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Openhab Vs Home Assistant Pros & Cons – Which Is Best For Your Home?

Integrating smart devices together into one system builds a fully functional smart home. And now, you don’t have to be a techie or spend millions to have one. OpenHAB and Home Assistant are open-source smart programs that are free!

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Both Home Assistant and OpenHAB are excellent choices for home automation. Home Assistant is best for beginners, while OpenHAB is recommended for techies or people with established experience in smart home automation.

Now that you have an overview of the difference between Openhab and Home Assistant, let us look further into details on each of the programs to assess which is best for your home. Read on; we might be the help you’ve been looking for. 

hands holding smart tablet with app smart home on blurred home living room, Openhab Vs Home Assistant Pros & Cons - Which Is Best For Your Home?

Open Source Automation

We are familiar with popular smart home automation, such as Apple, Alexa, and Google Assistant. However, such systems require specific compatible devices.

Previously existing devices in your house cannot be integrated, so you need to buy a new set of devices to be compatible with the system. What a waste of resources, right?

Open-source home automation provides a solution by integrating different independent devices and systems into one holistic home automation system.

You can easily configure the devices in your local network without needing the internet. As a result, the system is faster and more flexible.

As a bonus, since it is open source, it is absolutely free!

OpenHAB vs. Home Assistant

Smart home Automation Control System. Innovation technology internet Network

OpenHAB and Home Assistants are two of the biggest names in open-source automation. Both are compatible with a wide range of devices and applications, which makes them popular among users.

Started in 2010, open Home Automation Bus [openHAB] is an open-source home automation that runs in Java, while Home Assistant was relatively newly founded in 2013 and written in python.

Let's proceed with the head-on comparison between the two.

OpenHAB

OpenHAB runs on numerous platforms, such as Mac Osx, Linux, Windows, and others. More importantly, OpenHAB is known for customizing the system to fit the needs and wants of its user.

In this setup, the user can edit and have control over the entire configuration of the system and its connected devices.

However, one of the major drawbacks of openHAB is that it can get a little too complicated and may take time to understand the system.

Hence, it is best for experienced users that have a background in open-source home automation to enjoy the perks of a fully customizable system.

Home Assistant

Home Assistant is extremely popular with beginners with its attractive interface. It automatically detects devices with its “Discovery” option and integrates them into the system. This feature improves the efficiency and ease of using the system.

One noticeable drawback of using Home Assistant is that some upper and lower cases may cause errors in the system. Additionally, YAML may be quite confusing with the indentation parts. 

Compatibility

Home appliances and equipment compatible with smart speakers

openHab’s framework resembles Eclipse Smart Home, which runs an impressive number of systems and devices. Some of these are Windows, Linux, and OS X, which means there is no need for Raspberry Pi.

In addition, it allows program extensions which then further expands its capabilities.

On the other hand, Home Assistant runs on Python 3 and ensures home control privacy while running on Raspberry Pi and other local platforms. Its operating system, Hass.io, allows installing and updating Home Assistant a breeze.

Add-on features such as Google Assistant and Duck DNS may be quite useful in your homes.

Installation and Configuration

Raspberry Pi on laptop keyboard

Installation for both platforms requires the installation of Raspberry Pi to make the process easier. Generally, the process takes about 20-30 mins.

Home Assistant’s user-friendly interface makes installation relatively easy. Just keep in mind to have a stable internet connection during installation, especially while downloading and burning the image of Hassbian.

OpenHAB's latest version has paper UI and Web UI, which allows easy configuration. However, it requires extra booting of a power shell in the computer. Thus, it is comparatively trickier and is quite known to have glitches. 

Flexibility

Generally, both openHab and Home Assistant are versatile and easy to configure. However, this will depend on the knowledge and experience of the users.

openHab appears to be quite challenging, especially with beginners. Normally, you have to manually add each device and set them up in the system. Enthusiasts, however, love this feature as they can freely customize the system.

The home Assistant's "Discovery" option offers a simpler way of using the system. It automatically recognizes smart devices and adds them to the UI.

Interestingly, its AI-like features identify everyday routines and activities and then adjust the actions of the system accordingly.

User Community

Young people social networking and connecting together online

Generally, openHAB has a more established community group with experienced people to help new users. This is very important, especially during troubleshooting.

When you encounter problems with openHAB, you can ask other users who may already have the solutions.

Home Assistant, since it is fairly new in the industry, is still on its way to building a strong community. It has contributors who are able to assist and provide support to users.

Mobile Application

Smart home automation. hands holding smartphone to control the Electrical equipment in the house

OpenHAB has developed a system that is compatible with iPhone and android applications. With this, you can easily control the system at the tips of your hand. Alerts and updates are also easily notified to the user using the app.

Home Assistant’s latest version has developed an app for iOS users for monitoring and full control over the system. However, it still doesn’t have an app for Android.

We are still looking forward to the development of an established Android app for Home Assistant.

Supported Devices

Officially, Home Assistant integration offers a wide range of applications which is updated in real-time on their site. Using a home assistant, you can perform several tasks from independent applications in just one system!

OpenHAB, on the other hand, has a competitive number of supported devices. One notable advantage of openHAB is its compatibility with ZWave allows the system to be completely independent of Wi-Fi.

Additional Features

Smart home technology interface on smartphone app screen with augmented reality (AR) view of internet

Home Assistant enables tracking of the location, while OpenHAB doesn’t. It periodically updates the GPS location of the devices, so it is quite helpful for users who frequently lose their stuff

Additionally, you can immediately perform actions once Home Assistant notifies or alerts you for anything. This provides an efficient and speedy solution to any problem which may arise.

OpenHAB's special feature is the use of NFC tags allows assigning NFC to certain functions. On the user interface, tap and hold the selected device. Then, scan the NFC to add the device to the system. 

Conclusion

hands holding smart tablet with app smart home on blurred home living room

Nowadays, people are leaning towards the smart home system to fully automate the activities inside their houses.

Open-source home automation brings the benefits of a smart home closer to the people. Home Assistant is recommended for beginners who need the basic set-up and configurations of a smart home.

OpenHAB is relatively more complicated and may take time to get the hang of. Users who are familiar with home programming can enjoy the perks of openHAB by customizing the devices and the system to specifically fit their needs.

Keep in mind that all these systems make life easier and more efficient. If it does not fulfill this purpose, then it might be time to look around for other options. Always remember to let the system work for you, not the other way around.

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