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Introduction

Domoticz is a free open source software that works as a home automation system controller.

It's written in C++, requires very low resources, is multi-platform and manages a large quantity of domotic hardware (sensors, actuators, I/Os, ...).

Although it best matches a linux platform (e.g. Raspberry PI single board controller, with less than 10W power consumption, equipped with Raspbian Linux OS), it works also on Windows and MacOSX.

Pros

  • Optimized to work with computer with low resources: 0.5GB of RAM and 1GHz dual-core CPU is enough for almost any home automation system!
  • Uses less than 50MB of disk, excluding backups.
  • Written in a low-level programming language, C++: it's fast and tiny.
  • Supports several languages (python, perl, php, lua) for plugins (used to implement new hardware and protocols) and scripts (used to manage the installed devices).
  • Almost all configurations are done by WebUI: no need to edit files!
  • WebUI can be customized, and also it's possible to use Dashticz to implement a different WebUI (check picture )
  • Very stable
  • WebUI can be used by any web browser supporting HTML5, is responsive so it works well with PC, tablet and smartphone. Also, there are many APP for Android and iOS.

Cons

  • Lack of some hardware support
  • WebUI may look too simple

What can you do with Domoticz

  • Lights: turns ON/OFF by pushbuttons, at specific time (e.g. turn on 25 minutes after sunset and turn off 40 minutes before sunrise). Dimming and changing color.
  • Doorbell: captures a snapshot from IPcam when someone ring the bell, and send the picture to one people or a group by Telegram: also email and many other notification systems are implemented.
  • Gate, pedestrian door, garage door, main door can be open remotely (from smartphone, for example): when amazon delivery man ring the bell and you're away, you can see the picture on Telegram then you can open the gate to let him enter and deliver goods for you!
  • Weather sensors: outdoor temperature, humidity, pressure, rain, wind, wind direction, .... can be monitored and recorded in graphs
  • Monitors room temperature, relative humidity, CO2 and manages the heating/cooling/ventilation system in a smart way
  • Monitors the power consumption/production from/to electric grid, sending alert when power consumption reaches a threshold above which there will be an imminent power disconnection, and activating/disabling appliances to optimize power usage
  • When power from renewable sources is available (e.g. solar photovoltaic), it can manage the heat pump to consume most energy from renewable sources
  • Monitors the rainwater tank level used for garden and vegetable garden irrigation
  • Fully manage the alarm sensors (magnetic contact sensors, PIRs, radars, ...) and sirens, to get a fully functional and customizable burglar alarm system
  • ...

Hardware support

  • Raspberry GPIOs
  • ESP8266 and derivated: cheap WiFi modules with several I/Os which can manage several device types
  • RFXcom, Zwave, Enocean wireless devices at 433/868/915 MHz
  • ZigBee devices, at 2.4GHz
  • several 1wire and I2C bus devices
  • Philips Hue (RGB led lamps)
  • LAN GPIOs and sensors (Denkovi, Lantronix, ...)
  • RS485 GPIOs and sensors (DomBus, ...)
  • several solar inverters

and many other devices and protocols.

DomBus

DomBus is a family of devices developed by Creasol that can be connected to a Domoticz controller by a RS485, a serial operating at 115200bps that permits to interconnect devices with a extension of almost 1km.
In this case RS485 cable uses 4 wires + shield: 2x 0.22mm2 wires for balanced serial data and 2x 0.5mm2 wires for power supply (normally, 13.6Vdc from a power supply connected to a backup lead-acid battery): in this way the bus can work for hours even in case of power outage, and this is good when Domoticz manages the alarm sensors to detect any intrusion in your building. Also, DomBus devices don't use any battery and do not produce RF pollution.

DomBus devices are designed to reduce the power consumption at minimum, because it's not smart to increase the intelligence of a house increasing also the needed power! For example, Sonoff Dual R2 (a very common WiFi device with 2 relays output) consumes 1.2W in standby and more than 2W with 2 relays ON, DomBus31 (8 relay outputs) consumes less than 0.02W in standby and 0.26W with all 8 relays ON!

Scripting

Domoticz supports several scripting languages, e.g. blocky (a visual scripting that permits to add some functional blocks together to get some if/then/else conditions and more), bash or batch, dzEvent, php, perl, python and lua.

It's possible to access all resources from these script languages, to add new advanced functionality to Domoticz.

For example, you can find LUA scripts for Domoticz at https://github.com/CreasolTech/domoticz_lua_scripts to manage heat pump heating/cooling (optimized to consume most energy from photovoltaic), burglar alarm system, a bash script to send snapshot from IPCam to a Telegram group when somebody ring the bell, ....

 

 

Domoticz vs Home Assistant, OpenHAB, JeeDOM, ....

I can't compare Domoticz with other home automation controllers because I don't know them.

I've tried to install HomeAssistant in a Raspberry with Raspbian, but when I've seen that it was installed in a docker using more than 2GB of disk space, and seen that every stupid configuration must be made by editing a file, I decided to erase it.

 

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