For homeowners looking to take DIY Home Automation to the next level, the tiny computer Raspberry Pi has become a popular staple of the DIY toolkit. When it first came out, people were buying them faster than they could be made. And now, many years later, a large online community exists around Raspberry Pi creations and innovations.

What is Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer that fits in the palm of your hand. It has all the hardware of a fully functioning computer, and it’s only $35. This is so much cheaper than any desktop computer or mobile device, and it’s quite portable. However, understand that this is just the computer itself. It does not even come with a case. There are many peripherals that you will need to purchase in order to do anything with the computer, including a case, monitor, keyboard, mouse, SD cards, USB power cable, etc. The computer itself does not have any sensors or external data input capabilities.

Pros

What many people love about Raspberry Pi, besides the price, is that much of the software and projects done on Raspberry Pi out there are open source. This means that it is built and maintained by communities of users, not companies. If you use any of this software, it’s free; you won’t need to pay any fees for licensing.

If you’re looking to develop your own software on Raspberry Pi for your home automation system, there is a large online community that already exists and is always excited about new projects. It uses Python, which is a relatively simple language compared to many other programming languages; it has fewer lines and less complexity.

Because the computer uses SD cards (sold separately) as storage, it’s also very simple and easy to switch out projects if you are working on multiple programs at once (or need to use different programs at different times).

Raspberry Pi really allows anyone to experiment with different home automation potentials because of how affordable it is. It’s now possible for almost any homeowner to create a custom home automation system for their home or simply to just try something different that doesn’t exist on the market yet.

Furthermore, because of its size, Raspberry Pi is very energy efficient and green. It generates less waste and does not require any cooling systems (like most larger computers do).

Cons

While Raspberry Pi is an exciting technological development, it’s important to keep its limitations in mind. It is definitely more suitable for some project and some teams than others.

Raspberry Pi does not replace a computer. With its small size come limits to its computational power. Its connection to the internet is very slow and limited. This means that it takes a very long time to download things from the internet. Also, its low processing power means that it will not be capable of performing any complex multitasking or run any demanding programs.

While the cost of the Raspberry Pi computer is unbeatable, the peripherals that you will need to purchase in order to use it will still add up in terms of cost. Even more significantly, the task of building a home automation system is intensive and no small task. With the Raspberry Pi, you are essentially purchasing a blank slate. Before opting for this route, consider whether the hassle and labor required to build your home automation system is worth it. This project is definitely for someone who is excited to experiment with and tailor a system specific to their needs rather than for someone who simply wants the job done quickly.

 

If you’re looking for effective, efficient, and affordable home automation that is ready to be integrated to your home today, give Protect America a call at 1-888-951-5136.