Maker Pro

RF Remote Control in a Light Switch

A remote control that fits in a light switch to send button presses to a Raspberry Pi.

Project Log

Status: Initial breadboard successful

I am working on creating a remote control that fits inside of a light switch. It will have a few buttons on it. When a user presses a button, it uses RF to inform a remote device (in my case a Raspberry pi) of the button press.

Why: We have some cool RGB LEDs in parts of our house. These are not smart lights, but they have an IR remote. Because the lights are recessed into the ceiling, the remote is really hard to use. I made them into "smart lights" with a raspberry pi. The current setup is:
Blank Diagram - CurrentSetup.png

However, this means that the light switch also turns off the Raspberry Pi. It take a long time to boot back up, so this has been a pain. I want to replace the light switch with something that can talk to the Pi. I'm planning on doing this:
Blank Diagram - DesiredSetup.png

How: I intend to 3D print a light switch that houses a custom circuit. The circuit will:
  • Have buttons the user can press
  • Send those button presses to the Pi via an RF link
  • Powered by the electricity in the light switch (mains power)

UPDATE: First Breadboard:
I have purchased a transmitter and receiver pair through amazon:
HiLetgo 315Mhz RF Transmitter and Receiver Module link kit for Arduino/ARM/MCU/Raspberry pi
I also purchased 5 pairs of HT-12E and HT12-D encoders/decoders. I successfully built a prototype circuit on two breadboards that allow me to send a button press over RF. The range is horrible (<10'), but I have not added an antenna yet. My next step is to add the 'optional' antenna.

UPDATE 10/14/2018: Added antenna
After adding an antenna, I now have more than enough range.

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