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Govee Lyra: a constellation of lights in a surprising gentle bar (plus an Alexa hack)

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Picture: Govee
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Picture: Govee

I’ve a level in laptop science. I really taught graduate degree electrical engineering programs. So after I inform you that putting in sensible switches right into a 4-way electrical circuit is complicated, consider me.

We now have an extended corridor that goes from the entrance to the again of the home. I have been desirous to automate the lighting on this hallway as a result of it is essential to have the ability to see at night time, however the vivid gentle of the ceiling tends to be an excessive amount of late at night time.

Lighting in that corridor is managed by three switches, and there are two lighting fixtures. That implies that any a kind of switches can activate and off the lights. These ceiling lights cannot be managed by Alexa, so in the event that they get left on, somebody has to get off the bed to go flip them off.

When you might have three switches and a light-weight, that is referred to as a 4-way circuit. However many sensible units do not wish to be put in in both 3-way or 4-way circuits. They’re designed for rooms with one change and one ceiling gentle. Prior to now, I’ve transformed 3-way circuits to 2-way circuits, nevertheless it’s a furry mission for somebody who is not a licensed electrician. 

I do know, it is only a few wires. However belief me, when you begin digging into 120 volt, 15 amp circuits, it might curl your hair. Simply take a look at any latest image of me to know the way true that’s.

So when Govee despatched me their Lyra gentle bar, I knew precisely how I used to be going to place it to make use of. I used to be going to position it right into a nook of my corridor, hook it as much as Alexa and a movement sensor, and set up a pleasant little lighting automation. And I did, and it really works.

View Now at Govee

Let me inform you in regards to the Lyra, as a result of that is one severely cool system.

The Lyra makes use of what Govee calls RGBIC. Primarily, it permits a number of colours to point out on one gentle strip. The outline is an understatement. It’s important to see it to consider it.

The Govee app affords a bunch of lighting modes. Along with the standard colours, the Govee app can arrange the sunshine to animate. One animation simulates fireworks, with a block of sunshine taking pictures up the sunshine strip and exploding in colour. An undersea mode simply reveals very clean migrations from blues to greens. There are a bunch of different variations, and you’ll create your personal.

It can also reply to music, so if you happen to arrange the proper mode, it might pulse together with no matter tunes you are enjoying. Principally, it is an accent gentle that may brighten up a nook of the room.

Meeting was simple. The corporate gives a two minute tutorial that walks you thru the meeting course of, and it is price watching only for the suggestion on methods to get the versatile plastic to suit into the framework with out bunching up.

The one gotcha is you should management the Lyra with a 2.4GHz wi-fi connection.  I’ve discovered that a whole lot of sensible house units need 2.4GHz as an alternative of the quicker 5GHz Wi-Fi. I run each on my router, so it wasn’t a lot of a problem.

All that brings us again to my hallway. My spouse and I are nonetheless debating about what theme we each agree on. However for now, we have now it arrange on Sundown Glow.

Pairing with Alexa

I paired the Govee with Alexa utilizing the Govee ability. As with many such abilities, you should hyperlink an account and then you definitely’re good to go. As quickly as I paired the sunshine, I used to be in a position to say, “Alexa, activate Lyra” and “Alexa, flip off Lyra,” and it did.

Subsequent, I created two Alexa routines, Lyra PM and Lyra AM. At sundown, the Lyra PM routine activates the Lyra. At dawn, the Lyra AM routine turns it off.

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However we will see the corridor from our household room and there could also be instances we do not need the Lyra to be on. I wished to permit for the Lyra to be off, however then have it activate as we walked into the corridor. In any case, my aim was to get automated gentle into that hallway.

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The movement sensor mounts properly (however appears to be like a bit like an all-seeing eye). Nonetheless, it really works.

So subsequent, I paired Alexa to a Hue Movement Sensor. There are a whole lot of Alexa-compatible movement sensors on the market, however since I’ve a ton of Hue bulbs, I already had a Hue bridge.

However the actual cause I selected the Hue movement sensor is as a result of it is powered by two AAA batteries. These will final a very long time, particularly in comparison with the standard coin battery. I am fairly positive I am going to get a minimum of a yr out of this factor earlier than I’ve to switch the batteries.

I created another routine, “Hallway Movement.” It triggers when the movement sensor detects movement. I’ve it set to solely set off between 6am and 6pm.

Sadly, whilst you can schedule a routine to run at dawn and sundown, you’ll be able to’t restrict a set off to run between dawn and sundown. You possibly can solely specify a precise time. In the course of the summer time, it would not get darkish for a number of hours after 6pm, however I set it for 6pm so it’s going to typically work yr spherical.

And that is all there’s to it. The Lyra has a magnetized attachment for holding its distant management, and I affixed the magnetized movement sensor to that.

We not solely have a sensible hallway, nevertheless it’s one with a plethora of slick results we will change out primarily based on what temper we’re in.

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This slowly morphs from blue to inexperienced and again. It is very fairly and stress-free.

What about you? What sort of sensible units do you might have in your house? Tell us within the feedback under.

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