YouTube is rife with videos of houses adorned with Christmas lights made into into spectacular- if over the top- light shows. These are typically synchronized to music and generally serve to make ordinary holiday decorations look, well, kind of boring. I used to watch these videos and wonder at the amount of time that was spent building and installing them. Surely such a project was one I'd never bother with.
That is until I realized I had most of the parts necessary to build such a thing right under my own nose. This year I decided to find out just how hard it really is to build a custom light show. I disassembled my @WittyDevices project, picked up a couple of new parts, and got to work.
- 1 x 4-socket Electrical Box
- 2 x 2-plug Sockets
- 1 x 4-channel Relay Switch Board
- 1 x Arduino Uno R3 Kit w/Wires
- Spare wiring, solder, time, etc.
|4-channel relay wired up and glued into the electrical box.|
|Sockets with plug numbers marked.|
With everything wired up and tested for faults, I connected my Arduino board to the relay switch and loaded it up with a sketch timed to match Joy to the World. The code for which I borrowed from an Instructable which demonstrated how to build an 8-channel relay board from scratch. (Thanks, dany32412!) Despite only running a 4-channel relay system, the results were quite fantastic, as you can see in the video above when I plugged in some actual light strings to the system.
|Hooked up to lights outside.|
|The final product.|
[Before attempting to replicate my project, be sure to know what you are doing before working with live power circuits. Serious harm, damage and/or death can occur when safety steps are not observed. Be warned that the end result of my work was in no way water- or environment-proof and was only ever installed outdoors for brief periods of time for demonstration purposes only.]