WiFi enabling my porch light with a Sonoff Basic Smart Switch.

Having failed to read the warning regarding neutral wires, my attempt at using a Sonoff T1 Smart Switch to control my porch light went down in flames. My plan B was to try using a Sonoff Basic WiFi Smart Switch to perform the same job. My plan to put the relay between the ceiling rose and the bulb holder. It wouldn’t be pretty, but the aim was to test utility before spending £££ on proper smart switches etc.

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As you can see, my porch light is pretty standard.

First step, I turned off the power at the fuse box. Can’t stress this one enough. Don’t go near any mains electricity until you’ve isolated the power. Don’t just turn off the light switch!! I gathered all the parts and tools I’d need.

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I then disconnected the light bulb holder, removing the little red plastic thing and the curved lid.

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Using a short piece of flex, I connected the Smart Switch directly to the light bulb holder.

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Next, I connected the Smart Switch to the cable hanging from the ceiling!

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As it was hanging a bit low in the porch now, I created a loop and used two tie-wraps to hold it in place.

As it was all hooked up, I turned the power back on. Nothing started to smoke, so I knew I’d gotten that part done okay. The green light appeared on the relay and I started the pairing process. This involved holding down a black switch on the relay for a few seconds until the green light started flashing quickly.

I then launched the EWeLink app and hit the Add Device button. The process is straight forward. When you push the button down on the device, it creates its own WiFi network. You then connect to that WiFi network, enter details of your own WiFi network (SSID and password) and it then connects itself to your EWe account.

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Following the instructions, I found the Smart Switch’s WiFi point and connected.

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Once connected, the pairing process starts.

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After a few seconds, you’ll be able to control the device! I tapped on the power and, eh voila, the light came on.

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Job done!

3 thoughts on “WiFi enabling my porch light with a Sonoff Basic Smart Switch.

  1. Hi, I just want to do the exact same thing, but I will try to hide the sonoff module inside the light wall socket. Please tell me, what happens when you try to use the exesting mechanical switch? With the Philips Hue bulb for example, if the light is turned off, and you don’t want to mess with ALEXA, or for some reason, Alexa decided to not recognize your voice, you can just switch off and on again on the mechanical switch, and the light turns on. Is it possible to do that with the module?

    • With the configuration shown, when you use the existing mechanical switch it will turn the Sonoff off, making it unavailable in the app. It would be possible to use the wall switch to turn the lamp on or off, but you would have to flash the Sonoff with a different firmware (e.g. TASMOTa or ESPurna) and wire the GPIO pins on the Sonoff to the wall switch (you would probably also need to add a low pass filter to reduce the chances of interference). Doing this would mean that you would not longer be able to use the iTEAD app, but you could integrate it to something like Home Assistant or OpenHAB to use ALEXA or Google Assistant. It does involve multiple steps but there are plenty of forums and YouTube videos that can help.

      • You’re correct. It turns off the Sonoff, rendering the whole setup useless 🙂 It’s no different from smart light bulbs on the market at the moment and the main reason I’d rather do a £5 DIY job then buy one of those. I have considered *bypassing* the switch completely and now that I’m happy the Sonoff won’t burst into flames, it’s something I’m considering. I would just replace my current three gang with a two gang, leaving the porch light connected completely. The downside is that, without access to my phone, it’s not convenient to turn it on/off. I’m expecting of delivery of some switches from Den Automation in the next few weeks and if their tech proves reliable and useful, I’ll probably just replace the switches in my hallway, removing the Sonoff.

        That said, you could of course wire the Sonoff up in a particular way. The GPIO pins work off 5V, so if you wanted to use the physical wall switch, you’d need a voltage regulator on it to drop the voltage down. With the wiring in my house, it wouldn’t be worth the effort. since the only mains in my porch is controlled by the physical switch. I’ve taken a similar approach on a smart lamp I’ve made. Essentially, the physical switch and a relay are used, so my lamp is controlled from both phone and switch. My wife has been testing it for a few months and it’s proved very reliable. This was all done with 12v, so I didn’t have to worry about main voltage. I’m currently working on a main’s powered version. Expect a blog post in the next month or two.

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