Using the Xiaomi Aqara buttons with Home Assistant via Zigbee2MQTT

I had recently put Sengled Zigbee bulbs in my nightstand lamps to pair with Zigbee2MQTT on Home Assistant. I was using them to automatically turn the lights off/on when playing/pausing a movie on the TV. However, we found ourselves cutting power to the night stand to turn them off since pulling out our phone to turn them off was too much of a hassle. So when they had no power, the automation for those bulbs wouldn't work unless I manually turned them back on. Not an ideal situation.

Zigbee to MQTT gateway for less than $10

It's been a few months since my post about Hubitat, and I have not been too happy with it. The MQTT bridge works, but sometimes things get out of sync. For example, if I turn the power on the Zigbee bulb off and then on again, I can't control the bulb through Home Assistant until I turn it on and off through Hubitat first. So I started my quest for an alternative. It costs almost nothing, so I decided to try out the CC2531 Zigbee stick.

Installing the Nelly Security WiFi Video Doorbell

Ever since Ring released their video doorbell a few years ago, I've been waiting for a WiFi video doorbell that didn't rely on the cloud (and a monthly fee), was powered by hard wire, and still looked decent. I've only had it for a few days, but I think that the Nelly Security doorbell accomplishes this. Unfortunately, it looks like the Nelly version is out of stock at the time of writing, but this doorbell has been rebranded by a bunch of other companies, one of which is Nelly.

Modify the Xiaomi Xiaofang Camera to Work With Home Assistant and Other Video Recording Software

I was looking for a simple and cheap Wifi camera that would work with Home Assistant and doesn’t rely solely on cloud recording since that can get expensive very quickly. In my search, I came across the Xiaomi Xiaofang camera. Although this camera is ‘cloud only’ by default, @samtap on GitHub has created FangHacks, which is a set of scripts that can be installed on the Xiaofang to enable RTSP, along with a bunch of other features. It will also show you how to add this into Home Assistant. This post will go through the steps involved in installing these modifications. Read more...