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RGB LED Controller
I have been using IR based RGB controllers for about 4 years now with no real issues. That said having the controllers get out of sync with CQC is a pain and is something that could be completely avoided with a proper RGB LEB controller. I've seen recently the Fibaro Z-Wave controller talked about and thought Id bring this up. Any other suggestions?  

24 Channel DIY USB Connected LED Controller. You have to build it yourself.

Another option but much more expensive. However has been a product for a long time and recently revised. Finished product.

I'd like more reliable control of RGB LEDS.

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I looking into the use of the ESP8266 with MQTT protocol.

The ESP8266 is highly versatile with WiFi built in and lots of support from "hackers". The MQTT protocol while not supported in CQC would be trivial to implement (for those who can write drivers).

RGB is done a lot with the ESP8266 - plenty of examples on the net.

I like to stay away from USB devices. Unless they are emulating a serial port CQC can't really communicate with them, and there is a distance issue. Serial is easier and Ethernet is better again as you can go wireless. One of the reasons I like the ESP8266
Mykel Koblenz
Illawarra Smart Home
So this would support serial or wifi connections. With 8 LED channels per device or addressable WS2812 LED's

And they are relativity inexpensive. 

I'm sold.
Lots of simple USB devices just use the HID interface, which CQC supports, through CML as well. So any HID USB device should be fine.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
So this device would work?

It uses a PIC18F4550 that can act as a HID device. 

Has anyone done this with CQC? I haven't seen any examples that I know of. 
There is a USBHID CML class that provides the simple interfaces required. You can read up a bit on HID, it's basically just you write a block of 8 bytes or read a block of 8 bytes, if I remember correctly. The meaning of those bytes is defined by the device.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
As long as the device is within 5m of a CQC server you are fine then.

My preference is to not use USB at all, serial or WiFi

There was a thread not that long ago about a WiFi based RGB LED controller that was available from amazon. NOt sure if it got the the point of having a driver written but it was discussed
Mykel Koblenz
Illawarra Smart Home

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