It’s that time of the year again, and the halls are being decked with trees, the trees covered in lights. You know holiday season is getting close when the Christmas light projects start rolling in! Christmas is almost here so it’s time to kill a tree, set it up in your living room, and put a few hundred watts of lights on it. It is dark outside, so it would be a good idea to cover some trees or your house with some lights. When you have lots of lights, it would be nice If I you could control then with computer… So here are some links to interesting Christmas lights related projects:
How to find broken bulb in light string? It is hard. Having one light fail becomes a major hassle especially after they are installed on the roof of the house or on a fully dressed Christmas tree. Simple tester checks Christmas-tree lights article gives one simple idea how to test main powered light string. This simple gadget is really simple and works great, but it exposes the user to potentially lethal line voltages. Bad-bulb finder fixes Christmas lights article gives plans for modernized safe to use LED version of that one. Santa’s elves fix Christmas lights faster but now demand higher pay article tells how “Light-Keeper–Pro” to tester helps fixing the Christmas lights easier (and gives idea how that device works). It also tells how how some light vendors have eliminated the extreme frustration of an entire string’s going dark, leaving you to frantically search for that one bulb that’s the culprit.
How modern multi-color LED light strings work? It is pretty easy to do the PWM controlling for RGB LED string where all LEDs have the same color (you just need Arduino for PWM controlling and some FETs). But how those strings where each LED can be controlled individually are built? The answer are special LED modules that have built-in control IC in then, and they can be controlled with one wire bus. WS2812 addressable LEDs have been seen in many Hackaday LED light projects (for example Cypress PSOC 4 + ESP8266 WS2812 RGB XMAS Lights). Another IC for that is APA102.
The Epoch Christmas Tree article tells that Dan has a tree and a bunch of programmable LEDs, but merely pumping jollity down that strip of LEDs wouldn’t be enough. The Nerd Quotient must be raised even higher with a tree that displays a Unix timestamp.
Deck the Halls with a Raspberry Pi Controlled Christmas Tree page shows a Christmas Tree light show controlled by a Raspberry Pi. Yes, it could have been done it with an Arduino, or a 555 timer IC, but the Raspberry Pi makes for a convenient platform. With a WiFi module, code changes can be made remotely and the Raspberry Pi’s built-in audio interface also makes it easy to sync music to flashing lights.
Google Gets Thousands Of Girls To Program The White House Christmas Tree Lights article tells that the 92nd annual White House Christmas tree lighting ceremony is getting a tech twist this year. Over 300,000 people, mostly young girls, participated in Google’s Made with Code campaign to program the way the lights will dance on the 56 official White House Christmas trees during this evening’s lighting ceremony. Aach girls’ code has a very specific time, down to the “exact second.
In German house displays over 400,000 Christmas lights – video a homeowner explains the process of decorating his house in Calle, Germany, with more than 400,000 Christmas lights he has acquired since 1999. Rolf Vogt says his home has become somewhat of a local attraction.
Christmas Lights And Ships In A Bottle article tells about wireless Christmas lights idea. AURA: The first ever, wirelessly powered Christmas lights Kickstarter campaign is selling wireless Christmas lights, controllable with a smartphone. If it works and passes all the certifications (especially EMC), it looks like a brilliant idea.
Here are links to some interesting Christmas Lights display videos:
Best Christmas Lights Show 2011 – The end is awesome!
Behind the scenes videos:
Then some over-the-top idea from few years back: Oh sweet Jesus, what is this? Tesla Tree, Tesla Tree: Merry Christmas from the Eye of Sauron web page shows that some guy in Australia has been making Christmas trees out of Tesla coils: the tree shape will be outlined by sparks from a rotating rod on top of the Tesla coil.
For more ideas check my previous Christmas light related postings.