[clug] HA update, smart light switch

Chris Smart clug at csmart.io
Sat Apr 25 00:06:39 UTC 2020

On Sat, 25 Apr 2020, at 08:18, Andrew Janke via linux wrote:
> First question..
> If you were to do it again now, what would you do different?

The original dumb mode I rolled out works too well, so I've had less motivation to change it. That's the main reason it's been slow going, I haven't been able to justify raising the priority of making things more smart.

The market has changed a bit in just the last couple of years. For example, we now have cheap LED downlights with built-in ESP which you can soft hack and run your own code. The advantage of that is you can just control them over the network and it includes dimming. The downside is you would still probably need/get a 240v lightswitch on the wall and once you're turning them off at the wall you can't turn them back on.

So I still like the idea of separating control and power.

The biggest issue I have is lack of dimming on the circuits because the relays I used don't dim. I don't think all lights need to dim, but it would be nice to have, especially for soft fade-in, fade-out effects. For the ones that need to, I could probably find a relay that has a built-in dimmer (ideally with simple voltage control) but then I need to build something central to control them all. I might still do this, I haven't looked that much. In the mean time, for the lights I really do want to dim I've installed LIFX or hacked ESP downlights.

> Has the world
> taken up what you did and made it a standard?
> Should have they? :)

Heh, I doubt it. Something like C-Bus star topology is somewhat similar at a high level, in that it uses ultra low voltage cable runs to the light switches and relays for each circuit (they have dimmer relays, too). That's why I used pink C-Bus cables in the wall, in case I totally couldn't make my idea work and needed to roll out something else. C-Bus has been around for ever and hasn't become a standard, mostly I think because of its ridiculous price tag. I think it could have become a widely used standard had it been more affordable.


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