A DIY smart doorbell with a built-in camera, microphone, and speaker. This steampunk-themed design integrates with home assistant and our multi-room audio system to communicate with the rest of our DIY smart home.
Rather than buying a Ring Doorbell (or Nest, or one of the other competitors) I built our own smart doorbell with a Raspberry Pi. The whole project cost about $150 (USD), which is about average for a smart doorbell, but it is much more full-featured than anything else you’ll find on the market. For example, it integrates with the rest of the home security system — using machine learning to identify humans, cars, animals, and more:
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Designing the Smart Doorbell
Doorbells live outside.
Okay, that’s obvious. But it was my first electronic project that needed to survive the elements. To that end, I decided to use a junction box to house the electronics themselves.
The next requirement was also obvious: a button. However, the concern with such a unique design is that visitors need to intuitively understand what the device is. I decided upon a durable metal button that also lights up. The intention is for the light of the ring to make the button obvious.
Finally, the camera & speakers. This is arguably the most important security camera in the entire house, and I didn’t have a lot of space in the junction box, so I splurged on a night-vision IR camera with a microphone built-in. Throw in a tiny USB speaker, and we have bi-directional audio.
The complete part list: