DIY Hue Strip

Posted: September 7, 2015 in HA, Hacking and playing
Tags: ,
When we re-built the kitchen last year, we wanted to add some low level lighting so that we could use the kitchen at night without using the main (excessively bright) ceiling light. As usual, it kept being put off, but with winter rapidly approaching, the need for these lights is now becoming urgent.
I was thinking about installing some Philips Hue LED strips, but various people had reported that they weren’t overly bright, so their suitability for our needs was an issue. I’m not forking out for a Hue kit and strip to find out it isn’t bright enough! Granted now I’ve played with LED strips, the kids have requested some things that the Hue strip might be suitable for….
The excellent forum at Micasa Verde has a tutorial about hacking some ‘cheap’ Ikea Dioder LED strips using a Fibaro RGBW control unit. This allows me to integrate the lights into my existing OpenHAB setup for automation and still allows for local manual control.
With Vesternet having Monday sales throughout August, I was able to pick up the Fibaro unit cheap.
Rummaging around in the Arduino/RPi box provided the necessary jumper wires and we were away.


The above picture shows the Fibaro RGBW (top) unit jumpered into the Ikea Dioder control (bottom) and LED strip distributor (middle).
The manual switch unit allows for local control of on/off and colour select. There are also 2 additional buttons for fast and slow colour changes.

Fibaro RGBW in Veralite Control Panel

Fibaro RGBW in Veralite Control Panel

Once the unit is powered, the Fibaro can be included in the Z-Wave network and will appear in the Veralite (U15) as 6 separate devices (Master (inc power use), On, Red, Green, Blue, White). And no I don’t know why we have a master and a power…. I’m sure someone can explain it, but it probably makes sense if you have a Fibaro controller.
Once I’d mapped the devices across into my OpenHAB controller, I can use the lights from any of the OpenHAB interfaces.
Group gRGBW "RGBW Light" <colorwheel> (Lights)

Dimmer RGBW_GF_Kitchen_DimmerAll "RGBW Light Control [%d %%]" <switch> (gRGBW) {mios="unit:house,device:128/service/Dimming1/LoadLevelStatus", autoupdate="false"}
Dimmer RGBW_GF_Kitchen_DimmerR "RGBW Light Red [%d %%]" <switch> {mios="unit:house,device:130/service/Dimming1/LoadLevelStatus", autoupdate="false"}
Dimmer RGBW_GF_Kitchen_DimmerG "RGBW Light Green [%d %%]" <switch> {mios="unit:house,device:131/service/Dimming1/LoadLevelStatus", autoupdate="false"}
Dimmer RGBW_GF_Kitchen_DimmerB "RGBW Light Blue [%d %%]" <switch> {mios="unit:house,device:132/service/Dimming1/LoadLevelStatus", autoupdate="false"}
Dimmer RGBW_GF_Kitchen_DimmerW "RGBW Light White [%d %%]" <switch> {mios="unit:house,device:129/service/Dimming1/LoadLevelStatus", autoupdate="false"}
Switch  RGBW_GF_Kitchen_SwitchAll "Switch All" <switch>  (gRGBW) {mios="unit:house,device:128/service/SwitchPower1/Status"}
Switch  RGBW_GF_Kitchen_SwitchR "Switch Red"  <switch>  (gRGBW) {mios="unit:house,device:130/service/SwitchPower1/Status"}
Switch  RGBW_GF_Kitchen_SwitchG "Switch Green"  <switch>  (gRGBW) {mios="unit:house,device:131/service/SwitchPower1/Status"}
Switch  RGBW_GF_Kitchen_SwitchB "Switch Blue"  <switch>  (gRGBW) {mios="unit:house,device:132/service/SwitchPower1/Status"}
Switch  RGBW_GF_Kitchen_SwitchW "Switch White"      <switch>  (gRGBW) {mios="unit:house,device:129/service/SwitchPower1/Status"}
After installing the device I realised that I couldn’t mix and match my control methods – if I turned it on using the manual switch, the change of state wasn’t being picked up in OpenHAB and I couldn’t turn it off. The opposite was true as well – turning it on using OpenHAB didn’t allow me to turn it off via the switch. This is a little frustrating, especially as the manual switch feels like a momentary contact type, so the on-off state shouldn’t be fixed.
I’ve queried this with the bright people on the MCV forum, and they confirm that this is expected behaviour – we have 2 switches – and it appears that the manual switch isn’t a momentary contact, so unified control is impossible. BOOO!
Micasa Verde forum –,25549.0.html
Vesternet –

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