Every year, the exterior holiday lighting gets reluctantly set up. It’s part of McMansion life, a requirement to appear as though you’ve made an attempt to decorate for the season. Between the colored optical projectors, to strings of lights haphazardly strung around the front porch, it all ends up needing to be plugged in and turned on/off. For years, the solution to this was a mechanical timer, with on and off markers which could be inserted around the ring to turn the timer on and off at the right time.
Today I finished working on new lighting for my closet office. Last year I renovated my bedroom, to fit my computer desk better. I don’t need a massive closet and traditional American McMansions require a large closet space with plenty of wasted space in every single bedroom, so I decided to take the closet doors off to expand my bedroom and put my desk into the closet. After some network and power wiring work, I had a pretty comfortable expansion of my desk space and cleared the center of my room for VR gaming.
I’ve been working on a new OctoPrint system for my 3D printer, and as part of this project I made some nice flashy individually addressable LEDs for the sides of the enclosure to show the print status. The full project page is coming soon, but I just had to give you guys a sneak peek at the LEDs. These are WS2812 style individually addressible LEDs, controlled by an OctoPrint plugin on the Raspberry Pi, along with a perf board PCB I soldered to power and level-shift them.
As I expand the reach of Home Assistant, I continuously try to build automations that make life generally easier for the users of the home. To me, automation isn’t about being able to control anything from my phone - in fact, the less I have to get my phone out, the better. I will still enjoy tracking history entries and status of nodes with both the web UI and app, but I shouldn’t have to, the house should just work.
I’d already had a start in Home Automation with my IKEA Blinds Project and Z-Wave with my Bedroom Lighting, so I was ready for something more advanced. Little did I know that automating a bathroom light and fan switch would require so much logic to avoid being stuck in the dark in the shower at night, and all the other corner cases that come up when you try to implement real automation logic instead of ‘smart home’ party tricks.
After playing with my Zigbee-controlled IKEA FYRTUR Blinds, I wanted to experiemnt with automated lighting. Despite already having a functional Zigbee network, I wanted to choose high quality, reliable lighting components. After spending a ton of time researching on the internet, I decided to start a new Z-Wave network, using Inovelli dimmer switches. This project is my first attempt to get the network functioning. The Choice of a Network After my (somewhat poor) experience with Zigbee, I wasn’t eager to use Zigbee hardware again for something critical like lighting.