Fun with Computers – DIY Christmas Lights Controller

Fun with Computers – DIY Christmas Lights Controller

Dec 14, 2012

The Concept – Homemade, Christmas Lights Controller

With work commitments this year I have had a late start to my Christmas lights project. Not having time to setup my own lights I have turned to my Father-in-law to use the lights that he has already laid out.

With time constraints and simplicity in mind I pulled out a simple K8055 USB controller board that I had lying around. This board gives me among other things 8 digital outputs. The K8055 also allows me to control and test the lights from my iPhone.

The lights are sequenced to music using custom software I developed in Delphi.

Christmas Lights World interface

The Relay Interface

Because I will be working with a range of out-of-the-box Christmas light sets I created a simple relay board that simply closes the relay on a channel being supplied power. This allows me to control, AC, DC with voltages from 5 to 240.

User Interface

The Christmas lights are timed to MP3 music and controlled by an application I developed in Delphi.

The user interface simply allows you to turn on/off a channel in a spread sheet type interface according to the timing in the MP3 file.

I also have a “simulator” interface so that I can test a sequence without being connected to the lights and without it being dark.

The Music

The music will be played to an FM transmitter which will allow visitors to tune their car radio to the designated channel and enjoy the light show with the music.

The project is in its final stages of testing so I will post videos and further details shortly.

 

Glenn Challen - MicroEd Computers
Glenn Challen
MicroEd Computers and Internet

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