Controlling Homebridge with Alexa

Controlling Homebridge with Alexa

I've written a fair few posts about HomeKit and Homebridge but there was one piece of that whole puzzle that I was never really happy with—Siri. While Siri does a job to some extent I think it's hard to say that it does it well. Constantly mishearing or misunderstanding what I'm saying, having to have a phone or iPad nearby to activate, and long waits while it converts speech-to-text were infuriating. My Dad had recently bought into the Alexa eco-system with an Echo Dot and was controlling his Philips Hue setup with ease. He couldn't stop praising the thing—…

HomeKit IR Blaster: Controlling My TV with HomeKit

HomeKit IR Blaster: Controlling My TV with HomeKit

If you've read any of my previous posts then you probably already realise I'm on a mission to automate my entire house and control it using Apple's HomeKit protocol. I'm pretty satisfied with the lights in my house now but there's plenty more I would still love to be able to control from my phone. In Search of an IR Blaster Rather than replacing everything in my home it made sense to try and find something to control my existing stuff. The majority of things like my TV, amp, fireplace, and fan are all controlled by IR so I started…

Building An Arcade Cabinet: The Hardware

Building An Arcade Cabinet: The Hardware

It must have been around 8 years ago that my Dad and I had the idea of building an arcade cabinet. This was before the Raspberry Pi even existed and there was nothing like Arcade World here. After a bit of research we imported everything we needed for the control board from the US and knocked together a MAME box on an old Windows XP computer. And that's where the project stopped until I decided to have another go in December 2016. The Cabinet After I'd decided that I definitely wanted to have another go at this I started shopping.…

Controlling HomeKit with an Amazon Dash Button

Controlling HomeKit with an Amazon Dash Button

Since hooking up Homebridge and controlling lights and LED strips in my living room I've been looking for a physical switch to control it. The only HomeKit enabled switch I've found is the Elgato Eve Light Switch which is pretty reasonable at $50 but is only available in the US due to the requirement of a neutral wire — something UK (and most other international) switches do not have/require. I wondered if I could get another Wi-Fi button working with Homebridge but couldn't really find anything. There's the FLIC but that needs Bluetooth so was out of the question unless…

Cheap HomeKit LED Strips

Cheap HomeKit LED Strips

After my success with Homebridge and LIFX I wanted to get some more HomeKit compatible lights for my house. LED strips provide an easy way to hide versatile and flexible lights away and make the perfect mood lighting. Philips Hue already offer LED strips with LIFX's "Z" strip coming in November but there was no way I was gonna drop £70 a few LEDs. Granted that's for a 2m strip but I'd guess most people don't have a 2m surface to tuck one of these behind. In my case I wanted to stick it to the back of…