Ledstrip in my cupboard - what do I need?

Hey, I’m refurbishing a cupboard and looking for the best and cheapest way to add a ledstrip to it. It has 4 shelves and I want a strip on every shelf that I can control individually via Hass. Can I do this with a single strip and a single controller or do I need multiple ones? Should I control it with MQTT? What kind of additional hardware do I need?

You’ll certainly need multiple strips if you use analogue (traditional) strips. Whether you need multiple controllers will depend on your approach.

If you’re using single colour analogue LED strips, then something like the Z-Wave Fibaro RGBW controller will work. You can control each strip as a different colour. If you’re using digital LED strips, then you’ll likely only need a single strip and controller.

Analogue is certainly easier, it’s just some strips, a controller, and a power supply. Digital gives you much more flexibility, but is likely to require a bit of soldering and the extra configuration to map the “pixels” to your shelves. The cost differences will depend on where you live, and what lengths of LED strip you’re after. Here in the UK decent analogue LED strips are about £10 a metre, and the controller is about £50. For digital, LED strips are about £25 a meter, and a DIY controller is about £10.

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You could try Motes, they’ll fit the bill!

One Pi (a Zero W makes a lot of sense) plus a Mote host will let you individually control all the leds on up to 4 separate strips.

I’ve seven different lighting installs with them, and can control them all through Hass.

I’ve put up a how to guide, though I’ve a much better way in the pipeline.

In the meantime if you do get them, the guide and code bits will certainly let you play with them!

Couldn’t be without mine :slight_smile:

If you want to add another Pi power supply to the mote host itself, they’re so bright they can hardly be looked at.


Nice. That is pretty close to what I’m looking for. The strips might be a bit short. How bright are they?

They’re quite bright, I’ll probably never use the additional power-supply option that would light up a room with just two. And they can’t be looked at for long with that extra boost.

For lamps, and under-shelf lighting - I think they have perfect brightness: from barely detectable to reading level bright.

All 16 X 4 leds are individually under your control, so colour mixes are possible.

Lots of White for brightness, then a few leds at yellow / orange to take the harshness out. Very customisable.

If you wanted to make a light-box under thick semi-opaque glass, I imagine the extra power would be needed but otherwise unnecessary.

Plus, it’s only another Pi power supply for all that extra brightness anyway so not a big expense at all if you need it.

I use mine to give me colour-coded messages too. Cylon lights if something’s wrong on the home-server, a brief Rainbow when a friendly Bluetooth is detected etc.

Your Cupboard as a ‘notification device’ if you like!

My current problem is I need to stop buying them, there won’t be a traditional bulb or lamp in the house by the end of the year.

Cool. I think I’ll try those. I have a spare Pi laying around, just need to add a WiFi dongle to it. Are you looking at creating an official component for Hass?

That would be great!

It’ll be a bit though. For now I’m working at getting a simple api style set-up, which could make it easier for the makers to incorporate, and also making it easy to use with Hass. Shouldn’t be too long (fingers crossed).

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You could check out the Arilux line of controllers. They’re just little ESP8266 boards ready for use with analog RGB LEDs. I’m helping writing new firmware for it so it uses MQTT instead of the default protocol. Here’s the project and here’s the thread on the forums. I got a kit with the controller + a 16.4ft LED strip + power supply for $40. It’s out of stock on Amazon now (here) but I’m sure you can find another one easily. Or just buy the board and the LED strip separately.

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Do you know if I can use standard micro usb cables to power the strips? I need longer than the ones in the kit.

Maby this, esp8266 with digital strip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KI36GTgwuQ&t=33s

Off the top of my head, no.

The USB cables between the Mote Host & its LED strips are special.

Though the Pi to the Mote Host can be any USB at all.

2 metres is as big as they go I think.

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Thanks all. I have a couple of options now. I have ordered the Mote kit + 4x 2 meter cables and will see how it goes from there.

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