Starting with Homeautomation

Home automation

Ever since I started to rebuild our house, home automation was one of the things I always wanted to include. For the first floor, I could not decide which one of the many to use, so no automation was done.


This changed when we added new light into the living room and a possibility to switch and dim it was needed at a place where no cable was. Back then I decided to go with Homatic to dim my lights wireless. Over the time a temperature / humidity sensor and a window contact check was added. Of course this will only be the start :-). I have some more ideas.

Climate control

Today we have a ground floor heating with a heat pump and single room control (temperature and settings) in the ground floor. Even if it is as warm as we want it to, I am missing some intelligence and more control an when to heat it up. For example we do not need heating during night or when the sun will shine or when we are not at home…
Now we are in the middle of rebuilding the basement floor (we have a hillside house). Even if I am willing to put in cables and tubes, it is costly. Therefore a wireless solution is preferred. But it is time to put the climate control into place to not waste money for classic single room controls.
A temperature sensor in each room and a power switch (or however you call a Schaltaktor in English 🙂 for each valve to turn heating on and off for the starting.

Additionally the usual shutter control and some more light control.


To try it out I own a Homematic temperature sensor. Which quite good, but has some disadvantages: Needs a battery and is quite big
Then I stumbled upon EnOcean where most devices don’t need batteries. Temperature sensors without the need of maintenance. Great, because I will have quite a few of them (~15). I just could not find an actor for the power switches I need which was reasonable in pricing. Homematic offers a 4 port switch for about 150 €.


With the will of using at least two totally different systems I needed some software to support this. There are plenty of them on the market. Of course I had certain requirements in my mind:

  • Open Source – I want ot be able to change / improve things by myself
  • Runs on Linux – I have a linux based homeserver and will stay with such
  • Implemented in Java – I am a poor guy that knows mainly Java

Most of the systems I looked at are either not open source or not Java based. Then I read in the Heise News about openHAB (). That was it! Java based (although it is based on OSGI which I have never worked with) and open source and an active community.
The bad side was that it neither supports Homematic nor EnOcean :-). But since it is open source, that can be changed! But this is a topic for a next post.