Alexa Smart Lamp With ESP8266

30,444

166

47

About: Making and sharing are my two biggest passions! In total I've published hundreds of tutorials about everything from microcontrollers to knitting. I'm a New York City motorcyclist and unrepentant dog mom. My ...

This Instructable guides you along with me in upgrading a vintage lamp with voice-control using an ESP8266 microntroller and Amazon Echo/Alexa. The Arduino code emulates a Belkin WeMo device using the fauxmoESP library, which makes setup a breeze.

For a full primer on the Arduino ESP8266 workflow, check out my free Instructables Internet of Things Class, and check out Paige's Lamps Class for more lighting inspiration and know-how. If you're new to Arduino, we have an intro class for that, too.

This project uses AC electricity, which could harm you or start a fire-- don't leave this project connected to power unattended, and if you don't know what you're doing, work under the supervision of someone who does.

For this project, you will need:

For my particular wooden lamp base:

In addition to ESP8266 board support, you should install the following Arduino libraries (search in library manager or manually place folder in Arduino/libraries):

I learned about this method from this Adafruit tutorial: Easy Alexa (Echo) Control of your ESP8266 Huzzah, which has plenty more useful info about using this code in your own projects.

Step 1: Connect Relay

To control the AC portion of the circuit, I'm using a Power Relay FeatherWing-- just interrupt the hot lamp wire and plug the stripped ends into the Normally Open and Common screw terminals. Remember, if you don't know AC, find someone who does to supervise. My lamp had a switch along the cord, so I just removed it and used the wire that the switch had been controlling.

Don't forget to bridge one of the jumpers on the underside of the board, corresponding with the microcontroller pin you'll use on the ESP8266. I followed the setup tutorial for the Power Relay FeatherWing and bridged the jumper shown to control the relay with pin 13 on my Feather Huzzah ESP8266.

I always build a breadboard prototype of these types of circuits first, even if the ultimate goal is to get everything to fit in the wooden base of the lamp.

Step 2: Program Microcontroller & Test

The Arduino code for this project uses the example sketch for the fauxmoESP library, which emulates a Belkin WeMo device. Consequently, configuring your homebrew is exactly the same as the commercial device, which is a breeze in the Alexa app. For natural speech's sake, I've named my device "the light."

I decided later to add a power override switch so the lamp could be controlled independently of the voice commands. That's why it's not in the breadboard photos here, but appears later during the wood step. You don't strictly need the button to test the code, so you're all good either way. Watch the video embedded in Step 1 to see me explain how the button code works! Download the code from this step and plug in your own wifi network name and password, and customize the name of your device.

Step 3: Chisel Wood Base to Fit Components

After confirming that everything works, it's time to tackle the woodworking portion of this project. This lamp is held together by a threaded rod, which is easy to shorten with a saw or rotary tool cutoff wheel, then filed smooth so the adjuster flange can still be screwed on. I chiseled out the wood base to accomodate my components.

I sanded the wood base to remove any dings from messing with it, and finished it with some wood stain.

Step 4: Use It!

It feels natural to say "Alexa, turn the light on," so I felt extra clever in naming my smart light. To have multiple devices on the same network, you could tell them apart by naming them "the hallway light" or "the nightlight," for example. Is this really any better than purchasing a WeMo switch? If you've read this far in the Instructable, surely we can agree that it's just more fun to build your own, especially with the custom vintage lamp upgrade and all-in-one design.

What smart home projects do you have under your thinking cap? Let me know what you're working on in the comments below.

Home Improvement Contest 2017

Participated in the
Home Improvement Contest 2017

Share

Recommendations

  • Beauty Tips Contest

    Beauty Tips Contest
  • 1 Hour Challenge

    1 Hour Challenge
  • Pets Challenge

    Pets Challenge

47 Discussions

0
None
rafael.espinoza.p

7 weeks ago

Hey Becky, may you help me out with the code hat may work with the Alexa Gen3. The given code is not working with this kind of devices. Please !
Best regards , Rafael . May-2019

0
None
ghpk

4 months ago

Hi from India Becky, I am amazed to see you so good with electronics and circuits.
You are certainly a inspiration for our next gen.

I flashed your code on a D1-Mini board, and it connected fine to my Wi-Fi but Echo Dot (v3) is unable to discover the device.
Here's the serial output.
----------------------------------
FauxMo demo sketch
After connection, ask Alexa/Echo to 'turn <my light> on' or 'off'
[WIFI] Connecting to 4G-Tower ..........................
[WIFI] STATION Mode, SSID: 4G-Tower, IP address: 192.168.1.45
off
----------------------------------

I am able to ping that board from my Laptop but Alexa is not ready to discover it !!
Anything I may be missing ??

0
None
SteveB35

Question 8 months ago on Step 2

Hello Becky Everything looks fine except that the Arduino compiler throws an error "'class fauxmoESP' has no member named 'onMessage'". Does that mean that the library has changed since you put this tutorial together? Can you offer any advice?

Steve

2 answers
0
None
MennoJSteveB35

Answer 7 months ago

HMM having same error....

0
None
rainyoddMennoJ

Reply 5 months ago

Hi I think fauxmoESP has changed as I think it now emulates a Philips Hue and there is some changes you have to make if you are using alexa gen3

0
None
rainyodd

Question 5 months ago on Step 2

as the wemos d1 is acting as a webserver can it serve any other information like sensor data from the gpio pin.
Not sending it to the echo necessarily. could receive it on a browser.

0
None
magomez

Question 1 year ago

Can someone confirm if this still works?

Because I can't find the devices

2 answers
0
None
rainyoddmagomez

Answer 5 months ago

are you still having problems.
Are you using echo gen3?

0
None
bekathwiamagomez

Answer 1 year ago

I re-setup my device five days ago, and it works great. I'm on Android FWIW. Did you double check these things:

Is your mobile device on the same wifi network as your circuit?

Can you verify with the Serial Monitor that your device is successfully joining your wifi network?

0
None
marlontm

Question 1 year ago on Step 2

Hello, nice great project, I create this project and works!. I would like to know that if there is any type of easy step for Google assistance.

0
None
CaptClaude

1 year ago

Ms. Stern, you are the Bomb and I truly enjoy your work. How do I say this without sounding like a sexist pig? There should be WomanMakers like you (and LadyAda) to inspire our Daughters and Sons (and us).

On and off is good, but I want to see Alexa/Echo control Neopixels...

2 replies
0
None
bekathwiaCaptClaude

Reply 1 year ago

To answer your question sincerely, just remove all the gender nonsense and leave it at "you are the bomb," no qualifiers needed. And thank you.

It's easy to control NeoPixels with this, take a look at the Arduino code and you'll see where it activates the relay currently can be swapped with pixel code.

0
None
CaptClaudebekathwia

Reply 1 year ago

You are the bomb. I know the joy of teaching what you are good at and love. I do it too. Thanks.

0
None
kilgore64

1 year ago

Another reason to roll-your-own might be reliability. In reading all the comments on Amazon it seems that quite a few people (12%) think the Belkin WEMO Smart Plugs are junk due to bad experiences and failures. This reminds me of 20 years ago when I bought a bunch of X-10 modules and controllers. I loved them at first but one-by-one they bit the dust. I've been reluctant to buy this kind of technology since. Thanks for the Instructable!

1 reply
0
None
JeffM15

1 year ago

Awesome!. Enjoy watching you make instructables.

2 replies
0
None
bekathwiaJeffM15

Reply 1 year ago

You're watching me make Instructables, like inside my studio?! Haha just being silly, thanks for the encouragement!

0
None
bekathwia

Reply 1 year ago

When you download a library from somewhere other than the Library Manager and the name of the folder is not the same as the library, you must rename the folder. Your folder ESPAsyncTCP-master and should be named ESPAsyncTCP (thanks, github, for the extra word!). This is one reason the Library Manager is much easier than downloading and moving the libraries yourself.