Hacked and Smart Christmas village

When Christmas Tree isn’t enough, why don’t add a Christmas Village with motorized and lighted buildings?

Moreover, it could be managed together with Christmas Tree and outdoor lights, so that everything switch on automatically when Sun goes down.

Hack and wiring

First of all I’ve hacked all the village buildings (bought on Aliexpress, around 10/20 euro each) to feed all of them by one 5V power supply and finally added a smart switch to turn it on wireless, using Home Automation or if you don’t have HA by official Ewelink app.

Village Building example
Bottom side with hacked power supply wiring and JST SM connector

To wire everything together I’ve used 18AWG cable and some male and female JST SM 2 pin connectors.

18AWG wire
JST SM connector

The wifi switch is a Sonoff Re5v1c relé, that can be managed by Ewlink app or by Home Assistant official add-on.

This module can be powered by 5V and the same voltage will be used to power all the village buildings by a simple home made cable with multiple connectors for each building.

Sonoff RE5V1C Wiring Diagram

Final result with a simple Electronics Box and 2 Power Connectors:

Sonoff setup

To enable your Sonoff relé you can follow the standard procedure for all ITead products:

  • Power the sonoff device with 5V
  • Long press (5 secs) Reset button on the back until it start to blink
  • Open eWelink app
  • Click plus icon on bottom side of the app
  • Click Quick pairing
  • Click Add new device
  • Wait some seconds until the device is discovered
  • Assign a name, for example “Christmas Village”

If the device is not founded be sure to have a 2.4 Ghz wifi enabled ( temporary disable 5.0 Ghz channel if you have it)

At this point you are already able to switch on and off the village from the eWelink app, if you want to integrate it also with Home Assistant server go to next chapter.

Home Assistant Add-on for Sonoff

There is an official add-on to integrate sonoff devices that support also LAN mode.

The steps are so easy amd very well described in the official site, so I’m not going to repeat anything here, just use following link: Sonoff Home Assistant add-on

As stated in the official guide, Sonoff devices will not be available inside an Automation, so you need to create a Scene with as Entity.

Than you can create an Automation that calls the Scene

And set a Trigger to switch everything on at sunset

Obviously your Scene can contains also a switch for your smart tree and another one for outdoor lights so that everything start together!