The Suburban Maximalists Making Viral Christmas Displays | WIRED

 This article shows a selection of Christmas houses, spangled with lights flashing in time to everything.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Create a MIDI-based holiday lights animation system using Raspberry Pi and Windows 10 IoT Core.

    MIDI-Based Christmas Lights Animation system

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Home> Community > Blogs > LED Diva
    Creative architectural LED lighting

    In keeping with the festive lighting of the holiday season, let’s take a tour of landmarks lit with LEDs. These attention grabbing displays are dependent on products that can deliver a wide range of colors, and a control scheme that allows lighting designers to fully realize their creative ideas.

    How do they do it? Miami Tower and the other landmarks reviewed in this article are illuminated using Philips Color Kinetics products, which currently have a bit of a monopoly in architectural installations. The control scheme uses a data enabler to combine power with a proprietary Ethernet DMX-based data signal called KiNET, prior to routing to luminaires, junction boxes, and/or strings of strip lights.

    Over 16 million color combinations can be achieved through the 8-bit channels of Red/Green/Blue/White or Red/Green/Blue/Amber luminaires. A number of different controllers can be used to program either static or dynamic displays. DSP techniques ensure that data corruption is negligible even in noisy, high-EMI environments, e.g., adjacent to powered radio antennas.

    The Bay Lights of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, installed in 2013 in what was meant to be a two-year run to celebrate the bridge’s 75th anniversary, is currently the largest LED lighting sculpture in the world. With over 25,000 white LED nodes installed on the 1.8 mile western span, the bridge surpasses even the Eiffel Tower in number of LEDs.

    The lighting system uses light strands, each made up of 50 individually controllable nodes designed to operate in the demanding environmental conditions of the bridge – wind, rain, vibration, and even road debris. Control software scans the installation to ensure that all lighting is operational and sends alerts if problems are detected.

    Kicking Off the Season in
    Spectacular Style

    See how lighting professionals around the world are using our LED lighting solutions to create beauty, enhance entertainment, transform public spaces, get attention – and achieve their creative visions. We’re sure you’ll be as inspired by our customers’ creativity and ingenuity as we are.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Christmas lights in Finland:

    Isä ja tytär kietoivat kotinsa ympärille yli 20 000 lamppua – “Tässä käy välillä sellainen autorundi, että hyvä kun sekaan mahtuu”
    Samu Hohdin taloa on käyty ihmettelemässä jopa linja-autolla.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    I Let Everyone on the Internet Control My X-Mas Decoration © CC BY

    Control any of the 55 RGB LEDs on the tree, let Santa twerk for you, control a model railroad, or display custom text on an LED dot matrix.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to Configure NeoPixels Using Vixen Lights and Arduino © GPL3+

    Use Arduino to run a spectacular Christmas light show.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Arduino Christmas Cheer! © GPL3+

    ‘Tis the season to stick Arduino’s in festive places, and what better place than a Christmas tree! In this project, we are going to be making a Christmas tree that can sing a bunch of different Christmas songs and light up in conjunction with the music! Attached is an audio file of the tree in action to give you an idea of what it sounds like.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Teardown: What’s Inside a Christmas Laser Projector?

    In the world of big-box retail, December 26th is a very special day. The Christmas music playing on the overhead speakers switches back to the family friendly Top 40, the store’s decorations get tossed in the compactor, and everything that’s even remotely related to the holiday is put on steep clearance. No more money to be made on the most commercialized of all holidays, so back to business as usual.

    Given how popular they are, I was surprised to see a lone Home Accents Holiday Multi-Color Light Projector on the clearance rack at Home Depot for around $14 a few days after Christmas. This was a 75% price reduction from normal MSRP, and right in that sweet impulse-buy price range. Let’s see what’s hiding inside!

    The red laser is mounted in the smaller heatsink, positioned 90 degrees from the other lasers. This positioning is necessary for the beam combiner (the small angled piece of glass visible in the center) to send both the red and green beams out of the same aperture.

    The attentive reader might notice from this picture that the lasers are way out of focus: at 3 meters, the spots looked as large as dinner plates.

    Once focused, it becomes pretty clear that these lasers are quite a bit more powerful than the < 5 mW listed on the product’s warning sticker.

    In fact, once the blue laser was focused I was easily able to burn pieces of paper and punch holes in black plastic.

    As for the green laser, it is at least twice as bright as my green laser pointer which is labeled as 50 mW.

    If your biggest take-away from this post is that the Home Depot is selling a 440 nm laser you can use to burn stuff, I certainly don’t blame you.

    For $14, I’ve got to say this is a pretty decent score:

    From the optics section we’ve got a nice little geared motor, a beam combiner, and four optical gratings. Three laser modules and a driver board than can power any combination of them at once. Two heatsinks, one with an integrated temperature sensor. A tiny little heat pad, and finally a rugged looking 5V/2A adapter.


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