openHAB or Domoticz?

themadhouse

Novice Member
Posting this question, I understand there are going to be people who are definitely in one camp or the other, what I'm looking for is an objective view on why I should use one over the other.

I'm retro-fitting a HA system and have pretty much decided on Z-Wave units as the best fit for my situation (part retrofit, part new build).

Having looked around at many of the HA software offerings - both paid-for and open source - the options seem to come down to openHAB or Domoticz.

I've no problem with scripting (I'm a systems developer by profession), so happy getting into the scripting on either.

What are the thoughts on which and why?

Google doesn’t help much – plenty of reviews but many are from 2015-17 and both applications have moved on massively in the last three years.



Jim
 

tucks

Standard Member
I have held off responding given I cannot directly compare the two projects however given others are yet to add their thoughts I hope my input is of some use.

I have been using Z-Wave for over six years, most of those with Domoticz but in September last year I tested a "Home Assistant" docker container. I quickly migrated my entire home automation system from Domoticz to Home Assistant and have not looked back, in fact I rather wish I had migrated much earlier.

I do not think Domoticz is a bad product but the much larger community supporting Home Assistant really shows and it feels a more polished and frankly easier product to live with. Evidence for this is based on the faster release cycles, enormous number of supported products and ultimately the fact my less technical family (wife and children) have really taken to using HA. For example by having a much larger number of supported products/integrations my automations are able to get so much more intelligent than before - a script that turns on lights after movement in the evening now knows that the TV is on and therefore to keep the lights on despite no detected movement. To be fair this is probably possible in Domoticz but would require a lot more fettling with random python scripts and may or may not work following library updates etc

In short I am recommending choosing the project that has wider community support which in your case appears to be openHAB.

Another thought - working with Z-Wave check compatibility of your chosen devices and also look into how easy it is to look at diagnostic/log information (when associating devices in particular). Domoticz gives you direct access to openzwave and when troubleshooting random issues and having low level log access is essential. I briefly flirted with a Vera Edge but found accessing log information a faff and quickly went back to Domoticz. I would be surprised if openHAB was not strong here too but check.

My final suggestion - given the low cost of raspberry Pis and z-wave sticks why not run both projects simultaneously to compare them? One project be the z-wave primary controller and the other could be secondary. This would then give you practical experience running both projects, programming using etc This may feel like dead time but in my experience you will experiment so much that after a time wiping everything and starting from scratch makes sense so having the option of a secondary controller will be useful.
 

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