Everyone wants their products smart nowadays but nobody wants tons of different apps installed on their phones, nor buy multiple hubs, bridges or gateways. Next to that, the manufacturers want their products to be smart but especially the smaller companies don’t have the resources to build and maintain their own apps and ecosystem to support these smart devices. There comes Tuya: Tuya is an IOT (internet of things) services platform app, that manufactures can easily use to make their products smart. With the Tuya or Smart Life app, producers can make their product smart and customers can have different devices from different brands into one single platform. Tuya supports lights, switches, sensors, cameras, robot vacuums and so much more. Two smart lights from different brands that Tuya supports act in a similar way within the app.
But it means there is still another app? Yes, but this makes it possible to integrate it in for example Home Assistant, so the app is needed for the setup and after that not needed to control your devices.
What is Tuya and Smart Life?
Tuya Smart versus Smart Life
Tuya has two apps: the Smart Life app and the Tuya Smart App. What are the differences? Bruce Hunsaker made an in-depth video that elaborates on the differences. Spoiler: the main difference is: Smart Life supports the IFTTT platform and the Tuya Smart App does not. This can be decisive factor for choosing one of the apps, but for the goal of this article (integrating Tuya in Home Assistant) it really does not matter. We choose the Smart Life app but you can also use the Tuya Smart app.
Device > Smart Life > Home Assistant
- You need to download the Smart Living app (IOS or Android).
- You need an account registered in the app.
- Make sure that the products are working in the app.
If your products are working in the app, they are connected to your account. If you then use your Tuya account in Home Assistant of Google Home or Amazon Alexa you probably can use the devices. There are tons of different devices that are compatible with Tuya already, but not all of these product is already compatible with Home Assistant. We added two different devices from different brands: a vacuum robot from Alfawise and a Led light Strip from Blitzwolf. Both are working great in Smart life, and also in Google home, but only the Blitzwolf Light Strip is at this time directly supported in Home Assistant.
For more info about support for Tuya in Home Assistant you can refer to the Home Assistant documentation:
Add device to Smart Life
Alfawise vs8 pro vacuum robot
I added a Alfawise robot vacuum (which is not compatible with Home Assistant) in Smart Life
- Plug in the adapter of the charging station
- double press the button on the vacuum so if goes into the connect mode. and the led are blinking faster
- Start the Smart Life app and log in.
- choose + add device
- You can choose to connect manually but search for a product is easier.
- Complete the questions and it’s done.
Blitzwolf lt-11 Led Light strip
- Plug in the adapter
- Hold the power button (the only button) until it flashes
- Start the smart life app
- Tick: +Add light
- Confirm flashing light
Smart Life application tested
The application is fast, clean and easy to use. Its a great feature that the products that you have in the app are automatically available in Alexa Google home or IFTTT (the latter one is not compatible in Tuya Smart App).
The app does not have that much features which is also a good thing. Add devices, Create Rooms and Control Your Devices. Simple as that, and I can’t say much more about it.
Add smart life to Home Assistant
You probably know us, we don’t want to use more apps. we want to control everything from one central home automation platform: Home Assistant in our case.
As told before: Make sure to can devices added in Smart Life before you can add them into Home Assistant.
For all the parameters and settings: https://www.home-assistant.io/components/tuya/
A sample configuration from me. 31 is the country code of The Netherlands. You can find your country codes in the second column of this site. The entry smart_life is the Tuya platform where I am registered. Add this into your own configuration.yaml and restart your Home Assistant instance. After starting it collects the compatible devices from Tuya. In my case only the Blitzwolf light.
tuya: username: email@example.com password: password country_code: 31 platform: smart_life
After changing your configuration, restart and check out Unused devices. In my case I have 2 products in Smart Life and only one is supported for now in Home Assistant: the Blitzwolf Led Light strip.
Compatible Tuya products
As mentioned before, Tuya has his own products but other brands as alfawise, Blitzwolf etc. can also make use of Tuya.
Check the AliExpress page (by clicking on this link or the logo below) with tons of cheap smart Tuya products.
And on Banggood you can find products from Blitzwolf.
It is great that smaller companies are able to make their products smart this easy. This means that consumers don’t have to pay for app development, and manufacturers will be quicker in releasing smart products that communicate over a certain standard protocol. This will on the long run be beneficial for further integration into home automation platforms, because all supported devices can be controlled in a similar way. Next to that, the vast number of of companies and customers involved makes that the app is stable and well designed. They fact that your account can be used in services like Amazon Alexa and Google Home but also in Home Assistant is a great feature.
It also has some drawbacks: as it is a cloud service, it requires an Internet connection. Next to that, the app stores your device and account data in the cloud. Some of the people don’t really mind, but it is still a thing to consider.