Home Assistant States

An IoT device or data from a service is represented as one or more entities in Home Assistant. An entity in the core is represented as a state. Each state has an identifier for the entity in the format of <domain>.<object_id>, a state and attributes that further describe the state. An example of this would be light.kitchen with the state on and attributes describing the color and the brightness.

The <domain> part of an entity identifier is equal to the Home Assistant component that is maintaining the state. This domain can be used to figure out what kind of state attributes to expect. See the entity documentation for more information about the different entities and their data.


All states are stored in the database in a table named states.

The difference between last_changed and last_updated is that last_changed only updates when the state value was changed while last_updated is updated on every state change. Example: if a light turns on, the state changes from off to on, so both last_updated and last_changed will update. If a light changes color from red to blue, only the state attributes change. In this case only last_updated will change. By distinguishing between these two values, we can easily identify how long a light has been on and how long it has been on the current color/brightness.

state_idColumn(Integer, primary_key=True)
entity_idColumn(String(255), index=True)
event_idColumn(Integer, ForeignKey('events.event_id'), index=True)
last_changedColumn(DateTime(timezone=True), default=datetime.utcnow)
last_updatedColumn(DateTime(timezone=True), default=datetime.utcnow, index=True)
createdColumn(DateTime(timezone=True), default=datetime.utcnow)
context_idColumn(String(36), index=True)
context_user_idColumn(String(36), index=True)


ix_states_entity_id_last_updatedentity_id, last_updated

Example queries

Significant states

Users are usually not so interested in state updates that only changed the attributes. Attribute only changes can be triggered by a light changing color or a media player changing song (which happens every ~3 minutes!). Since we maintain both last_changed and last_updated, it's easy to filter for just the states where the state was changed:

SELECT * FROM states WHERE last_changed = last_updated