The Griffith Home Automation Project

Home Assistant

We've chosen Home Assistant as our home automation hub. You can read about it on the Home Assistant website. The reason for this is because we need privacy in a cloud-computing era, where our devices are held hostage by the requirements of the manufacturers that make them. While it's possible to integrate your cloud based devices into your Home Assistant automation hub, being able to automate your house without being connected to the internet is the ultimate goal. We don't need Google, or Amazon, or any other cloud service watching our every move all of the time, nor do we want to be held hostage by a third party manufacturer through planned obsolescense.

Of course, there are some compromises, currently, but the goal is to eliminate the need for any cloud service that doesn't operate in the spirit of the Home Assistant community.

Automation Is More Than...

Automation is more than being able to control devices from your tablet or phone. In fact, too many devices are sold solely on the “cool” factor of being able to control it remotely. Here's what I think is the problem with that.

It's fluff.

I don't want to control my home's gadgets with my phone. That requires handling a gadget. The idea is to automate our home based upon our natural state of being. We want our home to learn our patterns and respond to them. This is also the largest hurdle between semi-automation and full automation. Machine learning is not something our home does yet. But I'm sure that will come.

For now, we try to identify what we want to happen when and then create automation routines to closely accommodate those conditions.

The Bones of Our House

We live in a 1973 Hallcraft townhome with 8' ceilings and a flat roof. Designing automation systems that are functional but also fit our design style is a challenge. We don't like wires, and we don't mess around with batteries. So, where we can, we wire up permanent power to devices. Where we can't…well, we make it so we can.

Home Assistant

This site's focus is all about Home Assistant as it relates to home automation and integration of small electronics devices to solve every day problems and create every day awesomeness.

Home Assistant is the engine that drives all of our home's automations. It's open source and free to use. (Free is relative. You'll invest some time into this if it interests you.)

Who are we?

We are the Griffith family. We live in Scottsdale, Arizona and we are nerds. She chases criminals, he helps people buy and sell real estate while tinkering with gadgets on the side.