Own the Globe Electric RGBW smart bulb
The Globe Electric A19 E26 WiFi smart bulb (color & tunable white) can be bought from places such as Home Depot and Canadian Tire. However, to use the bulb, you need to employ the Globe app and register with their cloud service; the manufacturer doesn't provide a way to access the light controller via an open protocol. Not only that, but you have to use invasive technology such as Google Assistant and Alexa to do any home automation with the bulb.
Naturally, this situation just begs the question: Is there a better way? The answer is YES! Even more, it's not actually that hard if you are technically inclined. In the following, I describe a way how you can totally own this smart bulb.
Flashing the firmware
The Globe Electric smart bulb is built on top of the standard Tuya IoT platform, however, the product is locked down with restrictive firmware. First, you need to flash the stock firmware with something open.
Using the excellent tuya-convert project, this is not hard at all. I followed the instructions for the Docker-based procedure and managed to flash the Tasmota firmware without a hitch. To reset the smart bulb and prepare it for firmware flashing, first power it on for 10 sec., then power it on-off 3 to 5 times until the light starts flashing rapidly.
IMPORTANT: If you attempt pairing the smart bulb with the Globe app before flashing the stock firmware, you run the risk that tuya-convert will fail. Successful pairing with the app automatically upgrades the firmware of the bulb and there are reports that the latest Globe firmware will prevent the subsequent flashing via tuya-convert.
The Tasmota firmware that got installed on the smart bulb is quite straight-forward. Type the IP of the bulb in the browser and use the web interface to configure the device. The Tasmota template for this particular Globe bulb is as listed here:
After the template is applied, the web interface of the bulb will have an on/off toggle and a bunch of sliders for the color, intensity, white temperature, etc.
Tasmota provides a bunch of open connectivity options, including MQTT and REST, via which you can integrate the bulb into a custom home automation setup. Refer to the Tasmota documentation for the details.
For example, I wrote this fun little Python script to flash the light on and off 10 times, changing the color randomly.
import random import requests import time ip = "" # fill in the IP address of the bulb for i in range(0, 10): requests.get("http://" + ip + "/cm?cmnd=Power Off") requests.get("http://" + ip + "/cm?cmnd=Color " + str(random.randint(1, 11))) time.sleep(.25)