The Xiaomi Smart Home kit is a widely used DIY home automation system. Xiaomi designs high-quality home automation products at a very reasonable price. In the next tutorials, we will see how to integrate the connected Xiaomi devices on a home automation server (Home Assistant, Domoticz and Jeedom). Whatever your home automation server, it is necessary to configure the devices from the Mi Home application on iOS or Android.
Unpacking the Xiaomi Smart Home Kit
The Xiaomo Smart Home kit comes in a box. The kit contains a gateway which is essential to communicate the devices with the Mi Home application on smartphone or tablet. What is surprising in this kit is the size of the devices. The motion detector is a small cylinder 3cm in diameter and 32mm in height. All the devices in the kit are operated with 3V button cells, except for the controlled socket and the gateway. Xiaomi chose the Zigbee for data transmission.
The kit contains the following devices
- A WiFi / Zigbee gateway (about € 29 alone)
- A plug connected (about 11 € alone)
- A motion detector (about 10,50 € alone)
- A temperature and humidity sensor (about 10,20 € alone)
- A door or window opening detector (about 12,50 € alone)
- One button connected (about 10,50 € alone)
Connecting and configuring the Gateway
The first step is to configure the Gateway. This kit is intended for the Chinese market, so you will need an adapter compatible with your electrical outlets. Plug the gateway into a power outlet. It must be able to connect to the WiFi network (and the Internet).
Go to the Google Play or the App Store and install the MiHome app on your smartphone. Xiaomi has not yet translated the descriptions of its applications on blinds. Do not worry, the application will automatically switch to English at the first launch.
It is necessary to have a Xiaomi account in order to use the application. A valid email account, username and password are required. If you have a gmail account, you will need to allow Xiaomi to connect to it. No personal information is requested (at the time of writing).
Choose Add Device
Then select the Gateway in the list
Check that the light ring is flashing yellow. Check Yellow, light blinking then press Next
In the first configuration (or after a Reset of the settings), it is likely that you will be forced to connect in Compatibility Mode.
To do this, go to the network settings and choose this network from the list. The network name starts with lumi-gateway-XXXX.
Return to the application. Enter the password for your WiFi network.
The Gateway connects to the local network.
You will probably get an error message. Here are some solutions depending on the color and the flashing mode of the LED:
- The ring is lit in blue (Blue light on)
- The gateway is connected to WiFi. Verify that your router is properly connected to the internet.
- The ring flashes blue (Blue light blinking)
- The gateway is not connected to the WiFi network. Make a reset of WiFi and Gateway
- The ring flashes yellow (Yellow light blinking)
- Unable to establish communication with the gateway. There are disturbances on the WiFi network. Try to move the gateway away from other devices.
- The ring blinks yellow 3 times and pauses for a second (Yellow light blinks 3 times and pauses once
- Disconnect the gateway for a few seconds and repeat the gateway addition by selecting the regular mode
Most of the time, you should get the 4th location (functional WiFi connection and smartphone near the gateway).
If for some reason you need to reset your Gateway, here are a few helpful tips:
- You can do a reset directly from the application. Only the network settings are initialized. Once re-configured, you will find all your devices.
- Use the Reset button on the gateway if you encounter configuration problems. If the problem persists, do not hesitate to unplug the gateway for about ten seconds.
Each device operates with a 3V coin cell. Xiaomi sought autonomy and compactness. There are therefore 3 different battery references. Here is a small table that explains how to replace the battery for each device. The battery compartment has been designed to be opened once the sensor has been attached (except for the temperature sensor). The opening is quite difficult for some sensors (connected button in particular). In use, it will probably be necessary to replace the self-adhesive stock.
|Device||Battery||How to open||Battery compartment|
Turn anti-clockwise the cap which is the base of the detector
|Door or window opening detector
Use a flat-bladed screwdriver to lever it into the slot at the end
|Temperature and humidity sensor||CR2032|
Declaring connected devices
Once the gateway is configured, adding devices is very simple. Like the Gateway, touch the plus (+) in the upper right corner of the screen. Choose your device from the list. The gateway waits for the device to be in association mode.
To put an object in association mode, there is either a button (temperature sensor) or a small switch accessible by means of a paper clip. Hold the button for 3 seconds. The blue LED blinks to indicate that the association mode is active. The gateway completes the addition of the object in a few seconds.
A screen is displayed that lets you assign a label to locate the device, assign an icon (if available), and create actions (automation). You can create small scenarios.
So, the installation is really very simple and fast. As you can see, there are still many Chinese on the interface.
Although this kit is for the Chinese market, many devices can be integrated into your home automation system. All devices are connected to your smartphone or tablet (even outside your home) thanks to the Xiaomi cloud. The advantage of this kit makes sense by integrating the devices into a home automation server. Indeed, the main software now offer support for Xiaomi devices (Jeedom, Domoticz, Home Assistant …). We’ll see how to integrate it into Home Assistant in the next tutorial.