Control a LED Stripe via Smartphone with Fibaro RGB or Infrared Controller
You want to control a RGB LED Stripe via Smartphone, but do not want to miss out on the opportunity to vary colors via IR (Infrared) Remote? This is the instructions.
Not long ago, I explained (Link) ,how to integrate a standard LED Stripe into your Z-Wave-compatible Home Automation, to be able to then control it via smartphone or tablet. Who wishes for a “higher comfort”, can vary the colors of the RGB LED Stripe via smartphone, and on top of that via Infrared Remote, with this following instructions.
The Fibaro RGBW Controller allows radio-based controlling of RGB LED Stripes via Z-Wave-Protocol, as well as the processing of up to four analog inputs. To these four inputs, you can dock the signal of the (IR) Infrared Controller.
Modify the Infrared Controller
In order to do that, the RGB Infrared Controller, which usually comes with any RGB LED Stripe, has to be modified. Who wants to be on the safe side, and does not directly want to tamper with the “original” (IR) Infrared Controller, can find single (IR) Infrared Controllers on Amazon (Link) for just a few euros.
After opening the Infrared Controller, you can find a rather unimpressive circuit board. On this, the Infrared receiver is soldered with three cables. You leave it on this place. Most times directly connected beside it is the LED Stripe with four cables. The three base colors red, green, and blue. The four cables are regarding to its color for the controlling of the respective LED in the LED Stripe. The fourth (black) cable is the + (plus) and serves the 12-Volt supply for the LED Stripe.
Most RGB Stripes are anode-controlled, with the + (plus). Less common is the form in association with the – (minus), cathode-controlled.
First of all, the last mentioned four cables (red, green, blue, black) are going to be soldered. A new RGB cable is put in this place, which has to be connected to the inputs of the Fibaro RGBW Controller on the other end. You can find RGB Cables sold by the meter on eBay (Link: ebay -RGB Kabel). The new wires on the circuit board are connected to the inputs of the Fibaro-Controller as follows:
- Input 1 – green
- Input 2 – red
- Input 3 – blue
- Input 4 – black (Plus)
At this point, the soldered cables have to be connected to the output of the Fibaro RGBW Controller, including the connecting piece for the LED-Stripe.
- R – red
- G – green
- B – blue
- W – (white) (in case of RGBW LED Stripes, this output is for the white channel)
- the black (Plus +) is connected to the voltage input 12 / 24 VDC)
Both controllers, the Infrared as well as the Fibaro RGBW, have to be connected to the same ground (mass). This is important, because the LEDs are anode-controlled and the polarity of LEDs has to be considered, because it would not function otherwise. This can be solved relatively easy, by soldering the two cables on the voltage input of the circuit board of the RGB Infrared Controller. The other end can be shifted to the voltage input (12 / 24 VDC ; GND) of the Fibaro RGBW Controller.
Put all cables back into the Controller-tin afterwards.
Configuration of the Fibaro RGBW Module
In order for the Fibaro RGBW Controller to be able to recognize the command from the input and forward it to the LED Stripe, it should be configured as follows:
Controlled device: RGB (bzw. RGBW falls der LED Stripe einen weiß Kanal hat)
Controlled device – advanced
Associations – settings
Associations (parameter 6): (normal RGBW – synchronized with other producer’s RGB controllers
If you press a color of the Infrared Remote, it should now be displayed visually in the web surface as well as the app.
Works well – but not yet perfect
If I put all three colors on zero, which means turn them “off” via app or web surface and then vary a color via IR Remote afterwards, this works pretty well. But as soon as a color, let us say “blue” is turned on via app and afterwards another color, for instance red, turned on via Infrared Remote, it will add the red to the color blue. This means, it saves the color that was set up via app.
I unfortunately was not able to find a solution for this problem yet. But of course, I will stay at it. If you should have a solution, or an approach, I would be happy to read it in the comments below.
Another small bug at the end. The Fibaro RGB Controller can also measure energy consumption and visually display it in the Fibaro Web Surface or App. In case you should happen to not turn off the Fibaro Controller via App or Web Surface, but just simply pull the power supply out of the plug, the Fibaro Energy Monitor will keep on counting the most recently transmitted results, as if the LED Stripe was still turned on. Let us just count that as a small cosmetic error. ;-)