Category Archives: Lighting

Home automation with Xiaomi, Raspberry, NodeMCU and Sonoff+Tasmota

This is gonna be a long post and will be edited from time to time.

So I have this Xiaomi Home Automation system which served me well in the past, and still does. But in time I built more stuff myself which I would like to integrate into one system.

I started off with Home Assistant even though other systems still have potential (OpenHAB, etc). This is an open source home automation system to work with Raspberry Pi 3.

A nice feature of Home Assistant is the use of Snips.ai, a voice recognition addon similar to Assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant but which works completely offline and can control your devices.

Another big advantage of Home Assistant is that most of the Xiaomi components I have can be controlled using it. And on top of this I can use Sonoff modules (which are very cheap and can connect via Wifi and control any electronics in the house)  with Tasmota firmware which gives them MQTT capabilities and lets me integrate them in Home Assistant.

Still a lot to go and to configure until the final system is ready, but that’s the fun …

Fire lamp (final)

This is the continuation of http://blog.familie-fratila.de/fire-lamp/

Also posted it on Instructables:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Fire-Lamp-1/

After buying a normal lamp, just to take the “shell” of it, I had now all the parts I needed to build the final Fire Lamp.

I stripped the bought lamp of all inside electronics, and replaced it with my own. The glass of the lamp, gives it now pretty nice effect. Besides some tweaks and maybe more programs coded, I can say it is finished.

Fire lamp

I found a lot of intersting ideas on the internet on how to make a fire simulation lamp using WS2812c programmable leds and Arduino. So I had to try this too. Spice up the romance that is 😉

I found a strip with leds very close put together, so the effect would also look nice.  Everything is powered by a 5v power bank, so you can just take it with you wherever you want to set a romantic mood 😉

To do: make a lamp with white glass around the electronics to diffuse the light from the leds so not every single one is visible.

I used the NeoPixel library to program the leds, also I used parts of code I found on the internet and adapted it. Also a Arduino Nano was enough to control all 140 leds alligned in groups of 20.

The electronic layout looks something like this, but I used 7 rows of 20 leds each:

Also if someone is interested in the code, here it is attached. Of course it can be improved a lot. I also plan to make multiple modes of this lamp to be able to select by button fire, lava lamp, snow flakes, etc…

Outdoor christmas decoration

So I got theese outdoor Christmas leds from China, solar powered ones. Like I expected, the lack of sun in Germany, especially on that side of the house where I intended to put them, was a big issue.

Another slight issue was that the children were so happy about the first snow, that they didn’t see it and ripped of the wire.

So my solution was to put everything on 4 AA batteries, and also on a Attiny85 microcontroller, and program the leds to automatically light up at 18:00 o’clock and turn off at 22:00.