E-Paper displays have long been a darling of DIY enthusiasts for their ability to mimic paper-like readability, low power consumption, and sunlight-friendly properties. This ESPHome project brings an added charm to the mix – no soldering or 3D printing required.
Meet the Waveshare E-Paper display
The 4.2" Waveshare E-Paper display is the belle of the ball in this project. It's not just a pretty face; it comes with a ready-made protective case, eliminating the need for 3D-printing your own. You might be asking yourself what the differences between E-Paper and E Ink are. E-Paper is the generic term referring to displays that work by reflecting light, be it sunlight or artificial light, and thereby mimicking paper. E Ink is a brand of E-Paper display technology commercialized by the E Ink Corporation. All E Ink displays are E-Paper displays, but not all E-Paper displays are E Ink displays. Because Waveshare isn't a part of the E Ink Corporation, they use the generic term for their products.
Hardware shopping list
To whip up this E-Paper information display, you'll need three ingredients: the Waveshare E-Paper display, an ESP32 E-Paper Driver Board, and the protective case. The ribbon cable connecting the display to the board ensures your soldering iron can stay in hibernation. The ready-made case means your 3D printer gets a day off too.
The brains behind the display
The project's creator has graciously shared the ESPHome code on GitHub. You'll need to download the fonts and material design icons along with the code. The values displayed come from Home Assistant, so a few tweaks will make the code compatible with your setup. Just change the entity_id and sensor, and you're good to go.
Customization is the name of the game
This ESPHome code is an excellent starting point for designing your personalized E-Paper information display. The pre-built components make it one of the simplest ESPHome projects to date. But don't be fooled – easy doesn't mean unimpressive. This project is a testament to the beauty of simplicity and a celebration of E-Paper technology.