A lot has happened at HomeTechHacker in 2019. My smarthome has evolved quite a bit over this year. I’ve written about lots of different topics that have hopefully helped you. In this year in review, I’m going to recap the most popular articles, my favorite articles, and give a look at what’s to come in 2020.
Note: Here’s my 2020 Year in Review.
The 5 most popular articles of 2019
- 19 Home Automation Ideas For Your Smarthome. I would not have guessed this would be one of my more popular articles, but I’m glad it has been. There are lot of good automation ideas for those new to home automation and veterans. Some of the automations (e.g. Christmas light automation) I just implemented this year.
- Home Assistant: Getting Started With Lovelace. This is another one that surprised me when I was looking at the stats. In January Home Assistant made Lovelace the default UI in release .86. This article just goes through the basics of what is a much-improved UI.
- 5 Great Choices for pfSene Hardware. PfSense is much more popular than I thought. If you haven’t considered using it for your home router software, you really should. This article focuses on good, compatible hardware choices and their pros and cons.
- TP-Link EAP 225/EAP 245 V3 Access Point Review. I’ve been using TP-Link EAP access points very happily for a couple of years now. This article reviews the improvements TP-Link made with new versions of their access points. They are great and affordable alternatives to Ubiquiti and other prosumer options.
- Starting with MQTT using Docker and Home Assistant. MQTT and Docker are the two most important technologies I added to my arsenal this year. This article goes through explaining a bit about MQTT and how to get it going with Docker and integrating it with Home Assistant.
For other popular articles from this year and previous years take a look at the right navigation menu on this page.
My 5 favorite articles of 2019
- Your Ultimate DIY Smarthome Guide. The intent of this article is to provide a comprehensive collection of DIY smarthome articles for those looking to build a smarthome. Everything from picking a smarthome hub to home automation reasons and ideas, to budgeting and projecting the costs of your smarthome can be found starting from this article.
- Cordcutting: My Journey to Cutting the Cable Cord. Arguably the biggest change I made in my smarthome ecosystem this year was cutting the cord. Here I detail how I left the world of cable TV and MythTV and transitioned to YouTube TV and other streaming services. there is also information on why you might want to cut the cord too.
- Ecobee3 Lite Thermostat Review. My reasons for liking this article are primarily due to the depth and detail I put into this article. My whole journey for installing and setting up the Ecobee, why I picked Ecobee, and all the complications I had to overcome are detailed in this article.
- Shelly 1 Review: Small, Inexpensive, and Versatile. Shelly is a great device, and I can’t mention it enough. This article gives some basic reasons why. I went on to use the Shelly to inexpensively automate my garage, fireplace, and light switches.
- Using a Sonoff RF Bridge to Expand Your Smarthome. I like using cheap technology to allow me to use even cheaper technology :). The Sonoff RF Bridge allows your smarthome to integrate with RF devices, which often cost less than Bluetooth, Z-Wave, and WiFi devices. This was a great tool to add to my smarthome repertoire.
The year in review final thoughts
In 2020, I will write fewer articles, but I hope they are of more depth and higher quality. I plan to focus on newer smarthome technologies (or at least new to me) as well as go more in-depth on some existing technologies like Docker, MQTT, and individually addressable LEDs. Also, who knows what new devices and technologies I’m not even thinking about now. Hopefully, I’ll get my hands on a few and share my experiences with you.
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