Now smart home has become a fashion, so I follow this trend and to make my house a true smart home. I have searched for about the smart home gadgets for some time, finding that there are lots of wireless switch, wifi switch, app switch or wifi socket products, of which the price vary from around 20 dollars to more than 100 dollars. If I want to make my “smart home” project successful, I have to buy at least 10 wifi switches, oh! not a small budget. And considering that if I buy different brands, I might come across an avoidable problem- must download different APPs. Of course, I will not do such silly things. However, some people may not aware of this issue and then they buy many brands. This is a bug that everybody hates. Therefore, there are two things on my mind: 1. I must limit my costs 2. I must choose just one brand.
However, as a DIY lover, I have considered about making a same effect wifi switch like gadget of my own. There are usually two ways to achieve my goal. 1. X10, it is a common solution that a micro controller will controlled the home appliances. Actually, I don’t like this much. 2. As @Shabaz reminded me that “I can use a remote power strip (as used in server rooms). It normally has a connection to the network via Ethernet (probably serial interface ones still exist too) so that you can switch power on/off to individual or multiple appliances.” I realize that this is an integrated system, yes, for the professional electronic guys, this is a way. However, the costs is not low, and it is not a good solution for individual DIY.
There must be a better way. I have always thinking that I should find a PCB like half-finished wifi switch, which is convenient to install. I search and search for such a smart thing, finally, I find this amazing gadget from Itead Online shop, it is being crowdfunded in IndieGoGo now at a very good price. It is just the thing I want. Without hesitation, I ordered several, one with shell, other two are just the boards.(Which I will DIY for 5 volts power supply, I will tell you later) They only costs me half less than those wireless switches!
Step 1: How This Wireless Switch Looks Like?
This is how it looks like, I provide you both the board and shell.
Step 2: Working Principle
Ok, let me give you a brief introduction about this gadget(just name it wifi adapter). This wifi adapter is very convenient, you can use it directly the moment power on. I connect the cables of the wifi adapter with appliance and the power according to the instructions.
So this is the work principle: The wifi adapter connects to an appliance and the power, press the start button on the wifi adapter, the adapter will automatically search for the available wifi. Download their free APP(IOS or Android). Search and add the device. See my borrowed pic.
Step 3: Connect to Work
I can click the ON/OFF switch icon to control my appliance. Also, I can check the appliance status and set as many timer schedules as I like. I can share my device with my family, then they can control the devices together.
Now I am very happy. I have one adapter to connect with my kettle. So I can boil water 10 minutes before I get home. I have another one to connect with the air conditioner, which can be remote open 5 minutes before I get home. One to connect with my water heater, I can control it to work any where any time now. Another one to connect with my bedroom bulbs. I will never worry about have forgot to turn my light off now. It make my life so convenient and carefree. Just follow the instructions, even the girls can install it easily. Now the not-very-smart traditional appliances become smart. And I can use the APP to control everything. Please see the picture of connecting the wifi adapter with a fan to test. I wonder why this smart thing is unknown. It’s inexpensive and easy install, easy control. I think I must tell everybody about it. Well, it’s set to used for AC current. While I am thinking if it is possible to DIY it to use for low power supply, say 5 volts. So that I can control my electronic things easily. I find it out that this is possible, and I'm going to post it next instructable. As many people ask me for a link in my other website, I think you can get some info from here.