Is the ESPHome firmware only for Home Assistant users?

I have a Alarm Panel Pro, board version 1.7 running the current releases of firmware (1.0.1-53178c) and software (1.3.3). I have it connected to a SmartThings hub (V2) by Ethernet cable. All is working just fine and I’ve had no issues since I installed it about a year ago.

So I have noticed that Konnected is now supporting the ESPHome firmware. I also read comments that this is the way going forward and most (all?) new features will be put into this firmware instead of the “old” Konnected versions.

So I have a few questions about all of this:

  1. Is the ESPHome firmware really only to better support Home Assistant?

  2. Are there any benefits of the ESPHome firmware for a SmartThings user?

  3. If I install the current ESPHome firmware over my 1.0.1-53178c firmware, what improvements will I see?

  4. Will I see any of the firmware improvements at the SmartThings configuration level, or will I need to customize some code, compile and install firmware to take advantage of these improvements?

  5. Anything else I should know or consider in all of this?

Thanks for any input you can share!

As of today, yes – the ESPHome firmware is targeted for Home Assistant users only. That’s because ESPHome’s native API was built for Home Assistant, and both ESPHome and Home Assistant are maintained by the same parent company, Nabu Casa. So naturally, they work very well together auto-magically.

It’s true that we’re shifting our firmware and integration development focus to leverage ESPHome firmware more in our products. With that is an effort underway to build and/or set-up integrations for other platforms with ESPHome-based firmware.

For Hubitat users, there is an opens-source package out there that was built to support ESPHome native API, which sounds like it should work, but I haven’t tried it personally yet (it’s on my to-do list):

For SmartThings users, at present there is no advantage to installing ESPHome firmware. In fact, it would be a huge disadvantage because there’s no integration with ESPHome and SmartThings … yet. We are actively working on that for the next generation of our firmware and ST integration, but it’s not there yet.

For SmartThings users, continue using our original firmware and cloud integration with SmartThings and Alexa.

When I have some updates on this effort, I’ll will certainly keep you updated here!

Follow on question for you Nate. I’m installing a new pro board and plan to use Home Assistant. Should I move to ESPHome firmware right out of the gate and where can I find the instructions to make that move?

Yes, that is our recommendation. Sometime this year we will move to ESPhome by default.

Start here: Add a Konnected Device to Home Assistant with ESPHome

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