Total n00b questions

I’ve tried searching here and with the UTFG method, but there’s an overwhelming amount of info out there. I’m in the process of a kitchen remodel that will incorporate LED lighting for under cabinet task lighting (CCT) as well as over cabinet and toe kick ambient lighting (RGB+CCT), in either 2 or 3 zones. I’d like the ability to control those both with HA and a physical remote.

What should I be looking for as far as controllers are concerned? I.E. what protocol/technology should I prefer? What general pitfalls should I look out for? If you’ve done something similar, what did you use and what problems did you have?

I am technically and mechanically inclined; I write PHP and some Android/Java code, so I’m not afraid of that aspect if needed.

Thanks for any advice!

It depends on what your requirements are.

Generally Speaking I could recommend you (from my experience) zigbee based Devices with a “Conbee Stick” in you Home Assistant Computer

  • Variety of Devices/Manufacturers -> >You can Choose the most cost efficient Devices.
  • Works Cloudless (Without any Internet)
  • Privacy is gud
  • Reliable (Devices do not unpair, freeze etc.)

There are def. a ton of other solutions but this worked for me without much hasstle.

I inherited my kitchen from the previous owner and simply replaced all the light bulbs (ceiling, cooker hood) with Philips Hue. Advantages are:

  • You can use standard fittings - other than small golfball with bayonet, which is not available.
  • You can retain manual switches/remotes. Lights can default to on when powered up if required.
  • Motion sensor options
  • Motion sensors can double as light level sensors if required
  • A hub is required, but this only connects to the internet for firmware updates - no account needed and everything works when the internet is down.
  • A self-contained system - you can control it with HA but it will work perfectly well if HA is down

My personal choice would be using an esp8266 with wled and an adressable strip with rgb and white pixels like SK6812. Uses wifi, is easy to setup, has many efects, HA integration and can be modified by yourself. You basically need to solder a few wires and provide a power supply with 5v, if your using not many leds, an old smartphone charger should be enough. And with an extra button you can switch the leds directly off. With an IR receiver, you can use an unused button on your tv´s remote for example. And if you have other external sensors or switches, you can use HA to turn the leds to specific colors using them.

Thanks for all the information, everyone!

I have looked at Zigbee devices, and am currently leaning toward them for the strip light controllers and a couple other things. The Phillips Hue devices are nice and probably the easiest way to go, but they also seem to be the most costly. Cost isn’t the prevailing factor, though. I like to do things “the hard way” because I enjoy learning, and I tend learn best by doing.

The ESP8266 and individually addressable LED strips are cool as hell, but probably overkill for the kitchen. They are something I’ll be looking into for other parts of the house, however.

I think to start with, I’ll order a few Zigbee strip controllers and a hub and work on setting those up. I’m sure I’ll have questions along the way, lol.

Thanks again!

I dont know a model number, but there are also strips with color temperature. What is also possible, building a simple LED dimmer circuit by yourself with transistors, resistors, a few chips and en esp. Basically, you turn the leds on and off really fast. That way, our eyes think the light is dimmer.
The chips are so called MOSFET-Drivers TC442D and those are required to switch the semiconductor switches (or transisors) from the type MOSFET IRLZ40 the right way, the resistors are needed to ensure the transistors turn fully off. Each pair of mosfet, mosfet driver and resistor goes to one esp pin and controls one led in a string. Non-adressable rgb strips use one pair for every sub-color red green and blue. In fact, im using this setup with esphome to control the rgb fans inside my pc.
And rgb in the kitchen cant be overkill for a gamer (like me lol), everything has to be rgb to be good :wink: