Holiday Lights with Home Assistant, ANAVI Miracle Controller, and Olimex WS2811 LED Ropes

This YouTube video demonstrates do-it-yourself (DIY) holiday lights to celebrate Christmas or Halloween using ANAVI Miracle Controller, Olimex WS2811 LED ropes and the popular open source home automation platform Home Assistant!

ANAVI Miracle Controller and Olimex LED-Ropes-10 managed from Home Assistant app for Android

All kits of ANAVI Miracle Controller come with WS2812B LED strip, however the board is also compatible with other addressable LED strips. In a previous update we covered Adafruit NeoPixels and now we are focussed on Olimex WS2811 LED Rope.

ANAVI Miracle Controller with mini OLED display and a couple of Olimex LED-ROPE-10

Required Hardware

  • ANAVI Miracle Controller
  • 5V power supply
  • Two Olimex LED-ROPE-10
  • Raspberry Pi (recommended 3 or newer) with Home Assistant

Olimex is a well-known company in the maker community and I am lucky because their headquarter is my hometown Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Olimex offers addressable, water proof, sealed with resin RGB WS2811 ropes with various number of LEDs. For this video I used a couple of Olimex LED-ROPE-10. The rope is waterproof so it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor installations. It works with power supply in the range from 3.3V to 5.5V and has a dedicated WS2811 driver for each LED.

The typical color code for Olimex LED-ROPE-10:

  • Olimex rope RED wire – VCC (3.3V-5.5V)
  • Olimex rope GREEN/BLUE (varies) wire – GND
  • Olimex rope WHITE wire – DATA

Each RGB LED in Olimex rope draws approximately 50mA at 5V with red, green, and blue at full brightness. Olimex LED-ROPE-10 has only 10 RGB LEDs with makes approximately 500mA and it is OK to power it through ANAVI Miracle Controller. For installation will longer ropes with bigger consumption wire the VCC and GND lines directly to the power supply.

When using Olimex LED ropes, set ANAVI Miracle Controller to 5V input and use an appropriate 5V center positive power supply!

For Olimex LED-Ropes-10 set ANAVI Miracle Controller to 5V and use appropriate 5V power supply
Wiring of a couple of Olimex LED-ROPE-10 to ANAVI Miracle Controller

NOTE: The color codes of other addressable LED strips, including WS2812B LED strip from all kits, are different!

Due to differences in color codes this wiring is valid only for Olimex LED ropes. Be careful and check the proper wiring as well input voltage requirements if you are using a different type of addressable LED strip or rope.

Software

Home Assistant must be installed on an appropriate device. If you haven’t installed it already, a single board computer like Raspberry Pi (version 3 or newer) is the perfect fit!

MQTT broker is also required and must be installed. You can install Mosquitto from Home Assistant add-on store. Integrate the MQTT broker in Home Assistant and enable discovery. The exact steps have been covered in a previous blog post about ANAVI Miracle Controller and Adafruit NeoPixels.

Please, ensure you are running the latest version of the open source firmware for ANAVI Miracle Controller. It is available at GitHub. You can flash it through Arduino IDE following these steps.

After completing the initial installation and integration in Home Assistant, you can easily control the holiday lights from your personal computer, smartphone or tablet. You can either install the official mobile app on your smartphone or use the web interface from any modern HTML5 web browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc). Furthermore, with Home Assistant you can create automation and trigger automatically the holiday lights depending on various events.

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Improved Arduino Sketch for ANAVI Light Controller

How often do you get software or firmware updates for a 2-year-old device? Probably not very often. This is not the case for ANAVI Light Controller! We have a major update of its Arduino sketch for you.

ANAVI Light Controller

ANAVI Light Controller open source hardware WiFi device for controlling a 12V RGB LED strip. It was brought to life through a crowdfunding campaign at Crowd in 2018. Now is January 2020, so this makes it ~2 years old! A lot of things have changed during this time. ANAVI Light Controller has been certified by Open Source Hardware Association (OSHA) and it now on sale at our distributors: Crowd Supply, Pi Supply and neven.cz.

Terminals for connecting 12V RGB LED strip to ANAVI Light Controller

Recently we made a major improvements to the default firmware available as an Arduino sketch at GitHub:

  • Support Home Assistant automatic discovery over MQTT
  • Turn on LED D1 on ANAVI Light Controller if the device is not connected to local WiFi network and needs initial configuration
  • Wait for a few seconds while LED D1 is blinking immediately after turning on ANAVI Light Controller to allow reset by keeping SW1 pressed
  • Append the last 5 characters of the machine ID to the WiFi Access Point (AP) to simplify the identification of the ANAVI Light Controller during the initial setup
  • Support MQTT messages with large payload for reporting back the current state of the RGB LED strips on topic stat/dev-id/color
  • Add DEBUG macros, disabled by default, if enabled additional debug information will be printed in the serial monitor
Changing colors of 12V RGB LED strip through Home Assistant using ANAVI Light Controller

You can either compile and upload the new version through Arduino IDE or just grab the binary from GitHub and flash it on your ANAVI Light Controller.

To learn more how ANAVI Light Controller works out the box with the popular open source platform Home Assistant read our previous article. It reveals the exact steps the setup MQTT Broker in Home Assistant and after that to automatically discover ANAVI Light Controller.

ANAVI Light Controller is suitable for low-cost 12V analog (non-addressable) LED strips. If you need a WiFi development board for controlling digital (addressable) LED strips at 5V or 12V have a look at our other open source product ANAVI Miracle Controller.

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Adafruit NeoPixels and Home Assistant

Adafruit NeoPixels are rings, strips and other printed circuit boards with addressable RGB LED strips. It this video tutorial you will learn how to use NeoPixels with the popular open source home automation platform Home Assistant without any coding!

Yes, that’s correct! Let’s get started with Adafruit NeoPixel Ring and NeoPixel Stick in Home Assistant without any coding, just a few simple configurations.

The key for this tutorial is ANAVI Miracle Controller. An ESP8266-powered, open source, Wi-Fi dev board to control two 5V or two 12V LED strips. It supports popular LEDs including Neopixel, WS2811, WS2812B, TM1809, etc. Furthermore ANAVI Miracle Controller has dedicated slots for mini OLED display and up to 3 additional sensor modules. Right now we are running a crowdfunding campaign at Crowd Supply to fund mass production of ANAVI Miracle Controller.

Adafruit NeoPixels work at 5V so set the jumper on ANAVI Miracle Controller to 5V and use an appropriate 5V power supply.

Required Hardware

  • Adafruit NeoPixel Ring
  • Adafruit NeoPixel Stick
  • 6 male to male jumper wires
  • 5V DC power supply
  • ANAVI Miracle Controller
  • Personal computer, for example Raspberry Pi

Step By Step Installation

  • Install Home Assistant through Hass.io on the personal computer (it is recommended to use Raspberry Pi 3 or 4).
  • Install Mosquitto MQTT broker from Hass.io add-on store, configure username and password as well as Access Control Lists (ACL).
  • From Configure > Integrations add new MQTT integration and click Enable discovery. It is mandatory to enable discovery!
  • Solder male to male jumper wires to Adafruit NeoPixel Ring and NeoPixel Stick.
  • Connect NeoPixel Stick DIN to LED1, GND to GND and 5VDC to VOUT on ANAVI Miracle Controller. Connect NeoPixel Ring Data Input to LED2, GND to GND and 5V DC Power to VOUT on ANAVI Miracle Controller.
  • Set the jumper of ANAVI Miracle Controller to 5V and use appropriate power supply to turn on the board.
  • Configure ANAVI Miracle Controller to connect to your local WiFi network, set LED type to NEOPIXEL, number of LEDs for LED1 to 8 and number of LEDs for LED2 to 12.
  • In Home Assistant web interface, a couple of new devices will be automatically added under the names ANAVI Miracle Controller LED1 and ANAVI Miracle Controller LED2. Set different effects and colors for each Adafruit NeoPixels.

How Does It Work?

ANAVI Miracle Controller combines open source hardware with free and open source software. It has been certified by the Open Source Hardware Association under UID BG000050. After initial configuration the default firmware of ANAVI Miracle Controller, available as an Arduino sketch in GitHub, connects to the WiFi network and the MQTT broker. It sends a retained MQTT message with JSON payload containing description of the device. Home Assistant, thanks to the MQTT integration with enabled discovery, automatically receives the message and recognizes the device as MQTT Light component. As a result out of the box ANAVI Miracle Controller appears in the Home Assistant GUI.

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Control 12V RGB LED Strip from Home Assistant

Home Assistant is a popular open source platform for home automation. It is written in Python programming language and runs perfectly on Raspberry Pi 3 B/B+ or 4 B. Now, with the latest updates of the Arduino sketch for ANAVI Light Controller it is super easy to control 12V RGB LED strip from Home Assistant through your smartphone, tablet or personal computer.

Have a look at the video and follow the steps below to configure ANAVI Light Controller and change colors of 12V RGB LED strips from Home Assistant.

What Is Required?

The following hardware is required:

How to Install?

  • Install Mosquitto from Hass.io add-on store. Set username and password for login to Mosquitto. Set active Access Control Lists (ACL) for the username and launch Mosquitto (it is recommended to install SSH server prior this step).
  • Add MQTT integration in Home Assistant with enabled discovery (from Configuration > Integrations)
  • Attach the 12V RGB LED strip to ANAVI Light Controller
  • Ensure that ANAVI Light Controller has been flashed the latest version of the default Arduino sketch. If it is not, compile it and after that upload it following this video guide.
  • Turn on ANAVI Light Controller, connect to its WiFi Access Point (AP) and configure it through the captive portal. You must provide your WiFi credentials, MQTT server, username and password. After that ANAVI Light Controller will be automatically discovered by Home Assistant over MQTT.
  • Through Home Assistant change colors or effects of ANAVI Light Controller.

How Does It Work?

ANAVI Light Controller is powered by the ESP8266 microcontroller with WiFi. The default Arduino sketch works with the machine to machine protocol MQTT and implements Home Assistant discovery of MQTT Light component.

As soon as ANAVI Light Controller boots, after it has been configured, it connects to the WiFi network, after that to the MQTT broker and sends retained MQTT message with JSON payload that describes the device. Each ANAVI Light Controller has a unique MD5 ID based on the chip ID of ESP8266. The MQTT integration in Home Assistant discovers ANAVI Light Controller based on the received MQTT message. Thanks to the data in the JSON payload Home Assistant automatically configures the device as MQTT Light.

Home Assistant & 12V RGB LED strip attached to ANAVI Light Controller

Home Assistant discovery is a user-friendly way for quickly adding new Internet of Things to the platform. Combined with MQTT and the default firmware for ANAVI Light Controller the process is straight-forward and anyone can do it in a few minutes.

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ANAVI Miracle Controller

ANAVI Miracle Controller is an open source hardware Wi-Fi development board powered by the ESP8266 and designed to control two 5 V or 12 V addressable LED strips simultaneously.

ANAVI Miracle Controller supports popular addressable LEDs including Neopixel, WS2811, WS2812B, TM1809, etc. It also has a dedicated slot for a mini OLED I²C display and slots for up to three additional I²C sensor modules. The default firmware is available at GitHub as an Arduino sketch implementing Home Assistant MQTT Light component.

Back in 2018 we created ANAVI Light Controller for low-cost 12V RGB LED strips. Inspired by a lot of people asking for open source hardware dev board for addressable LEDs strips we created ANAVI Miracle Controller.

Last week we launched a crowdfunding campaign for ANAVI Miracle Controller at Crowd Supply. Learn all the details here. We are ready for manufacturing and now we need your support. We hope you help us bring this entirely open source project to life!

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