Hacking cheap z-wave/zigbee hardware


There is some ST compatible hardware that has come along in the past few months that is easily half the cost of the next closest thing. Specifically, I’ve been using several GE Link bulbs ($14) and Quirky/Wink Trippers ($20) throughout my house and at those price points, I’m starting to think outside their intended purposes. I now have a few extras and want to use the hardware for more than just open/close sensors and LED lights.

I know there are several threads on making a door chime, so I’ve been thinking of taking the DC voltage going to the LEDs on the Link bulb to a doorbell/chime. There is already a SmartApp to turn on a light when a door is opened, so this seems pretty doable. I’ve pried open one of my extra Link bulbs and it looks like the LEDs are powered by 16vDC.

I’ve also taken a look at the Wink Tripper open/close magnetic sensor, and although it doesn’t have a terminal to connect auxiliary inputs, the terminals for the magnetic switch are pretty accessible and easily connected with wire. I was thinking of using this to make a $20 moisture sensor.

It seems to me we have two pretty solid options for a $20 generic sensor and $15 generic relay. Has anyone out there started experimenting with these (or other) cheap devices?

(Kevin Tierney) #2

I haven’t bought one yet to try, but the Cree bulb is supposed to be easy to hack as well and the Zigbee board supposedly only needs 3.3V


Awesome. I just got the ST email with the “5 New Devices” and this Cree bulb caught my eye. Looks like I’m going to Home Depot this weekend!

I ended up using one of my extra Wink Trippers as a cheap Hello Home switch. When it is opened it turns on my virtual button that is currently used to put the house into a Sleeping mode. Now I just have to come up with a cool enclosure for it.

(Nico) #4

Very nice, I need this
I need to override my old pre-installed lamp to be able to works with ST
because, it is hard for me to find device that works on 220 VAC :frowning:

So I nedd some kind of universal relay, that can connected to anything, like switches and conventional light bulb.

Any other module suggestion about zigbee or z-wave module that i can use ?

Using Arduino is another alternative, but it’s too expensive


Bit the bullet and went arduino and zigbee board cannibalized from a cree connected bulb. Total was under $20 and was super simple. Posting a new thread on the build (with video):

(Ricky) #6

I’d like to repurpose a Cree connected bulb to control a lockitron lock that currently is only BT. By using the PWN output to toggle the lock operation so I can control it via ST. Any ideas, thanks… Ricky