The Human Interface

The various human interfaces to the system allows for manual control of lights and appliances, changing modes, viewing environmental information, system status, CCTV etc.

RF Wall Switches

I have two types of RF wall switches, all the light switches in the house have been replaced with Home Easy units and there are also three of the X10 SS13E wall switches dotted about. The signals from these are received by a 433MHz OOK receiver connected to one of my Tiny328 boards running the JeeLabs Ookrelay2 sketch, this receives the OOK signal from the X10 and Home Easy sensors and relays it over the RFM12B which is in turn received by the Tiny328 connected to my Debian server and fed into Node-RED. More about this in this blog post.


RF Remote Controls

I also have a number of handheld Home Easy remote controls dotted around the house which communicate back to the server in the same was the wall switches described above. These are handy but remembering which button does what can be a problem, particularly with the type picture below where you have a slide switch to select different banks of functions.


Flic Bluetooth Smart Buttons

Flic is a small (28mm diameter) bluetooth button that can be stuck anywhere you like. It communicates by Bluetooth and each button can be used to signal three things via a single press, a double press or a press and hold. I got eight of these from the original Indiegogo campaign and was initially using them paired to my phone and a tablet which then did an http get to Node-RED to trigger different things. In January 2016 Flic released their beta Linux SDK and  Node-RED node for Flic shortly appeared so I am moving them all over to communicate directly with the Debian server.


Web Interface

For many years I used Misterhouse as my home automation backend and web interface which I had tweaked over many years, modernising the outdated look as I went but when I moved over to MQTT and Node-RED in 2014 I built a new web interface taking some inspiration from that. This is a mash up of PHP, javascript, MQTT and websockets.

This can obviously be operated from any computer, smartphone or tablet locally or remotely. More on the web interface can be found here.



Touch Screens

I have an excessive number of touch screen devices around the house, currently there are three O2 Jogglers running Xubuntu, two Raspberry Pis with the official 7″ touchscreen display running Raspbian and three old Android tablets that are used purely for home control, all these run the a full screen browser with the web interface mentioned above. The Raspberry Pi screens also perform a few other functions, notably Bluetooth LE for the Flic buttons and local voice control with AlexaPi. I also have a Hudl2 tablet and Kindle Fire that can be used as well as my phone.




On my Android phone and tablets I have used Tasker to create a series of buttons on the launcher desktop for quick access to some common tasks.

Tasker shortcuts and Meta Widget display on Nexus 7


I can use AutoPebble on my Pebble OG or Pebble Time Steel smartwatches to control various things around the house, more on that here.


Voice Control

This is something I’ve played about with for years but I’m now actually getting somewhere with a usable and useful setup. More about my use of voice control here.


Read more about  my smart home automation system here.


Last modified: 26 March 2016

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