How hard would it be for an IT Professional to make bulbs smart?

Thread Starter

Shafty

Joined Apr 25, 2023
176
If not from scratch atleast how to convert a normal to smart one... I know it's a very very big topic but sometimes things are easy if come from Top to Bottom. Like you are buying a car and slowly learn about it.
 

Thread Starter

Shafty

Joined Apr 25, 2023
176
"Alexa turn off the light" is smart.
"Alice. Please turn off the light dear"
If you get a voice feedback like "Honey. I am busy making dinner" is normal
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
18,984
The electronics hardware to add any sort of "smart" function to an LED light bulb is rather complex. Thus most of them use an ASIC created for the application. It requires all of the circuitry to run code, PLUS the I/O to control multiple colors of LEDs at different levels.
 

Jon Chandler

Joined Jun 12, 2008
1,071
Ummm. No. You gentlemen are somewhat out of date. As I stated above, most IoT devices are based on ESP8266 & ESP32, which are programmable using Arduino code.

Building a lightbulb around one of these controllers.would require some engineering but both the circuit and code are well developed.

Developing an in-line module is entirely practical, but economically it doesn't make a lot of sense.

I believe Tuya, a huge IoT supplier, will make their development tools available so your device can be compatible with their system without many hoops to jump through.
 

Jon Chandler

Joined Jun 12, 2008
1,071
It can easily be done as an external module at low cost. A good learning experience. But such modules are plentiful and cheap – cheaper than you could duplicate one.
 

boostbuck

Joined Oct 5, 2017
548
Haha - no one is suggesting starting by boiling down silicon and making pn junctions, all that is long gone*.

It would be an exploration of IoT architecture using appropriate modules.

* At school aged 15 I spent many months putting together FET junctions and other semiconductors inspired by Amateur Scientist June 1970. I don't recall with what success tbh but I got all sorts of cool chemicals and stuff from the goverment radiological labs.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
18,984
Back in 1971 I took a 300 level class in "Physical Electronics", which covered semiconductor physics in great detail. We learned about band gaps and energy levels and how they related to semiconductor functioning and failure.
But at no time was there any mention of ever considering producing any of the devices.. The closest to that was learning about die-bonding and connections to the actual silicon. That allowed us to understand the limitations at the time. There is a world of difference between knowing and doing, which is the skill set that is required.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,426

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
18,984
It is not likely that any aduino package could be included in any "smart light bulb" assembly. The size, power supply requirements, Output control, and temperature withstand requirements join to make creating a controller into a serious design project.
So while an I.T. Professional could certainly create code that could provide the functions, and undoubtedly create a reasonable block diagram, producing a workable package is rather unlikely.
 

BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
9,149
It is not likely that any aduino package could be included in any "smart light bulb" assembly. The size, power supply requirements, Output control, and temperature withstand requirements join to make creating a controller into a serious design project.
So while an I.T. Professional could certainly create code that could provide the functions, and undoubtedly create a reasonable block diagram, producing a workable package is rather unlikely.
If he really wants the works in a standard sized light bulb, buying one is the only option likely to succeed.

But I don’t think he is saying that.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,236
“Smart Bulbs” can mean a lot of things. The Home Automation and IoT landscape is far from simple.

First, I don’t see any benefit in making a smart bulb. I would start with a smart outlet or switch. The space constraints and high temperatures in a light bulb are needless complications for a learing exercise, and there is not practical advantage to be had.

Second, there is a great deal to learn about the variety of IoT ecosystems before you can select the one you want to participate in. Things definitely seem to be converging on Thread and Matter, and also moving away from Wi-Fi in favor or Zigbee, and a dash of BLE as well for some functions.

But you can still do a lot with the lowly ESP-12x for a couple of bucks, a MOSFET, and a relay. You can create compatible hardware that interfaces with a variety of existing systems. But it will have no growth potential.

If someone really wants to learn this area, I would suggest starting with Home Assistant and cheap, compatible devices like Sonoff or (somewhat less cheap but excellent) Shelly. And, for voice assistant, you can use Alexa, or Siri and HomeKit, or Google Home—or Home Assistant’s built in option.

But, you need to survey the landscape and choose the direction with some foresight because you could do an awful lot of “learning” that won’t be portable, and won’t age well—and doesn’t teach the key principles, just particular implementations.

Good luck.
 

Thread Starter

Shafty

Joined Apr 25, 2023
176
“Smart Bulbs” can mean a lot of things. The Home Automation and IoT landscape is far from simple.

First, I don’t see any benefit in making a smart bulb. I would start with a smart outlet or switch. The space constraints and high temperatures in a light bulb are needless complications for a learing exercise, and there is not practical advantage to be had.

Second, there is a great deal to learn about the variety of IoT ecosystems before you can select the one you want to participate in. Things definitely seem to be converging on Thread and Matter, and also moving away from Wi-Fi in favor or Zigbee, and a dash of BLE as well for some functions.

But you can still do a lot with the lowly ESP-12x for a couple of bucks, a MOSFET, and a relay. You can create compatible hardware that interfaces with a variety of existing systems. But it will have no growth potential.

If someone really wants to learn this area, I would suggest starting with Home Assistant and cheap, compatible devices like Sonoff or (somewhat less cheap but excellent) Shelly. And, for voice assistant, you can use Alexa, or Siri and HomeKit, or Google Home—or Home Assistant’s built in option.

But, you need to survey the landscape and choose the direction with some foresight because you could do an awful lot of “learning” that won’t be portable, and won’t age well—and doesn’t teach the key principles, just particular implementations.

Good luck.
Solved on this crosspost:

https://forums.tomshardware.com/thr...nal-to-make-bulbs-smart.3842524/post-23244571
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,236
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