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Michael Sage

IT, Digital & Culture

Home, sweet home… assistant

The next challenge was to address two big problems

    1. Offline Smart Static
    2. Physical Switches

The first issue is how will everything work if the caravan is offline for some reason. The second is the ability to control all the devices physically. It turns out the problems have the same solution!

This post is very text heavy; TLDR; Flic, HA and Kasa save the day!

The easiest solution to the offline issue is to put in local control, a device that can control devices even if they can’t access the internet (incidentally there is no way I know to fix a no wifi issue, as the devices have to communicate somehow!). The go to solution for this type of issue is home assistant, upon investigation Home Assistant (HA) has a module for kasa, and RTSP for the cameras. The home assistant app is then installed on the fire tablet.

Offline Control – Tick!

Problem two… Physical switches.

I did some investigations there are very few smart switches that support no neutral wire switches. There are a few in the market, but they tend to be supported in Tuya smartlife rather than TP-Link’s Kasa platform.

Was this decision to go with the Kasas going to be a bit of a fatal blow to switches? The main reason I was drawn to the Kasa over Smartlife was the fact the extensions had physical buttons, this still stands. Then I remembered HA had a module for smartlife too… I was about to start buying switches so I could have a play, I really didn’t want to add another platform, but it was looking like it would be the only way…

Then a light bulb moment (literally, as I leaned over to hit my flic button)… Flic buttons could pair to the bluetooth on the Pi and be exposed to HA directly. 

I installed node-red and the node-red flic module and 5 minutes later I had the flic toggling the power on one of the smart bulbs.

A few minutes later two flics were controlling the Kasa lights and it worked offline! 

Physical Control – Tick!

I managed to get physical and offline control working and didn’t have to add another platform or purchase any additional hardware (When I kickstarted Flic 2, I may have slightly bought to many!)