connected home – Testing wireless Sonoff bulbs B1 and Slampher

Despite all a stock Raspberry Pi, Orange Pi, Banana feet, Arduino etc., no real home automation at home. Even my wife has had enough of the old thermostat in contact with a rotten drive. So it was finally time to get started and it starts by an LED bulb and an adapter also for bulb.

So I specify once will not hurt, I was offered these items for me to test (the links are not affiliated).

Items

My first object is connected an LED bulb B1 Sonoff.Behind this code name hides a E27 LED bulb you can adjust the intensity but also the color, all via Wifi.

The manufacturer announces equivalence 60W (80% energy saving, etc etc). I think we are a little bit below when in white light (cold or hot). By cons as white is generated by RGB LEDs, if you choose another color (for example red), you will be away from 60W.

listed price, the manufacturer offers this bulb 15.04 €.

second object : the Slampher. Behind this strange name, a still E27 adapter to plug and connect a conventional bulb you already then possess such.

This device has any more time differences from B1. The first is that there is no management change. The second is that unlike Sonoff B1, here there two modes of remote controls : wifi and 433Mhz.

By cons it can be quite large compared to the fixture so pay attention to aesthetics as below

And for the price, count 7.10 € (instead of € 10.03 at the time of writing this article)

Daily Usage

To start as soon as possible, I must admit that I did not try to install a solution like Domoticz (I will come back later). So I followed the manufacturer's instructions when installing the application on my phone eWeLink (Android also tested on an iPod).

To connect the B1, simply plug, then turn it on and turn it off 3 After waiting every time 2 seconds between each change of state. The bulb finds himself visible in the application and join your installation. For Slampher, Another method of configuration : support over 7 seconds on the button for the light flashes and again your bulb is visible on your application.

The application must say is pretty basic and badly translated. If you are not looking too you will find still very easy to use. It's a little trickier but not insurmountable for usage scenarios.

Main drawback in my opinion : have to register before using the equipment. J’aurais aimé quelque chose qui vient moins utiliser mes données personnelles et qui reste indépendant à l’intérieur de mon réseau Wifi.

J’ai testé l’ampoule Sonoff B1 dans un premier temps comme une lumière d’appoint dans mon séjour. Puis elle est maintenant installée dans la chambre de ma fille qui l’utilise pour lire le soir. Grâce aux réglages, la lumière est légèrement bleutée, d’intensité pas trop élevée. Et par l’application, il y a une coupure automatique pour éviter les abus 🙂

Evolutions de la solution

Alors on a vu que la solution se pilote très bien via l’application officielle du fabriquant. But how do those who already have a home automation system home ? Ca is complicated. The solution is frankly not open. There is no API and integration with home automation solutions can be done via manipulation that I find quite complex for beginners to flash the ESP2866 that is used to manage WiFi. Those familiar with the site Tinkerman, you can see how to flash your Slampher. Going through a Raspberry Pi and the library RCSwitch, you can also study the protocol in order to then reproduce the. easier was still known !

Ditto for the Sonoff B1 seems to benefit from a firmware Tasmota to then be able to control it via a simple MQTT or Nore-RED.

These opportunities are also those proposed by the manufacturer when I asked for access to their API and was told that there were none (at least it gave me the tracks rather than say no …)

Otherwise another simpler use : multiple management. At home I do not really have one main light but several small light sources.

There is always in the same range of the manufacturer, Wifi switches that replace your standard switches and can then order one or more sources. Ideal to avoid large 433Mhz taken. Some switches even offer the ability to manage groups without using your phone.

Conclusion

If’ampoule LED Sonoff B1 is a good opportunity to show your friends what a bulb connected, the Slampher is a low cost solution for connecting your lights to make a simple home automation solution.

By cons I find that the application is eWeLink little easier to handle which makes use of features not practical scenarios.

For those who are fortunate to have an assistant at home like Amazon or Google Home Echo, know that both devices are advertised as compatible. It will be probably easier to use in this configuration that the official app. When these devices will be available in French …

For me a relatively affordable technical solution that can help develop solutions for lighting or manage certain appliances. But to prepare and think ahead not to lose. Me anyway ca me want to go a bit further. Too bad it is not open to enjoy it on a Raspberry Pi.

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