Smart home on a Budget – Sonoff WiFi Switch

Setting up my smart home was getting expensive, as specialised plugs, bulbs are priced at a premium right now. So how can i use the existing tube lights, and other appliances , without having to invest too much. I’ll show you how!

 

Today we are looking at a wireless switch, the Sonoff wireless switch to be exact.  This switch is connected, between the powerline and the light or appliance that needs to be controlled via wifi. The one i have is rated 10A, a bigger 15A switch is also available to be able to control more power hungry appliances like  air conditioners.

The device is pretty simple, and small enough to be hidden away.

It has a built in ESP8266 System on a chip. This enables any appliance, to be connected via the internet for IOT or Internet of things.

In order to use it, we connect the input power to the side marked input, and the wires from the light or appliance to be connected to the output side. It’s pretty simple to wire, and should not be much of a problem.

 

If you’re installing this yourself, make sure the main switch is off and , the wires are being connected to the appropriate side. If you have any problems, i would suggest to get the help of an electrician.

 

I connected mine myself, so first turned off the power to the tubelight. Opened up the wiring, a word of caution, you are working with an electrical connection, so make sure to take appropriate precautions, and dont shock yourself.. If you are not sure of what you’re doing, i would suggest to ask someone who does to help.

 

We get two sets of wires, one from the power goes to the input connectors on the sonoff. The ones leading from the output, are connected to the tubelight.

 

Once these connections are made, you’re done. Really, it’s that simple to setup. Now we need the app to find the device on the phone. For this we install the  eWeLink app on your phone, once installed, we create an eWeLink account. This stores your device information on a server, and also allows access to your devices via mobile networks. So you can control your device from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection.

 

Adding a device is easy,

Switch the device on, press and hold the black button on the device. The green LED would start blinking. This indicates that the device is in pairing mode.

 

Back to the app  we tap the plus icon at the bottom of the app, on the next screen we choose, which kind of device we’re installing.

Select the first option, the image with the blinking green dot. Tap next, on the next screen select your wifi name from the list and enter the password. The app then looks for the actual device, this is similar to all the other smart gadgets i have installed earlier. The device creates an access point, the app locates, connects and passes the wifi credentials to it. Once done it disconnects from the device, and the switch connects to our wifi, and the device indicates it has a connection as the green LED remains steady.

 

On the next screen name the device and it’s now in our list. We can control the device by tapping on the button next to the name, it would turn on and off now, wirelessly. We can also set a timer to activate or deactivate the device, to a time schedule.

 

The sonoff is also compatible with the Amazon Echo, open up the alexa app, open skills, add the eWeLink smart home  fan skill. Login to your eWeLink account. Once done, select  smart home on the left menu. Tap add device, and the Echo scans for new devices. Once found, it will add them to the devices page. Now we can control them via voice, and also by tapping on the icon.

 

That’s the Sonoff Wireless Switch, the link to the product is available in the description below. I found the device on Banggood to be 1/4th the price of purchasing the same in India. Its the exact same device, but you will have to wait 10-15 days for delivery, s if you want to save and have the patience use the Banggood link, else the Amazon link is also provided below.

Banggood Link:
https://www.banggood.com/DIY-Wi-Fi-Wireless-Switch-For-Smart-Home-With-ABS-Shell-p-1019971.html?p=W3152012321134201707

 

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