Showing posts with label SmartThings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SmartThings. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Aqara Sensors with Home Assistant


The Aqara Door and Window Sensor and the Aqara Motion Sensor are sensors that can enable automations around the home.  These sensors are particularly interesting, especially since they are much smaller than the SmartThings sensors I have used around the house, so the automation support can be added discretely.

The boxes from the Aqara sensors state that the Aqara hub is required. But since these are Zigbee devices, they can work with Home Assistant, with the Sky Connect USB Zigbee adapter (without the Aqara hub). 


Pairing these with Home Assistant is fairly straightforward.  I was able to use these steps

  1. Enable Home Assistant to scan for new Zigbee devices. 

  2. Remove the battery tab on the sensor, and press and hold the rest button for 3 seconds (This may take several attempts)
  3. When the device is initialized, set a device name and assign the sensor to a room. 

With the possibilities with the larger and devices, it will be interesting to see what automations can be set up.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Zigbee Home Assistant Migration from SmartThings


In this previous post, I mentioned the Home Assistant SkyConnect USB stick for Zigbee devices.  I started the migration of my Zigbee devices from SmartThings to Home Assistant and wanted to write about some of the steps that worked for me, and some of the challenges that I have encountered.

USB extension

When I first started to attempt to pair devices with Home Assistant, none of them were discovered.  The SkyConnect includes a USB extension cable, that I initially connected between the SkyConnect and my Intel NUC. I figured that either the included cable isn't shielded or long enough, so I got a 3.3ft cable, and that allowed the Zigbee devices to be discovered.

Migration steps

Once the Zigbee devices were discovered, I started the migration process.  Since Zigbee devices can only be connected to a single controller at a time, and these devices have been configured in existing Home Assistant automations, the migration process is a little more involved than with a new Zigbee device

  1. In SmartThings, remove the Zigbee device in the SmartThings application. 

    Removing the devices from SmartThings doesn't remove them from Home Assistant, so there isn't a concern about losing data from the setup in Home Assistant
  2. Now, put the devices in pairing mode, and select "+ Add Device" from the SkyConnect integration in Home Assistant.

    Once the device is discovered, add it to a room and rename it to something appropriate.
  3. For each of the Home Assistant Automations, Scripts, or, Helpers that referenced the device or one of the entities from the SmartThings instance of the device, switch them to the new device or entity from native Zigbee integration.
  4. Once the device integrations have been migrated, then the versions of the device from the SmartThings integrations can be disabled.  (And the entities from the device can be deleted)
With these changes, the devices can be controlled, and data from the sensors access directly.  One important benefit of this integration is that all of this happens locally, and there is a richer set of data that is available through this integration.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Home Assistant SkyConnect


I have been running Home Assistant for a while now, slowly transitioning from SmartThings.  In subsequent posts, I will describe more of my experience with Home Assistant, but today I received a Home Assistant SkyConnect, that I am excited about setting up over this holiday break.

The Home Assistant SkyConnect is a USB Zigbee adapter that directly connects Zigbee devices to Home Assistant.  (I am currently using a SmartThings hub to connect my Zigbee devices, and using the SmartThings integration in Home Assistant)

One thing that I am very interested in for the SkyConnect, is that it is updatable through Home Assistant, and they are planning an upgrade to add Thread support.  With this upgrade, it should support Matter devices.

With Matter's multi-admin support, and when SmartThings adds Matter support, I hope that this will make it easier to finish the migration to Home Assistant.

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