Wifi Connected Smart Backsplash Using a RGB LED Strip

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Introduction: Wifi Connected Smart Backsplash Using a RGB LED Strip

About: I am a techie DIYer who loves tinkering with electronics. Twitter @MrDIYca. For more info and my full contacts, please visit www.MrDIY.ca

In this project, I will show you how I made a wifi-connected smart backsplash featuring a timer, beeper, night light and how it is controlled using a web interface, MQTT messages, and buttons.

Step 1: Watch the Video

The video shows the journey of upgrading my kitchen by embedding a RGB LED strip in my new backsplash. Feel free to add your questions in the comment section of the YouTube video if you need any futher assistance.

Step 2: Order the Components

-- LINKS -- (When available, I use affiliate links and may earn a commission)

Amazon.com:
- Wemos d1 mini (4M version) - https://amzn.to/3jLR1Qd
- Aluminum channel - https://amzn.to/3c5jWOI
- RGB LED strip - https://amzn.to/3sRNXaL
- ESP12 module - https://amzn.to/3t1qnZl
- FTDI adaptor - https://amzn.to/3iNKXHN

AliExpress:
- Wemos d1 mini (4M version) - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_dXcNTYU
- Aluminum channel - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_AVQro9
- RGB LED strip - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_AfzFSt
- ESP12 module - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_A9IoQV
- Light sensor - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_AE3tY9
- 0805 Resistor Kit - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_AgrCzF
- 0805 Capacitor Kit - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_9RqlFF
- 3-terminal - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_9wrHcV
- DC Power Plug - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_A4RW81
- FTDI adaptor - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_A42MaV

Amazon.ca:
- Wemos d1 mini (4M version) - https://amzn.to/3fx28Lq
- Aluminum channel - https://amzn.to/3od8Zgw
- RGB LED strip - https://amzn.to/2KIpfIu
- ESP12 module - https://amzn.to/39YyInG
- FTDI adaptor - https://amzn.to/3sZ8JVI

Step 3: Background

When it was time to add a backsplash, I wanted to take the opportunity to make it a little more interactive and integrated with my home automation.

The first thing you will notice is the LED strip. It acts as a timer and a visual indicator to show the status of some of my appliances.The middle portion of the LED strip is the timer. I used a blue LED to represent 10-minute intervals and a white LED to represent 1-minute intervals…. so this is 11 minutes, 12, 13, . and so on.

The corner LEDs are used as status indicators. I can customize them to use any color or flashing pattern for any given appliance. For example, a solid red LED indicates that the cooktop is on and a flashing LED means that the air circulation is on.

Step 4: Interface

I interact with the backsplash in 3 ways:

  1. Over MQTT messages: cmnd msg for control and stat msgs for updates. This is very useful because it allows easy intergration with home automation systems.
  2. The second way is by using a built in web interface: I can adjust the timer and read the status indicators here.
  3. The third way is using buttons on the controller to adjust the timer or to turn on the night light.

The controller also has a buzzer, so when the timer is up, you hear this …. * beep beep beep beep*

Step 5: The Controller

I designed a custom controller board using an ESP12 module, 3 buttons, a light sensor, a connection for the LED strip, a buzzer, a 3.3 voltage regulator and pin outs to program the ESP12 module.

New to ESP8266? Watch my Introduction to ESP8266 video.

I then moved on to design the PCB layout. I chose a long rectangular shape so it would easily fit under the cabinet. One thing I learned from previous boards I designed is to make sure the area around the antenna is not covered by copper or else the range suffers dramatically.

Step 6: Install the LED in the Tiles

Since this is a permanent setup, I wanted to be sure that the LED channel will not move and break the grout, so I drilled 4 holes for attachment. I tried to align the holes with the studs and used big anchors when that was not possible.

I used 4 long screws with a flat head to fix the LED strip to the wall. I then added the plastic cover to protect the channel. I continued applying tile adhesive and placing the tiles all the way to the top.

Later, I drilled to the side on of the cabinet, fished the wires and installed the LED strip in the aluminum channel.

Step 7: Software

For the software, I wrote a custom firmware using the Arduino IDE. The main parts to highlight are:

  • the LED setup
  • the web server
  • the OTA update option
  • the loop that handles the interactions
  • and the custom effect for the kitchen timer

Flashing the code was so easy using the FTDI adaptor and pinout in the controller. I don't have to put it in programming mode or hold down any buttons … Just CLICK and DONE.

You can download the source code on GitLab:

https://gitlab.com/MrDIYca/mrdiy-smart-backsplash

Step 8: 3D Case

I also designed a case for the controller to make the setup neat.

Step 9: Power

I connected the LED strip to the controller using the block terminal and fixed the controller under the cabinets.

Then I got a really really long power extension and ran the power from the top of the cabinets, down a gap between two cabinets and straight to the controller.

Step 10: Done

And now, I made the kitchen a little bit more smart. Once I integrate it this with my home automation system, the real fun will begin……

If you found this useful, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and give me a LIKE - It helps a lot.

* Much of the information contained is based on personal knowledge and experience. It is the responsibility of the viewer to independently verify all information.

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    13 Comments

    0
    AbqMichaelJ
    AbqMichaelJ

    25 days ago on Step 10

    This is great. I've built some similar systems with LEDs, ESP32 and MQTT but never done a custom circuit board. Always protoboards so far. So seeing those steps was cool. I want to learn more. I am curious about your cooktop -- how it communicates with your home automation/MQTT server and how all that is working. It would be nice having a "did I leave my stove on" indicator. I'm also curious of how or whether you might integrate your smart phone with it all.

    0
    MrDIYLab
    MrDIYLab

    Reply 21 days ago

    Thank you. It is definetly worth learning how to build PCBs and they are really cheap these days.

    I am using a CE smart plug with energy monitoring. When the cooktop is on, it consumes 1W, enough for me to use it as on/off indicator. Here:



    I have a built in web interface in the controller that I can use any phone to access - that is what you are seeing in the pictures.

    0
    AbqMichaelJ
    AbqMichaelJ

    Reply 16 days ago

    That's cool. I take it that the cooktop has some sort of outlet on it. I have an old Viking gas range. It only uses electricity to run the igniters. It would be interesting to have some sort of remote thermal sensor.

    0
    AlejandroR26
    AlejandroR26

    26 days ago

    Very innovative project; well done! My question is: why not use an OLED display for the timer?

    0
    MrDIYLab
    MrDIYLab

    Reply 21 days ago

    Thanks - price mainly.

    0
    Jackied777
    Jackied777

    4 weeks ago

    This has been going on for over 5 years why is it big news now just a question

    1
    DavidC40
    DavidC40

    Reply 26 days ago

    I don't think appearing in this newsletter makes it qualify as "big news." I think it's here because it is an interesting project and an instructable that has been very well put together.

    0
    curlyDuke
    curlyDuke

    4 weeks ago

    How do you determine the status of the gas cooktop and exhaust fan?

    0
    MrDIYLab
    MrDIYLab

    Reply 27 days ago

    I am using a CE smart plug with energy monitoring ( I showed it in a previous how-to video: https://youtu.be/DDYK7cE9rEA). When the cooktop is on, it consumes 1W, enough for me to use it as on/off indicator.

    0
    devonperry
    devonperry

    4 weeks ago

    Very cool.
    Would love to see a gesture sensor incorporated somehow.

    0
    MrDIYLab
    MrDIYLab

    Reply 27 days ago

    Yes, that would be cool.

    1
    jessyratfink
    jessyratfink

    4 weeks ago

    What a cool project! Gotta love when LEDs are useful AND pretty :D