I’m trying to make (or buy) a device that acts as a battery powered LED notification signal light. Basically I want the light to turn or or green when I have mail (triggered by an open close sensor) and when I retrieve the mail I want the light to go out or change colors. This would be a tiny led like you find in the aeotec open close sensor when it changes state or in any computer that tells you when the processor is working - a 3mm led I guess? So extremely low power. I would drill a tiny hole in the mailbox and put the light through it. Any suggestions are appreciated, thanks.
- Here’s one method, but you won’t get color, just on or off. But at least this one is inexpensive.
If you don’t go that route and you really do want a color changing light, that probably adds at least $50 to the project. It might even be cheaper to do two of the first method.
( by the way, before we go any further, you also need to think about whether your mailbox can be seen from the street. In some neighborhoods a red light on a mailbox will get called in as a possible bomb. It is one of the things that letter carriers look for.)
- If you really want a color light indicator, a really easy option is to get the Osram Lightify Gardenspots. These are made to be outdoors and you will be able to change the color from SmartThings very easily. You would still need a sensor of some kind inside the mailbox. It would be up to you whether you put the lights themselves inside the mailbox or just in the yard somewhere. Again it will depend on your neighborhood. These run around $70.
- You could also get a Hue LED strip and trim it, but these are not rated for outdoor use and would be even more expensive than the Osram. Although some Home Depots have had them on sale recently.
- Little bits has a single color changing LED. it’s about $10, but then you also need a power unit for about six dollars, and that’s without a radio. So you would have to do like the guy does in the project up above and connect it up to something.
Little bits does offer a Wi-Fi module, and they do have an IFTTT channel, but their Wi-Fi module is $99. So that would be an easy way, but more expensive.
- blink(1) is literally an RGB LED stuck onto a USB plug. $30 bucks. If you plug it into a raspberry pi That has Internet, or an inexpensive laptop that has Internet, it has its own IFTTT channel which give you very good in direct integration with SmartThings.
But if you don’t plug it into something that has a brain, you can just turn it on and off it’s pretty hard to change colors. So this can end up getting fairly expensive. But it’s another option to consider.
- for those who are willing to use a plug-in, want something for indoors, and just want a super simple, no wiring, works with SmartThings integration, I would consider the Leeo acoustic sensor. It lists for $49, but is often on sale for $29. It’s an acoustic sensor that can listen for an alarm, like a smoke alarm or a water leak alarm, and then send a Wi-Fi message. But it also has an RGBW indicator light that can go through the usual “millions of colors” just like a Hue bulb. And you can set the color through their IFTTT channel, so nice simple integration with SmartThings that way.
If it was me, I would just go with the Osram Garden Spot used as a landscape feature because they are rated for outdoor use, they’re really easy to control from SmartThings, and nobody’s going to think it’s a bomb. Or if you want something indoors, the Leeo plug-in. But that won’t be the cheapest solution.
Btw I did read this but have been busy. Thanks for the response, since there’s no ready made solution I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet.