Presence detection is an essential feature that allows you to automate your smart home devices based on the location of people in your household. With Home Assistant, you can set up presence detection to detect when people arrive or leave your home, which can trigger a wide range of automation options. Knowing who is home or where they are can help you save energy, enhance security, and make your life more convenient.
To get started with presence detection in Home Assistant, you need to understand the basics of how it works. There are different ways to set up presence detection, including using device tracking methods such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and GPS. You can also use room occupancy detection to determine who is in which room of your home. Once you have set up presence detection, you can use automation and triggers to control your smart home devices based on who is home or where they are.
Overall, presence detection is a powerful tool that can help you get the most out of your smart home devices. By setting up presence detection in Home Assistant, you can enjoy a more convenient, energy-efficient, and secure home environment. In the following sections, we will explore the different ways to set up presence detection in Home Assistant and how to use it to automate your smart home devices.
- Presence detection allows you to automate your smart home devices based on the location of people in your household.
- Home Assistant provides various methods for setting up presence detection, including device tracking, room occupancy detection, and automation and triggers.
- By setting up presence detection in Home Assistant, you can enjoy a more convenient, energy-efficient, and secure home environment.
Understanding Presence Detection
Presence detection is a crucial aspect of home automation, and it refers to the ability of a system to detect whether someone is present or not in a particular location. With the advent of smart home devices, presence detection has become an essential feature in many home automation systems, including Home Assistant.
Home Assistant is an open-source home automation platform that allows users to control and automate various smart home devices. One of the key features of Home Assistant is its ability to perform presence detection, which can be used to trigger various automation routines.
Presence detection in Home Assistant can be achieved through various methods, including the use of Bluetooth beacons, GPS, and Wi-Fi. Bluetooth beacons are small devices that emit a signal that can be picked up by a smartphone or other Bluetooth-enabled device. GPS can be used to track the location of a smartphone or other GPS-enabled device, while Wi-Fi can be used to detect the presence of a device on a local network.
When it comes to presence detection in Home Assistant, the accuracy of the detection method used is crucial. For example, Bluetooth beacons are highly accurate but have a limited range, while GPS can be less accurate but has a much greater range. Wi-Fi can be used to detect the presence of a device, but it is not always reliable, as devices can sometimes drop off the network.
To achieve the best results with presence detection in Home Assistant, it is often necessary to use a combination of detection methods. For example, Bluetooth beacons can be used for detecting presence in a specific room, while GPS can be used to detect when someone is approaching the home.
Overall, presence detection is a critical feature of any home automation system, and Home Assistant provides a range of options for achieving accurate and reliable presence detection. By using the right combination of detection methods, users can create powerful automation routines that can make their homes more comfortable, convenient, and secure.
Setting Up Home Assistant
Setting up Home Assistant for presence detection requires editing the configuration.yaml file. This file is where all the settings for Home Assistant are stored. To edit this file, the user must access the Home Assistant installation directory and open the file in a text editor.
Once the configuration.yaml file is open, the user can add the necessary settings for presence detection. This includes defining zones, setting up device trackers, and configuring automations.
To define zones, the user can use the Zones integration page to create areas on a map and name them accordingly. These zones can then be used to name the location of a tracked user or set entering/leaving a zone as an automation trigger or condition.
To set up device trackers, the user can use a mobile phone or a dedicated device like a tile tracker. The device tracker must be added to the configuration.yaml file with the correct settings.
Finally, automations can be configured to trigger based on the presence or absence of a user in a particular zone. This can be done using the automation editor in Home Assistant.
Overall, setting up Home Assistant for presence detection requires some technical knowledge and editing of the configuration.yaml file. However, with the right settings and automations, Home Assistant can provide reliable and accurate presence detection for a smart home.
Device Tracking Methods
Home Assistant provides several ways to track devices, including device tracker, MAC address, router, ping, Nmap, OwnTracks, MQTT, and platform.
The device tracker integration allows users to track devices in Home Assistant by querying their wireless router or by having applications push location information. To get started, users need to add the following lines to their configuration.yaml file:
device_tracker: - platform: netgear host: YOUR_ROUTER_IP_ADDRESS username: YOUR_USERNAME password: YOUR_PASSWORD
This configuration example uses the Netgear platform. Other platforms are available for different routers. Once configured, the device tracker will automatically create sensors for each device that is connected to the network.
MAC address tracking is another method used for presence detection. This method involves adding the MAC addresses of devices to the configuration.yaml file. Home Assistant will then track the MAC addresses to determine if the device is present on the network.
Ping is a method that involves sending a packet of data to a device and waiting for a response. If the device responds, it is considered present on the network. This method can be less reliable than others because some devices may not respond to pings.
Nmap is another method used for device tracking and presence detection. Nmap is a network exploration tool that can scan networks to identify devices and their IP addresses. Home Assistant can use Nmap to scan the network and determine which devices are present.
OwnTracks is a mobile app that allows users to track their own location and share it with others. Home Assistant can use OwnTracks to track the location of devices that have the app installed.
MQTT is a messaging protocol that allows devices to communicate with each other. Home Assistant can use MQTT to track the location of devices that are connected to the network.
Overall, Home Assistant provides a variety of device tracking methods that users can choose from to determine the presence of devices on their network. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and users should choose the method that works best for their specific needs.
Working with Networks
Presence detection in Home Assistant can be achieved through various methods, and one of the most common ways is by working with networks. By leveraging what a router already knows, it is possible to detect if people are at home.
Usually, the easiest way to detect presence is by checking which devices are connected to the network. If a device is connected to the network, it means that the person associated with the device is likely to be at home. Home Assistant supports several network-based integrations that allow users to detect the presence of people in their homes.
One such integration is the My WiFi SSID integration, which allows users to detect the presence of people based on the WiFi network they are connected to. This integration works by monitoring the WiFi network’s SSID and detecting when a device is connected or disconnected from the network.
Another integration that can be used for presence detection is the router-based integration. This integration works by monitoring the router’s ARP table, which contains a list of all devices connected to the network. By monitoring the ARP table, Home Assistant can detect when a device connects or disconnects from the network, allowing users to determine whether a person is at home or not.
It is important to note that network-based presence detection is not foolproof, and there are several factors that can affect its accuracy. For example, if a person’s device is turned off or disconnected from the network, the system may register them as being away from home, even if they are actually present. Additionally, network-based presence detection may not work as expected if a person’s device is connected to a different network or if they are using a VPN.
Despite these limitations, network-based presence detection can be a useful tool for automating various tasks in a smart home. By using a combination of different presence detection methods, users can create a more reliable and accurate system for detecting when people are at home and automating various tasks accordingly.
Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
Home Assistant offers Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) integration to detect the presence of BLE devices. BLE is a low-power wireless communication protocol that is commonly used in IoT devices, wearables, and other smart devices. BLE devices can be detected by Home Assistant through their unique MAC addresses.
To use BLE with Home Assistant, users need to enable the Bluetooth LE Tracker integration. This integration periodically scans for BLE devices and updates their status in Home Assistant. Users can also set the scan interval and the time-out period for inactive devices.
BLE sensors can be added to Home Assistant to monitor the status of BLE devices. These sensors can detect the presence of BLE devices, their battery level, and other information. BLE sensors can be added to Home Assistant using the ESPHome integration or other custom components.
One of the advantages of using BLE for presence detection is its low power consumption. BLE devices use very little power, which means that they can operate for long periods without needing to be recharged. This makes them ideal for use in IoT devices that need to operate for extended periods without human intervention.
Another advantage of BLE is its range. BLE devices can be detected within a range of up to 100 meters, depending on the environment and the type of device. This makes them suitable for use in large homes, offices, and other environments where multiple BLE devices need to be monitored.
Overall, BLE is a reliable and efficient way to detect the presence of BLE devices in Home Assistant. By using BLE sensors and the Bluetooth LE Tracker integration, users can monitor the status of their BLE devices and automate various tasks based on their presence.
Automation and Triggers
Home Assistant allows users to create automations that trigger based on certain conditions or events. These automations can be used to control various smart home devices, such as lights, thermostats, and cameras.
To create an automation, the user must define a trigger, a condition (optional), and an action. The trigger is the event that initiates the automation. This can be a state change, such as a device turning on or off, or a time-based event, such as a specific time of day.
Conditions are optional and allow the user to specify additional requirements for the automation to trigger. For example, an automation that turns on the lights when someone enters a room may have a condition that only triggers the automation if it is after sunset.
Actions are the tasks that the automation performs when it is triggered. This can be anything from turning on a light to sending a notification to the user’s phone.
Home Assistant also allows for the use of functions within automations. These functions can be used to perform more complex tasks, such as sending an HTTP request or running a Python script.
Triggers can be based on a variety of entities, including device states, time-based events, and even the presence of a person. For example, an automation can be created that triggers when a person enters a specific room, using presence detection.
Conditions can also be based on a variety of entities, including device states, time-based events, and even the weather. For example, an automation can be created that only triggers if the temperature outside is below a certain threshold.
Overall, Home Assistant’s automation and trigger system allows for a high degree of customization and control over smart home devices. By using triggers, conditions, and actions, users can create automations that are tailored to their specific needs and preferences.
Working with MQTT
Home Assistant supports MQTT, which is a lightweight messaging protocol that allows devices to communicate with each other. MQTT is a popular choice for home automation because it is fast, reliable, and efficient. MQTT is used to send messages, or “topics,” between devices, which can include sensors, switches, and other devices.
To use MQTT with Home Assistant, you need to set up an MQTT broker. An MQTT broker is a server that manages the incoming and outgoing messages between devices. There are many MQTT brokers available, including Mosquitto, HiveMQ, and EMQ X. Once you have set up an MQTT broker, you can configure Home Assistant to use it as the messaging system.
One of the most important aspects of using MQTT with Home Assistant is the
state_topic is the topic that a device will publish its state to. For example, if you have a motion sensor that is connected to Home Assistant via MQTT, the motion sensor will publish its state to the
state_topic. Home Assistant will then listen for messages on that topic and update its own state accordingly.
Overall, using MQTT with Home Assistant is a powerful way to integrate devices and sensors into your home automation system. With MQTT, you can create complex automations that respond to a wide range of events and conditions.
Utilising GPS and Location Services
One of the most common ways to detect presence in Home Assistant is by using GPS and location services. This method involves tracking the location of a person’s mobile device and using that information to determine whether they are at home or not.
Home Assistant provides device tracker sensors that can be used to infer if a person is home or not by working out if their mobile phone is within a certain area or zone. These zones can be defined using GPS coordinates or by drawing a boundary on a map.
To use this method, the first step is to set up the device tracker sensor in Home Assistant. This involves adding the mobile device to Home Assistant and configuring the location tracking settings. Once this is done, Home Assistant will start tracking the location of the device and updating the device tracker sensor accordingly.
To define zones, Home Assistant provides a built-in feature called “Zone”. This feature allows the user to define a zone by drawing a boundary on a map or by specifying GPS coordinates. Once a zone is defined, it can be used in conjunction with the device tracker sensor to determine whether a person is at home or not.
Home Assistant also provides a special zone called the “home zone”. This zone is automatically created when Home Assistant is first set up and is used to define the user’s home location. The home zone can be used to trigger automations when a person arrives or leaves home.
Overall, using GPS and location services for presence detection in Home Assistant can be a reliable and accurate method. However, it does require the user to have their mobile device with them at all times and to have location services enabled. Additionally, it may not be suitable for all users, particularly those who are concerned about privacy.
Implementing Room Occupancy Detection
Room occupancy detection is an essential component of a smart home automation system. It allows the system to know when a room is occupied or unoccupied, which can trigger different actions such as turning on/off lights, adjusting the temperature, and more. In Home Assistant, there are several ways to implement room occupancy detection, including motion sensors, Room Assistant, doors, and windows.
Motion sensors are one of the most common ways to detect room occupancy. They are easy to install and can detect movement within a specific range. When a motion sensor detects movement, it sends a signal to Home Assistant, which can then trigger an action. For example, if the motion sensor detects movement in the living room, Home Assistant can turn on the TV and dim the lights.
Room Assistant is a software package that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons to detect the presence of people in a room. It can also detect other indicators of presence, such as humidity sensors in the bathroom or sound sensors in the kitchen. Room Assistant is easy to set up and can be used in conjunction with other presence detection methods, such as motion sensors.
Doors and Windows
Doors and windows can also be used to detect room occupancy. By installing sensors on doors and windows, Home Assistant can detect when they are opened or closed. For example, if the front door is opened, Home Assistant can turn on the porch light and send a notification to the homeowner’s phone.
Overall, there are several ways to implement room occupancy detection in Home Assistant. Motion sensors, Room Assistant, doors, and windows are all effective methods that can be used alone or in combination to create a comprehensive presence detection system. By using these methods, homeowners can enjoy a more comfortable and convenient living space.
ESPResense is a powerful tool that can be used to detect the presence of Bluetooth devices in specific rooms. It is a firmware that runs on ESP32 devices and can be integrated with Home Assistant to provide accurate room presence detection.
The ESPResense firmware can be installed on any ESP32 device and can be configured using a range of parameters. These parameters allow users to set the maximum distance for detection, configure active scanning, and specify the query frequency.
When integrated with Home Assistant, ESPResense can be used to track specific Bluetooth signatures and publish the results to various topics on MQTT. Home Assistant then uses the MQTT Room Presence integration to track the devices and provide accurate room presence detection.
One of the key features of ESPResense is its ability to detect when a device has left a room. This is achieved using the away_timeout parameter, which specifies the time that must elapse before a device is considered to have left the room.
To use ESPResense, it is necessary to place a device running the firmware in each room that requires presence detection. This allows the device being tracked (e.g. a smartphone) to be associated with the ESPResense device with the strongest signal, providing accurate room presence detection.
Overall, ESPResense is a powerful tool that can be used to provide accurate room presence detection using Bluetooth devices. With its configurable parameters and integration with Home Assistant, it is a great addition to any smart home setup.
Setting Up Notifications
Presence detection is a valuable input for automation in Home Assistant. One of the most useful automation options is setting up notifications. With notifications, you can receive alerts on your phone or tablet when someone arrives or leaves home.
Home Assistant supports notifications for both iOS and Android devices. To set up notifications, you need to configure the notification platform in Home Assistant.
To receive notifications on iOS devices, you need to configure the iOS notification platform. This platform allows you to send notifications to iOS devices using the Apple Push Notification Service (APNS).
To set up iOS notifications, you need to follow these steps:
- Install the Home Assistant Companion app on your iOS device.
- Enable notifications in the app settings.
- Configure the iOS notification platform in Home Assistant.
- Create an automation that sends notifications when someone arrives or leaves home.
Home Assistant also supports notifications for Android devices. To receive notifications on Android devices, you need to configure the Android notification platform. This platform allows you to send notifications to Android devices using the Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) service.
To set up Android notifications, you need to follow these steps:
- Install the Home Assistant Companion app on your Android device.
- Enable notifications in the app settings.
- Configure the Android notification platform in Home Assistant.
- Create an automation that sends notifications when someone arrives or leaves home.
Notifications for Other Platforms
If you use a different platform, such as Windows or macOS, you can still receive notifications from Home Assistant. You can use a service like Pushbullet or IFTTT to send notifications to your device.
To set up notifications for other platforms, you need to follow these steps:
- Create an account on your chosen service.
- Install the service’s app on your device.
- Configure the service in Home Assistant.
- Create an automation that sends notifications when someone arrives or leaves home.
With notifications set up, you can receive alerts when someone arrives or leaves home. This can be useful for keeping track of family members or for security purposes.
Feedback and Documentation
Providing feedback and documentation are crucial aspects of creating an efficient presence detection system. Home Assistant offers various ways for users to provide feedback and report issues.
Users can report bugs or suggest improvements through the Home Assistant GitHub page. The community is active and responsive, ensuring that issues are addressed promptly. Additionally, users can join the Home Assistant Discord channel to discuss issues and solutions with other users.
Documentation is essential for users to understand how to use Home Assistant’s presence detection system. The official Home Assistant documentation provides detailed instructions on how to set up presence detection using various methods, including network scanning, Bluetooth, and device tracking. The documentation is well-organized, making it easy for users to find the information they need quickly.
Moreover, the Home Assistant community has created various resources, including blogs and YouTube videos, to provide additional guidance on presence detection. These resources offer practical advice and tips on how to optimize presence detection and troubleshoot issues.
In conclusion, providing feedback and documentation are critical components of a successful presence detection system. Home Assistant provides various channels for users to report issues and suggest improvements, and the documentation is well-organized and comprehensive. The community also offers additional resources to help users optimize their presence detection system.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best presence sensors for Home Assistant?
Home Assistant supports a variety of presence sensors, including GPS, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and Wi-Fi-based trackers. Some popular choices for presence detection in Home Assistant include Life360, OwnTracks, and the Home Assistant Mobile App.
How does Home Assistant detect devices for presence detection?
Home Assistant uses device trackers to detect the presence of devices on the network. Device trackers work by periodically scanning the network for devices and recording their status. When a device is detected, Home Assistant updates its status accordingly.
What sensors can be used for presence detection in Home Assistant?
Home Assistant supports a wide range of sensors for presence detection, including GPS, BLE, Wi-Fi, and motion sensors. The choice of sensor will depend on the specific use case and the environment in which it will be used.
What is the Home Assistant device tracker template for person location?
The Home Assistant device tracker template for person location is a configuration option that allows users to define how device trackers are used to track the location of a person. This template can be used to define the logic for combining multiple device trackers to determine a person’s location.
How does Home Assistant detect when a phone connects to WIFI for presence detection?
Home Assistant can detect when a phone connects to Wi-Fi by using a Wi-Fi-based device tracker. When a phone connects to a Wi-Fi network that is being monitored by Home Assistant, the device tracker will detect the phone and update its status accordingly.
What is meant by presence detection in Home Assistant?
Presence detection in Home Assistant refers to the ability to detect the presence or absence of people or devices in a specific location. This information can be used to trigger automations, such as turning on lights when someone enters a room or adjusting the temperature when someone leaves the house.