Posted on 22 Comments

#26: Make your own home automation light switches

In the last episode I showed you how to make an Arduino based, rack-mount home automation light switch controller. This time I’m showing you how to make the switches themselves.

More online documentation will follow soon: I’m about to jump on a plane to China so I’m starting this upload before I leave, and I’ll have to do the rest later!


22 thoughts on “#26: Make your own home automation light switches

  1. Hi,
    Awesome video, as usual but you usually leave a link to the shop and to the schemas in your videos and I miss it for this one.
    I hope it’s because you’re in China and you’ll add them when you’re back to home 🙂

    Thanks for all your videos, they are very useful!

  2. Can you link up these pcb in the store, I can’t find them plus your source for the switches, they look a bit like the bunnings ones.

  3. Yes, for anyone wondering about the links to design files etc for this episode, it will be coming soon. I was packing to go to the airport while the video was uploading. Right now I’m in Shenzhen, China, recording plenty of video and taking photos showing where most of the world’s electronics comes from.

    1. Hey Jonathan, any updates on that? I’m interested in the standalone “module” with the relays and particle fotons included. It’s for learning purposes.

      Congratulations on the amazing videos.

    2. Hi Jonathan. Where od i find the design files

  4. Oddly enough I had just come about to using the edge detection method for switches while planning my setup

    I am hoping to do a retro fit system with sonoff devices in a North American home with out a total rewire.

  5. Thanks for a fabulous series – I’ve learned a great deal from your informative videos.

    I’m sorry if I’ve missed this, but how would you go about including lights with dimmer switches in this setup? I can’t see any DIN rail mounted relays with integral dimmers – but perhaps I’m looking for the wrong thing?

    1. Thanks Ian! You’re absolutely right, I haven’t covered dimming in any of my videos so far. It’s a topic that I want to cover in depth, because it’s something that is much more complicated than many people realise. There are many different ways to achieve dimming, and some work with some types of lights and not others. It’s important to use a dimming method that suits the specific type of light. I don’t have any dimming at the moment with the DIN-rail relays that you see in the videos.

      1. I’m also interested in dimming, so look forward to your upcoming videos on this subject. I am building a custom RV, so in my case I will be dimming 12 volt LEDs (both puck lights and strips). Currently, the only wired home automation systems for RVs (i.e. low voltage, DC systems) are provided by OEMs and are not available to end users like myself. This is why I want (need!) to build my own Arduino-based system. Hoping you’ll touch on dimmers that aren’t based on high voltage (110 or 220) systems. Thanks for all the great videos. Cheers!

  6. Hi,
    Love your videos and what you . I was watching you video on the light switch and a practical question came to mind if you decided to sell your house. Do you think it would affect the value of your house knowing that not everyone is confortable with home automation. Wouldn’t that reduce the pool of potential buyers?

    In the same train of thought, I’m sure an “hybrid” set up could be done, where you could use either system (regular light switch + your system)

    Thanks again for you video,

  7. Awesome vids! Please get facility to accept bitcoin 🙂

  8. Hi Jonathan,

    watched almost all your videos.. theres alot!
    Thanks for such comprehensive information.
    I also just purchased a bunch of stuff from your site..

    I have a couple of noob questions:
    Whats the main difference between using GPIO’s on a Rasp Pi – compared to using arduino to do similar – ie LIght Switches and driving relays. ? Ie you can get a 120x GPIO expansion board for a PI and presumably do the same thing. Pi’s are obviously 3V3 …

    Also curious about you 240Volt Din mounted relays.. Do you have suggestions ? not sure i saw what you use there ?

  9. Will you be doing a video explaining how the standalone module was built including the particle photon board?

  10. great video
    I am really interested in playing with these switches.
    Where can I find that white toggle switch on the white switch plate.

  11. Hi Jonathon, I found that one of the buttons would sometime give me multiple activation with only one press. fiddling with the debounce timer did not seems to work. I found another difference based debounce algorithm that is simple to implement and a was more reliable

    What would be your recommendations to remove debouncing
    1. Hardware debounce with a – RC circuit ( maybe you can do a video on this 🙂
    2. Software debounce
    3. try swapping buttons until you get more reliable ones.

    1. It’s interesting that the debounce timer didn’t work. Maybe there’s a bug in that code.

      Personally I’d stick with software debounce, particularly if you’ve got it working with that other debounce code. Using an RC circuit can be a good solution but it has to be tuned to the specifics of the design: fine if you’re going to make many of the same design, but annoying for quick projects. Changing the parameters in software and recompiling is much faster than tuning the hardware.

      1. What about just using the 3 switch module and getting some small stick on arrows engraved etc – top button up, bottom button down and middle button on/off

        I intend to order a couple of the boards and buttons and try this out


  12. I’m using these buttons to control dimmable LED down-lights that also have the ability to toggle between warm-white and cool-white.

    Thought I’d share the library I wrote for each button to have multi-functions: single-press, double-press, and hold:

    My use:
    Single press: toggle on/off
    Double press: toggle warm/cool
    Hold: either dim up/dim down

    1. Great work! I have some c-bus Saturn switches that do the same thing, and I would like to use them in my latest build which will not be using a c-bus network (too expensive to justify). Do you know if I could use the Saturn switches in the same way you have used yours?

      1. If you can interface to them with an Arduino, then sure 🙂

  13. Hi Jonathan,
    Love the videos, especially this one. It inspired me to try add some home automation to my one house. I was wondering would you be able to post the code around handling the switch pressing, I was trying to follow your code from youtube and not having much success. I think I am missing a small part.
    Thanks. Keep up the good word

  14. Hi Jon, great stuff thanks for the video. Wonder if the sweatches are part of the control plane what is the hardware you are using to actually turn the lights on/off? Sorry if that’s already been explained in another video I missed.

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