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

*A camera project using an ESP32-CAM was my first foray into DIY home automation. It wasn’t the easiest but it was the most fun I think. I later did more challenging projects – I took apart and flashed Sonoff devices (although in 2022 this proved unnecessary). A next but easier task was to find a way to display readings of the Xiaomi temperature sensors that I’d placed in different rooms. Today I know how to buy a sensor and wire it to an ES32 board. 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

The details above will have changed – but install is what you must do.

now we’re ready to code a ESP chip

In this camera project you can flash a chip. A more advanced project is to flash a chip inside a Sonoff smart plug

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