New Goodies from Itead (Sonoff) – Worth the Wait?

I always love getting new stuff in the post from the makers of Sonoff products – Shenzhen-based Itead. They’re a very enthusiastic lot and I’ve tried out every new product or upgrade of theirs since the release of the original Sonoff WiFi power block.

B05 Smart RGBWW Lamp

First off the block is the Sonoff B05 – which for some reason has the full title LBS B05-B-A60 – anyway this is an RGB E15 WiFi lamp.. pretty typical of RGB Smartlamps of today, complete with white colour temperature control.

Sonoff B05 RGB Lamp

Let’s go into a little detail, but before we do, I should make it clear, I did not think the colours were very bright – indeed the RGB colours were a little disappointing compared to, for example the Costco lamps I mentioned in here many months ago. On the box it does say 806lm and states output as 9w. Think about it – 9w total and that includes the WHITE – doesn’t leave a lot of power for each of the three colours.

SO, out of the box this lamp had an undulating output – all ready to pair up with the well-known EWELINK App. So on my Android phone, I simply pressed a button on the App and it asked me for the password for my 2.4Ghz WiFi. I put that in and seconds later – a working lamp. The App does of course allows the usual range of features for this kind of lamp, like timer, scheduler, scenes, white and colour control.

Scenes include “VIVID” and several others – all of which sounds exciting but would be a lot more so if, for example, the red was actually BRIGHT. It isn’t. STILL, this gripe also applies to many other smartlamps so perhaps I should not look like I’m singling out Sonoff here. For those interested, the lamp (via the App) works with Alexa and Google assistant.

Meanwhile for those readers who, like myself do not want to use yet another APP and who are quite happy with Node-Red and maybe Home Assistant (HA) – I just use Node-Red and NR Dashboard to control my stuff. Well, as you can imagine, with lamps and controllers from a range of manufacturers at my disposal, I’m really not that interested in EweLink and I’m not overly happy about having to rely on the cloud.

But in the process of creating this blog, I noted that Node-Red has a free NODE available called node-red-contrib-ewelink – so I thought I’d better go check it out. With the node set that is included is one called devices – that asks for EweLink credentials – there is another called device – that wants to know the ID of a particular device – I put in the ID of my new lamp. Both said “disconnected”. That’s a blow.

The node asked me for my username and pass and region, by default filling in “Northumberland”. I have no idea why. In fact, regions are EU, US etc, so that was my first silly. THEN I got the password incorrect. By the time I’d fixed all that, the node started returning valid data.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this still at this point needs to call home back to Itead – but at least now I don’t have to use that APP and can stay inside my “node-red” comfort zone. WELL, this could go on forever. For now, suffice it to say I just turned the light on and off in Node-Red, without as much as having my phone turned on. For the life of me however, I cannot figure out how to change colour, timers or scenes. Back to Itead for more information. https://ewelink-api.now.sh/docs/available-methods

I think it is possible I may have jumped in a little early here. No doubt that will change. As I find out more I’ll update the blog – but at this point it looks like the Sonoff API does not yet support the B05 bulb other than simple on-off.

Note: March 06, 2021

I have the L1 Light running as part of my everyday office lighting, on Node-Red – using Node-Red-Contrib-EweLink – twice now the lamp has failed to turn off with the rest of the lights (which have been perfect for months and remain so)….

And this brings me to the next product…

L1 Lite – 5M (EU fitting)

For many of you interested in using LED RGB strip – like me, you’ll probably just go out and buy some basic RGB or RGBW strip – depending on requirements – 5v ws2812 or similar if individual LED control is needed or something like 5450 12v strip if overall colour is all you care about (the latter is of course also much cheaper). Last week I blogged about just that – using an H801 controller kitted out with Tasmota to run several metres of RGB+W LED strip with a 12v supply.

L1 Lite

Here we have a product for those who don’t want to get involved in purchasing LED strip, power supplies, doing wiring and inserting custom software. The L1 Lite is a boxed product which comes complete with 5M of RGB strip, a plug-in-the-wall supply, a controller and a handy infra-red remote control – no knowledge, no soldering (there are plugs on everything except of course the IR remote control which runs on a single battery), just piece together and that’s it. You MUST have seen the kind of IR remote they use, in the past – they’ve done a neat job here. Also of course you have the option to control the lot via the EWELINK APP.

Sonoff L1 Lite Smart LED Lighting

Given my inability to control the B05 lamp via Node-Red due to what seems to be an as-yet incomplete Ewelink API, techies should look away right now. For everyone else – see the photos.

L1 Lite

The photos above and below pretty much say it all – 5M of LED strip, mains power supply, IR Remote + controller, all in one box, ready to go complete with voice control and more if you use the EWELINK App on your mobile phone. In case it isn’t obvious, that IR remote allows fading, flashing and steady colour control.

L1 Lite LED strip complete with power, controller and branded IR remote

Here are some links – firstly to the little ZBMini – which I have in front of me but have yet to test.. then to the B05 Smart Lamp then finally the Li Lite (the latter ad is slightly out of date and says the product is pre-order -“shipping December 19”).

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

10 thoughts on “New Goodies from Itead (Sonoff) – Worth the Wait?

  1. Thanks for the review. Any chance you’d be popping the globe off one of the lights to see what’s inside and where we might connect to Tasmotize the LBS?

    1. Hi Doug. I’m kind of hoping the fellow who came up with node-red-contrib-ewelink will take it a stage further.. but that’s as much down to the API as his node. I’ve asked Itead what the plan is for the API, they’re well aware of my aversion to using their cloud (or anyone elses for that matter) – so I’ll give it a couple of weeks to see what happens. If nothing transpires then you can be sure I’ll rip it open to see if it can be Tasmotized. The REAL bummer here is the apparent demise of Tuya-Convert – if only someone could come up with a general purpose mechanism for converting the TUYA and EweLink based products to run locally under Tasmota. Still – not exactly mass-market, are we….

      1. Hello guys,
        I was hoping for B02 be able to be hacked, since sonoffs usually better built than other cheap bulbs, but seems nope – sonoff did not think about us, diy guys. Blakadder already peeped inside B02 https://blakadder.com/sonoff-bulbs/. Could be that B05 is different though…

        1. Well Reggie, the B05 does not pull apart easily and it is only the more extreme user who wants to rip lamps apart as there is so high a chance of causing damage – but as tha Node-REd node is not working 100% for whatever reason – I may yet rip the B05 apart to see if it can be flashed.

  2. Like you, I’ve always liked Sonoff devices but I think you and your readers should be aware of one that I don’t like.
    I bought a Sonoff Pow R2 to switch an immersion heater (3kW).
    When the thing arrived I was slightly concerned by the crappy spring connectors for the power cables, however I plumbed it in & it worked great! Until it didn’t 🙁
    After 2 years of reliable service it died. When I checked, one corner of the case was completely melted. Thankfully it went open circuit and didn’t burn my house down…
    Avoid this one.

    1. I know this device is rated at 15A but personally I wouldn’t consider using it much above 2KW even for a non-inductive load. I would have a contactor doing the switching controlled by a Sonoff basic – probably even work out cheaper. You could calculate power usage by recording on/off times of the Basic.

        1. That is exactly my point – the 15A rating is for the relays but not the POW device as a whole. By using a contactor (which will have appropriate power connectors) you will then only have a minimal current passing through the Sonoff to switch the contactor relays that carry the power to the immersion.

          1. I’ve always felt wary about anything above 2KW on pretty much all devices similar to Sonoff. For a 3KW heater I ended up going down the Sonoff BASIC + contactor route.Now why does this conversation remind me of LED lighting manufacturer claims of longevity – almost all based on the LED-manufacturer’s stated lifetime of LEDS themselves- and which never pans out for the end product. Sorry, off on a tangent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave the field below empty!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.