Video of the Day: Hobbyist creates a smart home on $150 budget

A YouTube user who goes by the name “Tom atg,” wanted to show the world how easy it is to create your own DIY smart home on a budget.

According to Tom’s video post, he’s a student that lives in a studio apartment, so he was looking for the least expensive way to upgrade his place.

While Tom’s set-up is not costly — at roughly $150, he does emphasize that if it’s run on a Raspberry Pi B+ or 2 it can cost even less to create.

(Image via YouTube/Tom atg)
(Image via YouTube/Tom atg)

When Tom’s dad bought him a Philipps Hue for his home, the student maker enjoyed its easy and quick functionality. Instead of spending more money on just the light bulbs, he decided to go with a cheaper option called MiLight. He purchased four of them for At four light bulbs for about $85, which was less than half of what the Hue would have cost with about the same functionality. Then he decided it was time for some Siri integration.

Along the way he drew inspiration from a fellow YouTuber, plasma2002.

He also stumbled upon openHAB, an open source home automation platform that can run on a small computer like Raspberry Pi.

“It has hundreds of bindings for smart devices (and Apple HomeKit, yay Siri!) readily available, with a growing and supporting community,” said Tom atg.

Then Tom found even more things to automate. For example, now Siri starts his coffee maker or him when he says good morning.

“Nothing a little duct tape and a smart socket couldn’t achieve,” Tom atg jokes on his YouTube page.

In addition to being able to control the system from his phone, Tom mounted an old tablet to his wall that functions as a dashboard and lets him control everything if he don’t feel like talking into the phone.

Watch the demonstration here. Included are all of the components needed to create your own system.

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