I was reminded by Macy’s and Lowes that Christmas is right around the corner. And by around the corner, I mean down the street two blocks and then around the corner. I plan on using Open-Zwave to control my Christmas lights and Christmas tree again this year. In a few weeks, when it is more time appropriate, I will release another image for the Raspberry Pi with a better Holiday Lighting interface. The code itself doesn’t have to run on a Raspberry Pi but will be tailored to the Aeon Lab Z-Stick Series 2 once again.
A note for people planning to automate their Christmas lights for the first time this year – last year the controllers and the outdoor Z-wave switches sold out quickly. You would still see them pop up on eBay but they were almost double the price.
If you want to get started playing with Open-Zwave early, here are the things I recommend (and in some cases my affiliate links):
- Aeon Lab Z-Stick Series 2 (not the Lite one)
- GE 45604 Z-Wave Technology Outdoor Module for Lighting Control (You will need a few. The Manual for exact specs.)
- A Raspberry Pi, Cubieboard, Chromebook, really anything from the last 10 years with a USB port.
- Last Year’s Open-Zwave Christmas Light Control
- New Client and Multithreaded TCP/IP Open-Zwave Server
Last Year’s Blog on Setting up Z-wave Christmas Lights
If you are looking to do a magical Christmas Light show themed to your favorite Christmas song, Z-Wave is probably not the right controller for you. The protocol is not really built for reliable to the microsecond on, off, and fading. If you are looking for something that will have your lights on when you get home from work and keep you from crawling under the Christmas tree; you have come to the right place.