Looking for recommended ESPHome-friendly smart plugs in 2023

I missed the old days where those Tuya smart plugs can be wirelessly flashed with Tasmota/ESPHome, but it’s been long gone since Tuya updated their encryption algorithm. Ongoing work can be found here.

So, does anyone know any ESPHome-friendly smart plugs nowadays available in US? Thanks!

Localbytes. They’ve been very reliable for me.
Athom, not so much

And for me

@Holdestmade @Stiltjack Thanks for the advice. I guess I forgot to mention “available in US”. Added

I just bought and flashed a Sonoff S31 smart switch with ESPHome. If you’re comfortable with cracking it open and hooking up a serial adapter to do the initial flash, it’s a great little plug. Does power monitoring too as a bonus.

Is the case damaged when you crack it open?

Nope, not at all. You pop the end cap off with a spudger or something (I used a guitar pick style tool I had), slide two strips out to expose the case screws, remove those and slide the guts out. Really easy-peasy. And there are lots of good guides online for these outlets.

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I have had good experiences with Athom devices. You can buy them with ESPHome already flashed.

Tuya has begun manufacturing Wi-Fi modules using a Realtek RTL8710BN Wi-Fi SOC instead of an ESP82xx chip. Neither ESPHome nor Tasmota can run on Realtek devices and I am unaware of any plans on supporting them.

You can flash the Realtek chip with a Tasmota-like UI, but it is not Tasmota. Here is a forum post that may help.

Here is how I flashed OpenBK on a Kuled switch that uses the Realtek chip.
https://www.elektroda.com/rtvforum/viewtopic.php?p=20355154#20355154

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the info. I do have a lot of unflashable Tuya devices that use Non-ESP chip, and I love using them in non-critical applications like vent fan. But I’m too busy at work to invest into new technologies, so I’ll probably just stay with what I used before. I feel sad for getting old.

Define “a lot”. Where are you located? I may be able to offer assistance flashing your devices.

Nothing to do with it. The Realtek chips are cheaper than the ESP chips. If you make a million devices and save 10-cents per device, then you have just added $100K to the bottom line. DIY tinkerers like us aren’t even on their radar.

Thanks @stevemann! I have around 9 Tuya smart plugs and I’m located in US. Some of them bought in 2019 were definitely using ESP8266 but I’m not very sure about those bought in 2021 and 2022. I just saw from online comments that they are using RLT chips.

If it has an ESP chip, it should be flashable.

I find them to be listed as supported by LibreTiny so they actually do work with the esphome fork :fork_and_knife:

The support was just merged last week into dev so it is expected to land in the next stable official esphome release :fireworks:

ESPHome? RTLHome? BKHome? What’s next? :thinking:

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Jumping in to mention that I’ve also been using S31s for some time with great luck. They somewhat frequently have good sales on Amazon so I tend to just keep them in my ‘wishlist’ and grab them when they’re on-sale. Never had an issue with them. Obviously takes a little time to open them up and flash, but it’s quite straightforward.

Just checked and the 2-pack is currently on-sale.

The docs are already updated on dev.esphome.io next.esphome.io :point_down:

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That’s great news. But still, these Tuya plugs cannot be (easily and reliably) flashed wirelessly without cracking the case :frowning:

That’s what cloudcutter is for, to make the removal of the Tuya firmware easy and reliable.

I used this process from Digiblur and just copied the comands and it worked first time, so far have done 5 devices.

if your tuya plugs firmware version is not listed here, there’s a good chance you can use cloudcutter to
flash it ota

:point_down:

Can’t be much easier - esp based devices hardly offered OTA flashing recently :wink:

Has anyone successfully got a 3-way switch working with HA using tuya-cloudcutter and ESPHome/LibreTiny? There is a Treatlife SS02 and a UltraPro Smart Switch listed in the supported devices

It had taken me a long time to figure this out with Tasmota which is why I ask.

Thanks