Limitless LED offers full color RGBW light bulbs that you can control over Wi-Fi/4G from your computer, phone or smartwatch. They’re an inexpensive alternative to Philips Hue and they look really cool.
But I, being lazy ass that I am, was wondering if you can control the lights from Amazon Echo by voice commands alone. Out of the box Echo and Limitless LED don’t recognize each other. Amazon can see and control Hue, but not Limitless LED. Fortunately geniuses of BWS Systems came up with a really cool piece of software – home automation bridge “HA-Bridge”. It’s free and written in Java so it can run pretty much in any environment under any OS. What it does – it emulates Philips Hue API so other devices on your network – like Echo – can see and interact with it.
It’s pretty easy to run and configure and it has a tab in UI where you can manually add any device unsupported out of the box. All you have to do is give your device a name and specify which commands to send to device for ON, OFF and DIM requests. Commands can be scripts or simple TCP/UDP data sent directly to the IP/port of your device. Here’s where Limitless LED API comes very handy. According to it – all you have to do to control your bulbs is send set of specific bytes to the IP of your WiFi bridge. For example to Turn ON lights in Zone 1 you have to send hex sequence
45, 00, 55. To turn them OFF – the sequence is
46, 00, 55. To set specific brightness level – first you need to send ON sequence and then
4E, <brighness level>, 55. This resulted in following manual config:
Note that I gave this device name “Lights” – I did it for shortness, but you can call it “Living Room Lights” or “Office Lights” or whatever you want – this is the name Amazon Echo will recolonize the device by. Before using newly added device you need to tell Echo to find it: “Alexa, discover devices”. Once discovery is finished you can issue command for your <device name>. In my case – “Alexa, turn lights ON”, “Alexa, brighten lights to 10”, “Alexa, dim lights to 2”, “Alexa, turn lights off”. Magic.
This is all fine and good – but you have full color lights. And you want to be able to control colors as well. But both Echo and HA-Bridge API support only basic On/Off/Dim commands. What to do? Why not add another device for color control? According to Limitless LED API to control color you need to issue command
40, <color code>, 55. To reset it back to white the command is
C5, 00, 55 (note that these will differ per group/zone – mentioned are command for Zone 1). Hence comes this setup:
Here <color code> = 60 “green”. Note that I call this device “Green Light”, so now I can issue command “Alexa, turn green light ON”. Command “Alexa, turn green light OFF will reset color to white. DIM command set up previously works on colors as well. Don’t forget you need to tell Alexa to discover devices after you add new ones.
Using this approach you can control as many colors as you want or even pass color number to bulbs directly. Again – magic.
UPDATE: 02/2017 Here’s a better resolution screenshot. It also features newer v4.x version of HA-Bridge with more streamlined UI (e.g you no longer have to bundle multiple URLs into JSON arrays).
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