My Lightswitches!

Hello all!

Before I jump in, I’ll introduce myself! I’m Josh, but on YouTube I’m Dennistries (that’s my trading name for work!). I’m a 20-year-old university student in the UK. I basically learnt how to use Eagle watching @jon 's Digging through my eagle…’ livestreams, and I now produce education kits, and do a lot of robot building! However since I was 14 I’ve been building home automation stuff, originally out of PICAXE chips and prototyping board, and then I got into Arduino!

I mentioned on the last live stream I made my own light switches based on Jon’s design, and I thought I would share them!

I did the ‘basic’ switch first, however I labelled the RJ45 socket different wanting to have 6 switches.Light Switch pinout

However, a few years ago Jon teased on his Facebook and YouTube these ESP8266 RGB addressable switches, and about three weeks later I had built my ‘Smart Switch’ and ‘Smart Switch RGB’. As I’m in my university accommodation right now I don’t have the circuits with me but I’ve shown some images below. An idea I had was to have one common back and interchangeable switch boards. However, depending on the layout of the switches, the pin headers to connect the two boards would get in the way, so there are two identical connectors. I also have been prototyping a AC Relay version, however I have been waiting to get some SMD pin headers from aliexpress.

I’ve also been making my own version of Jon’s MCP23017 controller. With my rack mount kit I have one main controller (still being prototyped), basically made of a ATmega32u4 with a Wiznet chip, and all the pins broken out (probably using my DenScript convention – check my website to know what I’m on about). I’m also adding the footprint for a SuperHouse POE module (I mentioned in a live stream about two months ago about making ‘Superhouse Compatible Devices’). Then, for the rest of the front of the rack unit, I have large modules to go in, so I’ve done a POE injector with relays so you can power cycle the devices, and the light switch receive.

I’m going to stick this all up on my website when I go back home at the beginning of December, I hope there is some interest and I value and feedback! Thanks!!!


Awesome - thanks for posting. These look very professional. I’d love to see more of them!
-James / aspork42

As someone based in the UK about to do a full house renovation… this is very interesting.

When do you expect to put these on sale?

The switches/buttons you’ve designed… do they fit in standard UK backboxes? Single or double?

Thanks! I’ll send out some more pictures when I get a chance!

Hopefully beginning of December.
They do fit in a UK backing box, but not the really shallow ones. Single ones work, I’ve attached some images of one with just the button board, without the WiFi board

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That looks really good. Can you fit 6 onto a single plate too? Looks like it might be a tight fit.

I’m planning on getting very deep back boxes fitted so I’ve got enough space for cables and boards etc.

This looks really good. I am starting a house build next year, so I am trying to get all the smart home items thought out and ready to go.

I have been trying to create daisy chain-able switches limited by the 4 IO pins on the PoE standard. I came up with a great idea, in theory but it failed in practice.

If you wire the button up to 1 or more of the 4 IO pins, you can essentially do 10 actions. So I set about setting up a design, and then breadboarding it, to realise that… if you press more than 1 button at a time, it will fail.

It works really well if only 1 button is pressed at a time though!

Screenshot 2020-10-27 at 16.50.30

Yeah 6 fits with no issues! Ok cool I’m happy to chat with you about anything you need for the installation!

That looks great!

I’m prototyping a RS485 backing where the signal is sent up to the light switch, then back to the rack down the same cable, then to the next switch etc. I’ve attached an image of the rack unit prototype I’ve got, hopefully it will explain things!

By bringing RS485 back to the rack you do end up increasing cable length considerably. This can effect network reliability and data rates ( Max speed at 12 m = 35 Mbs, Max speed at 1200 m = 100 kbs )
Not that data rate is an issue for binary switches but if you want to add other sensors into the mix it can be.