The French Guy

How to make your own Christmas light with Arduino

Here is what I used for the proof of concept:


A couple of years ago, I started to play with electronics, specifically Arduino. Christmas time was around the corner, and I did not really find the kind of decoration I was looking for the house. I went online to see if anyone came up with some Arduino-home-made-christmas lights, and I found this guy.

2 Years later, I am finally jumping in. I bought the 36mm square 12V digital RGBLED Pixels strand from Adafruit, and it does rock.

Wirering information are available here. Basically, your strip will come with 5 wires at each end. Pay attention to the small arrow showing which way the connection goes. You should also see a small “IN” and “OUT” (but it is VERY small).

So on the IN side:
The red and black power wires go to your power. Red to positive (+) and Black to negative (-).
In the set of 3 wires coming from the LED strip: The green (serial clock) goes to digital PIN3, the yellow (serial data) goes to digital PIN2. The black will go to your bread board, and will be connected to any Arduino ground (GND) pin, AND to the ground on your power supply.

Once you are done, get the Arduino library here, install, and you are ready to code.

Here are some tests I made tonight. If you are interested, I can share the code for my examples.


Youtube video on a christmas tree, just with 1 LED strip. 

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