My smart home journey has not always been smooth. In fact there have been times my great ideas didn’t quite work out. And by not quite work out, I mean the automation or script I built had a mind of its own and turning it off required fumbling through the developers tools panel while trying to remember the name of the script I just built. For those of you that share a smart home with other people you know the impact this, we’ll call them bugs, can have.

I learned pretty quick that if I was going to build automations that sent notifications or kicked off long running routines with audio and lighting that I needed more control. And I especially needed a way to shut things off quickly when things didn’t go as planned.

Those first runway scripts pushed me to rethink how I designed my smart home and one of the changes was including helpers in my setup.

I really focus on three of the built-in Home Assistant helpers: input booleans, input numbers, and input date times. But while the initial purpose was to avoid annoying my family they do a good job of making my automations smarter and providing a better user experience for me and my family.

If you are working towards a smart home, and aren’t using helpers, I think its time you considered it. It could save you a lot of turmoil in the future. Plus, while we are build a home that can automate on its own its important to remember that even if we do not direct interact with the home, user experience is still a critical piece.

So if you want to see how I leverage these helpers in my Home Assistant setup, check out this video over on my YouTube channel.

And until next time, Automate the Boring Stuff.

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