Christmas is coming, and you know we had to build something that would put the entire neighborhood into the Christmas spirit! So, how did we go about accomplishing this? The answer is the Arduino Mega, the perfect tool if you are a maker!
Our house in Novato is now covered with huge white and glowing space invaders and bright, green Christmas trees! We also have text that displays messages like “Merry Christmas“ and “Happy New Year!” We are officially the most tech-decorated house in the neighborhood.
Personally, my favorite part is the popping effects we have on many of the lights — basically the lights “explode” one by one until the whole side of the house is dark.
The total budget for the project was about $400. Not bad for 4,800 lights in 16 LED strips.
The hardware you’ll need for this festive DIY project.
16 LED strips, WS2812b, 16.4 feet.
Two lines are soldered together to cover the length of the roof. 8 lines are secured under each other. In the end, you’ll be left with what basically amounts to a 32.8 foot long screen.
3 5V, 400W power supplies
One on each side of the screen and the third one in the center.
Arduino Mega 2560
Arduino Mega Proto Shield 2560
8 500 ohm resistors
Transferring data from Arduino to LED strips.
LED strip connectors
Connected to Arduino Breadboard shield
3 capacitors 1000 uF * 10V
To protect LED lights from voltage peaks.
If any of the elements in the LED strips are broken, you can cut out the dysfunctional part and connect the strip again to make it work. I know this because it happened to me!
Here’s a short Arduino Sketch you’ll need to make the whole thing work!
I made some edits to Arduino Sketch that was developed by the guy who inspired me. Here’s the link to his LED project!
My name is Savva Osipov, me and my dad are working on a Kickstarter campaign for our project that we are planning to launch in January. If you are interested in learning more and being kept up-to-date, subscribe to my YouTube Channel or Facebook Page and you’ll be the first to know of news and updates!