Today we're making a big stride in our mission to put you, the homeowner, back in control of your home's alarm system and home monitoring by announcing our official support for ESPHome firmware for all of Konnected's hardware.
What Is ESPHome?
ESPHome is a free and open-source firmware framework for IoT devices using the popular ESP32 and ESP8266 chips, including those found in Konnected's products. ESPHome emerged on the scene in 2018, right around the time of Konnected's first product launch, as a code-free framework for creating embedded firmware to load on these tiny devices, enabling even non-programmers to create custom functionality for their inexpensive smart home devices. Over the past several years, we've watched as the ESPhome community has grown tremendously, and the software has become easier to use, making the world of smart home tinkering more accessible than ever.
What's an ESP?
You may have heard the buzzword "Internet-of-Things" or IoT, which most commonly refers to network-connected devices (or "things") that perform a specific function in the real world, like sensors, switches, and the like. One of the most common microchips that power these IoT devices are tiny yet powerful chips developed by Espressif Inc, known as the ESP8266 and its successor, the ESP32. These ESPs are found in many smart home devices by hundreds of manufacturers, like light bulbs, smart switches, door locks - and Konnected Alarm Panels! My discovery of the ESP8266 in 2016 prompted my idea to build Konnected, and we've embraced the ESP technology ever since.
ESPHome Enables the Ultimate in Local Control, Privacy, and Customization
Until today, Konnected has officially supported our firmware for our Alarm Panel devices, which was purpose-built to integrate traditional home security devices into many different smart home platforms. ESPHome is an alternate firmware that takes customization and local control to the next level. When used on Konnected hardware, it allows you to customize Konnected devices like never before.
ESPHome Works Seamlessly With Home Assistant
Home Assistant is an open-source smart home platform that many Konnected users love for its incredible capabilities and flexibility in powering your local smart home. Konnected embraced Home Assistant from the beginning, launching our custom integration with Home Assistant in 2018 as our 2nd officially supported smart home platform for integrated home security and monitoring. Konnected's Home Assistant integration is used by thousands worldwide and has served them well for years. Now, with ESPHome, we are doubling down on our commitment to open source and local control by shifting our efforts to support ESPHome as the preferred firmware for Home Assistant integration.
Why Is ESPHome Better?
For Home Assistant users, ESPHome firmware has some distinct advantages over Konnected's homegrown firmware. When running ESPHome, Konnected devices can:
- Support many different sensor types, including light sensors, electrical sensors, air quality sensors, and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sensors.
- Connect with even lower latency to Home Assistant, recording security sensor updates nearly instantaneously.
- Run on-device automation, for example, turn on/off a ready-light or trigger a door chime with custom logic embedded in the Konnected device!
- Serve a device web page, accessible in your browser on your local network, with device logs, debugging data, and controls.
Konnected Is Making It Easy For You
From now on, we'll publish pre-built ESPHome firmware for the most common Konnected Alarm Panel configurations that you can quickly and easily flash to your Konnected device. To get started, head to https://install.konnected.io/esphome or read the documentation here. Once flashed with our ESPHome firmware build, the device should be discovered automatically in Home Assistant using the built-in ESPHome integration, where you can customize your home's zone names and types.
For an even deeper level of customization, you can import your ESPHome-powered Konnected device into the ESPHome Dashboard and customize and build your own firmware for your Konnected device. This allows you to change input/output types, define on-device automations, enable new sensor types, and use all the tools in the ESPHome toolbox.
I Use Home Assistant With Konnected Already. What Should I Do?
You don't have to do anything – Konnected's original Home Assistant integration and firmware are not going away any time soon. Suppose you want to try ESPHome on your Konnected device to gain some of the benefits mentioned above. In that case, it'll be like starting from scratch again, and Home Assistant will recognize the Konnected hardware with ESPHome as a new device/integration. To get started, flash your Konnected device with one of our ESPHome builds at https://install.konnected.io/esphome.
Tell Us What You Think
We're excited to hear from our early adopters and Home Assistant enthusiasts about what you think of this unique, open approach to device firmware. Ask questions or send us feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org