Light Switch For The Lazy

[Will Donaldson] has whipped up a quick hack for anyone thinking of dipping their toe into home automation — or otherwise detest flicking off the bedroom light before navigating their way to their bed: a remote control light switch!

This remote switch uses a sg90 servo, an Arduino Uno, and pairs of ATtiny85s with HC-05 Bluetooth modules assembled on protoboards. The 3D printed mount screws easily on top of a standard light switch cover while still allowing the switch to be flipped the old-fashioned way. It’s also perfect as a temporary solution — [Donaldson] is presently renting his apartment — or for those unwilling to mess with the mains power of their abode.

True to the spirit of this project, [Donaldson] provides links to tutorials on how to setup and program the Bluetooth modules and ATtiny85’s instead of a belabouring explanation. He does recommend the SoftwareServo library for the ATtiny85 as the standard Arduino library doesn’t work on the chip, also tossing in a tip to ensure it works correctly.

Compared to Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and other home automation systems, this gives you some entry-level functionality at a fraction of the cost.

39 thoughts on “Light Switch For The Lazy

  1. It’s hacking! Can’t say it ain’t!

    Reminds me… with all the new voice activated spies and associated lighting control equipment available suddenly… X-10 products should be getting cheap because some marketing guru spread the word “outdated”. Time to buy the rest of my lifetime supply.

  2. That is awesome. Just when you think you’ve scene everything you see something new. Would love your feedback on my new short called The Writers Block. Hope to see you there.

    [Editor’s note: I was going to delete this obvious comment spam, but check it out: he or she is promoting a writer’s blog and has “scene” everything. Haha! Mistake! On the Internet! La-la-la-la-la!]

  3. I like drop-ij hacks like this. Sometimes you’re not able (or allowed) to redo wiring, so this thingy comes very handy. Bonus, it’s completely resistant to overvoltages and surges that can happen on powerlines.

  4. My first remote operated light switch, so I could turn light on/off from bed, was a weighted lever, pivot at one end, string at the other, length of string, screw for pivot and two screw eyes. … there was enough give in the lever it could pass over the switch and latch on top, but enough weight on it, that I could lift it a ways and drop lever to switch off. One screw eye above it, one screw eye above where I needed the pull cord.

    1. Actually if you don’t have the 3D printer for this, I’d say get a spare light plate and drill it and use nylon spacers to hold the servo on in similar position. Then just cut a lever arm out of some springy plastic, and use same MO, servo actuates switch then plastic lever arm rides up and over it to other side, leaving switch free for manual operation and positioning to turn off again… slight mods to positioning routines required.

      1. Yes, this halves the number of servos and driver cpu’s to one. Why the loop around the lever? The only thing that might happen is fingers messed around. If done the double way, the levers should move out of the way. If done with a single flexible lever, the same. Move lever out of the way of manual operation.

    2. My first remote operated light switch, was a couple of eye screws in the sheet rock, some fishing line with a large nut tied to the end for weight. My bedroom light was a pull chain, so I made it a “parallel” operation by attaching the other end of the fishing line to the chain close to the light fixture.

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