Smart home devices are all the rage these days. It’s simple to grasp the basic concept of what such devices can do - they enable remote control and automation by connecting to the network, where they can be controlled by a server. There are many ways of building a system to achieve this outcome. I often have trouble explaining to friends what a smart home really is, and what it means to build a “DIY” smart home system.

In this post I want to look at two ends of the effort spectrum when it comes to building a smart home system: “off-the-shelf” and “do-it-yourself”. I want to show why the low-effort option has some drawbacks, and why building a more customised smart home system yourself can be rewarding…•••