In my previous post I showed how a Philips Hue bridge can be integrated with Home Assistant for controlling lights with automation. The Philips Hue bridge has an easy-to-use REST API so you can make your own integration on any platform that supports http. In this post I will describe how I have created a React web application for controlling my lights via the Philips Hue api.
Philips Hue is a line of wireless light bulbs that are controlled with Zigbee signals from a LAN-attached Philips Hue bridge. With the Philips Hue app it is very easy to set up a new system and adding new light sources is a breeze. There is a large set of 3rd party apps that can be used for interacting with the Hue system, but as my home automation system is based on Home Assistant, I use HA as the main controller for Hue. In this post I will show how I have configured Home Assistant for controlling my Philips Hue lights with automation. In an upcoming post I will describe how you can make your own web app for interacting with the light sources via the Hue API.
Blynk is an IoT-platform that consists of a Blynk server, custom projects within an iOS/Android mobile app and custom hardware IoT-nodes (Arduinos etc) using a Blynk library. The mobile app communicates with the hardware via the Blynk server and you can use the mobile interface for displaying sensor data from the hardware nodes or control actuators on the nodes.
You can use the cloud version of the Blynk server or host your own instance. In this post, I will show how I have setup a Blynk server on a Raspberry Pi and how I am using it for mobile communication with an ESP32 board that is developed with PlatformIO for Atom.
OwnTracks is an open-source device tracker app for iOS and Android that lets you publish location data from your mobile phone. On the mobile app you can locate other connected devices on a map and get help navigating to the devices/friends/family members. With OwnTracks integrated in Home Assistant, you can create automation rules based on presence detection (for example, turn on the lights when someone gets home) or just keep an eye on where your youngsters (their phones) are from within the Home Assistant GUI.
What I really like about OwnTracks is that the creators encourages you to own and handle your private location data. Owntracks has a public broker but supports sending the location data with MQTT to your own private broker instead. To achieve this in my current home automation setup, I need to bridge an external broker with my within-LAN mosquitto broker that I use for my home automation.
As I use 433MHz transmitters for sending sensor data from many of my IoT-nodes, I have made a re-usable Arduino library for this purpose. The transmitted sensor data is picked up by one single receiver (an ESP8266 board) that converts the values to MQTT messages on my local network. In this post I will describe this library, my setup and also a set of new 433MHz transmitters and receivers that I have upgraded to.