Shelly Home Automation products

I’ve experimented with a number of smart light bulbs/plugs over the years and have finally found something I really like in the Shelly products.

Some things I like:

  • open API:
  • support standard protocols like HTTP and MQTT
  • WiFi: it’s not new and snazzy like BLE Mesh, but its simple and makes a lot of sense for home automation where you don’t have 1000’s of nodes
  • built in web UI: you don’t need any extra sw to control/use these – just a browser
  • Shelly phone app and cloud work together so that you can create scenes and control devices remotely – phone app is decent, but not great
  • relatively easy to configure wifi network. The devices start in AP mode, so you simply connect to the AP, open the device WebUI and set the WiFi network. You can also provision devices using the phone app, but this has not been as reliable as the embedded UI.
  • have a nice range of devices: bulbs, buttons, relays, etc. and even an embedded module.
  • supported by popular home automation projects like Home Assistant
  • soon to be supported by Simple IoT

Examples of use here:

  • relays to control lights above our seed starting flats – turn on in morning and off at night
  • installed two of the DUO bulbs in our bedroom that we set to yellow light in evening, and blue light in the morning and are using them for an alarm clock. They turn on dim at first and then full brightness. I like the waking up experience much better than the traditional alarm clock.
  • lights above my office desk that I use for video conferencing/recording. I can adjust the light to be more yellow, which looks better on camera.

What are the differences between the 1 and 1PM Shelly relay products?

The main differences are:

  • the PM can measure power usage
  • the PM relay is NOT isolated from the line voltage.

On the surface, these devices seem very similar, and you may ask – why not just buy a PM product for all my use cases. The reason is that sometimes you want to use a relay to control a low voltage load (for example my garage door opener), and in this case it is best to get the non-PM version with an isolated relay.

It is also a little confusing why there are L and L1 terminals on the PM products – these terminal are simply connected internally and are provided for convenience and may reduce the need for splicing wires.

The following drawing is helpful in understanding on the PM is wired:


Make IoT Simple Podcast

The following podcasts are a quick listen and give you some insight into the Shelly philosophy:

The main thing I get out of these episodes is that Shelly products are very open. They encourage using their products with another hub, cloud, or even flashing 3rd party firmware into them – they provide a convenient header for this. They have built in support for a number of protocols (CoAP, REST, MQTT, mDNS) and are a shining example of how IoT products should be built – simple, open, interoperable, and continuously improving.