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Using Slack for your home automation

Braai is a big part of South African culture and to make sure your rump steak is a perfect medium-rare you need a decent light to shine on the braai at will. It is also important to be able to control your light with a slack-bot - off course!

Braai area



Raspberry Pi

Before you start with the slack bot make sure you have a Raspberry Pi set up, the official documentation is an excellent way to start.

5V Relay

For the project I'm using a 5V relay I bought from Micro Robotics.

5V Relay

Raspberry Pi Pin Layout

Raspberry Pi GPIO Header

For the project we will be using pin 18 (GPIO24) - make sure to update the GPIOClient in if you choose to use a different gpio pin.

Use the Raspberry Pi GPIO Header diagram as guide and connect the following pins.

  • Source 5V from R-Pi (pin 2) and connect to VCC on relay
  • Connect ground from R-Pi (pin 6) and connec to to GND on relay
  • Connect GPIO output pin from R-Pi (pin 18) and connect to CH1 on relay
  • Connect the voltage terminals (Make sure you have unplugged your light!!)
    • Neatly strip the wire casing
    • Cut the brown wire and strip the 2 ends
    • Connect one end to relay terminal marked NO (Normally Open)
    • Connect the other end to relay terminal marked C (Common Terminal)

Install libraries needed

Follow the Full Stack Python guide - How to Build Your First Slack Bot with Python

Install Git on your Rasberry Pi by following the following steps in a terminal

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install git
install git

Clone the project

git clone

run the first time and save your 'bot_id'


Create a config file called config.json and add the following to it:

    "token" : "your-token-here",
    "bot_name" : "your-bot-name",
    "bot_id" : "your-id"

You are now ready to start the slack_service.


Switching your light on/off

Log into Slack and ask your slack bot to switch your braai-light on by typing the following command in your home-automation channel.

@your-bot switch braai-light on

With light on

... and to switch light off is as simple as

@your-bot switch braai-light off

I feel like I have only touched the surface and I'm planning on exploring ways to incorporate NLP (Natural Language Processing) to make the interaction with the slack-bot feel more natural, like having a conversation and Computer Vision to get a contextual understanding of the environment using symantic classification.

Release History

  • 0.0.1 First check-in

Get in touch

Pull requests are welcome or contact me.

Dries Cronje | @dries139 |


Using #slack as home automation queue




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