Lighting Control Recommendations 🙏

What are my options for lighting control? I prefer a 1x purchase, like a Z-Wave outlet, over smart bulbs. Are Z-Wave or Sonoff Wifi switches my only options in this case?

Is it better to have devices on Z-Wave and off the wifi?

Sorry for the late response! There are so many good choices these days, it is crazy.

It depends on preference and your usage criteria.

  • Do you want to have a physical switch still?
  • What light fixtures are you trying to use?
  • What is your budget and/or preference for color quality (CRI), brightness (lumens), and color temperature / RGB capabilities?
  • How do you want to control it? WIFI, Z-wave, Zigbee, etc.

I use Hue, LIFX, Tradfri, Zwave, DIY, Sonoff, Philips, and TP-Link lighting products and each have a niche. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the reply. We’re just moving into our new house, so I haven’t yet decided on any criteria. Just looking for a starting point. The list of products, you are comfortable recommending, provided is the pefect place for me to start reseaching. Thanks again! I’m looking forward to your next video! :timer_clock:

As my 2c I’d say that Hue (Which is Philips) and LIFX are probably the most expensive and overpriced options. Easiest way to start would be to get a Hue hub and some Tradfri bulbs which are much cheaper. For RGB there’s also Yeelight - a sub-brand of Xiaomi. They use wifi and work nice out of the box.

All of this can be integrated into HomeAssistant when the time comes :slight_smile:

I have two smart life bulbs £10 watch and they work really well. I also have a hive bulb but it is really the same.

Sure thing! Nix hits it pretty much spot on for me, as well.

Hue is a great place to start and has the biggest ecosystem of products. The wireless dimmer switch is a must-have IMO.

Tangent - Having a physical way to control a “smart” light is a must for me. Despite my automations, I still manually trigger scenes/lights via a switch/button about 60% of the time. Pulling out a phone or being 100% reliant on voice commands is a huge bummer.

That said, I do love LIFX bulbs. You need to have a pretty good WIFI network to rock a lot of them. The LIFX App is better to me than Hue. The effect modes in Home Assistant (breathing, ping, strobe, etc) are better for LIFX compared to Hue.

If I’m filling out 10+ fixtures, Hue is the winner. For a single lamp or an accent light, I’d take LIFX.

If you’re close to an Ikea, Tradfri is great - my favorite budget option.

Yeelights are good, but I’m (unnecessarily) weird about budget Chinese products on my WIFI network so I tend to avoid them.

If you’re interested in Zwave, there are some pretty good Zwave bulbs now - like Aeotec Gen 6 bulbs.

Light bulbs are the gateway drug of home automation, so be careful. They’re pretty addicting. :wink:

P.S. Amazon Prime Day is usually around July 15th and they always have a bunch of smart home tech. Keep an eye out for a deal.

Super great info! I just connected our z-wave thermostat and deadbolt with an Aeotec stick, so I’m going to check out their bulbs.

Felt like a rockstar :woman_singer: after setting up our outdoor POE-IP cameras and getting them streaming to HA.

Then I brought in the sleek Amplifi Instant + Mesh AP. Totally reset my IP address after bridging from providers modem+router, and lost my stream. :sob:

However, I’m impressed with the Amplifi Instant. How can I not support Ubiqiti hiring Paulus Schoutsen to work on HA full time. Pretty awesome. Plus, they answered my question with shopping links and an article for my reference in a literal minute. Unheard of!

Now I need help automating these devices I have connected to HA.

PS) Aeotec has a z-wave controller that connects to your EXISTING light switch. I just dreamt of this! :hushed:

Understandable, but I don’t think there’s much of a difference between Chinese or any other country’s WiFi connected devices, and there even were news about Ring giving access to all their employees to sharing videos with each other, they claim that only shared videos were available to them, but still. Also US probably has more interest in watching US citizens’ homes than China.

All that said you can and probably should block all network access to any WiFi connected devices using router’s firewall rules, by creating VLAN’s or at least block telemetry domains with PiHole. Yeelights can be controlled by HomeAssistant with LAN mode enabled without connecting to the internet. So unless they sniff your Samba shares and then try to route traffic through other devices as proxies to send your sensitive data to China, I don’t know what kind of threat they can possess :slight_smile:

There are also same in-wall plugs available from FIBARO, Philio and some other brands :slight_smile: I do prefer prebuilt one’s though, easier to install and manage.

He left not so long ago, though, I guess HA started to bring enough money for him to leave Ubiquiti :slight_smile:

Well, I guess I can still appreciate them supporting Paul & HA for a while.

I’ll check out those other brands for zwave. Thanks for the info.

Any advice on learning more about VLAN, firewalls, etc. I was feeling pretty high tech setting up Duck DNS, SSH & Putty for HA. Not such much now.

For sure, lots of thanks for Ubiquiti for their year of support :slight_smile:

Ah well, it’s a rabbit hole, I started with Hass and some VPS web hosting as well, and here I am now, with Proxmox server running so many services I dont even remember the full list :smiley:

Firewalling is usually straightforward with a router, you just go into router’s GUI and somewhere there should be a firewall menu. On ASUS its literally called Firewall. You can then define white or black lists and block LAN IP from accessing external network and stuff like that. You can do it manually for each IP on your LAN or you can use IP masks, but I myself dont fully understand them yet, usually for google something that fits.

VLANs usually require router or awitch that supports them. Its basically like having multiple separated networks - say 10.10.0.x as your main and 10.10.1.x for insecure stuff, and you then just block the whole vlan from accessing network. Bonus is that one VLAN may not have direct access to another VLAN, so you can be sure that this finniky chinese camera will only have access to yout HA server IP and nothing else. And you can wish that camera software engineers good luck trying to break through that.

I did not yet set any VLANs myself yet, except for one interal on my proxmox server (VMs can talk to each other internally without going through asus router). Planning to set some up once we move into a house.

Firewall :arrow_heading_down:
Whitelist my LAN devices on the router’s firewall? That means all other ip’s are forbidden? What if my teen sons have friends over?

VLAN :arrow_heading_down:

  • VLAN “A” is local access only; no internet access (HA, NAS, other secure devices).

  • VLAN “B” is on the internet.

  • BUT VLAN “A” + “B” can talk to each other. Right?

How does SSH/duck dns fit into this if HA is local only? Do you forgo remote access?

Wow, sorry, with Ben taking his time I totally forgot about this forum.

I meant blacklist your IoT devices, everyone else will still have access to the internet. You can keep Hass facing the internet too, the idea is to block all IoT WiFi devices that don’t need internet to function.

You’re correct about VLANs, at least that’s how I understand it. I still did not have a chance to work with them myself :slight_smile:

You should not have SSH port open to the internet, unless you know for sure that you need it. Then it should be changed from default 22, and fail2ban needs to be installed on the system as well as a strong password. Or better yet disabled password and using security keys, but that’s troublesome so I usually don’t bother. Losing keys is a thing :slight_smile: