Hello smart home enthousiasts,

I'm a software engineering student and I want to start a new project for myself. I really like smart home stuff, but I don't want anything to do with google or amazon.

I would like to make everything myself, program it from scratch with my raspberrypi 3 as the base. So I'm looking for cheap lights, sensors and switches that can communicatie with my raspberrypi. (The aliexpress kind of stuff) I just don't know what kind of products I'm looking for, since I want to program everything myself. What products would fit this description?

I hope I put this question in the right place. A huge thanks in advance for anyone kind enough to give me an answer!

  • 2
    Hi Karsten, while you're completely in the right place if you have more specific questions — e.g. how to get specific lights or sensor working with your RP3 — I'm afraid as it stands this question is currently a bit broad for our Q&A setup.
    – Helmar
    Dec 5, 2019 at 12:31

1 Answer 1


It sounds like the zigbee2mqtt project may be exactly what you are looking for. The main purpose is to be able to run your own server rather than have to use a commercial cloud service, but still allows you to use commercial devices. It also allows you to use generic CC253x hardware that can be obtained from AliExpress. It seems to be a pretty active project, so you should be able to get plenty of help with it as well.

  • The OP says they want to write the system from scratch not use an existing project.
    – hardillb
    Dec 5, 2019 at 10:20
  • I suppose "from scratch" can have different meanings. I was more focused on the fact that the OP didn't "want anything to do with google or amazon". So from scratch to me was using an open source server on a Pi vs.actually writing their own MQTT broker and device API. But I do agree the question was broad.
    – John S
    Dec 5, 2019 at 19:12

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