How to Make a DIY Home Automation System on a Budget


Home automation allows you to control things like lighting, temperature, appliances, security systems, and more - all from your smartphone or with the sound of your voice. While professionally installed systems can cost thousands of dollars, I can build my own basic DIY smart home on a budget under $200.

In this guide, I will cover:

Home automation refers to using technology to automate and control things around your home. With home automation, I can use my phone, tablet, or voice commands to do things like:

The main reasons I want to take on a DIY home automation project include:

Key Components of a DIY Home Automation System

To make my own basic home automation system, here are the main components I'll need:

Smart Home Hub

The smart home hub acts as the central controller for all my devices. It connects to my home WiFi network to communicate with smart devices and allows me to control everything from my smartphone.

Popular budget options like the Samsung SmartThings Hub or Amazon Echo Plus cost around $50-$100.

Smart Plugs

Smart plugs allow you to turn devices on and off remotely and set schedules. I simply plug lamps, fans, or other gadgets into the smart plug and then control them from my phone.

I can get smart plugs for around $20 each. I'll start with 2-3 for key appliances.

Smart Light Bulbs

Smart LED light bulbs, like Philips Hue or TP-Link, can be turned on/off and dimmed from my smartphone. They often have millions of color options too.

Individual bulbs range from $10-$30 depending on features. I'll get 2-3 to start.

Smart Switches

Smart light switches replace my existing wall switches to enable phone, voice, and app control of hardwired lights. This offers whole home control.

Basic switches are $20-$50 each. I'll get one for my main overhead light.

Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat like the Nest or Ecobee lets me adjust temperatures remotely and set schedules to save energy. Prices start around $130-$250.

Security Cameras

Indoor security cameras with motion detection, night vision, and phone alerts provide home monitoring. I can get basic 1080p WiFi cameras for $25-$50 each and place them in 2-3 key spots.

Setting Up My DIY System

Once I have all my components, here are the general steps to get set up:

  1. Install the smart home hub and connect it to my WiFi.

  2. Connect the smart bulbs and smart switches into lamp/light sockets and link them to the hub and app.

  3. Plug smart plugs into wall outlets and add them to the app.

  4. Install the smart thermostat and connect it to the hub.

  5. Place security cameras in desired locations and pair them with the app.

  6. Add all devices to the smart home app on my phone so I can control them from anywhere.

The total setup time is around 2-4 hours. It does require some light wiring for switches and thermostats but overall it's very beginner-friendly if I follow device guides.

Tips for My DIY Smart Home

To make the most of my new DIY smart home system, here are some useful tips:


With a little research and free weekends, I can easily build an awesome DIY smart home system on a budget under $200. The process is really straightforward by sticking to basic components like smart plugs, cameras, and switches. Over time, I can keep adding new devices for enhanced functionality and convenience. The end result is a customized, affordable smart home that makes everyday life a little bit easier.