add your own smart devices to Home Assistant using ESPHome
a tutorial sequence: > the offer > why a platform > home assistant > ESPhome > camera project > main menu
Sometimes you can’t even buy the smart home gadget you need or it’s overpriced. ESPHome is software that allows you to monitor or control home-made devices with ‘Home Assistant’.
For example: a camera project using an ESP32-CAM was my first foray into DIY home automation. That wasn’t the easiest (but it was the funnest I think). I went on take apart and flash Sonoff devices which was challenging – though by 2022 this was less necessary. A next but easier task was to find a way to display readings of Xiaomi temperature sensors I’d placed in several rooms. You buy one of many sensors and wire it to an ES32 board. This is how I monitor how much heating oil is in my tank and how I made a smart meter that could tell me how much electricity I’m using through the day.
what’s needed to start using ESPhome?
- option 1: an ESP32 development board with a micro-USB socket
- option 2: an ESP8266 development board – less power use, but no Bluetooth
- option 3: an ESP32 development board without a USB socket (+ FTDI UART)
- option 4: a Sonoff ESP-based device (+ FTDI UART)
- a FTDI UART 5v / 3.3v to flash a ESP32 board that has no USB socket.
- a USB charger and lead to provide 5v power to the ESP32
- Dupont jumper wires – mostly female to female (ebay £2)
- optional: a sensor or display or switch or LED or relay or items listed at ESPhome
- a Raspberry Pi and the instructions below to run Home Assistant software with the ESPhome add-in
how to add ESPhome to Home Assistant
- As a prerequisite we must install Home Assistant.
- Next we install the ESPhome add-on to Home Assistant – as shown by JuanMtech here https://www.juanmtech.com/how-to-get-started-with-esphome-and-sonoff/ – many thanks Juan. Outline of what to do:
- In the Home Assistant frontend go to > Configuration > Add-on store
- In the Add-on store ESPHome will appear for you to install