Problem is… I don’t want to control any of these – Node-Red is doing a fine job of that right now. I’m using Blynk and node-red-contrib-UI for visuals along, of course with Nextion displays (more on the latter soon).
The Blynk is fine but it has some really dumb restrictions (one page per project – and as some of the widgets are very large that makes it useless for some applications) – also it remains to be seen how quickly we’ll get new widgets when they go commercial this month and I’m not really that happy about an on-going payment. Blynk could do well or flop due to lack of support when they ask for money – and how quickly new controls emerge – who knows.
The node-red-contrib-UI program development for now at least APPEARS to have stopped – hoping that will change. Both of these incidentally work very reliably in their latest incarnation but Blynk has an inexplicable “ON” or “OFF” message on buttons which just seems rather limiting to me – what if you want to use the buttons for “up” and “down”. I’m told this will be fixed… but no timescale for when. I’ve also been pressing for multiple pages per projects for some time – that also has still not arrived.
And so we have this lovely looking Imperihome App which reader Gregg brought to my attention. Now I have to say that I am able to write this now only because of some sterling weekend work by others who’s comments you should read. AT FIRST GLANCE this would appear to blow the pants off either of the previously mentioned UI systems.
A quick browse through the web showed NOTHING on the subject of Imperihome and Node-Red – but we’re fixing that right here – this APP is meant to work with commercial off the shelf units and I’m sure it will do that well – look at the comments on their site – mostly positive or even glowing – but I’m not interested in any of that – I have a working setup to control lots of devices via Node-Red and I’m happy with that - what I want is a pretty and well-functional display for my phone – and it might just be that this is it. Now that Node-Red is standard on one of the world’s most popular SBCs (the Raspberry Pi – just recently given a major upgrade to RPi3) – I see Node-Red really going places hence sticking with it as my main control hub.
So – Imperihome - multiple pages – SURE – now, not later. Decent RGB controls – YES – and they don’t take up half the screen. Loads of devices including heating systems, RGB lights etc, yes. Multiple screen layouts – yes – again – now not later.
And now – Node-RED. Adding new devices is a matter of adding a couple of lines to the code that Steven Daglish has provided in the comments below (note his example mentions a lightswitch – just not implemented so don’t panic when you can’t see the light.
Note the pictgures here – this is just a TINY glimpse at what you can do with this app - you really need to go look at the site – the App is £4 but there’s a free demo – I lasted 20 seconds before I had to go buy the full App – it is WELL worth it.
You can see a bunch of controls – or have widgets with options for each widget – you can have variable numbers of widgets on a page so you might have large widgets on a phone or loads of little ones on a tablet – this is just WAY more advanced than anything else out there.
Oh, oh!! And it has speech recognition “turn off boiler” works no problem – sadly you seem to have to press a button to start it off – “ok google” takes you to the normal search.
This just keeps getting better – I just added one of my EASY-N cameras in Spain – and it works.
Note this blog entry is a re-write of the original article from earlier this week in the light of new knowledge. Expect to see LOTS more about this in here soon as I get my head around this and thanks to the guys who’ve contributed – keep it coming - we’re onto a winner here I think. See the comments.