[TUTORIAL] How to use an Ulanzi Pixelclock with Awtrix Light for notification

You want a smart and cheap good locking pixel clock with a fancy firmware and do not want to buy a very expansive Lame… pixel clock?

Here we go…

=> for german speaking people => (TUTORIAL: Alternative zu Lametric & Co. mit Ulanzi und AWTRIX Light)

What you need?

Ulanzi Pixel Clock

Awtrix Light Firmware :wink:

A working MQTT Broker
e.g. on homey or on a seperate machine

Ok - let´s go :slight_smile:

  1. Connect the Ulanzi Pixel Clock via USB with your PC

  2. Open the follwing url with a chrome or edge browser

Awtrix Light Firmware Flasher

  1. Press the “Flasher” button and follow the instructions of the flasher. Please make sure that you choose “erase all data”, too.

  2. After successfull flash you will find an ap the ESP32 - just connect to this ap and enter your wifi credantials. The pixel clock will restart and connect to you wifi.

  3. At this point it makes sense to add a dhcp reservation in your router for your pixel clock.

  4. Just open in your browser of your choise the url of your new Awtrix Light pixel clock :slight_smile: http://ipaddressofmypixelclock

  1. Please navigate to “MQTT” and enter your mqtt broker address (and if needed credantials of the mqtt broker)

In the field “Prefix” you have to enter a unique name of your awtrix_light - e.g. awtrixlight01

Safe the configuration and the ESP restarts and will connect to your mqtt broker.

Your new Awtrix Light pixel clock shows status messages like temperature and humitidy of the device itself as well as time and date.

So far so good.

But what about notifications directly from the homey? No problem :slight_smile:

Here we go…

Addition 18.10.2023:
**@Bckp created an app for homey - please check this before, because it makes things easier :slight_smile: **
AWTRIX Light App for Homey | Homey

  1. let´s start with a simple flow - we send a mqtt message to the awtrix light pixel clock directly:

(this is what you see when you start…)

Just enter this to the field “Message”

{“text”:“Hello my friend”}

and into the field “Topic” you enter the exact prefix which you configured inside the awtrix light device (in the mqtt configration page) - in my case awtrixlight01


Save this flow and test it and the magic happens :slight_smile:

Congrats - you have sent your first message to you Awtrix Light - but what about an icon in your message? Here we go again…

  1. Add an icon to your message

To use icons in your messages you have to upload these icons to your ESP at first. You can use icons from the Awtrix 2.0 database or from the Lametric Site. The awtrix light pixel clock does not have a cloud connection :slight_smile:

You will find more information for downloading icons here => AWTRIX LIGHT

In my case I know already a few icon numbers of the Awtrix 2.0 and I would like to download an animated sun icon to my Awtrix light pixel clock. It has the icon number 350.

So we go to the webinterface of the Awtrix light again and navigate to “Icons”

Enter the id of the icon, click on preview to check your icon and if it is correct, just press the download button. When you finished just press “safe configuration”.

Now we can edit our homey flow. Please edit the mqtt message field to

{“text”:“Hello my friend”,“icon”:“350”}

It should look like this:

Test your flow and you will get this on your pixel clock:

Congratulations! You have sent a notification with an icon from your homey directly to your Awtrix Light :slight_smile: As you can see it was very easy.

Are you ready for the next level?

The method “notify” is more or less for pushing urgent messages to your Awtrix light like an alert message.

For showing stats and values from your smart home system I suggest to use “CustomApps” with the Awtrix light. The values will be shown in an order you defined.

When you press the middle button of your Awtrix Light for two seconds, a menu will be shown. In this menu you can navigate to “apps” and enable/disable all of the build in apps. If you disable all apps, only information you sent via mqtt will be shown on your clock.

Just modify your flow again and edit the topic to something like this:




So you can define which information will be visible on your pixel clock in which order.

E.g. show values from your solar plant, wallboxes, battery, temperatues and so on :slight_smile:


For techies:
You can choose the name after “custom/” any name you want. This name builds the app name and you can switch to this app directly via mqtt command.

You find more information directly at the Awtrix Light Projekt: of @Blueforcer

Feel free to show in the comments below this tutorial what you created :slight_smile:


P.S.: Be aware of correct format of the quotes…

So not this:

{“text”:“Hello my friend”}

But this:

{"text":"Hello my friend"}

I´ve tried to set this up on HP23, but when i send a message, the Ulanzi screen just goes black. I´ve used the MQTT server and Client from the Community store. I´ve even tried setting up a Mosquito Broker in Home assistent and sending through that, but same problem, just a black screen when the message is “displayed”…

ohhh, and only the Notify message makes Ulanzi display react!, the custom 1-2-3
doesn´t do anything.

anything I am missing here ??

Kind regards

For me also nothing happens. Using MQTT analyzer I do see Ulanzi’s statistics. I also see Ulanzi receives the messages, but the screen itself is not reacting when sending the example {“text”:“Hello my friend”}. Just keeps sitting on the current app it is displaying.

@GijsP @repairguydk

Please show your flows for the awtrixlight

To test I use this very simple one:
Screenshot 2023-09-07 23.59.50

As you can see below, the MQTT part of receiving/sending data is working fine.

You’re using “smart quotes characters” (see how the " character in your message is slanted, that’s not right).

So not this:

{“text”:“Hello my friend”}

But this:

{"text":"Hello my friend"}

Damn, that simple! Thanks!! :grinning:

@SvenRhein You do use the slanted one in your tutorial (great one btw! :slight_smile: ), so that is where it went wrong for me.

Thanks both for your help!

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ok - I will correct it :slight_smile:

both tutorials modified and warning added :slight_smile:

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I currently preparing app for this :slight_smile: waiting for mine to arrive, so i can start to play


Great news

Do not hesitate to contact me for testing

I have it at home already, but soon (when AWTRIX 0.89 will be released i will release my version for testing), there is some updates in firmware to make it work better with Homey :slight_smile:

Right now, i have custom version of awtrix light firmware loaded, not somethink i belive a lot of people want to do :smiley:

Yet still a lot of work before me, still missing some stuff:

  • Better pairing with support for user/pass (right now, you need to set it in settings, not much user friendly)
  • Better notification options
  • Apps is missing completly, somethink i work on atm
  • Deep sleep for matrix

What works:

  • Notifications (basic, so color, text, duration, icon, permanent notification and dismiss, notifications that will wake display)
  • Turning Awtrix display on/off
  • Settings (even turning on/off buildin apps with reboot)

please add an option for manual adding via ip address

For sure I will… but i fight with homey sdk a bit :smiley: right now, i need to find way to upload icon to awtrix by code, as there is no API for this…

1 Like

Is released :wink:

Waiting for app review from athom

1 Like

App is live, need awtrix 0.90 or newer :slight_smile: and lot of work ahead…

1 Like

already installed :wink: I will report :slight_smile:

I’ve have tested the matrix. Everything seems to work fine, but how do you remove these messages :slight_smile:
they keep comming back, I see in MQTT explorer that currentApp = 1 is on and it displays the message twice.
Another thing is the MQTT broker, did you manage to do authenticated login? this seems not allowed.

my bad, it is the custom1 and custom2. this is awesome dude!!

Yesterday i received my ulanzi clock and today i installed awtrix 0.9 on it and made my first flow with the app. The apps config on IOS in the homey app is somewhat unstable :wink: but it works. The app is great made my first flow for it and worked perfectly. So i wanted to change the icon so i uploaded a new icon from the lamatrix site with icon id and it was saved in the icons library but how do i make the homey app aware of this new icon? It only shows the default ones.