Individually addressable and/or groupable wired LED lights

I’m doing a renovation which involves redoing the wiring and installing pot (recessed) lights. Since I’m redoing the wiring, I’m trying to find a way to have the LEDs be individually addressable. I’ve done a lot of research and I can’t find any wired bus / daisy-chain solution that isn’t proprietary or would lock me into a system (Lutron, Savant, Loxone, …).

I did a bunch of research on DALI, DMX, KNX, modbus, i2c, rs232, and a whole lot of other protocols and I got a bit overwhelmed. It seems very possible with many (any?) of those, just not sure what a sensible or conventional approach to this would be. I’m comfortable with programming and basic soldering / electronics (studied electrical & computer engineering).

My idea is: Switches that are registered in home assistant (wireless, or on the same bus?), that send a signal to a driver/ home assistant to then switch on or off a bunch of lights in groups via WLED or something like that. I’d like to be able to change how the lights are zoned by light switch if/when I need to later, or dim different lights.

I’ve seen at least one solution that took a bunch of WLED strips that are individually addressable, cut them up and make a DIY pot/recessed light housing for them so that they can then control them separately. This just seems overly complicated.

I started looking into perhaps seeing if I can implement that myself with a breakout board using a WS2811 (or WS2812?) chip and some relays or something and just doing the daisy-chaining/wiring myself. That also didn’t yield any straight-forward solution.

Am I the first to have the idea of just wanting to simply use a bus to address/control individual LED lights (not on a strip) in an open way that isn’t Lutron, Loxone, TapHome, etc…? It also seems sensible to have the switches on that same bus too?

From what I can tell that seems to be what DALI tries to accomplish with its network and drivers and switches, but it seems to be very focused on commercial set-ups not home. So I didn’t know where to start.

Any thoughts or recommendations? I’m open to a commercial solution from a company if it supports running local and provides good DIY support.

Sorry if this has been asked before or if this is the wrong section.

Note: I want to avoid having each pot light be a wireless node, so I’m either just doing traditional zone lighting with a physical circuit, or some sort of bus/daisy chain system as I describe here.

You can use ESP-Home.
Light partition.

If you really want “individual addressesable” (like every led / Neopixel / SK6812 style) I would say Knx and also Dali are out. Their protocols don’t even provide a big enough address space so you would be limited to predefined patterns (if such controllers even exist).

@Hellis81 Can you elaborate some more. I’d gladly use ESPHome but how would the actual wiring go? Which pot lights have the capability to be chained like that?

@farmio That’s good to know, thanks! It seems like what I want is essentially a chainable NeoPixel kind of set-up, with enclosures & diffusers. What driver & general setup would you recommend?

Pot lights? Don’t know what that is but you wrote about addressable LEDs.

I have a LED strip like this:

  - platform: neopixelbus
    type: GRB
    id: light1
    variant: WS2811
    pin: GPIO9
    num_leds: 8
    name: "David TV front light"
    internal: true

that controls the full 8 pixels.
But I also have theses:


  - platform: partition
    name: "David TV front light Partition Light 1"
      - id: light1
        from: 0
        to: 1

  - platform: partition
    name: "David TV front light Partition Light 2"
      - id: light1
        from: 2
        to: 3

  - platform: partition
    name: "David TV front light Partition Light 3"
      - id: light1
        from: 4
        to: 5

  - platform: partition
    name: "David TV front light Partition Light 4"
      - id: light1
        from: 6
        to: 7

these make four light entities in HA each controllable individually

@Hellis81 Ah I think that’s where the confusion lies. Pot lights or recessed lights are those individual circular light fixtures you find in rooms or kitchens or malls (please look them up if that doesn’t make sense, they’re extremely common). They’re not strips, so I’m trying to figure out to make separate light fixtures behave like a chain of LEDs on a strip.

One way would be to cut up a strip into many sections (one per fixture), connect them together myself one section at a time with just a bunch of off-the-shelf wires soldered on and build a custom fixture with a diffuser off Amazon and 3D print a casing. They’d then show up as one LED strip and I can control each fixture as it’s own LED (or small group). But this is tedious and probably problematic from a building code perspective and voltage drop and 100 other problems. I’m basically manufacturing lights.

A lot of proprietary systems do this with a custom bus wire that chains across the lights and can control them individually. I’m trying to replicate that.

I hope that explains the dilemma.

How many of them do you plan to install?
And how much lumen should one light? I think with cut WS2811 you may not reach the light flux and quality (eg. CRI, flicker) you’d expect in a living area.

There’s 19 in the room (basement) but they don’t all have to be on one single daisy-chain line. I don’t want to run each fixture individually, but it doesn’t have to be a single run. So I’m thinking potentially 4 runs, varying from 3 to 6 bulbs each (3 + 6 + 6 + 4). If the bus can support longer I can do perhaps 2 or 3 runs with a little more in a chain.

Yeah I’m also thinking cut WS2811 strips isn’t the way to go, so was considering getting a breakout board for those chips and just combining that with relays on regular low voltage pot lights. But I got a little stuck on trying to find the proper controller(WS2811/2) + relay set-up.

I appreciate the help by the way!

So 19 different colors max? Then this is very well addressable via Knx or DALI - I was thinking stripes with > 100 addressable points…
Maybe have a look at Kiteo lights - they are said to have very good light quality and some are DALI controlled.

That’s great, thanks! Checking them out now. I hope they are available/ship to Canada. What DALI driver/controller setup do you recommend then? One that integrates well with home assistant ideally. And switches? I’m currently considering the Inovelli blue series (once they support Matter).

I will likely end up with > 100 addressable points in total (not in a single chain) as I renovate my house so support for that in general is definitely something I’m looking for. The basement with its 19 lights is the first stage.

@ Anonymouser I am running into the exact same situation with my kitchen. What solution did you end up going with?