Open Source your Patio Lighting

I’m a massive fan of using Home Assistant for running all aspects of my “smart home” automation routines. This weekend I decided to put up some spare RGB light strips around my patio. In the span of about 1 hour, I’ve got a LED Strip solution that is entirely controlled by open source software, run locally by me (no cloud required), and is very customizable. I’m using the following parts —

These little generic LED Strip controllers are great because they are essentially small ESP8266 devices put into a easy to work with enclosure for you – no assembly required. You can also flash them with ESPHome if you want, but it’s not necessary. Out of the box Home Assistant will discover them with a few lines of code in the configuration file to enable the component –

# Example configuration.yaml entry
  - platform: flux_led
    automatic_add: true
        name: office_led

After you’ve discovered them – they show up like any other light –

Example of a light

Now that we have a light, we can trigger it however we want or add it to automations. I have cameras setup outside that I monitor with Zoneminder, and I have the Zoneminder component in HA setup. That means I can create an automation that does the following very easily —

  • Waits for the ‘state‘ of my ‘camera.backyard‘ entity to go from ‘idle’ to ‘recording’ (IE – When motion is detected)
  • If it’s dark outside (Sun below Horizon) – Flip on my RGB LED Strip
  • After ten minutes of no activity (Camera is in ‘idle‘ state) – Turn off the RGB LED Strip.

Here’s the complete code below –

UPDATE – Turns out the above is pretty slow (30 seconds for Home Assistant to see the state change)

If you’d like to use a better solution to this problem, Try my script below and run it on your ZoneMinder Server. It uses the Python3 Py-ZM API Wrapper module to query the memory of the the server directly, and uses a webhook to call the HA automation instead. Using this method has cut down the execution time to 2-3 seconds.

Bonus! Here’s a script that will make sure the above script is always running. Schedule this to run with cron, and it will make sure the notification script above is always ‘watching’!

Share this content:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *