7 Home Automation Projects that you can Finish on a Weekend

Home Automation Project Ideas - Winter is coming


Winter is coming! 

For those of us that don’t live in a warm place, winter translates into more than usual indoor time.

Are you bored?

Winter is the perfect time to tinker around with some Home Automation Project Ideas. For that reason, I have decided to compile a small list of projects to keep you entertained the next weekend. My personal pick is number 7, which one is yours?

1. Build your own Amazon Echo with a Raspberry Pi

I own a couple of Amazon Echo Dots and they work lovely, having a virtual assistant like Jarvis to control your smart home is a must, although Echo is not a cool as Jarvis yet…

Now the question is…Should I buy an Amazon Echo or should I build it myself? I came across this nicely explained project on how to build your own Amazon Echo with a Raspberry Pi. Considering the cost of the materials I don’t think is worth it but it is most definitely fun.

2. Build a Homemade Nest Thermostat

Home Automation Project - Cold CatThis a pretty cool idea (you got it? Sorry…) I have done it in my apartment and it is by far one of the most useful things. Especially because it saves tons of money in the utility bill.

The actuator will differ a bit depending on your AC/HEAT unit itself. I have an HVAC unit and I needed 3 relays to control HEAT, AC, and the fan.

The blog stuff.tv has published a detailed tutorial on how to build your own Nest Thermostat. You might need to modify it for it to work with your unit, but feel free to reach out to me if you have questions.

3. Build your own sensor using MySensors and OpenHab

MySensor has been my favorite discovery of the year. It is a game changer when it comes to Open Source Home Automation.

MySensors is an open source library that allows you to build your own sensors. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but the good stuff with MySensors is that the library takes care of all the boring things, communication, formatting the messages, infrastructure…

You only need to focus on the fun part, handling the sensor. Check this tutorial step by step to create your very first Home Automation Sensor.


4. Build a Homemade Ring Video Doorbell

Home Automation Project - DoorbellHave you heard about the Ring Video Doorbell? It is one of the simplest ways to start incorporating security into your home automation project.

It works beautifully but it is also a bit pricey. Are you on a budget? Build your own Ring Video Doorbell with this tutorial.


5. Automate your Blinds using Arduino

In the post 8 ways to save energy with home automation, I spoke about automating your blinds and how it can help you saving energy. Have you done it yet? If you haven’t get some supplies, you just got yourself some entertainment for the weekend. Here a step by step tutorial on how to do it.

6. Install a Media Server that you can Integrate with your Home Automation

Home Automation Project - Watch a movieA media server is a must for every Home Automation project. I have tried many different options over the years but a few months ago I moved to Plex and never looked back.

ThePi.io has put together a tutorial on how to install Plex on a Raspberry Pi.

I have tried it and it works just fine to play not very big files but if you need transcoding, the Raspberry Pi just can’t keep up. I ended up moving to a seedbox and I couldn’t be happier with the service. The company is called UltraSeedBox, in case you want to check it out.

7. Automated Cat Feeder with Arduino

This is my pick for the weekend…

I have been procrastinating on building something like this for some time already. I have a cat who happens hungry 24/7 and his favorite time to ask for food is at 6 in the morning.  It is just not fun…

I will create a post with my own experience but in the meanwhile check this guide on how to build an automated cat feeder using Arduino at electronicsinfoline.

I like the idea of the cat triggering the servo to deliver the food, but I have the feeling that my cat will weight 200 pounds by the end of the year if I allow him to do that…

My idea is to deliver the portions on a schedule, probably using Google Calendar. I ill keep you guys posted on this.


So, which home automation project are you working on this weekend?


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