How to Build a Home Automation System with Arduino for Under $50


Home automation allows you to control devices and appliances in your home remotely. With an Arduino microcontroller, some basic electronic components, and a little bit of coding, you can build your own home automation system on a budget. In this guide, I will show you how to build a home automation system with Arduino for under $50.

What You Will Need

To build a basic Arduino home automation system, you will need:

All these components can be purchased for under $50 total. I will go into more detail on each part later.

Setting Up the Arduino

The first step is to assemble the basic Arduino circuit on a breadboard. This will include:

This simple circuit will allow us to upload code and test out some basic Arduino functions. Be sure to connect the ground and 5V pins correctly.

Adding Relays and Transistors

Next, we need to add relays and transistors so the Arduino can switch higher voltage devices on and off.

I recommend getting 4 channel relay modules with optocoupler isolation. This prevents electrical noise from affecting the Arduino.

The relays will be controlled using NPN transistors like the 2N2222. Connect the base to an Arduino pin through a 1kΩ resistor, the collector to the relay input, and the emitter to ground.

With this setup, the Arduino can turn the relays on and off by setting a pin high or low. Each relay can control a separate appliance.

Incorporating Manual Switches

For manual override, we can add push buttons that connect to ground. Put a pull-up resistor between the button pin and 5V so the pin reads high normally. When the button is pressed, it will connect to ground and read low.

Debounce the buttons in your Arduino code using interrupts or delays. Now you have both manual and automated control!

Adding Wireless Control

For wireless control via smartphone, we will use a Bluetooth HC-05 module. Connect VCC to 5V, GND to ground, TXD to Arduino RX (pin 0), and RXD to Arduino TX (pin 1).

Pair the HC-05 to your smartphone and write Arduino code to receive commands over the serial port. This allows wireless control of the relays and reading of sensor data.

Programming the Arduino

Now for the software side. The Arduino code needs to:

Use Arduino functions like pinMode(), digitalRead(), digitalWrite(),, and Serial.write() in your code. Upload it and debug as needed until everything functions properly.

Putting it All Together

Once the hardware is assembled and software tested, install your home automation system by connecting appliances to the relays and placing sensors around the house.

The push buttons on the board provide manual control. The paired smartphone allows remote control and monitoring over Bluetooth.

And there you have it - a DIY Arduino home automation system for under $50! With some basic electronics knowledge and coding skills, you can build your own customizable and expandable smart home automation system.

Going Further

To take this project even further, you could:

The possibilities are endless! Start simple but make it your own. Home automation is easier and more affordable than ever with Arduino.