Quick projects update:
The Home Assistant home automation setup is working quite well. I have it communicating with a couple z wave devices, and a half dozen arduous and whatnot.
The bedside table lamp prototype was mostly successful. The code and the electronics are good, I just need to attach the LEDs to a more rigid structure. Something that can help dissipate the heat. Aside from that, it shows as a switch in my HA,and I can use it in automations.
The prototype for the holiday lights was also successful. I am using an ESP8266 to control a string of LEDs. The color can be controlled per led, which allows for some interesting animations. It's entirely functional, so now it is time to scale up to the real thing.
The prototype for the automatic plant watering system is coming along nicely. It is currently running on an Uno with an Ethernet shield, because I'm out of 8266's. It has a soil humidity sensor and an LED at the moment. The soil probe reports back to the HA server with the moisture data, and if it falls below a certain threshold, the server sends the message to turn the water on, and the LED on the arduino comes on. Once the 'wet' threshold is reached, the water turns off. I still have not settled on how I"m going to deal with the water. I was going to use a pump, but I think I might just connect to the house water supply, and have the water turned off via solenoid. Either way, Instead of just an LED, I'll probably have to drive a MOSFET, or a relay, or something.
Anyway, that's where I am with all that.
Videos will be coming soon.