Office lights: Part 2

After rebuying the light controller I intended to buy, they arrived earlier in the week. I set about taking a look at them yesterday after work, and rapidly figured out a few things.

First, the connector doesn’t match what’s on the Tuya-powered K-mart lights I bought. But, I reasoned, these light controllers are cheap enough (and my guess is that if I bluffed that one of them was defective, they would probably not want it shipped back to learn I’d voided the warranty) so I decided I could simply solder the Tuya wires on.

It was at this point I realized I’d bought RGB controllers, but what I have is an RGBW strip. However I did also note once it was configured that the red and green pins were reversed - I figured I’d soldered it up wrong, but no, I didn’t. So upon closer inspection I noted that the PCB itself is actually an RGBW controller, but it’s missing the driver IC and a couple of passive components (resistors?). I didn’t realize at the time it was missing the components, but I’d learn this later.

So I take the esphome configuration for it, build it and flash it without any drama. I noticed they had an RGBW strip, and I could knock bits of the config from that. I believe that’s why the red and green are reversed, because they took appear to have taken this board, flashed the RGB firmware for it, and didn’t pay attention that the GPIOs are changed.

Regardless, it was fairly trivial to build and then in Home Assistant a second slider for white LED duty cycle shows up… and did nothing. Now is about the time I take a second look at the board and notice the missing components, but I decided to probe it with my scope anyway to be sure I have the correct GPIO (GPIO13 in esphome). Yep, I’ve definitely got something that looks like the duty cycle of the white LED on there.

So do I try swipe some components from the spare one? Do I try identify and buy them? I don’t think I’ll do either right now, as I don’t really have the right equipment to solder it, nor am I super confident in my hands or eyes to do this sort of small SMT work.

But it’s pretty interesting to think about. I may also look at alternative firmware, someone on Discord mentioned that they use Tasmota instead, where they simply point it at an MQTT server. In chatting with them, their idea has merit - they connect these things up to MQTT, which HAss then adjusts. But they have switches and buttons and so on which speak straight to MQTT, and the idea is that if MQTT is still functioning but HAss crashes, the lights still work. I’m definitely interested in if that’s possible.

For now though, I need to cut up this RGBW tape, solder extensions together, and put the trim on the front of the shelves. That’s more than enough of a project for this weekend, assuming I don’t find something better to do.

Horsham, VIC, Australia fwaggle



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Horsham, VIC, Australia

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