Picture of Control Any Circuit With a TV Remote (and an Arduino)

Most of the buttons on a remote control are never used. So why not use them to control appliances and other electronics around your house. In this project, I am going to show you how to use an Arduino to decode the signal from your remote and use it to make an outlet switch that can turn your electronics on and off.

When you are done, you will be able to control lights, fans and even your coffee maker with your TV remote.
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Here are the materials and tools that you will need for this project:

Arduino Microcontroller
AC Power Adapter For the Arduino
38 kHz Infrared Receiver Module  (Radio Shack part# 276-640)
Green LED
Momentary Pushbutton Switch
Two 100 ohm Resistors
10 kohm Resistor
5V Relay or Relay Shield
Printed Circuit Board
Plastic Project Housing
Extension Cord

Wire Strippers
Soldering Iron and Solder
Drill and Bit Set
Sharp Knife
Hot Glue Gun

Step 2: Download and Install the IR Remote Library

Picture of Download and Install the IR Remote Library
This project uses an IR remote library that was developed by Ken Shirriff. This library lets you decode the signal coming from your remote. You can check out his original project and setup here:

The first thing that you need to do for this project is download the library zip file. You can find it here:

Click "Download ZIP" on the right side of the page and save the zip file. Then unzip it. Rename the folder "IRRemote" (unless that name is already being used).

Then copy the folder into your libraries directory. The libraries directory should contain the folder "IRremote." If for some reason you already have a folder with this name, then you may need to rename it. The IRremote folder should contain the files. A lot of problems experienced when uploaded in the code, are caused be the library not being loaded in the correct location.
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kimg32 days ago

do you have the block diagram of this project?

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  kimg32 days ago
Not at the moment. But you should be able to make one fairly easily.

Works great with arduino uno 3 .Tried to make with stand-alone atmega 328p.

But it won't work.Is there a way to make it work?

Sorry, I can't help you there.

It is really very good project, inspired me to do many things.

But if you change the initial value of "RecordState from 0 to 1"

that will solve the reprogramming problem

(int RecordState = 1; // is the reciever in record mode )

can i control different output using different remote keys ?

press "1" at remote = run o/p1

Press "2" at remote = run o/p2.

Fioulmaster1 month ago

Good project! I will use it for power On/Off my Home cinema Subwoofer with the Amplifier remote. When I will turn On my Amp, it's turn On too my Sub.

JasonC21 month ago

Can anyone tell me what relay and diode you used?

Here's the schematic I used based on the one included in this guide.


This is the relay I used however you might need a transistor to get it to work

And pretty much any diode will do, I used this one

jorgez661 made it!2 months ago

Great project! I made one but I removed the button on the final case after modifying the code to work with the remote I wanted. I also added a second relay to which I plan on adding a second outlet later on!

2014-07-14 11.55.53.jpg2014-07-14 11.59.51.jpg

Made two final modifcations, replaced the arduino with a barebones arduino that I made using another instructable, and replaced the end of the extension cord with two separate plug-ins mounted on the side of the case. Each of the plug-ins is wired to its own relay so basically it can remote control two outlets. Thanks again to the DIY Hacks and How for this great Instructable!

2014-08-10 13.04.05-1.jpg2014-08-01 16.54.53.jpg

For anyone else making this project, I highly recommend PCB screw terminals to wire the extension cord into. It makes attaching the wires a lot easier that way.

cnguyen372 months ago

For some reason, the red LED for me will not turn on when i press the button.

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  cnguyen372 months ago

First make sure that the LED works and is the correct voltage. Then check to make sure that it is plugged into the correct pin. Then check all the other parts.

I'm pretty sure everything is ok. Here's a picture. I'm not the best with circuit diagrams so I'm not sure if anything needs a fix.


Sorry, here's a better picture

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  cnguyen372 months ago

Your button doesn't appear to be connected to 5V. One side of the switch needs to be connected to 5V and the other side to the resistor and the input pin.

Now the LED turns on but not the green one. Do you know why? The button is connected to the 5V and the digital pin 6 and the resistor. But now the green LED won't turn on.i kept the wiring the same except I moved the button to the positive side, connecting to the 5V

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  cnguyen372 months ago

The green light should come on when it recognizes the code from the remote. Try using a different remote.

jhong23883 months ago

5V Relay Module for Arduino
can i use this relay?

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  jhong23883 months ago

Yes. As long as the appliance is rated for less power than the relay is rated for.

does this relay need some circuit boarding or adding diode or somthing?

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  jhong23883 months ago

It appears to have the power transistor and the diode are already built it. You need to check to make sure that the power that is required by the relay is less that the max output for the Arduino pins. Otherwise you will need an external power source.

it is ok if i plug my uno overnight?

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  jhong23883 months ago

You can look up the power ratings for each board on the Arduino website

For an UNO it is 40mA per pin

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  jhong23883 months ago

Yes. It is ok to leave your Arduino plugged in over night.

if i add 2 servo for my curtain it is still ok to turn on 24/7

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  jhong23883 months ago

As long as you don't exceed the maximum output rating, it should be fine.

whats the maximum output rating?
how to know if i exceed?

Isanch996 months ago

What do you do if this pops up when you're uploading the code on the Arduino 'IRecv' does not name a type > DIY Hacks and How Tos

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  Isanch996 months ago
Check to make sure that the library is loaded properly.

I checked that the library was loaded correctly and it still can't verify it

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  Isanch995 months ago

Sorry. I don't know what is wrong then.

Carlitos3176 months ago
I have an arduino uno r3 smd edition with arduino 1.0.5-r2 and when I try to upload the code it says 'iRrecv' does not name a type and doesnt upload it plz help

Check to make sure that the IR remote library is loaded in the libraries directory correctly.

Isanch996 months ago

error: 'TKD2' was not declared in this scope It said this when I tried to upload the code to the Arduino? DIY Hacks and How Tos

Isanch996 months ago

error: 'TKD2' was not declared in this scope It said this when I tried to upload the code to the Arduino? DIY Hacks and How Tos

stumitch6 months ago

Nice, clear description of an idea that uses a remote that everyone will have somewhere in their house. If you want to, try to build the project and not have to sacrifice an Uno. Thanks for such a great 'ible!

afioramanti6 months ago
awesome, Congrats. The IR need short distance is there a way to try with with ethernet shield?
toplak6666 months ago

Or use one of these: Cheaper and easier. No coding required. Still, good project though.

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