[OBSOLETE] SmartLife (H801) RGBW LED Strip Wifi Controller & Bulb

I don’t know of a way to do the initial flash without using the serial connection.

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So I went digging, used my laptop, joined my defective H801’s network, it assigned me with gateway of .1 and here’s the fun part, DNS servers: (DoD, yes THAT DoD) (Level 3 Dialup DHCP scope out of Stamford CT) (RIPE 3G wireless IP out of Stockholm)

None of these are actual DNS servers, so that’s fun, what are the Chinese trying to do? Conspiracy theories about how I use my RBG LED’s should start now! :slight_smile:

Did a port scan and found nothing open, these only accept UDP packets for control which someone found out on a Russian blog, or Domoticz, or somewhere else I was reading…

Thing I don’t get, this device won’t connect to my SSID’s, even when I tell it to in the crappy app you are supposed to use with it. So it can’t actually get to the internet.

This thing is really useless without customer firmware. And it also won’t give my phones an IP, but my laptop had no trouble pulling one. Very strange device.

LOL, I didn’t mess around very much with the initial firmware. I tried out their app for about 60 seconds and thought “yep, this isn’t going to cut it”. Too bad that one is not working. Maybe the seller will send a replacement, but who knows.

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Yeah, working on that. Not a bid deal, got some discount codes and cashback things going, so over the 8 I bought, one basically turned out “free” anyway! :slight_smile:

And maybe it’ll be good enough to give a friend, and wet their appetite for this hobby!

Hobby . . . or addiction? :wink: LOL

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Can someone sesame street the hell out of this?
As far as fireware flashing the device to wire connections on the device?
Can somoene take better pics of their wiring?

@dseg @erocm1231

Maybe someone can create a list of all of the necessary components needed to get this up and running? This can then be stickied to the top of the post?

This would be a huge help!





FTDI Adapter:

Firmware Flash Utility:



You connect the FTDI pins TX/RX/GND to their respective labeled holes on the H801. Alternatively you can solder some pins to them for easier connection.


Then jumper J3 before applying power. See the below image. You can either use 12v with the green VCC/GND on the RIGHT of the device (where it says Power and Signal on the outer casing) or with a 3.3v line from your FTDI adapter if it provides this. Some have only a 5v wired, be careful! The side to power is easy to recognize as it has the capacitor. The other side has 4 of the mosfets that power the LEDs.

Here’s what one of mine looks like on the test bench jumpered but no FTDI adapter yet connected:

Once you have the physical bits worked out, find your COM port of the FTDI adapter via Device Manager (assuming Windows here) and start a command prompt within the folder you extracted the Firmware Update Utility to. Good idea to start the cmd window as administrator.

Make sure the firmware BIN is in the same folder and type this to start the flash:

esptool.exe -vv -cd nodemcu -cb 115200 -cp COM{COM Port # Goes HERE} -ca 0x00000 -cf SmartLifeRGBWController.ino.generic.bin

So if your COM port is 9 it looks like this:

esptool.exe -vv -cd nodemcu -cb 115200 -cp COM9 -ca 0x00000 -cf SmartLifeRGBWController.ino.generic.bin

If everything works, you’ll get some text, then a bunch of slowly progressing periods, if you are doing this by hand, hold very still with your wires! Once it’s done it says something about a reboot, and that’s it, back to the prompt. You can screw this up all you want, it won’t brick the device, just keep trying.

Once the firmware is on the device, power cycle it for good measure.

Using a phone/laptop connect to the newly found WiFi access point and use the password configme to get in. Your phone/laptop will get an IP of 192.168.4.x and the device is, go to that IP with a web browser and you can configure the device. That part is pretty self explanatory.

After that’s done, install the SmartApps and Device Type in the first post.

Go to your marketplace in the ST app and add the SmartLife RGBW Light (Connect) one, then setup the devices that are found. Make sure to give it a GOOD 5 minutes!

Edit: If ANY of this seems unknown to you or makes no sense, spend some time researching what you don’t understand before trying this. It’s all very easy, but that’s coming from someone who’s done this sort of thing a lot! My perspective may be skewed!

Edit2: Some additional things @wolo724 made me realize I should list.

Extensions for the RGB(W) LED’s:


And some jumper wires if you need a cable between your FTDI and the H801:


And as for power supplies, anything that’s 12v DC with the correct amperage. 2amp is a good starting point unless you are putting more than 2 strands together. And even with 1 or 2, may not be enough if you have them all on at 100% for prolonged periods. Larger installs can use something like this:


Smaller single strip ones could be something like this:


Always check reviews on these! Most are really cheap and can start fires, gotta find the good ones…I reuse old AC to DC wall warts I randomly collect, they work great.

PLEASE BE CAREFUL WITH POWER SUPPLY SELECTION! I’m not recommending what I linked, just showing examples. This is the MOST critical component you will select, be safe, and assume you need more amps than you think you do! :wink:


Here is a list of items that I believe I will need for the complete setup:

Controller: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GJMRLUY

FTDI Adapter For Flashing Controller: https://www.amazon.com/Qunqi-FT232RL-Serial-Adapter-Arduino/dp/B014Y1IMNM?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

Cable Adapter to Connect FTDI Adapter to Controller: ? I am uncertain how to connect the two to flash. I did some searching and I found that most people create a custom cable. Is this necessary?

Power Supply: https://www.amazon.com/Power-Adaptor-Transformers-Supply-Lights/dp/B00K71VMCW/ref=pd_bxgy_60_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=P3MGM9V1XWF14VZGYGNA

LED Strip: https://www.amazon.com/SUPERNIGHT-Changing-Waterproof-Controller-40-button/dp/B00KW1XBYY/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1473115181&sr=8-5&keywords=rgbw+led

LED Strip Adapters: I am intending to have short runs (around 1-3’), so I will be cutting the strips. Do I need to buy spare wire to solder it onto the strips? Or are there adapters that can be used?

Does this all look correct? For the items I am unsure about (Cable Adapter for Flashing and LED Strip Adapters), can someone please make a recommendation?

Thank you all for your help!


@michaelahess This is great! Thank you! I just replied with a list of what I thought I would need, but you beat me to it!

Sweet! Great consolidation of info to get these setup!!

Is there a way to get this in an arduino sketch. i cannot get esptool to work but i am using an esp 8266sdk board to communicate with it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Run as admin might help with esptool.

I’ve never used an arduino so can’t help there. Lol, I sound like an Amazon reviewer. “I don’t own this product, but still feel compelled to tell you something, anything, to make me feel special and included!”

Same Result with admin rights! but thanks for trying …lol

What are you getting? Error, just doesn’t run? Funny output?

error: stat SmartLifeRGBWController.ino.generic.bin failed

Rename the file to flash.bin, and maybe re-download it? File is in same directory as the flashtool correct?


it is …my process is open cmd change directory to esp folder that holds the .bin file and then execute…will try another copy

awsome that was it it did flash thanks for the Help!! Sometimes its simple!!!


Did you happen to find out how much current these will support?