Project CE Cloud Lighting Part 1 - Introduction

While this is not the normal way to do conference room light controls with a CE video endpoint, it is an interesting exploration of leveraging IoT devices with CE. It's also an inexpensive project to try if you have a video endpoint available. The price of a TP-Link light bulb is around $20. While you will also need a Raspberry Pi or other compute to run Nodejs its still a super cheap project and you will also save money by switching to a LED lightbulb.

Let's face facts you could just use a light switch with a $1 bulb but where would be the fun in that. You could also spend way more money on a system that does a whole lot more than just controlling the lights but that means $$$$, a lot more than our $20 solution. So if you just want to setup a conference room demo with some bells and whistles this might be an interesting place to start and there is no fussing with any electrical setup, it's all cloud IoT based. I did this setup in my home office using my MAC to do the initial coding and finally moving it over to a Raspberry Pi to keep it running. I also have Alexa setup with the same light. The TP-Link light can have both controlling it and it didn't seem to pose an issue.

So let's get to it.

Introduction

TP-Link makes a series of smart light bulbs. Costs vary on bulb features but for our project I am using the base model TP-LINK 50W Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb with Dimmable White Light (KB100).  The bulb is configured through a smartphone app called Kasa Smart (A TP-Link spin off company TP-LINK Research America) but we will take a look at that in the next post.

The setup is pictured below. The Room Kit Touch 10 is providing the UI with a Pi in the middle running Nodejs doing the work to instruct our cloud service to turn the light on and off. Like many of  the projects here on the blog I have a Pi running my node code but it could be any compute device capable of running node like a MAC or Windows machine.


In this project we are once again leveraging websockets on the Room Kit to collect the Touch 10 events on our Nodejs server.  Websockets has become my favorite new way to deal with events coming from a remote CE device. In case you were wonder this feature was introduced in CE9.7 and there is good reasons to like it. Check out a post I did recently on different methods to access events remotely:

 http://voipnorm.blogspot.com/2019/07/ce-websocket-v-ssh-v-httpfeedback-which.html


Next post, I will install our TP-Link light and get it working on the Kasa Smart App.

VoIPNorm

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