I'm pretty sure the answer is "no", but perhaps one day there will be and someone can post a new answer :)

Specifically I'm after:

  • Does not require internet access
  • Does not require a proprietary hub
  • Controllable via Raspberry Pi, if necessary via USB dongle
  • Capable of illuminating a room well enough to walk around and find things
  • Does not have a microphone (in a better world this would be obvious, but...)
  • Ideally, capable of dimming as well as just switching on and off
  • Ideally uses existing network such as bt, wifi, or homeplug

I did some googling, and this is a nice summary of what's available:


Unsurprisingly though, all of these are designed to lock you in to a specific vendor. Some of them could be reverse engineered, but I really shouldn't have to do that.

There's also "Energenie" remote-controlled plugs:


A great idea, but not a very elegant solution for this case, and anyway they don't ship internationally.

  • I'm no expert on the topic, but I have been following numerous discussions on re-purposing Sonos IoT-connected products. If I've followed correctly, they're based on the ESP8266 Arduino-compatible using wifi, and can be made to work with an MQTT broker rather easily. Look into some of the YouTube videos (Andreas Spiess for one) on the topic for ideas.
    – bobstro
    Sep 17, 2017 at 19:42

3 Answers 3


Dresden Elektronik - a German company makes a zigbee shield for raspberry called RaspBee, they also make RGBW led strip controller called FLS-PP they claim is fully compatible with the RaspBee.

There is the OpenHAB project that might interest you, as far as i know it will run on raspberry Pi II and does pretty much exactly what you looking for.

People on OpenHAB have reported good success rate with the GE Link A19 bulbs and even RGBA Philips HUE bulbs.

  • Ah yes, OpenHAB looks like the kind of thing I'm after. I'll check it out, thanks! Feb 18, 2017 at 5:03
  • Bought a RaspBee2 and use Node-RED. Works like a charm with Philips, Aqera, IKEA, ... And no need to each brand HUB
    – Camille
    Jan 27, 2021 at 16:02

The solution I've gone for is LIFX. The bulbs are widely available and well-known. But unlike other major options like Philips and Xiaomi, they really do seem to be well-designed for use without an internet connection. You can register the bulbs with the cloud, but that's entirely optional, and the bulb does not appear to make any attempt to communicate with the internet otherwise (verified with tcpdump). There's also great documentation and a lightweight python SDK.

The only niggle is: you actually do seem to need an internet connection to connect the bulb to the wifi in the first place. As far as I can tell that's a bug in the firmware and might well get fixed. I verified with tcpdump that no actual messages are sent over the internet, so it doesn't seem to be a deliberate limitation or an attempt to gather user data.


I was also looking for a simple way to control smart lights without an internet connection, and the best solution I found is Bee-Wi, which only requires a Bluetooth connection. There is a library/example written in Python available for controlling the smart lights, including hue and brightness. Here is another example.

The Bee-Wi official site is in french and doesn't seem to have a store, but I did find an online store "Amberonline" that sells their light bulbs.

Edit: I've since found the https://github.com/skorokithakis/python-yeelight library for Xiaomi Wi-Fi YeeLights. It requires the app for setup, but once set up with the developer mode enabled, the bulbs do not even require access to the internet.

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