A month or two ago, I saw a link to Nick Farina’s awesome little node service Homebridge. Homebridge allows things in your house that don’t work with Apple’s HomeKit, say a Nest thermostat, to work with HomeKit. HomeKit enables you to do fun stuff like “Siri, set the temperature downstairs to 66 degrees.”
You know, really important stuff.
I’ve been trying to reign in our power use. We have laptops and iPads and iPhones and a couple of TVs and a WiiU and XBox and DVR etc. That’s a lot of juice. I’ve replaced all (well, most) of our lights with LEDs. I’ve played with power settings and anything else I can find to try to reduce our overall power usage.
The last thing I needed was to run my iMac full time as a home server.
Enter the CanaKit Raspberry Pi.
I’d been looking to muck around with a Raspberry Pi (from here on out, a raspi) for a bit, but never had a good reason to. Here’s a perfect use: a super low power, tiny, always on home server.
I got it last week and spent a few hours getting it configured. Then I setup Homebridge.
(After mucking with my network and nearly breaking everything … ) It all worked.
Homebridge has a bunch of plugins. Our Nest thermostats were added, but I also added our Sonos. And, eventually, I’ll add other devices (I have a Twine in our basement keeping an eye on the temperature – I may work out a way to scrape it’s data and push it to Homebridge).
It’s not the greatest thing in the world, but there’s something nice about being able to tell Siri to turn the temperature down. If I get a smart plug, I could tell Siri that I’m going to bed, and have it turn off the living room lamp, turn the temp down, and (with a little bit of work), maybe even have it turn off the TV.
That’d be pretty cool. And it all runs off a server the size of a couple of packs of cards that makes no noise and probably costs < $10/year to run.