How to Build a Low Cost Home Security System with Raspberry Pi That Actually Works


Home security is an important concern for many homeowners today. With crime on the rise, having a robust home security system in place provides peace of mind and protects your home and valuables. However, professional home security systems can be very expensive, with monitoring fees, equipment costs, and installation charges.

The good news is, with a Raspberry Pi single-board computer, you can build your own DIY home security system on a budget that rivals professionally installed systems in capability. In this guide, I'll walk through step-by-step how to build a low cost home security system with Raspberry Pi that actually works.

Components Needed

To build your Raspberry Pi home security system, you'll need the following components:

Raspberry Pi

The brains of the operation. A Raspberry Pi 3 B+ or Raspberry Pi 4 works great for a home security system. The Pi receives input from sensors, controls connected devices like cameras and alarm sirens, and sends notifications.

MicroSD Card

You'll need a MicroSD card (at least 8 GB recommended) to store the Raspberry Pi OS and security system software on.

Power Supply

A 5V micro USB power supply to power the Pi. Ensure it can provide at least 2.5A current.

Camera Module

A Raspberry Pi camera module provides live streaming video and motion detection. Infrared night vision cameras work great for 24/7 monitoring.

PIR Motion Sensors

Passive infrared (PIR) motion sensors detect movement and can trigger cameras and alarms. They act as intrusion detectors.

Magnetic Door Sensors

Magnetic sensors on doors and windows connect to the Pi and detect when they are opened/closed.

Raspberry Pi Case

A protective case houses and organizes all the components neatly.


A speaker hooked up to the Pi's audio output enables sound alerts.

Software Required

Along with the hardware, you'll need the following software:

Assembly and Configuration Steps

With the components and software ready, here are the steps to assemble and configure your system:

Installing the Raspberry Pi OS

  1. Download the Raspberry Pi OS image and flash it onto the MicroSD card using Etcher.

  2. Insert the MicroSD card into the Pi and connect the power supply.

  3. Connect the Pi to your router via Ethernet cable or configure WiFi for internet connectivity.

Setting Up MotionEyeOS

  1. Install MotionEyeOS on the Pi's MicroSD card following the official installation guide.

  2. Connect the camera module to the Pi. Ensure it is detected by running raspistill -v in the terminal.

  3. Access the MotionEyeOS web interface by visiting the Pi IP address in your browser.

  4. Configure camera settings like resolution, streamingframerate, motion detection zones and schedules.

Installing Home Assistant

  1. Install Home Assistant on your Raspberry Pi by following the official install guide.

  2. Once installed, access the Home Assistant dashboard by visiting http://your_pi_ip:8123.

  3. Integrate the camera feed from MotionEyeOS into Home Assistant.

  4. Add and configure the various sensors, alarm sirens, lights and other connected devices.

Detailing Automations and Alerts

Use Home Assistant's robust automation engine to build automation flows like:

Mounting Components in Enclosure

Follow best practices for mounting the Pi, camera module, speaker and other components neatly and securely within the protective enclosure.

Wrapping Up

By following this guide, you can build an advanced home security system using Raspberry Pi that sends you real-time alerts and allows you to monitor your home remotely.

The Pi's flexibility also means there is a lot of room for customization and expansion. You can add environmental sensors, screen displays, two-way audio and much more.

While not as simple as off-the-shelf consumer products, piecing together your own security system using Raspberry Pi is very rewarding and results in a highly capable system at an affordable price. With some DIY effort, you can sleep soundly knowing your home is protected.