CE Smarthome binding?

I have dimmers from Charging Essentials , (cesmarthome.com). I would like to integrate them into openHAB, but I don’t see a binding. They work with Alexa, but I’d rather link them directly to openHAB.
They are sold through Costco, so I imagine they are reasonably popular/common.
Does anyone know if these devices can be used with an existing binding? If not, what is the process to get/make a binding?

Wi-Fi devices like that are designed to lock you into their cloud app & service. They likely have not released a public API to permit control from openHAB.

Unless you can flash with Tasmota for local control I doubt openHAB can control them.

I’m also inquiring with the manufacturer, maybe their API is just not advertised. There is an Alexa skill, but it is probably cloud based, as you say.
I was kind of hoping they just emulated some other interface similar to Wemo/Fauxmo.
I will look into Tasmota. These units do seem to incorporate an ESP8266 based on the device ID they use in AP mode. It may not be worth the effort.

Could try packet sniffing with wire shark. Might be able to use http or exec binding to control them

Do they use the Smart Life app? Because if so, there are other methods to connect them via MQTT.

It used to be that anything using Smart Life was a Tuya device with an ESP8266 chip, but apparently that’s changed and newer Tuya devices may not be flashable with Tasmota.

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I checked out Tasmota and, lo and behold, the devices I have are listed as supported! I’ll also see what happens with the manufacturer. If I can retain factory compatibilty, then that simplifies things for selling my home.
I presume that re-flashing with Tasmota is a one-way trip, so I’ll proceed with caution.

Thanks again for the tip!

These units use the “CE Smart” app. That said, they still might be private labelled. I think I have a way forward. Thanks for the insight.

That’s a reasonable assumption, but incorrect. I’m not sure about other methods, but Tuya-convert can make a copy of the existing firmware so that you can return it to original if you ever need to. Just don’t lose the firmware backup.

If you’re really concerned about selling your home, then buying the cheapest-possible WiFi lightswitches probably wasn’t the way to go. :wink: I would have instead opted for TP-Link Kasas or Z-Wave dimmers.

Realistically, you’re talking about a pretty minor cost relative to a house. It could be a pain in the ass to reflash the dimmers while they’re all installed in walls, because you have to get them reasonably close to the RPi you’re using to flash them to establish a direct WiFi connection. If it’s a major concern, you’re better off just replacing them with dumb switches…or leaving them as is and letting the new owner figure out what they want to do.

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I hadn’t gotten that deep into Tasmota, having only just heard about it. The possibility of backup and restore is good news.

I only have a couple CE Dimmers that I bought to compare with the Kasas I have elsewhere. Notwithstanding the lack of a public API, they work well, and I haven’t seen a Kasa 3-way dimmer. Sadly, “works with openHAB” , or “has a public API” are not features listed on the box, nor are they prominent on vendor websites.

As for selling my home - few of us will own our present home until it is knocked-down, so as much as practicable, we want to keep it easy for the new owners to adopt the devices with minimal effort. It’s not like they can call the local openHAB dealer for support after you’ve moved away.

I think openHAB can access my CE dimmers via Alexa, so “leave them as they are” is a valid approach.

I’m not sure which way I’ll go. The tech in me really wants to explore Tasmota.

Thanks Russ, and Bruce. You’ve been more helpful than I expected from my initial post.

I am not sure where you are, but for North America we do have this Z-Wave vendor with an openHAB section. Zooz support is amazing.

I’m not concerned about this at all. When I sell, I can take out my 10-12 Kasa and Z-Wave switches so that the new owner can do what they want and not feel constrained by my past choices. Or I can leave them in and the new owner can still do what they want, which might mean installing their preferred technology (maybe they prefer ZigBee) or renovating the entire place from top to bottom.

This isn’t to say that you should do whatever you want without a care for the future, but that you shouldn’t put constraints on yourself based on assumptions of what the future owners will want to do. Besides, it’s relatively easy to replace lightswitches when the time comes. Knocking down a wall or putting in wall-to-wall shag carpet would be a bigger deal. :wink:

This is a good point. When a prospective buyer tours your house, they might be very impressed by all of the openHAB goodness you’ve built into it and see that as a selling feature. So you’ll either need to leave behind your OH system (and they’ll have to learn it themselves) or stipulate that the home automation isn’t part of the deal to avoid having a very annoyed buyer.

This isn’t an openHAB-specific problem, as it’d be the same with any other automation system. I’m hopeful that the Connected Home over IP project will make a difference. Until then, it’s going to be a crapshoot whether you’re buying or selling, and any good real-estate agent would tell you to be more concerned about the roof than the lightswitches.

I’d forgotten about this option, as I don’t use the Echo Control Binding. There’s also this method: