Actuators bindings


I cannot seem to figure out on how to bind your actual lights or screens to the open hab server.

So I plan to buy a sensor, e.g. a nico switch, when pushed sends a sunscreen down. so you install the switch in your wall socket, you run the two wires into the rasbery pi GPIO pins, the openHab server binds this signal to the sunscreen and sends a signal to the GPIO pin telling the screen to go up (or down). but then what. the screen electromotor runs 220V and quite some amps, do I just put the signal into a relay?

But then what about light dimmers? you pus the switch and keep pushing it, the light dims.

I am lost in this actuator binding, possible pdf or tuts out there?


Everything you described is possible but it is going to require a lot of work and trial and error and coding on your part to make it work. OH primarily works with devices with an established api and connectivity that handles most of the things you are asking about for you. We can help with how to connect certain protocols up to OH and how to automate them but we are not a diy electronics forum. We cant tell you what relays or stepper motors to buy or how to power them and wire them together. With your custom wired diy electronics approach you will need to do the following yourself:

  • figure out how to wire everything up safely to handle the power necessary
  • figure out how to send the right signals to cause the actuator to work the way you want
  • figure out the specific devices you need to do what you want

There are other forums such as who have more people who can help with this sort of thing. But i will caution you that just copying and pasting from examples without taking the time to understand them will lead to frustration and failure.

I am truly lost here and just looking for a light in the darkness.

Isn’t it the intention of openHAB to automate home and to bind all the sensors into one central server from where the home can be automated?
So if you push a switch, how do you actually turn on the light? (if you are wired)

"OH primarily works with devices with an established api and connectivity that handles most of the things you are asking about for you."
Which devices have this established API and connectivity. Basically that is my main question, I guess. Cause then I just use them

thanks big time for your time and responses! I am really grateful to receive your energy :slight_smile:

Take a look at the wiki, on the right hand side, almost down to the bottom you will find a section “Bindings”. All those devices/systems work with openhab.
You even can extend that list with devices which can be connected via rest api, exec binding or mqtt … and many more.
Unfortunately, I have never heard about devices named “nico”, could it be you mean devices using the nikobus?
For that, openhab also has a binding available


Again big thank you for responding, appreciated!

Apologies, I was indeed talking about Nikobus, but also KNX. I saw and know all the bindings and have a general idea of what it all does. I am just lost in the actual physical implementation.

My situation, simplified, I have a wall socket with EIB cable (4 wires). I want to by this nikobus switch to lower the screen and one to turn on the light. I go by the switch and install it into the wall socket. I have a cable going down to the basement and then it becomes very obscure? How do I get this signal into a rasberyPI? And how do I get this PI to lower the screens or turn on the light? For Nikobus, you have screen module actuators for that. Do I also need to by one of those and controll it from the PI? or do I really only control relay switches from the PI, as rlkoshak suggested?

How does OpenHab tackle this.

Also, Nikobus runs 12V, KNX Devices do 24V, how do you merge those? Don’t count me on the actual figures, but there are differences in the voltage these devices use.

Pfff, I have done so much research already, I just can’t seem to make sense out of it all :frowning:


On the binding site there is a “tested hardware” section, so it looks you should get the PC-link module (05-200)


if you would pin-point the easiest wall switch (sensor) - OpenHAB - actuator combination, which one would you advise for a beginner?

I know it is a very general question, but any guide will do.


I would be honoured to see what combination you are using

  • sensors
  • hardware to run openHAB
  • actuators

Server: An old but powerful laptop I’ve turned into a server running Ubuntu 15 with an Aeon Labs DSA02203-ZWUS z-wave dongle.


  • a bunch of wired Reed switches on the doors wired up to the GPIO pins of a couple of Raspberry Pis’. I wrote a Python script that reads the status of these switches and sends changes to OH using MQTT messages
  • three Zcombo fire/CO detectors which have just recently been supported in OH which I haven’t tried to reconfigure yet
  • three Bluetooth dongles installed on the two Raspberry Pis and the main server with a custom script to detect when a Bluetooth with a given address is nearby and reports its presence to OH using MQTT
  • Network health which detects the presence or not of devices with a given IP address on the local network


  • Two GE zwave outlets to control a couple of lamps
  • One Linear WS15Z-1 Z-Wave Wall Switch for the porch lamp
  • Two GE Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control and Appliance Module I use to remotely reset the Raspberry Pis when they go offline
  • A dual relay wired to the GPIO pins of the Raspberry Pi in the garage. The relays are wired to the garage door buttons and the Raspberry Pi is running WebIOPi which OH calls through HTTP to trigger the garage door openers
  • Nest integrated with OH for enhanced HVAC control

One of the challenges with helping to answer your questions is that there are hundreds of supported technologies with thousands of devices. The choice of which technology to choose and which device to choose depends on a ton of information about your particular needs and situation that we just don’t know. We can’t just say “you should use X.”

Z-wave sensors (window switch, universal binary, wall plug, motion/temperature sensors, …) and Tinkerforge hardware (relays, digital input/output, 433 Mhz transmitter, …), openhab on Raspberry Pi 2 with Raspbian Jessie.

That’s definitely true, there are so much devices and choices to achieve your goals …


You are absolutely right, there is not ‘one solution’. But it helps to see solutions that work from people using OpenHab. That is why I have started a new topic: tell us your setup

Eventually, I would love to see a ‘solution’ that actuates dimmers and blinds (electromotors), cause that is what I am after.

Thank you for sharing your specs :slight_smile:


Same for you, thanks for sharing