Do you go to the mailbox every now and then in vain? That’s over now! This project sends you a Telegram message to your smartphone as soon as the letter carrier has delivered the mail. For this we use a Wemos D1 Mini and a PIR motion detector. But of …Read More
A weather station with current values is one thing – but knowing what the weather will be like in a few hours is quite another. In this project you create a simple weather forecast with the air pressure sensor BMP180 and a servo. Honestly, this project can’t keep up with …Read More
You have a LEGO Lunar Lander, but you still lack the right lighting? In this project, you build an LED ring under the lunar module, which you switch on with an ESP8266 as soon as the moon rises – and switch off again after the moon has set. Beginner 1 …Read More
In this project you create a kind of intercom. However, this is not limited to one single building, but can send messages from home to your smartphone – and also receive messages from there and display them on an OLED display. In practice, the project consists of two buttons that …Read More
In this project you will learn how to switch a light source on and off from your smartphone. You can also use it to check whether the light is on or off. For a first test, use an LED connected to your ESP8266. If you want to do this later …Read More
Do you want to take photos and save them on an SD card, send them over the Internet or set up a video stream right away? Then the ESP32-CAM is a great thing! There is only one circumstance: The board has no USB port. So what to do? In this …Read More
The ESP8266* microcontroller is not only perfectly suited for retrieving and processing data from the Internet. With just a few lines of code, you can create your own web server with it. You can use your smartphone or computer to access current measurement data from sensors, for example, or switch …Read More
How about if your LEGO ISS lights up as soon as the real International Space Station flies over it? In this project, you make that happen. You will learn how to find out the time of the next flyover so that you can program a countdown and then light up …Read More
In this project, you will use an ESP8266 to set up a Dash button that sends a message to your Telegram account at the touch of a button. You can receive this message anywhere on your smartphone – as long as you have Internet access. Beginner 1 – 2 hours …Read More
In this project you monitor the temperature with a sensor and your ESP8266. As soon as a certain temperature defined by you is exceeded, your microcontroller sends a message to your Telegram bot. This project is the second part of a series: In terms of content it is set up …Read More
In this project you use Telegram to contact your ESP8266 to check the current temperature. As soon as your ESP8266 receives your request, it requests the current temperature from the BMP180 sensor and sends it to your smartphone. This project is the third part of a series and builds up …Read More
In this project you create a motion detector that sends you a message when someone moves in front of it. In principle, this is a silent alarm– an alarm system that does not make any noise but discreetly tells you that something is in progress. The sensor HC-SR501 is used …Read More
ESP32 and ESP8266 boards together with Telegram are a great combination. You can send data to your smartphone at lightning speed and control your microcontroller from there. In this project you create a photo trap that snaps as soon as someone moves in front of the camera. Then it takes …Read More
With the ESP32-CAM you can easily and cheaply realize your camera projects like our camera trap. But it doesn’t always have to be just photos – a video livestream is also possible! In this tutorial you will learn how to set up a livestream with your ESP32-CAM, which you can …Read More
An analog home was yesterday – today the smart home is the trend. There are countless solutions for this on the market from well-known and large providers. But also every ambitious maker can make his own home smart with a little knowledge and for little money. On Pollux Labs you can find many projects that you can create with your Arduino or ESP8266/ESP32.
The right microcontroller
When choosing the board for your smart home project, you should consider in advance which functions you need. For simple projects, an Arduino might be enough. However, if you want to access your home via the Internet, an ESP8266 or ESP32 are of course better choices.
Smart Home with the Arduino
“Smart” doesn’t have to mean that you control something from your smartphone. Maybe you just want a plant monitor that gives an audible or visual signal when the soil of your favorite plant is too dry. Or lower the shutter when it’s too warm in your home.
In these cases, just an Arduino Uno and the right sensor can do the trick. How about a weather forecast, for example? Pretty smart too, right?
Projects with the ESP8266 and the ESP32
But if you want to control something from “outside”, then you can’t get around an internet capable microcontroller. Popular and proven are of course the inexpensive ESP8266 and the more powerful ESP32. The latter also has Bluetooth in addition to Wi-Fi.
With these controllers, you can create a web server or a project whose data can be retrieved from your smartphone in no time at all.
Popular smart home projects
Some topics are particularly popular, for example lighting, sensor data, remote control and monitoring. On Pollux Labs you will find many projects suitable for beginners and advanced users.
Control lighting in your smart home
You forgot to turn off the lights when you left your house? No problem: Just turn it off with your smartphone while you’re on the go.
In our project Switch the light on and off with Telegram, you’ll learn the basics of controlling a light with your smartphone. Here you’ll use a simple LED, but you can easily replace it with a relay. This way, you can also turn a real light bulb on and off.
But what if you don’t want to control the light yourself? Then give your smart home some atmosphere by letting the International Space Station or the moon do it for you. I beg your pardon? Yes, it works.
On Pollux Labs you’ll find two matching projects:
- Light up your LEGO Lunar Lander when the moon is in the sky.
- Light up your LEGO ISS to the rhythm of the real space station.
Request sensor data
Want to know how warm it is at home while you’re freezing in the cold? Or the other way around, if you should turn on the air conditioning?
With your ESP8266 and a temperature sensor you can do that easily. On Pollux Labs, for example, we have a project with a BMP180 whose data you can request from anywhere in the world using the Telegram app.
But you don’t necessarily have to do it yourself. You can, of course, get notified when the temperature exceeds a certain limit.
An ESP8266 or ESP32 is also suitable for setting up a web server – here you can create an entire dashboard for analyzing the most important data from your smart home on the go.
Monitoring your smart home with the ESP32-CAM
How about a view into your home from anywhere in the world? With the ESP32-CAM and Telegram this is no problem. For example, you can create an alarm system that sends you a photo to your smartphone when it is triggered by a burglar (or even your cat).
You can also create a video live stream with this microcontroller, so you can watch what is going on in front of the camera lens.
Please note that these projects do not violate any personal rights. You should also be aware of possible IT security gaps with all smart home projects.