Home automation add-ons for Raspberry Pi

By Lucy Hattersley. Posted

Get your Pi controlling your home with these IoT gadgets

The dream of home automation is forever present among makers and other tech types, and the Raspberry Pi has helped many people turn their Enterprise fantasies into a reality. Here are some kits, add-ons, and other gadgets that can help.

Automation HAT: for serious plans

If you have big home automation plans, or already have some serious IoT around your house, you’ll want to look into the Automation HAT (£29 / $31): you can plug a lot of devices into it.

 The Automation HAT

Energenie Pi-mote: Remote-control plug

A quick and easy way to do some home automation is to remotely control a mains socket with your Pi and some code! The Energenie Pi-mote (£17 / $18) allows you to do just that.

 Energenie Pi-mote

SparkFun ESP32 Thing: WiFi smart home

ESP32 is a standard that lets you use wireless LAN to communicate with the various IoT/home automation projects you’ve set up. The SparkFun ESP32 (£21 / $23) also has Bluetooth as part of it!

 SparkFun ESP32 Thing

Google AIY Voice Kit: Vocal commands

We had this as a freebie with the magazine once – the AIY Voice Kit (£25 / $20) allows you to add powerful voice control to your Raspberry Pi, and any connected IoT or home automation systems in the process.

 AIY Projects Voice Kit

Pi NoIR Camera V2: See in the dark

If you’re setting up a CCTV network in your home, or want a front-door camera that works 24 hours a day, then the IR version of the excellent Pi Camera Module (£25 / $25) is for you.

 Raspberry Pi Camera Noir

Gravity Light Sensor: Ambient light control

Ambient light sensors are very common (you probably have one in your phone) and can be a good way to slowly bring up lights, as it gets dark outside, in a more natural way. See the Gravity Light Sensor (£7 / $9).

 Gravity Light Sensor

DHT22 temperature-humidity sensor: Thermostats beware

With stuff like Nest around, it shouldn’t be too surprising how many people use a Raspberry Pi and a temperature sensor such as this as a thermostat for their house. With the DHT22 (£10 / $13), you can even use the humidity and temperature parts together to detect a person.


SparkFun OpenPIR: Motion sensing

Want to trigger a camera recording? Or lights turning on? Or literally anything involving seeing if something has moved in a location? A PIR sensor like this (£15 / $16) will help.

 SparkFun OpenPIR

Philips Hue Lights: Controllable bulbs

An excellent solution for controlling your lights is to have remote-controllable light bulbs like the Philips Hue! You can find our tutorial on how to control them with a Raspberry Pi in issue 61.

 Philips Hue

openHAB software

While you can do a lot using Raspbian, there are dedicated home automation operating systems for the Pi that are already preconfigured. We like openHAB.

From The MagPi store


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