Home Assistant devices - what to use, what to avoid


March 04, 2023

I have been using Home Assistant for a few years and have found many devices that work well and many that don’t. I’ll keep this blog post updated as I try new things and find what works, what doesn’t, and why. You can filter by device type. All Amazon links on this page are referral links.

What to use


I've used Inovelli light switches and they've been great. They have great community support on their forums where the founders of the company are also very active. They're a small business and I highly recommend them.

As an anecdote on their great communication and customer service, when they released their new Blue Series Zigbee switches, they had a batch that got sent out with a manufacturing defect. They sent out a simple Google form to fill out if you were affected, and had new switches out to all affected users in about a month.

The only challenge with Inovelli is they struggle to keep their switches in stock, but they're completely transparent about their manufacturer woes on their forums so you'll always know the status even if there are delays. I'm happy to deal with some growing pains to help support a great small business.

Blue Series dimmer switches

The Blue series dimmer switches use Zigbee to communicate. I use 6 of them in my house, and they're rock solid. They have "smart bulb mode", up to 5x up and down events in HA, a fully customizable RGB light bar, and support Zigbee binding to control Zigbee bulbs directly which is great for reliability.

Red Series dimmer switches

The Red series dimmer switches use Z-Wave to communicate. I had 4 of them in my house (recently replaced them with Inovelli's Blue series as I prefer Zigbee to Z-Wave), and they're rock solid. They have "smart bulb mode", up to 5x up and down events in HA, and a fully customizable RGB light bar.

Buy on their website


I don't have as much experience with Zooz as I do with Inovelli, but I know Zooz is reputable in the HA community. I have their light/fan double switch installed, and it works well. Not much else to say since I only have one device of theirs.

Buy on Amazon


I just recently discovered ThirdReality, who is certified "Works with Home Assistant".

So far, their Zigbee sensors have worked well and they have decent prices. I'm using their motion sensors and door/window/contact sensors. These are my new devices of choice for Zigbee sensors!

Buy on Amazon


Shelly has a great reputation in the home automation community, and I use several of their relays in light switches in my house. I have 10 Shelly 1's tucked behind light switches, which let you control it while using the same ole dumb light switch.

I decided to use them at the time to save money since I could get them for $10 a piece a few years ago. Now they're closer to $15, but that's still quite a bit cheaper than the Inovelli switches I use — albeit with less features. If I were to start over now, I would save myself the time and frustration of trying to shove the relay and all the wires back into the switch box and just go with a smart switch.

However, if you're familiar with wiring a switch and don't mind a little extra time spent on installation, Shelly's are great products. You can also flash Tasmota onto them using the exposed pins, though I've never found this necessary as their official firmware immediately shows up in Home Assistant and communicates locally.

I also have a Shelly dimmer for our bedroom closet light that works well. I see they have a dimmer wall switch as well with a bit of mixed reviews — I haven't used this myself.

Buy on Amazon


Aqara is pretty well known in the HA community for their affordable Zigbee devices. They generally work well and are available on Amazon for quick delivery and easy returns.

I have an asterisk there because Aqara devices completely failed on my HA set up for a couple years, but ever since I removed the Sylvania/Osram recessed lighting from my ceiling they've worked as expected. I'm not sure if it's Xiaomi's fault or Sylvania's, but just be aware Aqara devices don't play nicely with some powered Zigbee devices that function as routers.

If Aqara devices are dropping from your network after a short time, you're probably seeing a similar issue. Save yourself the headache and just find alternatives to Aqara devices — it's never going to work well, trust me.

Buy on Amazon

What to avoid

Wyze Sense

I used to recommend Wyze sense quite highly, when door/window sensors were $5 and motion sensors were $6. They were small, extremely fast, and had great range. Unfortunately, using these with Home Assistant relied on the open source community and that integration had more issues over time once the creator couldn't commit to maintaining it anymore.

The nail in the coffin was Wyze sense v2, which made both sensor much larger, and nearly tripled the prices to ~$13 for door/window and $15 for motion sensors. At that price, and with the stability issues due to their proprietary protocol, I recommend going for Zigbee instead.


I used their recessed lighting for 3 years in 4 rooms in our house. I used it with the Circadian lighting component. These technically worked, but they were unreliable enough that I took them all out. I paired them with the Inovelli Z-Wave wall switches for most of that 3 years, using Z-Wave events with gome-assistant to control the bulbs.

The Inovelli switches worked great, but the Sylvania bulbs would randomly decide not to respond. This would lead to 3 of 4 bulbs in a room turning on when pressing the switch. Sometimes it would take 2 or 3 presses for the 4th one to finally respond. This drove me crazy. The only reason we put up with it for as long as we did is because we loved the Circadian lighting.

When Inovelli announced their Zigbee "Blue series" switch, I was pumped. I could use Zigbee binding and finally these bulbs would work reliably. As a bonus, the switches would still work if HA was down — though this was never an issue, it did break my rules.

Nope, still sucked. I used binding with other Zigbee bulbs and they were instant and reliable, so — as far as I could tell — it was the bulbs fault and not the switches. I ditched these bulbs and put Phillips Dayglow recessed bulbs in 1 room. In the other 3 rooms I went back to regular dumb bulbs as we use lamps more than the ceiling lights in those rooms.