One Raspberry Pi programmer, Will Q, has used the Pi to create a web app for controlling lights, using a wireless remote control and switch set to turn the lights on and off. The great thing about this project is that you can control anything that’s plugged into a power socket, not just lights.
The most complicated part is using the Raspberry Pi GPIOs to emulate pressing the buttons on the remote control: You’ll have to take apart your remote control unit and do some additional wiring and soldering. Will uses a ribbon cable as an interface between the unit and the Pi in his solution.
For software, Will installed a web server called Web2py and a Python GPIO module to run the outputs on the Raspberry Pi. The finished project enables you to turn your lights off using any web browser to send a signal to the Raspberry Pi, so you could use an iPhone or a PC to remotely control your house.
You can find detailed instructions about how Will achieved this project, including the home_lights program code, at
If this inspires you, look around on the web for more ideas: Home automation is a growing trend. Projects range from the simple to the incredible. For example, you could turn your house into a Halloween attraction with a spooky light and music display, triggered by a PIR (passive infrared) motion detector: