We are now in 2023 and Home Assistant has been around for over 9 years but just how popular is Home Assistant and how does it compare to the competition? I take a deep dive into the stats to showcase its growing community of developers and end-users.
Table of Contents
How Popular is Home Assistant
Home Assistant is hugely popular and as of April 2022, it boasted over 147,000 active installations via its built-in analytics tool. The Home Assistant Core GitHub repository currently has over 51,000 stars and the project has been forked over 17,000 times.
Although these statistics may seem impressive, how exactly do they compare to similar smart home automation software and platforms? I will take a look and compare it with three other similar products and conclude with if popularity really matters or not.
Home Assistant Popularity in Numbers
Until recently it was almost impossible to determine how many people were actively using Home Assistant then in May 2021, the development team implemented an opt-in feature called Home Assistant Analytics. The analytics integration aggregates usage statistics data from users and shares this data with the public. It is used by the development to prioritize which areas of development need focusing on.
Home Assistant popularity by Country
|Country||Active Installations (April 2022)|
Europe is the most popular region accounting for over 82,000 active users (56%).
In October 2019 Home Assistant was announced to be the 10th biggest open-source project on the GitHub platform comprising 6,300 contributors. By 2020 the number of contributors had grown by over 25% to 8,100 making it by far the most popular open-source software for home automation.
What Makes Home Assistant So Popular?
The popularity of Home Assistant can be attributed to a number of factors such as how long the project has been around and the wide range of supported devices and integrations compared to other platforms. I personally believe the main reason it is so popular (which is the reason I use it myself) is because of its primary focus on local control and privacy. I want all of my IoT devices to not depend on the internet and certainly don’t want them sending data to remote servers across the internet. Home Assistant delivers on this and more!
The History of Home Assistant
For a long time, Home Assistant was known for being quite complex and not very user-friendly in configuring devices and automation to its lack of GUI configuration options. Every time you needed to add a device, set up a new automation, or change anything really, you would have to edit a YAML file and apply the configuration there which required moderate technical knowledge. This alienated a lot of new users who were not very technical and found it difficult in setting up even the most basic tasks.
In recent years the developers of Home Assistant have recognized this and have been slowly moving away from using YAML configurations to making the web GUI the primary place for its users to make their changes.
Home Assistant Popularity Compared to Its Competitors
To compare Home Assistant with similar products on the market we need to use various tools to gather meaningful statistics.
I will use three sources and combine the results to determine the winner.
- Google Trends
- GitHub Star Count
- Reddit Community Size
To begin with, I have compiled a list of similar products to use in our comparison.
Stars on GitHub represent overall popularity but also the quality and general confidence in a specific project. In the table below I recorded the star count for each repository where possible. Samsung SmartThings was excluded from this comparison due to it being a closed system that is not open-source.
|Project||Star Count (April 2022)|
Reddit Community Size
The Reddit community size for each product is not particularly important but the data in the table below can be useful in comparison with one another. Home Assistant is the clear winner here and we are seeing fairly similar community sizes between Homebridge and SmartThings.
|Project||Community Size (April 2022)|
|Project||Google Trends||GitHub Stars||Reddit Members||Overall Place|
- SmartThings came second overall due to its GitHub star ranking not being calculated. Its GitHub ranking would have had to be 4th or higher to lose the overall second place.
Home Assistant came first place in each category and is the overall winner in the popularity contest with Samsung SmartThings as its closest rival.
It’s also worth noting that Homebridge is the newest project of the group and its Google Trends result might not be fully accurate as I had to use “search term” instead of “software” as the topic.
Ultimately each of these home automation products are great platforms to use and there is no reason to not try more than one to see what works best for you. If you are not very technical savvy then picking a platform with the biggest community could benefit you the most as you will have lots of questions.