How To


Part 1- Model house and project


We have chosen the step by step tutorial of setting up a smart home as the best learning option. In this guide you will find how our model house looks like, how rooms are labeled and what we will control in our model house. If you learn to set up a model house, it will be easy for you to adjust the number of lights and their labels so that the setting fits your real project. Let's go!

Part 2 - OpenHAB on Raspberry Pi


The heart of the intelligent house is the OpenHAB project, which runs on Raspberry Pi board. In this article, we will prepare image, launch OpenHAB and set up basic services. This will give us a stable base whether we use wired sensors, relays or wireless standard like Z-Wave, etc.

Part 3 - Configuration - Things, Items


The article will guide you through the basic setup of OpenHAB 3 on our model example of a smart house. We will explain what Things and Items mean - basic building units in OpenHAB. We will show some tips for bulk editing in Mian UI and how to "clicking" your house or apartment in this environment. An integral part is the setup of the link with MQTT commands, which is the basic communication protocol in our Pi-Home application project.

Part 4 - Configuration - Rules


In this article, we look at the rules in OpenHAB 3. The rules are rensposibles for entire ecosystem of actions responding to different states. In OpenHAB 3, the rules can be created manually via the user interface or via the .rules files. For our model house, we provide examples in Main UI. Same can be done via .rules files or copy-paste in Main UI.

Part 5 - Control power circuits (lights, sockets, heating)


Switching power circuits - sockets, lights, blinds, pumps and other devices under 110-230V is one of the essential functions of an intelligent house. At Pi-Home, we are using Arduino Mega boards with Ethernet Shield, which control Arduino's compatible SSR relays connected with high power relays of the switchboard. More information and detailed scheme can be found in the article.

Part 6 - Buttons (switches)


In the Pi-Home project, you can use any standard buttons and switches for 230 V or special ones for 24 V or 12V. In smart homes, instead of switches (classic off/on positions) the buttons are preferred (return to original position after pressing) . The reason is obvious, we can attach more different functions to the button (repeated pressing, holding, etc). In our realizations we have a very good experience with classic 230V buttons from Hager/Berker, but of course it is possible to use any other brands.

Part 7 - Sensors (temperature, humidity, motion)


The following guide will show you basic sensors compatible with our project Pi-Home. We are sharing our skecthes which collects information from temperature, humidity (DHT22,DS18B30) and motion sensor (HC-SR501) and communicating via MQTT with OpenHAB.


Measure tank level water OpenHAB
Water level measurementRating: 

In this article, you can find how to indicate water level in the reservoir (e.g. rainwater tank). The values are converted into the volume in liters. This feature enables you to automatically fill the tank when needed or predict any other situations (e.g. irrigation volume)

Alarm Smart Home PIR
Alarm from existing PIR sensors in a smart home.Rating: 

In a your smart home, PIR sensors may not only be used to switch lights on and off based on motion, it is possible to utilize these sensors to detect the presence of motion in a particular room. This information can be used to create a relatively reliable uncertified home security system. In this guide, you will find the logic for how this can work in the OpenHAB software in our model smart home.

Video intercom Doorbird in OpenHABRating: 

Native support for OpenHAB is provided by video intercom by Doorbird company. The solution is powered and connected by a UTP cable and has its own IP address to make it easier for you to install at the gate. OpenHAB is then able to import images from the intercom, visit history, manage gate opening on the button and by the phone, do not disturb feature during night, alarm feature etc. In the instructions we guide you how to use OpenHAB with Doorbird D101.

Jak nastavit pevnou IP adresu v linuxu
How to set static IP for OpenHABRating: 

Need fixed IP address for OpenHAB? Simple guide will show you how to set static IP address on linux Debian systems like Raspbian. You can use same guide for ubuntu or other debian like linux systems.

PiHome - Chytry dum mereni spotreby elektriny
Energy meter in smart homeRating: 

We are providing a simple step-by-step tutorial how to install home energy meter. We did not find any MQTT device, so we buy Aeotec Home Energy Meter as we are already have a Z-Wave controlller in our smart home.

Nilan VP18 vs OpenHABRating: 

We provide tutorial for the connection of the active Nilan recuperation unit, in our case the VP18 K WT type with OpenHAB 3. By communicating via Modbus it is possible to read the whole range of values, but mainly also to control the unit through OpenHAB. This allows us to remotely or programmatically change the performance and ventilation settings depending on the mode (night, cooking, etc.)

DALI device control via MQTTRating: 

DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) is an open interface for lighting controls in the home, industrial buildings, public objects, etc. To connect to our OpenHAB system, we can use a commercial converter from ADFWEB called HD67941-B2 - DALI / MQTT - Converter. In the article, we will show how to use this converter in conjunction with MQTT.

Advanced PIR sensors features in OpenHABRating: 

The HC-SR501 PIR sensor contains mechanical adjustement for range detection and time. But in an intelligent house, we want to be able change time how long the light will be active and change whether the light will be controlled by PIR or not. You can find a tutorial how to config your PIR sensor to enable this features in this article.

Weather stationRating: 

Local weather station allows you to track the exact direction and speed of the wind, the amount of rainfall but also the intensity of the sun's radiation. This information can be used, among other things, to protect interior of the house from the sun or wind and to decide on the garden irrigation. We will show you how connect commercial weather station with OpenHAB.

NFC Tag Example in Smart Home
NFC tags in smart homeRating: 

NFC (Near Field Communication) tags are small plastic or paper stickers that can be used to automate various functions in the smart home. In this article, we will show you examples of use and a guide on how to write an action on an NFC tag using a mobile phone.