop behind the TV/screen.
    • Raise/lower a projector screen with a custom IR controller or wired connection.
    • Build a RetroPi (DIY video game system).
    • Build a score counter or light-up display for a sports team or video game.
  • Advanced
    • Automatically open/close blinds/drapes when the TV turns on/off to improve lighting.

Presence and Motion Detection

Security and CCTV

  • Beginner
    • Integrate a security system like Nest or Arlo with Home Assistant.
    • Automatically re-lock doors after they are closed.
    • View all your cameras, regardless of brand, from anywhere in the world using MotionEye.
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
    • Build your own DIY smart doorbell.
    • Use machine learning (DOODS/TensorFlow) to detect people, pets, cars, etc.
    • Add facial recognition to distinguish between guests.

Temperature and Climate

Family and Home-Care

Pets & Plants

  • Beginner
    • Use a Tile (or other GPS location device) on a pet’s collar.
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
    • Detect where pets are in the yard with computer vision (see: Security and CCTV).
    • Build a smart dog toy.

Internet and Home Networking

Cars and Travel

CNC and 3D Printing

  • Intermediate
    • Use Octoprint to monitor 3D prints.
    • Use MotionEye to monitor CNC machines.
    • Turn on/off devices (i.e., a shop vac) automatically when a cut/print starts/stops.
  • Advanced
    • Automate tool changing.
    • Automate stock loading.

Appliances and Misc.

  • Beginner
    • Create morning/night automations for coffee pots,
    • Use the Harmony Home Hub (or similar) to control anything that uses a remote.
    • Turn on/off appliances automatically (see: Presence and Motion detection).
  • Intermediate
    • Monitor power usage with Grafana and Prometheus dashboards.
    • Conserve power by automatically shutting off unnecessary appliances.
    • Use IRC on a Raspberry Pi or Arduino to control anything that uses a remote.
    • Create a relay box for turning on/off power outlets.
    • Notify when the washer/dryer/oven/dishwasher start/stop.
  • Advanced
    • Install low-voltage wiring for centralized control of each outlet.

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Written by
(zane) / Technically Wizardry
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