Oh boy, have we got some exciting news for you! ESPHome, the super user-friendly system that lets you command and control your ESP8266 and ESP32 microcontrollers, has finally rolled out its first major upgrade in almost a year. This latest update is brimming with an array of fresh sensors, a stylishly revamped dashboard, and a slew of other enhancements that are sure to make your tech-loving heart skip a beat. In this article, we'll be plunging head first into the most significant changes. I promise, you're in for a treat!
Never criticize those that giveth for free
Now, before you start grumbling about the scarcity of updates, remember: ESPHome is a labour of love, an open-source endeavour run by a dedicated tech enthusiast who's pouring their spare time into this project. So, let's ditch the complaints and instead, let's do a happy dance every time an update does come our way. Feel like showing your support for ESPHome's development? Well, you're in luck! Just follow this link to help keep the gears of this remarkable project turning. Trust me, the folks behind this truly deserve it!
ESPHome dashboard gets a makeover
On to the first thing you will notice when firing up this wonderful piece of software: the ESPHome dashboard is sporting a fresh new look! It's not a full-blown makeover, but more of a subtle nip and tuck. The good news is, if you've been using older versions, you should still feel like you're on familiar turf. The node cards on the dashboard have gone on a diet, slimmed down to be more streamlined. Plus, there's a nifty new symbol that pops up when an update is available. It's like the dashboard's own little way of waving a flag and saying, “Hey, fresh stuff over here!”
The cards also come with a colour-coded status indicator at the top. It's like a traffic light system for your nodes. If the node is online, you'll see a green bar (all systems go!). If it's offline, there's a red bar (stop, something's up!). A yellow bar means the node's playing hard to get and not responding, while a grey bar means the status is a mystery. Coupled with the new update symbol, you'll have a bird's-eye view of all your nodes, making it easier to keep tabs on them.
New sensors in ESPHome 1.15.0
To those of us who enjoy tinkering with ESPHome, the flexibility it offers by supporting a wide array of sensors is what makes it a real treat. With a fresh batch of sensors added to the mix, we now have an even broader palette to choose from when we're in the mood to craft custom sensors. This is fantastic news because not all sensors are created equal. Some outshine others in performance, and the price tags can swing wildly from one to the next.
This ESPHome update is about to crank your creativity up a notch. Here are the new kids on the sensor block:
- The AHT10 Temperature and Humidity Sensor is a fully calibrated sensor. This high-reliability sensor is equipped with a newly designed ASIC-specific chip, which significantly enhances its reliability beyond the level of previous generation sensors.
- Due to its very low power consumption, the TMP117 Temperature Sensor minimizes the impact of self-heating on measurement accuracy.
- A magnetometer is a device that measures magnetic field or magnetic dipole moment. ESPHome now supports such a device in the QMC5883L Magnetometer.
- The newly supported INA226 is a current shunt and power monitor with an I2C or SMBUS-compatible interface. This device allows for precise current measurement, voltage measurement, and power consumption of the system. It is designed to measure high-side load current, while also performing real-time power calculations
- The Grove – Laser PM2.5 Sensor (HM3301) is an innovative dust detection sensor that uses fan blades to drive air through the detection chamber for continuous and real-time dust testing. It is ideal for use in dust detectors, intelligent air purifiers, air quality testing, and related environmental monitoring products and applications.
- The MAX31865 is an easy-to-use resistance-to-digital converter optimized for platinum resistance temperature detectors (RTDs). This device is commonly used in high temperature sensing applications, including industrial, scientific, and environmental systems.
- The SPS30 Particulate Matter Sensor is a cutting-edge technological device used to measure the concentration of particulate matter (PM) in ambient air. It offers high-precision measurement for different particle sizes, ranging from PM1.0 to PM10. The SPS30 employs laser scattering principles to achieve superior sensitivity and reliable measurements, making it suitable for a wide range of air quality monitoring applications.
New options for BLE tracking
The newer ESP32 has always had a leg up over the ESP8266, thanks to its Bluetooth prowess. But hold on to your hats, folks, because with the new ESPHome 1.15.0 update, this nifty gadget just got a whole lot cooler. In tech talk, the ESP32 can now interact with RuuviTags. For the layperson, let's just say it's like having a super-smart, Bluetooth-enabled weather station in your pocket. These tags can dish out real-time data on temperature, humidity, acceleration, and even report their own battery voltage.
But wait, there's more. The ESPHome isn't just stopping at weather metrics. The update has also enabled the ESP32 to keep tabs on several new Xiaomi Mijia BLE Sensors. Take a stroll through the Xiaomi garden with devices like the MiFlora, VegTrug Grow Care Garden, and the intriguingly named HHCCPOT002 FlowerPot - a Bluetooth-enabled flowerpot because why not? There's also the Mosquito Repellent Smart Version, along with various temperature and humidity sensors. So, whether you're a green thumb or a gadget guru, the ESP32 is ready to gather all the data you need.
Another new kid on the block: MAX7219 Digit Display
A component I’ve long been waiting for is the MAX7219 Digit Display. These versatile, modular displays have the potential to turn your DIY project into a homemade version of the LaMetric Time. My prediction? A ton of fun is about to be had by the maker community with this new component.
The display component repertoire also welcomes the TM1637 7-Segment Display, the SSD1351 OLED Display, the ST7789V TFT LCD, and even the PCD 8544 Display from our beloved Nokia 5110/3310.
Tuya support baked right into ESPHome
The name Tuya might not ring a bell in Europe (especially here in Switzerland), but across the globe, it's a different story. In the realm of home automation, Tuya is a big deal. The newest update now offers support for Tuya fans, binary sensors, dimmers, sensors, switches, and climate.
Covid-19 exposure notifications
With a little help from the BLE capabilities of the ESP32, the Exposure Notification Listener lets you detect nearby COVID-19 exposure notification Bluetooth messages. These are sent out by smartphones using the Google/Apple Exposure Notification service. This tool could be a game-changer, especially if you're someone who doesn't keep their phone glued to their hip when at home.
In the tech world, there are always those updates that don't quite fit neatly into one category. This time around, that includes support for Slow PWM Output, ESP32 DAC, and the AC Dimmer Component.
The final word
You might find it hard to swallow, but there's even more to this ESPHome update than meets the eye. The talented developers behind the scenes have sprinkled in a bunch of other refinements and updates. If you're itching to see the full list of what's new, don't miss the complete changelog on the official website. Now, let the automation adventures begin. Happy tinkering!