Your Smarthome Academy: A Collection of Resources to Learn From

Smarthome 101

With the popularity of smarthomes increasing and more interest in connectivity in general, I have seen a lot of requests online from people looking for advice or resources to learn more. These people are usually at the start of their journey and are looking for more general knowledge initially before perhaps making a purchase or choosing a platform to invest time and effort in. I’ve been active in smarthomes and home automation for probably 10 years now and there’s never been such a wide variety of resources and channels to choose from. If you’re a reader of this blog, you’ll know my affinity for Home-Assistant and Node-red, and in this article that bias remains. That said, hopefully some of my recommendations might prove useful for people interested in other platform and tech in general. I’ll provide some links to various channels and blogs with a quick couple of lines about each and what has made this channel useful for me.

This list is by no means exhaustive. If any of you know of any that also should be on the list, pop them in the comments, I’ll take a look, and if they check out, I’ll edit the post to include them.

 

1) Bearded Tinker

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuqokNoK8ZFNQdXxvlE129g

I really like this channel BT goes through various integrations in Home-Assistant from start to finish. if you knew nothing else but just followed instructions you’d achieve the result. He has an active discord and is very responsive online.

https://discord.gg/HkxDRN6

 

2) The Hookup

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2gyzKcHbYfqoXA5xbyGXtQ

When I first started watching Rob’s channel, it was initially for me to learn and focus on home-assistant / node-red videos. Over time the channel has become so much more. There are a lot of good product reviews as well as offering DIY alternatives. Memorable videos have included whole house holiday lighting, automating blinds, pool lights. Aside from Youtube, there’s a good facebook group online which has frequent posts and is friendly.

https://www.thesmarthomehookup.com/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/473812443269387

 

3) Notenoughtech

https://www.youtube.com/user/Polepositionpage

This is a good channel for learning about Node-red in a practical fashion, as well as looking at some of the more recent products to come out of the far east. Matt has no hesitation in getting the soldering iron out and trying new things. I like the channel and he has a whole blog to help support the video, so if you missed some code, or want prefer the written form, you can always reference that.

http://www.notenoughtech.com

 

4) DrZzs

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7G4tLa4Kt6A9e3hJ-HO8ng

A popular channel for home-assistant. Recently DrZzs has migrated more from video towards live streams. If you want to learn about Wled and smart lighting projects, together with the Hookup, this is a good starting point. There’s also a large discord community here for additional support.

https://discord.me/drzzs

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1969622823351838

 

5) BurnsHA

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSKQutOXuNLvFetrKuwudpg

I don’t watch this as regularly as I used to, but there’s still a good amount of content for the beginner looking to get into home-assistant. Memorable videos include full grafana and influxDB installation in Home-assistant, as well as creating various sensors in HA to track deliveries (UPS, Fedex etc).

 

6) DigiblurDIY

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ZdPKE2ckcBhljTc2R_qNA

Big fan of digiblur. Watching his channel taught me pretty much everything I know about tasmota, and flashing. he did a really good set of videos comparing various IP cameras, their set up in Home-assistant as well as a series of Node-red basics and zigbee bridge tutorials. Also a discord community outside of youtube.

https://discord.gg/bNtTF2v

 

7) JuanMTech

https://www.youtube.com/user/Jfelipe83M

Juan doesn’t post as frequently as he used to, but when he does they’re great. His most recent video (at the time of writing) was a perfect tutorial on how to integrate Google Assistant with Home-Assistant for free, exposing your HA entities directly to Google home. For those that prefer the tutorial approach, this might just tick all boxes. Just like Notenoughtech, Juan also provides a full written blog to supplement the videos.

https://www.juanmtech.com/

 

8) Paul Hibbert

https://www.youtube.com/user/wolfsweb

Probably the most light hearted channels on the list. Paul has a very unique style and seems to be growing in popularity. He provides decent colour on the smarthome industry in general and thorough product reviews. Be warned though he’s not the biggest fan of DIY/advanced solutions. He likes commercial products and has no problem working with cloud services which seem to set him against a fair proportion of the community, but this helps to keep him in favour with his audience.

 

9) PhilHawthorne

https://www.youtube.com/c/PhilHawthorne/

If you prefer podcasts then this might be a good one for you. I got on to Phil’s channel after coming across some blog posts he did a few years ago concerning presence detection, node-red and home-assistant in general.

https://diyfuturism.com/

 

10) Smart Home Makers

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa-_T4_g4T_11YMlxn80LaQ

Very much a channel in its infancy, i’ve found some nice tutorials on here to help with various Home-Assistant integrations. I’ve only just recently found this channel in the last few weeks, but already I’ve liked the pace and completeness of the tutorial. I like dhis video on how to connect Home-Assistant to github to share your configuration with others as well as back up remotely.

 

11) KPeyanski

https://www.youtube.com/c/KPeyanski/

Another up and coming channel. Kiril provides various home-assistant tutorials as well as expanding into the world of CCTV from time to time. He did a series of videos with various integrations and solutions concerning blue iris, motion eye.  He also provides a blog with additional articles for further learning.

https://peyanski.com/blog/

 

12) Scargills Blog

https://www.youtube.com/c/PeterScargill/videos

https://tech.scargill.net/

For those of you who don’t know, Pete was the creator of BigTimer in node-red. It’s one i’ve covered in my own posts and flows and have been a big fan of his blog for the last couple of years. His blog tends to cover home automation and tech in general and provides honest reviews to new kit. If you like to get dirty with electronics this maybe one for you.

 

13) Spaceinvader One

https://www.youtube.com/c/SpaceinvaderOne/

If you use unRAID then you know this channel already. if you’ve been thinking about building your own NAS, then please have a look at this channel to get a feel for how easy unRAID is to set up. His tutorials are extremely popular in the community and continues to show what unRAID is capable of. Be warned though, he was the reason I went out and bought a Dell r720 🙂

 

14) DB tech

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVy16RS5eEDh8anP8j94G2A

If you’ve got a raspberry pi and fancy doing more with it or fancy trying your hand at making the ultimate server, then I recommend you have a look at this channel. I’ve only found this in the last month or so, but I have found his Raspberry Pi 4 Home Server series very useful and concise. He breaks the process down in to logical steps so it’s easy to follow along with.

 

15) Smart Home Beginner

https://www.smarthomebeginner.com/

For all things docker, including setting up your own media server on linux, this has been invaluable to me. When people ask about how to set up docker and docker compose, I normally point them to this article here. The site isn’t as frequently updated as it used to be, but the older articles still hold true.

 

Other Blogs:

https://www.smarthomeblog.net

https://thesmarthomeworks.squarespace.com/blog/

http://blog.smarterhome.club/

https://siytek.com/

https://vigonotion.com/

 

I’m sure there are probably loads more I’ve missed, but in the interest of keeping things short(ish), I’ll leave things there. If you found this useful, take a look at some of my most recent postings here.

Cheers.

 

 

See my most recent book here

 

 

 

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