Simplest Home automation setup
The smart home process:
1. The echo recognizes the keywords when you speak
2. Echo relays the information to the RF blaster
3. RF blaster will emit the signals to the other RF/IR controlled devices
4. Devices will on/off
We will share how to set up a smart home in a normal house below. The process of setting up your smart home will be simple but tedious. But it will definitely be worth your time – the convenience rendered by the home automation will more than makeup for the time and money spent on automating the house.
This article will be split into different parts so that it will be easier to digest and understand. Each part is modular and can be done on different days.
If you prefer to engage a professional to help you with your home automation aspirations, you can click here to find out about Toasty Living's Home automation services.
1st step: Setting up Alexa
Items you will need: Echo dot - Buy Here
Alexa would be the main hub of your smart home. It will recognize your voice and relay the information to the rest of your smart devices through your wifi network (that means all your devices has to be on the same network).
1. Download the Alexa app on the playstore or app store
If you are unable to find the Alexa App, you can download the APK through browser and do a 3rd party installation.
2. Plug in the echo dot to the power supply
The light will turn blue when there is power and wait for it to turn orange. This means Alexa is ready to greet you. Wait for Alexa to tell you that the device is ready for set up
3. Connect your Echo dot to your Wifi network
The echo will guide you through this simple process
4. The setup process is done and you can start talking to your Alexa
5. Remember to ensure that your Alexa app is in the Singapore timezone
6. If you have any difficulties in changing the Alexa timezone, we found a great article online that teaches you how to do that:
2: Installing your wall switch (CAUTION: THIS IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS). It is advised to hire a professional to do this
Items you will need: Singapore standard RF switches - Buy Here
The beauty of a smart wall switch is that it allows everything else to be “smart” as it controls the power that goes to your device. In our opinion, using a smart RF wall switch is much better as it is more cost effective than changing every single light bulb and fan. The wall switch solution is much more affordable and reliable.
Please note that only certain special kinds of wall switches works in Singapore due to our wiring convention. NOT ALL SMART SWITCH WILL WORK IN SINGAPORE. It is recommended for you to buy the switches that we have listed below as these switches are specially made for the Singapore market.
For this tutorial, we will be explaining with a 3 gang RF smart switch.
1. OFF YOUR MAINS and wear slippers such that you are not grounded
2. Use a screwdriver to pry the outer case of your wall switch (be careful you do not scratch your wall paint off)
3. Unscrew the screws. For some switches the screws will be behind the flicks, just use the screwdriver to pry them off. Please keep the screws as you will be re-using them later.
4. For a 3 gang RF switch, there are 4 contact points. L, L1, L2, L3. The live wire goes into L and the other wires goes to L1- L3. Currently, there are only 3 gang smart switches being made. So if you have 4 different switches originally, you have to choose and join 2 function together.
5. In Singapore, most of the time there would be an extra wire which will pull the current to another part of the house. This wire has to be connected to the live wire on the L contact point. Take note that this wire will become LIVE by doing so.
6. Screw back the wall switch and on the mains to test whether everything is in order
7. Long press the switch till you hear a soft beep. Release your finger and press the button on the RF remote. This will assign the RF remote button to that particular switch.
8. Repeat step 7 for all switch
3: Setting up your RF universal remote controller (Broadlink)
Items you will need: Broadlink RM Pro+ - Buy Here
The broadlink is the remote control of almost all your devices in this setup. Your Alexa will communicate with it to turn on/off your appliances
1. Download IHC app on your handphone
2. Plug in the broadlink where it will have direct line of sight to the switches and appliances that you want it to control
3. Set up your account and login
4. Add appliance that you want to control. Choose from the list given
5. As the app is still in the developmental phase so it may be buggy, but generally it works well. We usually choose the lights option when controlling our lights rather than switch as we find it gives us the least errors.
6. Choose the rf option. And start the pairing. Long press the rf remote in front of the broadlink universal remote for it to record the frequency
7. When there is pairing success, test it by pressing on. If the appliance reacts to it tap yes and that's the end to it
8. It usually takes about 5 tries to be successful - so be patient!
4: Linking IHC to Alexa
Items you will need: A smartphone
1. This step is simple. Go to your Alexa app and find the IHC skill
2. Login to your IHC skill through the Alexa app to create linkages
3. Go to “Smart home” and discover for your new devices
4. You can create groups in the Alexa app or scenes in the IHC apps.
4: Using Sonoff smart plugs
Items you will need: Sonoff smart plug UK standard - Buy here
1. Download the ewelink app
2. Plug in the Sonoff smart plug into an outlet
3. Follow the instructions on the app.
If you have enjoyed this article, please help us by liking our facebook page! :)