The Raspberry Pi family is one of the marvels of modern consumer electronics.
They’re a simple and straightforward way to learn modern computer technology.
You can also use these small computers to make your house into a smart home.
Here are 9 great ways to use a Raspberry Pi in your smart home:
- Use Raspberry Pi as a smart security system.
- Link Raspberry Pi to your smoke/fire alarm.
- Connect Raspberry Pi to your gas detector.
- Program the Raspberry Pi for voice activation.
- Use Raspberry Pi with an automatic garage door.
- Network Raspberry Pi with motion-sensing lighting.
- Improve the life of your pets with Raspberry Pi.
- Run classic arcade games with Raspberry Pi.
- Let Raspberry Pi water your garden.
BONUS: Protect your lawn with Raspberry Pi.
This article will explore ways to automate your home and make your life smarter by using a Raspberry Pi microcomputer.
Read on to learn more about Raspberry Pi and what it can do for you.
1. Use Raspberry Pi as a Smart Security System
A Raspberry Pi makes an easy and cost-effective control center for a home security system.
Users have the ability to network security cameras, motion sensors, and outdoor lighting. In addition, they can monitor their home remotely.
A smart security system alerts you if someone or something unexpected trespasses on your property.
Users can even train free software available for Raspberry Pi security systems.
The systems have the capability to recognize members of their family.
However, you need high-resolution cameras or RFID tag readers to do so.
To get started with a Raspberry Pi as a security system, check out the CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 Starter Pro Kit on Amazon.com.
It features 4GB RAM, a 64-bit quad-core processor, and a case. This starter kit is excellent for those who intend to add on to create a security system.
Reading tip: 5 Things You Can Automate With a Raspberry Pi
2. Link Raspberry Pi to Your Smoke/Fire Alarm
American houses are legally required to have smoke detectors on every floor and in every bedroom.
Smoke detectors are a necessity for alerting residents when they’re in danger — at least when they’re home.
But what if you’re at work or running errands?
A Raspberry Pi can be networked with smoke detectors and programmed to send a notification if smoke is detected.
If you have indoor home security cameras, the Raspberry Pi controller can send a live feed of the fire.
3. Connect Raspberry Pi To Your Gas Detector
Smoke isn’t the only vapor that might harm you or your family.
It’s important to protect your home and its occupants from natural gas leaks, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide. All three are toxic or potentially lethal.
Natural gas is also explosive.
As part of your Raspberry Pi home security system, you can connect hazardous gas detectors into the network.
If you’re away from home, the system can automatically alert you and local emergency services. If you’re at home, the system can tell you to evacuate as fast as possible.
Researchers at the Saveetha Engineering College wrote a comprehensive paper on Raspberry Pi hazardous gas detectors.
4. Program The Raspberry Pi for Voice Activation
One of the future technologies “Star Trek” promised us is the ability to control our homes with verbal commands.
Today, you can spend thousands of dollars on dedicated smart home voice control systems.
Or you can spend under three hundred for a Raspberry Pi-controlled system.
With some programming, a Raspberry Pi computer can control many things.
That includes the home’s lighting, climate control, appliances, and security system.
Programming a Raspberry Pi controller for voice activation is a skill-intensive process.
Tutorials are available to help novice coders live their 24th-century dreams.
5. Use The Raspberry Pi With Your Automatic Garage Door
When you get home after a long day of work, your attention may slip. Maybe you drive up your driveway too fast or the battery in your remote is dead.
For whatever reason, you may accidentally crash through your garage door someday.
A Raspberry Pi can help you avoid this embarrassing and expensive accident.
There are several ways a Raspberry Pi can automatically open your garage door.
One method is to use cameras to read the license plates of cars in your driveway.
The system recognizes one of the plate numbers programmed into the system. Then, the Raspberry Pi opens the door.
A more straightforward method is to use RFID tags on your cars.
6. Network Raspberry Pi with Motion-Sensing Lighting
Lighting your home uses a lot of power. This is true if you have family members who insist on leaving lights on.
What if lights automatically turned off a few seconds after occupants left a room?
Users can network a Raspberry Pi with motion sensors and light fixtures in their house.
When people walk into a room or open a closed door, the sensors detect the motion.
From there, the lights power on. The sensors will detect motion as long as an occupant is present.
The Raspberry Pi controller will start a timer once the motion stops, presumably after the occupant leaves.
If no additional motion is detected before the timer runs out, the controller turns off the lights.
The motion sensors used in this project can also link to a home theater system.
That means that users may direct music or an intercom in occupied rooms.
7. Improve The Life of Your Pets with Raspberry Pi
There are several ways a Raspberry Pi can improve the lives of your pets.
Pet experts say that owners should feed their cats or dogs at the same time every day.
Pet parents can build their automatic pet feeders using a Raspberry Pi. Users may set these systems on a timer.
Ever wonder what your pets do while you’re at work? Another pet-related application for Raspberry Pi controllers is pet tracking cameras.
These projects can also be used as nanny cams if you have to leave your children unattended.
Cameras can also be activated via text message or an app.
A Raspberry Pi can also help you occupy your pet while you’re out of the house.
You can build an automatic fetch machine controlled from your smartphone. This is a more labor-intensive project, however.
You might also like: 10 best SmartThings compatible cameras
8. Run Classic Arcade Games with Raspberry Pi
Tabletop gaming is becoming more popular these days.
Whether you play Dungeons & Dragons or Warhammer 40,000, you can use a Raspberry Pi to build a smart gaming table.
The linked table also includes beer taps. If you’re not a beer drinker, the official Raspberry Pi magazine MagPi showcased a different version.
If tabletop RPGs aren’t your thing, a Raspberry Pi can also run classic arcade games.
Most Raspberry Pi models have several times more processing power than classic arcade machines did.
An experienced maker can fit an entire 80s or 90s era arcade into a single table.
9. Let Raspberry Pi Water Your Garden
Whether you grow flowers, vegetables, or other plants, a Raspberry Pi can help keep them alive.
DIY enthusiasts with a “green thumb” can build low-cost garden irrigation systems with a Raspberry Pi brain.
The simplest system runs on a daily or weekly schedule.
Or, with additional parts and programming, it can be equipped with soil moisture sensors.
That addition will allow you to program the system to water your plants when they need it.
Bonus: Protect Your Lawn with Raspberry Pi
Recently YouTuber and self-described “evil genius” Ryder Calm Down gained internet fame for a unique solution.
He wanted to keep passing pedestrians off his lawn.
Ryder used cameras and a Raspberry Pi to control a sprinkler in his front yard.
When people walked onto a patch of dead grass, the system activated the sprinklers.
You can check the Youtube video here:
Ryder had to recruit the help of a software engineer friend to program the raspberry to recognize and track pedestrians.
And he never actually deployed it to protect his lawn.
Ryder Calm Down is no doubt a genius, but we can’t call him “evil.”
We’re not saying you should use a Raspberry Pi to keep pedestrians off of your lawn. We’re only saying you can do it.