Interested in making your house a bit smarter? 

Why not start small by building a Cardboard Smart Home!

Adafruit IO Home is a series of learning guides covering all aspects of a smart house: from temperature monitoring to an intelligent home security system. 

Want to scale up from the cardboard home to a real home?  We've selected real-world components, sensors, and hardware which can also be installed in your home, office or laboratory!

This is the first guide in the series, and there's more to come!


Temperature and Humidity

If you want to install a temperature and humidity sensor in your home, you're in luck. There's a plethora of these dual-use-type sensors available on the Adafruit Shop to select from.

We're going to use the Si7021, a digital temperature and humidity sensor which is less expensive than the popular DHTxx sensors. In addition to being inexpensive, it uses an I2C interface, freeing up digital pins on our Feather HUZZAH microcontroller for other things - like pretty lights and loud buzzers. 

Angled shot of black, rectangular temperature and humidity sensor breakout.
It's summer and you're sweating and your hair's all frizzy and all you really want to know is why the weatherman said this morning that today's relative humidity would...
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Is anyone home?  We're going to add lighting both inside and outside our house. 

Our lighting system will be comprised of a two different form factors of NeoPixels, which can be chained together and individually addressed, making them perfect for a home-automation system.

For lighting inside the house, we'll be using a NeoPixel Jewel comprised of seven NeoPixels on a round PCB. This light will serve as the lighting inside the house. As a bonus - it looks like a chandelier or a lamp when it's wired using solid-core wire.

NeoPixel Jewel - 7 x 5050 RGB LED wired to Trinket, lit up rainbow
Be the belle of the ball with the NeoPixel Jewel!  We fit seven of our tiny 5050 (5mm x 5mm) smart RGB LEDs onto a beautiful, round PCB with mounting holes and a...
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We'll also be using a 1 meter long Mini Skinny NeoPixel RGB LED Strip to add some lighting around the edges of the roof. This strip is thin enough to wrap around the roof of the house and you can cut it to-length. 

In addition to serving an aesthetic purpose, the outdoor lighting will also be used in later guides which will involve home security. 

Video of an Adafruit NeoPixel Digital RGB LED Strip with all the LEDs illuminating various colors.
So thin. So mini. So teeeeeeny-tiny. It's the 'skinny' version of our classic NeoPixel strips!These NeoPixel strips have 60 digitally-addressable pixel Mini LEDs per...
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For the controller, we're going to use a Feather HUZZAH with ESP8266. This board is used by most of our Adafruit IO guides since the ESP8266 is a highly popular and versatile IoT platform. 

This guide is also CircuitPython-compatible. You can use a Raspberry Pi with the IO House series.

Angled shot of black, rectangular WiFi development board.
Feather is the new development board from Adafruit, and like its namesake, it is thin, light, and lets you fly! We designed Feather to be a new standard for portable microcontroller...
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1 x Breadboard
Half-Size Breadboard
1 x Breadboarding Wire Bundle
You'll want some of these wires to hook up your temperature sensor.
1 x 3-Pin JST Plug
3-pin JST SM Plug + Receptacle Cable Set
1 x Hook-up Wire
Hook-up Wire Spool Set - 22AWG Stranded-Core - 6 x 25ft
1 x Solder
Mini Spool, 100g of 60/40 rosin-core solder.
1 x Right Angle USB Cable
USB Cable which bends at a right angle, can fit easily inside the house.


The following tools will make this guide much easier to follow. If you do not have access to them, pick some up from the Adafruit Store:

1 x Wire Cutters
Hakko Professional Quality 20-30 AWG Wire Strippers - CSP-30-1
1 x Soldering Station
Hakko FX-888D
1 x Helping Hands
Helping Third Hand Magnifier W/Magnifying Glass Tool

This guide was first published on Aug 27, 2018. It was last updated on Jul 17, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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