ZigBee Light Bulb Hacking
Here is what I did to look into a popular light bulb that can be controlled using ZigBee:
The first thing to do is to open this bulb up (without smashing it) in order to examine the guts. Externally it is similar to many LED light bulbs although this one is obviously a bit different (with the antenna PCB in the center). I do admit I felt a little guilty about this as these bulbs work quite well on a regular basis and I definitely do not want to kill it. But $15 to potentially control other things over ZigBee is a great deal.
This is a basic image of the bulb from the side:
Here is another view of the top. Note the antenna PCB in the center and the ring of LEDs under a lense. It even looks like each LED is labeled.
Now the first problem is opening this little guy up. There are no obvious screws, pins, or ways to twist it apart. There DO appear to be 3 "latches" (for lack of a better term) that the outer plastic housing is snapped on to. Time to try those first.
Of course after I opened that up I found a YouTube video that is a teardown of the bulb. It covers this process in far more detail, starting at the X minute mark. I recommend watching it first, although the teardown goes into far more detail than needed if you just want to use this as a basis to connect to other items. Here is the link: Teardown
Continuing on from that I noticed that there are 2 sets of V+ and V- points on the top of the LED board. One has power lines going in and the other are bare. A quick conductivity test showed they were one and the same... Sounds like a spot to connect to the same levels the LEDs are being set for. So I will need to carefully determine the voltage that will be coming on those. Then I need to find out if I have anything that can isolate that and pass it on to something else. At this time I am trying to see if I can keep the bulb as close to "stock" as possible although I could obviously take it down further. As the teardown showed the base board that controls everything is centered around a Marvell 88MZ100 SoC. If someone wanted to they could likely just rip this completely apart and remove that board to work from there. At this moment I am not planning on going that far, but it IS a possibility.