Do you want to access and control all of your smart devices from a single location? In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to setup Domoticz, a powerful home automation dashboard, on your Raspberry Pi to monitor, configure and interact with the various smart devices scattered throughout your home.
Using Domoticz, you can read and record data from your physical smart home sensors and access data from popular virtual services, such as Open Weather Map.
What you’ll need
To complete this tutorial, you’ll need:
- Raspberry Pi that’s running Raspberry Pi OS
- Power cable that’s compatible with your model of Raspberry Pi
- External keyboard and a way to attach it to your Raspberry Pi
- External monitor
- HDMI or micro HDMI cable, depending on model of Raspberry Pi
- Mouse or trackpad is optional
Once you have your tools, you’re ready to install the Domoticz home automation system.
Update your Raspberry Pi
If you haven’t already, attach your external keyboard, monitor, mouse and any other peripherals to your Raspberry Pi, and then attach your Pi to a power source.
Before we begin, it’s a good idea to check that your Raspberry Pi is fully up to date. On your Raspberry Pi, launch a Terminal and run the following command:
sudo apt update && sudo apt -y upgrade
If your Raspberry Pi installs any updates, then it’s recommended that you reboot your Pi:
Install the Domoticz home automation hub
To run the Domoticz installation script, type the following command into the Terminal:
curl -L https://install.domoticz.com | bash
Read the onscreen information, and if you agree, press the Enter key on your keyboard.
You’ll now have the option to disable HTTP or HTTPs. HTTPS is far more secure than HTTP, so you may want to consider disabling access through HTTP. You can move between these options using the arrow keys on your keyboard and then toggle HTTP/HTTPs on and off using the space bar.
If you’ve left HTTP enabled, then Domoticz will ask which port you want to use for your HTTP connections; the default port is “8080.” Assuming that you’re happy to use this port, press the Enter key.
Domoticz will ask which port you want to use for HTTPS; the default port is “443.” If you’re happy to stick with the default, then press Enter to move to the next screen.
Next, you’ll need to choose an installation folder for Domoticz. By default, the installation script will automatically install Domoticz to your home directory, but you can select another directory if required.
After installation, reboot your Raspberry Pi.
Accessing the Domoticz dashboard
To access the Domoticz dashboard, you’ll need to know your Raspberry Pi’s local IP address. If you don’t know it, open the Terminal on your Raspberry Pi and run the following command:
The Terminal will now display your Raspberry Pi’s IP address.
In the web browser’s address bar, enter your Raspberry Pi’s IP address plus the port that’s configured to use HTTP or HTTPs. For example, if you left HTTP enabled and used the default port (8080), then you’d access Domoticz at the following URL: https://raspberry-pi-ip:8080.
You should now have access to the Domoticz web interface.
Populating your dashboard: start adding devices
You can now add all the devices, sensors, apps, services and other smart home technology that you want to monitor and control from the Domoticz dashboard. This process will vary depending on the hardware or software you’re trying to add, but this tutorial will show you how to add Open Weather Map to your Domoticz dashboard, as you can generate the required API key for free.
Open Weather Map provides weather data for over 200,000 cities around the world, including wind speeds, temperature and humidity. To access this data, you’ll need to create an Open Weather Map account and generate an API key:
1. Head over to the Open Weather Map website and sign up for your free account.
2. Once you’re logged in to your Open Weather Map account, select your username in the upper-right corner.
3. Select the “API keys” tab.
4. In the “Create Key” box, enter a name for your key and click “Generate.”
5. Open Weather Map will now generate an API key that you can add to your Domoticz dashboard.
To add Open Weather Map as a service:
6. Open your Domoticz dashboard. In the menu bar, select “Setup -> Hardware.”
7. Click “Add.”
8. Open the “Type” drop-down. You can now see all the smart devices, apps and services that Domoticz supports; select “Open Weather Map.”
9. In the “Name” field, give this service a name.
10. In “API key,” enter the Open Weather Map API key that you just generated.
11. In “Location,” enter the location that you want to monitor. Note that although Domoticz accepts location data in several formats, including latitude and longitude, I could only get this integration to work by entering the name of my nearest city.
12. When you’re happy with the information you’ve entered, click “Add.”
13. Assuming that Domoticz successfully connects to the hardware, service or app that you just added, it’ll generate one or more devices. To see these devices, navigate to “Setup -> Devices.” Open Weather Map should now be listed as an available device.
14. Select the “Add device” icon.
15. In the pop-up that appears, give this device a name.
16. Click “Add device.”
17. In the toolbar, select the “Weather” button – you should now see all the Open Weather Map data for your chosen location.
If you want this information to appear on the main Domoticz dashboard, click the little star icon to “favourite” it. Now, if you select the “Dashboard” tab, you’ll see that the weather information is featured on the main Domoticz dashboard.
The process of adding all your smart home devices, apps and services to Domoticz will vary, but as a general rule, you’ll need to repeat this process of adding the item as a hardware component (“Setup -> Hardware”) and then adding it as a device (“Setup -> Device”).
Every device and service that you add to Domoticz will have its own settings, allowing you to create some unique and interesting home automation effects.
How are you using Domoticz to monitor and control your smart home? Be sure to share your Domoticz setup in the comments below!
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