DIY smart home projects are becoming increasingly popular. Everything from complete security systems to lighting is unified through the Internet of Things (IoT). What used to be separate systems can now all be controlled from your smartphone. Since this is new technology, some aspects of home automation are expensive. That said, if you have a DIY attitude and some inexpensive components, you can create a smart home for a fraction of the expense.

What Is a Smart Home?

A smart home incorporates progressive automation systems to provide its occupants with complex monitoring and control over the home’s functions. For instance, a smart home might allow you to remotely control temperature, lighting, door and window operations, security and multi-media, among other functions. A smart home uses automation technology to provide occupants with smart feedback by monitoring several things in the home. For instance, a smart home may have a refrigerator that keeps a record of its contents, makes menu suggestions, and orders replacement foods when necessary.


Advantages of DIY Smart Home Projects

Appliance and Lighting Control

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Some smart home projects allow you to control small appliances and the lighting in your home, either remotely or through voice commands. With a simple tap on your smartphone, you can control your lights from anywhere, and with a simple voice command you can brew your morning pot of coffee. This is not only convenient, but it allows you to save on your electric bill by ensuring the lights are off when you are not home.

Increases Awareness

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The fact is, we cannot be everywhere all the time. Therefore, we frequently miss events that take place, sometimes even within our own yards or homes. Thanks to smart security cameras, we can see what is happening in our homes even when we are not there. Now you can ensure that no unwanted guests invade your home while you and your family are away. Security cameras enhance you and your family’s safety.

Remote Temperature Control

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It is a commonplace occurrence to rush off to work without bothering to adjust the thermostat before we go. This means we come home to find our home is too cold or too hot. This is quite inconvenient as it often takes a lot of time for the temperature to become comfortable after adjusting the thermostat. With the right DIY smart home device, you can adjust the thermostat while you are still at work. This is also cost-effective as it saves energy.

Gives You Control When You Are Away

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Consider when you go on a business trip or vacation and have to give a key to a friend or neighbor so they can water your plants, care for your pets or pick up your mail while you are gone. Perhaps you worry that this person might lose the key, or worse, snoop through your things while you are away. There are smart home systems that can eliminate this worry. Instead of giving someone a key to your home, you can use an app on your smartphone to unlock your door and let them in at specific times. Through the use of security cams, you can monitor them while they are there.

DIY Smart Home Ideas

The smart home revolution seems to be a gradual process. Although there iarea plethora of new smart home platforms and devices available, the majority of us are just inching our way to completely automated homes. Even so, you can take control of the situation and hasten the progress rate with these DIY smart home project ideas.

Raspberry Coffee Project

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Tre’Von McKay had a desire to make coffee using only voice commands. His solution was the Raspberry Coffee machine. To create this voice-powered coffee maker, McKay used a Raspberry Pi Model 2 sporting a USB dongle and a programmable coffee maker. He developed an application for the machine utilizing UWP Cortana integration, which is what enabled him to start his coffee maker via voice commands.


Futuristic Smart Home Mirror

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A smart mirror was very popular in 2016. Many people have attempted to build one. For a while, the MagicMirror platform even went viral. That said, the best smart mirror to date was created by Ryan Nelwan. The software in this mirror appears very futuristic and smooth, so much so that there is debate concerning if the mirror is real. This debate continues despite the fact that the mirror has been demonstrated on live video.

Upgrade Your AC

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Looking for a smart home gadget that provides big advantages without much effort? Consider a Sensibo to secure to the front of your AC. This smart add-on works with most air conditioners, enabling you to control the unit from your phone. You can set timers for cooling and heating, which should reduce your energy bills. Additionally, this is among the easiest smart home gadgets. Sensibo guarantees you can have it working in minutes.


Hands-Free Garage Door Opener

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What better way to enter into an automated future than a garage door that opens on command? It is possible to get a professionally installed system, however, installing this DIY solution found on is more fun. You use a Particle Spark Core or a Particle Photon as the hub of the entire operation. There are also some added IFTTT commands. This is a simple project, even for beginners. Step-by-step directions, along with pictures, are available.

Automated Pool Controller

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If you are able to engage in a more involved DIY smart home project, and you are fortunate enough to have a home pool, you may want to check out the pool controller guide found on When completed, you will have a system that controls heating, pool lights, and the pump, with Arduino boards and Raspberry Pi and its heart. Additionally, you will need Windows 10 IoT core software. Schematics and complete instructions are available if you want to try this out.

Smart Smoke Alarm

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This is an easy hack that only requires adding a little something extra to your existing smoke detectors. All you need is the Roost smart battery. It fits most smoke alarms while adding phone and wi-fi connectivity. This 9V battery is easily installed and is claimed to lasts as long as five years. The ability to access your smoke alarm through an app means you can receive alerts about potential issues from anywhere and can also dismiss false alarms when necessary.

The app takes care of everything: all you need to do is plug in the battery and begin using it. You can also set up separate rooms and provide access to your neighbors when you are not home.

Curtains on a Timer

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If you love the idea of your curtains automatically opening, while your favorite wake-up song plays when it is time for you to get up each morning, then check out the Good Morning Sunshine project. This project is a bit complex in some areas, but with the instructions and the LittleBits kit, you should be able to pull it off.

Raspberry Pi Smart Lights

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This idea uses a mini-computer to turn lights off and on remotely. It will not provide all the functionality and features of a complete system such as Philips Hue, but it will give you the satisfaction of building the entire setup yourself and you will be able to refine it as needed. For this system to work, you must combine Pi with a few remote-controlled power outlets and web controlled software, which allows you to operate your lights via your phone, laptop or any other device that connects to the internet.

Face Recognition Door

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Windows Hello allows you to access your laptop by recognizing your face. You can one-up that by creating a smart door that works the same way. A complete set of instructions can be found on A project of this nature will take a while to complete. However, if you thrive on a challenge, this project is a great choice. You will need a MinnowBoard Max or a Raspberry Pi at the heart of this operation. The primary software platform you will use is Microsoft Windows 10 IoT core.

Raspberry Pi Security Camera

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Raspberry Pi can be used to set up a security camera that looks after your property, even if the lights are not on. Along with the Raspberry Pi, you will need the Pi camera accessory and a few other items, along with the MotionPie software, which allows you to access your camera via any web browser. This software includes features found on the best security cameras including FTP support, image uploads, and motion detection. The MotionPie software is free.

Smart Remote Control

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Any home that has more than one entertainment device needs a universal remote to control it all. However, you no longer need huge controllers with large, unsightly buttons. Now, your smartphone can be used to control every entertainment device in your home. A project by Tony DiCola on the Make community shows you how it is done.


Now that you know the advantages and convenience of a smart home, you will probably want to get working on some of these DIY smart home projects. Some projects, such as the smart smoke alarm and the AC upgrade are super easy, perfect for beginners. Other projects such as the voice-operated coffee maker and the automated curtains are a little more involved, but with step-by-step instructions and a little patience, these too are achievable. A little automation in your home will save you time and money while providing peace of mind.

Last update on 2021-11-30 at 19:45 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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