10 Useful DIY Smart Home Projects to Get Your Smart House Started

DIY smart home projects are becoming increasingly popular. Everything from complete security systems to lighting is unified through the Internet of Things (IoT). What used to be separate systems can now all be controlled from your smartphone. Since this is new technology, some aspects of home automation are expensive. That said, if you have a DIY attitude and some inexpensive components, you can create a smart home for a fraction of the expense.

What Is a Smart Home?

A smart home incorporates progressive automation systems to provide its occupants with complex monitoring and control over the home’s functions. For instance, a smart home might allow you to remotely control temperature, lighting, door and window operations, security and multi-media, among other functions. A smart home uses automation technology to provide occupants with smart feedback by monitoring several things in the home. For instance, a smart home may have a refrigerator that keeps a record of its contents, makes menu suggestions, and orders replacement foods when necessary.


Advantages of DIY Smart Home Projects

Appliance and Lighting Control

Hamilton Beach Works with Alexa Smart Coffee Maker, Programmable, 12 Cup Capacity, Black and Stainless Steel (49350) – A Certified for Humans Device
  • Alexa turn on my coffee maker smart 12 cup coffee maker works with Alexa giving you the ability to ask your Alexa app or Alexa smart speaker to start brewing change brew strength or turn off the coffee maker. The clock automatically keeps the correct time by syncing wirelessly with the app so you can easily program for wake-up ready coffee using routines in the Alexa app.
  • Certified for Humans: Smart home made easy for non-experts. Setup with Alexa is simple.
  • Works with Alexa this smart coffee maker is "works with Alexa certified" meeting a high bar for responsiveness reliability & functionality. Few smart coffee makers are able to achieve works with Alexa certification which ensures the best smart home experience with your Alexa app or echo device.
  • No need to download additional apps to control the coffee maker you only need the Alexa app to turn the connected brewer on or off. You can use the Alexa app to set morning routines to program to brew which gets you out the door even faster.
  • Easily add coffee and water from the front. The front fill design of the reservoir lets you add water without moving the smart coffee maker from under the cabinets. The brew basket uses a standard coffee filter and swings out for front filling.

Some smart home projects allow you to control small appliances and the lighting in your home, either remotely or through voice commands. With a simple tap on your smartphone, you can control your lights from anywhere, and with a simple voice command you can brew your morning pot of coffee. This is not only convenient, but it allows you to save on your electric bill by ensuring the lights are off when you are not home.

Increases Awareness

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery HD Security Camera with Built Two-Way Talk and a Siren Alarm, Works with Alexa - White
  • Connect your Ring camera with Alexa then enable announcements to be alerted when motion is detected. Talk to visitors through compatible Echo devices by saying “Alexa, talk to the front door”.
  • Lets you see, hear and speak to visitors from your phone, tablet and PC.
  • Powered by the quick-release rechargeable battery pack.
  • With a Ring Protect Plan (subscription sold separately), record all your videos, review what you missed for up to 180 days, and share videos and photos.
  • Monitors your home in 1080HD video with infrared night vision and Live View.

The fact is, we cannot be everywhere all the time. Therefore, we frequently miss events that take place, sometimes even within our own yards or homes. Thanks to smart security cameras, we can see what is happening in our homes even when we are not there. Now you can ensure that no unwanted guests invade your home while you and your family are away. Security cameras enhance you and your family’s safety.

Remote Temperature Control

Google Nest Thermostat - Smart Thermostat for Home - Programmable Wifi Thermostat - Snow
  • ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat for home that helps you save energy and stay comfortable
  • The Nest Thermostat is designed to work without a C wire in most homes, but for some systems, including heating only, cooling only, zone controlled, and heat pump systems, you’ll need a C wire or other compatible power accessory
  • Nest Thermostat turns itself down when you leave, so you don’t waste energy heating or cooling an empty home
  • Programmable thermostat that lets you create an energy efficient schedule in the Google Home app on your Android or iPhone
  • Remote control lets family members change the thermostat temperature from anywhere on a phone, laptop, or tablet[1]

It is a commonplace occurrence to rush off to work without bothering to adjust the thermostat before we go. This means we come home to find our home is too cold or too hot. This is quite inconvenient as it often takes a lot of time for the temperature to become comfortable after adjusting the thermostat. With the right DIY smart home device, you can adjust the thermostat while you are still at work. This is also cost-effective as it saves energy.

Gives You Control When You Are Away

Sifely Keyless Entry Door Lock, Keypad Door Lock, Keyless Door Lock, Fingerprint Door Lock, Biometric Door Lock, Keypad Entry Door Lock, Passcode Code Door Lock, Digital Smart Door Lock (Smart Lock)
  • [Rental Hosts & Homeowners] Sifely smart door lock is a great solution for airbnb short-term rental hosts, rental property management, and self-housing resident. Generate passcode remotely and share it to your visitors.
  • [Multiple Ways To Unlock] Advanced 5-in-1 Keyless Entry Smart Door Lock: Fingerprint + Code + Fob + Smartphone + Key.
  • [Easy Installation] Easy to install in minutes with just a phillips screwdriver. No extra drills needed. No locksmith needed. Door handle is reversible for both left and right handed doors. Due to lock size, it may interfere with screen doors.
  • [Remote Control] If paired with Sifely WiFi Gateway (Optional Add-on, Sold Separately), you can lock/unlock your smart door lock anywhere anytime, set up codes remotely and check real-time access logs.
  • [Satisfaction Guaranteed] App/Software is free to use forever. No hidden charges or long-term costs. 30-day money back guarantee, 1-year product warranty and a lifetime customer support following the date of purchase.

Consider when you go on a business trip or vacation and have to give a key to a friend or neighbor so they can water your plants, care for your pets or pick up your mail while you are gone. Perhaps you worry that this person might lose the key, or worse, snoop through your things while you are away. There are smart home systems that can eliminate this worry. Instead of giving someone a key to your home, you can use an app on your smartphone to unlock your door and let them in at specific times. Through the use of security cams, you can monitor them while they are there.

DIY Smart Home Ideas

The smart home revolution seems to be a gradual process. Although there iarea plethora of new smart home platforms and devices available, the majority of us are just inching our way to completely automated homes. Even so, you can take control of the situation and hasten the progress rate with these DIY smart home project ideas.

Raspberry Coffee Project

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B Desktop (Quad Core CPU 900 MHz, 1 GB RAM, Linux)
  • Quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU 0.9 GHz
  • Audio: 3.5 mm jack, Storage: microSD card slot, Network: 10/100 Mb/s
  • Power: Micro USB DC 5 V 800 mA for the Pi board

Tre’Von McKay had a desire to make coffee using only voice commands. His solution was the Raspberry Coffee machine. To create this voice-powered coffee maker, McKay used a Raspberry Pi Model 2 sporting a USB dongle and a programmable coffee maker. He developed an application for the machine utilizing UWP Cortana integration, which is what enabled him to start his coffee maker via voice commands.


Futuristic Smart Home Mirror

BYECOLD Smart Mirror Bathroom with Bluetooth Vanity Adjustable LED Lighted Bathroom Mirror with Weather Forecast, Anti-Fog Wall Mirror for Make up - Horizontal- 47.2" W x 23.6" H
  • Mirror with Bluetooth: Illuminated Bluetooth Bathroom Mirrors with integrated speaker connectivity. Play music directly from your smart phone, listening to your favourite tunes, or catching up on the news whilst getting ready for the day ahead.
  • Smart Bathroom Mirror: Connected with WiseMirror APP, you can get the network real-time weather forecast shown on the mirror. (Showing 11 different icons, including sunny, overcast/cloudy, cloudy to clear, light rain, heavy rain, thunderstorm, shower, light snow, heavy snow, sleet and foggy).
  • Anti-fog Vanity Mirror: Starting anti-fog function immediately when you turn on the anti-fog button, it need 5-10 minutes to clear this led bathroom mirror completely, safe and energy-saving, so open this function in advance before you use it(May need more time in Winter).
  • Bathroom Mirror with Backlit: Led backlit mirror light is controlled by the sensitive smart touch button on the screen, and the color temperature can be adjusted by switching the button at the mirror back. You can switch 3000k/6000k colors freely by switching button on a black box at the mirror back.
  • Smart Touch Mirror: One button to open three major functions of the vanity bathroom mirror. Hit the button once to turn on the light, double click to display the weather and long press to generate the defogger. Simplified interface gives it an intelligent look.

A smart mirror was very popular in 2016. Many people have attempted to build one. For a while, the MagicMirror platform even went viral. That said, the best smart mirror to date was created by Ryan Nelwan. The software in this mirror appears very futuristic and smooth, so much so that there is debate concerning if the mirror is real. This debate continues despite the fact that the mirror has been demonstrated on live video.

Upgrade Your AC

Sensibo Sky, Smart Home Air Conditioner System - Quick & Easy Installation. Maintains Comfort with Energy Efficient App - Automatic On/Off. Wifi, Google, Alexa and Siri. (White)
  • SMART AC CONTROL - Turn your existing air conditioner or your mini split / ductless / heat pump system into a smart AC, reducing your cooling bills by up to 40%! The smartphone app allows you to take any remote controlled AC unit and have it maintain a comfortable home temperature from anywhere. This lightweight unit is only 3.2” X 2.2” X 0.8”, is wall mounted and comes in eco friendly packaging.
  • EASY SETUP - Simply plug in your Sensibo Sky, connect to WiFi, launch the app, and enjoy a smarter, connected environment. Sensibo Sky connects with all remote controlled AC units in addition to smart home devices such as Google, Alexa, and Siri for use from your phone or desktop apps. Works with window AC, Mini Split/Ductless ACs or heat pumps and portable ACs. (Doesn't support Bluetooth)
  • SMART FEATURES - Geofencing activates your air conditioner, or any remote-controlled AC unit before you arrive and turns off when everyone leaves. Climate React scans both temperature and humidity, using a dual setpoint to maintain a comfortable ‘real feel’ temperature, never letting the room get uncomfortable. 7-day full week programming, conditional programming and voice control via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, Siri and others.
  • EASY TO USE - Sensibo Mobile (Android & iOS) and Web Apps for PC and Mac make it easy to control your home’s temperature from anywhere. Set unique temperature and humidity preferences for any room remotely or use the 7 days scheduler.
  • BUY WITH CONFIDENCE - Sensibo, the smart air conditioner or window ACs controller company is a leader in home comfort. We work hard to ensure that all you need to do is define your comfort zone and our customer support team is always available, making sure you and your home are comfortable all year round.

Looking for a smart home gadget that provides big advantages without much effort? Consider a Sensibo to secure to the front of your AC. This smart add-on works with most air conditioners, enabling you to control the unit from your phone. You can set timers for cooling and heating, which should reduce your energy bills. Additionally, this is among the easiest smart home gadgets. Sensibo guarantees you can have it working in minutes.


Hands-Free Garage Door Opener

Particle Photon Power Shield with Headers // Contains Battery and Charging Circuit
  • Provide power to your mobile Particle IoT projects, products and prototypes using the Photon module.
  • Based on the MCP73871 battery management controller, this shield allows to simultaneously power a Photon, charge a connected Li-Ion or Li-Po battery and monitor energy level - the best way to untether your wireless project
  • Use USB, an external DC power supply (7-20V) or a solar-cell to charge the battery
  • Dimensions: 1" x 1.84"

What better way to enter into an automated future than a garage door that opens on command? It is possible to get a professionally installed system, however, installing this DIY solution found on Hackster.io is more fun. You use a Particle Spark Core or a Particle Photon as the hub of the entire operation. There are also some added IFTTT commands. This is a simple project, even for beginners. Step-by-step directions, along with pictures, are available.

Automated Pool Controller

Arduino UNO REV3 [A000066]
  • This board is your entry to the unique Arduino experience: great for learning the basics of how sensors and actuators work, and an essential tool for your rapid prototyping needs
  • Arduino UNO Rev3 is the most used and documented board in the world
  • "Uno" means one in Italian and was chosen to mark the release of Arduino Software (IDE) 1.0, now evolved to newer releases
  • It has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 6 analog inputs, a 16 MHz quartz crystal, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header and a reset button
  • Arduino is an open-source hardware, software, and content platform with a worldwide community of over 30 million active users

If you are able to engage in a more involved DIY smart home project, and you are fortunate enough to have a home pool, you may want to check out the pool controller guide found on Hackster.io. When completed, you will have a system that controls heating, pool lights, and the pump, with Arduino boards and Raspberry Pi and its heart. Additionally, you will need Windows 10 IoT core software. Schematics and complete instructions are available if you want to try this out.

Smart Smoke Alarm

Roost PP3 (9v) Specialty Battery
  • End the 3 AM chirp - notifies you before the battery runs out
  • Alarm notifications delivered to you, wherever you are
  • Share alerts with friends, family, and emergency contacts
  • Replaceable battery lasts 5-plus years
  • Installs in less than 5-minutes - no tools or wireless hubs needed

This is an easy hack that only requires adding a little something extra to your existing smoke detectors. All you need is the Roost smart battery. It fits most smoke alarms while adding phone and wi-fi connectivity. This 9V battery is easily installed and is claimed to lasts as long as five years. The ability to access your smoke alarm through an app means you can receive alerts about potential issues from anywhere and can also dismiss false alarms when necessary.

The app takes care of everything: all you need to do is plug in the battery and begin using it. You can also set up separate rooms and provide access to your neighbors when you are not home.

Curtains on a Timer

littleBits Base Inventor Kit
  • An educational gift for every kid on your holiday list - especially budding makers and inventors!
  • The perfect introduction: interested in getting your kid a stem toy but don't know where to start? The base inventor kit includes everything your kid needs to start inventing out of the box.
  • What you get: build and customize a voice-activated robotic gripper arm, then transform it into new creative inventions that improve their room, help their community, or save the world.
  • Hours of in-app play and activities: in-app activities and step-by-step instructions guide kids through building fun, electronic inventions, like a room-protecting alarm or a Navigator to help maneuver in the dark!
  • Everything included: from the 9V battery to Tech sensors, LED, servo, paper templates, stickers, and free inventor app.

If you love the idea of your curtains automatically opening, while your favorite wake-up song plays when it is time for you to get up each morning, then check out the Good Morning Sunshine project. This project is a bit complex in some areas, but with the instructions and the LittleBits kit, you should be able to pull it off.

Raspberry Pi Smart Lights

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 4GB Starter PRO Kit - 4GB RAM
  • Includes Raspberry Pi 4 4GB Model B with 1.5GHz 64-bit quad-core CPU (4GB RAM)
  • Includes 32GB Samsung EVO+ Micro SD Card (Class 10) Pre-loaded with NOOBS, USB MicroSD Card Reader
  • CanaKit Premium High-Gloss Raspberry Pi 4 Case with Integrated Fan Mount, CanaKit Low Noise Bearing System Fan
  • CanaKit 3.5A USB-C Raspberry Pi 4 Power Supply (US Plug) with Noise Filter, Set of Heat Sinks, Micro HDMI to HDMI Cable - 6 foot (Supports up to 4K60p)
  • CanaKit USB-C PiSwitch (On/Off Power Switch for Raspberry Pi 4)

This idea uses a mini-computer to turn lights off and on remotely. It will not provide all the functionality and features of a complete system such as Philips Hue, but it will give you the satisfaction of building the entire setup yourself and you will be able to refine it as needed. For this system to work, you must combine Pi with a few remote-controlled power outlets and web controlled software, which allows you to operate your lights via your phone, laptop or any other device that connects to the internet.

Face Recognition Door

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 8GB Extreme Kit - 128GB Edition (8GB RAM)
  • Includes Raspberry Pi 4 8GB Model B with 1.5GHz 64-bit quad-core CPU (8GB RAM)
  • Includes 128GB Samsung EVO+ Micro SD Card (Class 10) Pre-Loaded with NOOBS, USB MicroSD Card Reader
  • CanaKit Premium High-Gloss Raspberry Pi 4 Case with Integrated Fan Mount, CanaKit Low Noise Bearing System Fan
  • CanaKit 3.5A USB-C Raspberry Pi 4 Power Supply with Noise Filter, Set of Heat Sinks, Set of 2 Micro HDMI to HDMI Cables - 6 foot (Supports up to 4K 60p)
  • CanaKit USB-C PiSwitch (On/Off Power Switch for Raspberry Pi 4)

Windows Hello allows you to access your laptop by recognizing your face. You can one-up that by creating a smart door that works the same way. A complete set of instructions can be found on Hackster.io. A project of this nature will take a while to complete. However, if you thrive on a challenge, this project is a great choice. You will need a MinnowBoard Max or a Raspberry Pi at the heart of this operation. The primary software platform you will use is Microsoft Windows 10 IoT core.

Raspberry Pi Security Camera

Raspberry Pi can be used to set up a security camera that looks after your property, even if the lights are not on. Along with the Raspberry Pi, you will need the Pi camera accessory and a few other items, along with the MotionPie software, which allows you to access your camera via any web browser. This software includes features found on the best security cameras including FTP support, image uploads, and motion detection. The MotionPie software is free.

Smart Remote Control

ORVIBO Smart IR Remote Control, WiFi Universal Smart Home Hub, IR Blaster, Works with Alexa, Google Home, Siri, Voice Control to TV, STB, Projector, Sound, Fan, Infrared Devices, Programmable Timer
  • 【MAKE ONE FOR ALL】With Orvibo Smart Magic Cube, you can use your phone to replace a bunch of remotes and let your phone operate as a universal remote control for 8000+ brands IR controlled home devices like STB Cable/Satellite TV, smart TV, sound, projector, DVD player, air conditioner, TV box, fan, humidifier, air purifier…you can even make old equipment and off brand IR devices act like it’s part of smart home.
  • 【POWERFUL BUT TINY】ORVIBO Smart Magic Cube provides 360 degree signaling and 10 meter range to send strong signal for devices to pick up, you can sit on your couch to control everything easily. Even though the IR hub magic cube is so powerful, it comes in a tiny body, which help save place, you can place it on the desk, shelf, and stand.
  • 【LEARNING COMMANDS】ORVIBO Smart Magic Cube equipped with a neat learning function, with which you can teach the cube your commands, if you do not need so many multifarious commands, customize the commands you need and save them.
  • 【ALEXA/GOOGLE/SIRI COMPATIBLE】Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Siri, hand-free control home devices and scenes via voice commands to change turn on/off light, turn up/down volume, change channel, room temperature, fan speed…
  • 【WHY CHOOSE ORVIBO】Unlike other brands, ORVIBO updates our app database monthly to match more brands and suit your needs, we aim to bring you a better, smarter, more comfortable living experience, 7-24 global support for troubleshooting.

Any home that has more than one entertainment device needs a universal remote to control it all. However, you no longer need huge controllers with large, unsightly buttons. Now, your smartphone can be used to control every entertainment device in your home. A project by Tony DiCola on the Make community shows you how it is done.


Now that you know the advantages and convenience of a smart home, you will probably want to get working on some of these DIY smart home projects. Some projects, such as the smart smoke alarm and the AC upgrade are super easy, perfect for beginners. Other projects such as the voice-operated coffee maker and the automated curtains are a little more involved, but with step-by-step instructions and a little patience, these too are achievable. A little automation in your home will save you time and money while providing peace of mind.

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