Google, Amazon and Apple are all duking it out for supremacy in the smart home space. As you’ve probably noticed, cheaper smart lights and the like typically don’t offer connectivity with Apple’s HomeKit system. However, if you want some smart lighting that works in that ecosystem without breaking the bank, you can always build your own!
This simple build uses an ESP8266-01S as the brains of the operation. It’s a cut-down board that only has two GPIO pins available, but for this job, that’s enough. It’s paired with a simple relay for switching a single-color LED strip on and off, and an MP2307 buck converter for power. The code loaded onto the ESP8266 is simple, and allows it to connect to Wi-Fi and link up with Apple HomeKit for control.
Let’s say you’re a real fancy-pants, though, and you want RGB-addressable LEDs for your HomeKit setup. No problem, you can do that too! It’s as straightforward as hooking up an ESP8266 to some WS2812B LED strip and flashing the right firmware that emulates an Elgato EVE LED strip. You can even activate special lighting effects on the via the EVE app if you so desire, to take advantage of the fully-addressable nature of the strip.
There are plenty of off-the-shelf solutions in this space, but many of them are quite expensive for what you actually get in the box. Sometimes building your own is more fun, too. Alternatively, if you don’t like Apple’s smart home solutions, you can always try a more open alternative. Video after the break.