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


(Eric M) #1

For detailed instructions on flashing and setup including video & photos, see post 360.

2017-02-15 - Update: I have added compatibility for a few new controllers that are sold under the Arilux brand. I’ve posted the specifics further in this post.

2017-01-23 - Update: I’ve added the ability to export and import programs. Scroll down for some program strings that can be copied and pasted into the SmartApp.

2017-01-21 - Update: I’ve made some changes to the firmware for support for an interesting ESP based bulb I am testing. The price of wifi bulbs is coming down (This one is about $25) and with the Qube bulb recently announcing that they are in talks with SmartThings, I’m not sure how justifiable these are (especially if you have to pay as much as I did for shipping to the US). Nonetheless, they work if anyone is interested.

Here is the firmware for the bulb.

To flash the bulb you simply connect to it’s self created AP, go to and upload the file. No wires required (unlike the controller).

2016-12-13 - Update: For very detailed instructions on how to get up and running you might want to refer to this great post by @michaelahess

2016-08-25 - Update: Released a new additional SmartApp to create 5 virtual dimmers and keep them in sync with the SmartLife Controller (R, G, B, W1, W2). Now you can easily control up to 5 separate LED strips off of a single controller. See post 88.

This is a relatively inexpensive RGBW controller powered by the esp8266. It is a great little device that I have spent some time working on. Currently using 3 in my home and they have been great. This is a really fun device.

I have created a service manager, device handler, and firmware for the device for SmartThings. Like I said, it is a great device, but the software probably needs some bugs ironed out. I am working on it with my limited time so hopefully it will get polished eventually, but it is extremely reliable as is.

The service manager lets you create “programs” and virtual switches for the programs. This way you can have a program activated based on an event. For example, you could have the LEDs flash blue and red if someone opens the front door in the middle of the night. The virtual switch will show up as a regular switch in SmartThings so there are many possibilities with this.

First, here is the binary for the firmware. You flash the device just like most other esp8266 devices. There are instructions listed in my Sonoff thread. To put the device into flash mode, jumper the solder points together that are labeled “J3” and power the device up.

Second, there are three SmartThings pieces of code that need to be installed. First, the device handler for the Controller. Then the device handler for the virtual switch. Lastly, the SmartApp. They are listed at the bottom of this post.

After the firmware is flashed, the device will broadcast an ssid of espRGBW.[mac address]. Connect to it with the password “configme”. After you are connected, browse to and connect the device to your wifi network.

From that point you will open the service manager app and discover new devices. It should find the device on your network as long as SSDP is working properly on all of your devices. After it is added, you can create programs, virtual switches, and rename them all from in the service manager.

After flashing the device you can use a momentary switch connected to J3 to physically turn the LED strips on and off. Here is a great video by @dalec showing the conversion of a regular switch to a momentary.

Like I said, this is a work in progress and I will work on it when I can. In its current state it works really well. Good luck and have fun. This is a nifty device.

Program Strings
These can be imported into the SmartApp to enable some cool effects on the strips. You, of course, can also make your own programs and export them / share them:

Police Lights,true,2,-1_Red.100.2.100;Blue.100.2.100

Rainbow Fade,false,7,-1_Red.100.1.6000;Blue.100.1.6000;Green.100.1.6000;Yellow.100.1.6000;Purple.100.1.6000;Pink.100.1.6000;Cyan.100.1.6000

Lightning,true,4,-1_Blue.30.1.100-15000;Soft White.70.2.100;Off.100.2.100;Soft White.80.2.100



Arilux Controllers:

Update: 07-21-2017 - AriLux controllers are being sold with a change in hardware that is making the esp8266 not boot with custom firmware. The issue is ongoing and has not been resolved yet.

I’m adding support for these controllers that also run off of an esp8266. The flashing process is similar to the H801. I find that holding the wires in place is rather easy if you have an extra set of hands available to plug things in and press keys on the keyboard. So these controllers you connect TX, RX and Ground to the pins shown below. With this all connected and the FTDI connected to your computer, then apply 12V power by plugging in the Arilux controller. After the initial flash, you can upgrade any firmware updates via the web interface. The firmware is slightly different and can be found here: Firmware

That firmware is tested with the AL-LC02 listed below. I will be adding the other two soon. They should be up fairly quickly as they just have some pin number differences.


Oh, and there are several places to buy these, but I picked mine up from: AliExpress.

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(Michael Hess) #2

Got all four of mine up and running. Solder some pins to the J3 jumper as well, short those when powering on in order to flash, then pull jumper after done.

Having some weird issues (when aren’t I) that I’m working through, but these work, the app and DTH works and the Virtual Switches work!

Very impressed with this, now I need to go order more strips…


Can you guys recommend some RGB strips?

(Dennis Tegenbosch) #4

Very good work Eric! I was amazed by the switches and this just makes things even better :sunglasses:

I’d like to know which RGBW strips are advised, since i don’t know much about them :slight_smile: Also how to know how much meters of led strip you can attach to this RGBW controller.

Other question i have, which could be stupid, i live in the netherlands where is 230v. I see you have to attach powerplug to the RGBW controller just like you did to the switches, it’s not that it comes with a adapter as it seems. But can you make a power cable to it yourself or does it need to be powered by something like this: LE Power Adaptor

(Dale C) #5

These are the ones I am going to be using. I am getting the power supplies from SUPERNIGHT as well. I just ordered the controller which is on sale right now for another day for only $8.96 from the Aliexpress link @erocm1231 gave at the end of his post. I am assuming that this controller can take RGB, RGBW, RGBWW. You just connect up the leads to the controller terminal that apply to your LED strip. Any thoughts guys with the hardware already in hand?


If you go the AliExpress route than here is the LED strips on their website.

(Michael Hess) #6

I hear bad things about supernight and good things about ledenet, but it’s all second hand. I don’t even know what my strips are I bought them so long ago.

I’m using a 2amp wall wart for one 5ft strip and another 1amp wart for a 3 foot strip. I have a big 36amp dc supply running 40ft on my deck but those are not controlled by one of these yet. All power is 110v input.

Someone out there has a graph showing how many feet you can get from a certain power level. These are limited but not sure how much. You can get amps to extend as well.

(Michael Hess) #7

Hey @erocm1231 I went to configure one of the six programs, and got an error at the end saying Error saving page, after the final done to get out of the smartapp. The program is definitely saved, but hitting the button doesn’t trigger it. The built in programs for 1 and 2 work though. Any thoughts?

(Dennis Tegenbosch) #8

i bought 6, but i blew up the first one :slight_smile: The firmware wasn’t any problem, but putting it on power made it blew up, so i did something wrong.

One side has VCC (i assume brown wire/the power), GND (i assume neutral, blue wire), W1 (no idea), W2 (no idea).
Other side has B, G, R, Vi (blue, Green, Red, White?)

I only added power and neutral on it like on the picture, and it exploded (white flash and a big bang :slight_smile: )

Any help please?

(Michael Hess) #9

No help for that! Report to the seller and see if they’ll send you another one. Could have been a bad solder joint flowing into another joint or a bad component. Or maybe you set it on something slightly conductive? And you are passing 12v to it right? Or is that a 120 or 240 plug? I can’t tell.

Edit: that really looks like lamp cord, you have to use a 12v wall wart with these, not line voltage.

(Dennis Tegenbosch) #10

Then thats it, i used 230v, heheh…thanks.
About the colors was i right? not using the black wire from the 5 ledstrip cables?

(Michael Hess) #11

Explain, I’m not sure I understand.

(Dennis Tegenbosch) #12

This is my led strip, which has 5 cables, but i can put in 4 in the controller. So i assume the black cable isn’t needed?

(Michael Hess) #13

One is the white led, that will go to the w1 or w2 terminal on the unit. Not really sure which actually…one is probably for bright white and the other for warm white. Maybe someone else can clarify that point.

I would assume the black is power and white is white, but again, not 100% sure, there should be some markings that tell you. I’d think.

(Michael Hess) #14

I just received two 5m rgbw strips this evening. Set one up with one of these controllers in my pantry and under a counter. Works great!

Black is power, should be labeled on your strip at every cut location as a plus sign. I used w1 for the white wire and it works as expected.

(Dennis Tegenbosch) #15

that worked for me too Michael, thanks! i used a 12v 1a adapter, and it even works when i connect 2x a 5m led strip to one controller :smile:

i also like the programs which Eric made.

(Michael Hess) #16

Excellent! Be careful using a 1amp adapter with that many lights it might start getting warm.

I’ve destroyed two really old wall watts doing that, could cause fires! But I also had one that was way underrated and had no issue. I try to find 2amp warts now for anything I do, amazing how many dozens of adapters one can acquire with so many electrical hobbies…

(Dennis Tegenbosch) #17

ok! so it’s better to use a higher amp adapter. good to know :smile:

(Eric M) #18

Thanks everyone for the activity in this thread. I have been extremely busy with some Z-Wave projects as well as family life. Still have a few things planned for this device.

@Dennis_Tegenbosch, sorry I forgot to mention this product is 12V DC in. The W2 output is currently not being used in my code, but perhaps someday. I don’t think it would be used in most scenarios, but I suppose someone could create a special device handler if they wanted to do something like control 5 different single color LED strips from a single controller. Also would be cool if I could use that as an input to be able to hook this up to an external switch to turn on & off. Will have to look into that for sure.

(Michael Hess) #19

A manual switch would be awesome!

(Vhamcy) #20

Can some one post pictures for flashing.