Feedback requested on WLED AP mode

I am trying to modify core WLED functionality, WLED AP mode (the way it behaves) and I need user feedback before it is committed into main branch.

WLED has 4 different AP startup modes:

  • start AP on boot if WiFi cannot be connected
  • start AP whenever WLED disconnects from WiFi
  • always start AP
  • never start AP

I am about to change the 1st one, “Start AP when no connection on boot”, to stop AP mode after 5 minutes if no clients connect to it. This can protect WLED device in a public place without WiFi but still allow a short window when you can connect to it, control it and change configuration if necessary. When you disconnect from AP the AP is removed. To re-enable AP, WLED needs to be restarted or button be pressed for >6s (as usual).

I’d like to hear your opinion on such feature (currently AP stays open until WLED reconnects to WiFi, which may be indefinite).

I deem this to fall into “security” category of enhancements even though it des not make WLED more secure in general.

Sounds like a good feature for not only public areas but for locations where houses may be close together (city, apartments…).

Does not really apply to me, but I can see it being helpful to many people.

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I agree, this could be a very helpful feature for a number of applications.

But… (playing Devil’s Advocate) Is it a major issue to keep the current behaviour as a 5th possible case?
There is something to be said for the ability to always be able to find a node that you’re dropping into a site.
I can see scenarios where the WiFi is of unknown quality and I’d like the AP as a fall back to make setup/testing easier.

In addition, I’m sure there’s something to be said for “keeping things the way we’re used to it”. Troubleshooting with someone else is often a matter of agreeing on how things are supposed to work.
That gets more difficult if the goal posts change from version to version.

As always, you do excellent work @blazoncek, this group is lucky to have your contributions :christmas_tree:

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+1, can see where it could be useful, but should be an additional option. Where security (more than a good AP password) is not required it would be a major pain to have to time things properly to troubleshoot connection issues.

@divsys thanks. :smiley:

As for “having the ability to find node” the second option (open AP whenever WLED disconnects) will also open AP at boot and will not close it after 5 min. So you have an option to set a device into that mode and when it is properly configured and tested switch to 1st mode.

IMO the option to start AP if there is no WiFi present at boot should be somehow more secure (apart from setting custom AP SSID and password). I may add a functionality to never stop AP if SSID and/or password is changed from default. What do you think?

I can see option2 being effectively the same as option1 for eg. if there’s no WiFi to find in the 1st place at boot (?). In that case option1 becomes superfluous.

In general I agree with all the efforts to attempt to make things more secure.
The main counter is that you will definitely need the ability to explicitly turn any and all of these features off, or at least provide an “unsecure” mode to allow for fast setup/testing.

We may be sneaking into the “what’s the default behaviour of the 6s button press” area now…

Thanks for the insights.

I’ve now modified the code to add 5th option (and leave first 4 untouched) as to not break existing functionality and prevent frustration for inexperienced users.