Getting started with HA

Ok so after watching many videos on youtube about home automation and Home Assistant I want to start playing around with some automations. I own a bar and grill with an apartment on the upper floor. For my first “project” I want to make an automation where once someone comes up the stairs it triggers an event to turn on lights in a hallway and activate a camera to record the person present. The hallway has a florescent lighting fixture. I am going to get either a motion detector or door sensor to trigger the event but should I buy a zwave light switch to turn on the light fixture to best accomplish my goal or is there another way I’m not thinking of? Thanks!!

I don’t think there are any smart forescent lighting fixtures, so a ZWave or ZigBee lightswitch is a solid option. There are both plugs that you put behind the normal switch (which can actually be used without a physical switch at all) and prebuilt switches from different brands. All ZWave switches should be compatible with HomeAssistant, at least the basic functionality. Some switches, like TKB Home - unfortunately Hass can’t get events for double-triple taps and holds, but you can directly group those with other ZWave devices, so that’s something. Meaning that you can make so that a double tap turns some ZWave device on or off. But that’s it, there is no event information that you could use to trigger Hass automation :frowning:

Anyway, it’s a minor set off and I wandered away from the topic :slight_smile:

ZigBee switches are available from Xiaomi, their Aqara line is ZigBee, as an example. ZWave is usually more expensive, but has longer range and less interference with wifi and bluetooth, which all use the same frequencies as zigbee.

So with Hass, I’d get a motion sensor, Xiaomi Aqara has cheap ones, they work with ZHA and ZigBee2MQTT. And then use it to trigger a zwave switch. Door sensor could work too. And automation is simple enough to be handled entirely through Hass Automations UI by the way :slight_smile: Without even any YAML parameters, they added “Devices” now, which work with basic ZWave and ZigBee switches and sensors.

Naturally you need a zigbee+zwave USB reciever in your Hass server. Conbee makes them, and there’s a list of supported ones in Hass docs.