After downloading the IDE, unzip the file into a folder. Update the properties for each model to: First line: Nodes/String: 50, Start Channel: 1, Second line: Nodes/String: 50, Start Channel: 151, Third line: Nodes/String: 50, Start Channel: 301, Fourth line: Nodes/String: 50, Start Channel: 451, Click [Save] button to save your Layout changes. Each bulb has an "input" side and an "output" side. And if you are already using Falcon Player to playback the animations, you don't have to learn much new there, either! Arduino Lights and Music. STEP 1: COLLECTING THINGS 1. Most likely, your lights will be placed at a distance from the Arduino. I am having a hard time finding where that might be set as I just have a Bethlehm start that I am doing as a test. Thanks for your reply and Merry Christmas. This is explained more later on. Have you driving by houses with fancy Christmas lights, often synchronized to music? The RTC chip switches on and off the tree at the planned hours! While your controller supports up to 200 bulbs, xLights can support millions! These are the important lines that need changed: A "Universe" is a number that represents all of the strings connected to your Arduino. You are not using custom wired Ethernet cable for your extension cable. In the preview area, you will see the star animating with rainbow colors! Do not connect the Ethernet cable directly to your computer/laptop! 4 days ago. xmas-2016. Internet control is mostly about tweaking Falcon Player to accept commands from the Internet and it's not that hard to do! Any device on your home network, a computer, laptop, smart phone, smart TV, etc. All of the lights will turn red and stay that way. Click the [Play] button on the top toolbar, about the ninth button from the left. Do NOT plug the power cord into a wall outlet while performing the steps below. Connect the black wire from the Out- terminal on the buck converter to the "GND" terminal on the Arduino. Note: Be very careful when connecting wires from the power cord to the power supply! Have been doing lots of reading the last 6months and this appears to be the easiest for what I am doing.. lights on and off only. The red wire on the connector is soldered to the colored "power" wires on the Ethernet cable. If you look at the network port on the network board, there should be a steady green light and an amber light that flashes intermittently. Arduino-controlled Christmas Tree lit by 150 digital RGB LED pixels. If it does not respond: Check the Ethernet cable plugged into the light controller. Arduino Christmas Lights. If your Arduino and lights will be outdoors, use the 3-pin round outdoor connectors instead of the JST indoor connectors. We need to replace that simple program with a different program. That may help with the random flickering. The number of LEDs depends on the size of your tree and in our case, we ended up using 27 LEDs. Thanks to the Schantz Makerspace in Orrville, Ohio for prototyping this light controller and working out all of the bugs. The steps below assume that you bought the 23" coro Bethlehem star. Then run arduino.exe. This instructable will build one light controller than can animate up to 200 lights. Has somebody updated your sketch to work with current (1.8.10) Arduino IDE? Your laptop can be wireless or wired; it will still find your Arduino which is also connected to your network. I have setup the system as noted with some caveats, 1. When I power on the controller, the lights do not light turn on at all (no self-test where all of the lights display seven basic colors). I commented on your Youtube video regarding running your sketch using (Just a USB) I still could not make it work by removing the serial.print and changing Serial1 to Serial. The remaining wire (green) will be our data wire. Why limit yourself to an angel on top of the tree when you can have an over sized Christmas ornament with 192 RGB LEDs blinking! This is where xLights will save all of its configuration for your particular lights. Plug the power cable into the wall outlet. For instance, if the IP address of your computer is, go to this address in your web browser: When the installation has finished, xLights will create shortcuts on your Desktop. Make sure that you update the Arduino sketch’s MAXBULBS line in global.h to reflect the longer string, then re-upload the code to your Arduino. Connect a female round waterproof connector to the three bare wires on the "input" side of the first bulb. Last year I did an awesome Christmas light show at my school using only a few Arduinos and a program called Vixen Lights. The third major tab in xLights, Sequencer, is where you create animations. This is my first year of lighting and am in direct competition with my father in law. Your Arduino light computer does not request an IP address from the router; it’s address is locked in when you built it. Strip the exposed end, then crimp a fork connector onto it. The Arduino works best at 7V. Thanks for your help. This is located near the top-right corner of the Arduino. I will continue to troubleshooting but if you have some thoughts let me know. This way you can continue to use your home computer as usual throughout the day, while the low-power computer is running 24x7, dedicated to playing your light show. A simple Advent Candle controlled by Arduino (various light effects and also plays "Jingle Bells" upon button press). These numbers are defined in xLights. During the installation process, you will be asked for a "show directory" or folder. The red wire on the connector is soldered 12V wire on the string. This article offers a straightforward guide that will get you through wiring and setting up Arduino Uno to add amazing effects to your LED strip. Your string is too long (more than 100 bulbs). Attach the black (or brown) to the L(ine) terminal on the power supply. This power supply will power your Arduino and up to four strings of lights. By saving the xLights animations as multiple playback files (one animation per file, for example), people visiting a webpage can click buttons that tells Falcon Player which animation file to play. If you wish to run your light controller without a home network, here is how to do it: When your laptop is away from home or out of range of your network, Windows will assign a temporary IP address to it, especially when you connect an Ethernet cable from the laptop to another device, such as the Arduino network board. For instance, if your router is configured to provide IP addresses between and (note the last digit changes from “2” in the first example to “254” in the second example), you can change this range within the router configuration. You built an extension cable for the string of lights, then made an adapter that connects the extension cable to the power supply and Arduino. If your Arduino’s IP address is, for example, you can set the router’s IP address range to a maximum of Under the "Lighting Networks" section on the left side of the screen, click the [Add E.131] button. On the power cord, strip the insulation back until you see white, black, and green wires. Count down to his arrival with this MKR1000 device. 12 months ago, Hi Tom,What's the reason, only the Arduino IDE 1.6.5r2 is working OK with your project? The number across from that text is your computer's IP address as four three-digit numbers with periods in-between (such as Take a red male-to-female jumper wire and cut-off the female end. 12V Power Supply and Connector ( under 6 amps will be fine. ) Hello friends today i will show you how you can make christmas light show in very easy and cheap manner. Onto the next step! make sure that the “Baud Rate or E1.31 Univ” is set to “1” and that “Num Channels” is set to “150”. While the convenience of having a single computer for creating animations and animating your lights is nice, leaving your computer powered on all day during the Christmas season is not that efficient. In the "E131 Setup" window that appears, choose the following: IP Address: Enter the IP address that you assigned to the Arduino (for example,, # of Universes: (type the number of strings connected to the Arduino. Piezo: – to Arduino Gnd S to Arduino 4 (I’m using a Mega 2560) Christmas Light Strings: Cut one wire that goes from the plug to the first light in the string. On one end this wire, bend the pin in-half with pliers, then hook into the "Out+" hole on the buck converter. This means that the connections between your lights and the Arduino are correct and that the sketch that you uploaded is working properly. This ensures that the lights can be placed at far distances from your controller. The Raspberry Pi is perfect for this purpose. Be sure to connect a wire between both power supply ground terminals if you do this. 6.) To put this special program (called a "sketch" in Arduino lingo) onto your Arduino, we need to install the Arduino IDE program on your computer first. Since we are using a 12V power supply to power the lights, the buck converter will lower the voltage going to the Arduino. Vancouver, BC, Before you design light animations, xLights needs to know about your Arduino light controller. Here is one idea. Note: Do not provide less than 7V to the Arduino as it will cause it to crash/freeze while running the light controller software. To do this, edit the global.h file in the DMXControllerWs2811 folder with your favorite text editor. You can buy strings of lights to hang on a tree, or push the lights into "coro", a white plastic resembling cardbaord) in prepade shapes such as stars, candy canes, and more. If you are having problems getting your Arduino light controller to work for the first time, read this troubleshooting guide for help! The computer outputs DMX commands while your lights respond to WS2811 commands. The animations are created using the free xLights program. Christmas Lights Using 8ch Relay With Arduino: I'm 16 years old so my knowledge on these relays is not that extensive, for another instructable to do more research click here. Move this folder to the Arduino folder from the previous step, to a folder named Libraries. You will see "Compiling sketch..." in the window's lower status bar while the program is verified. Inspired by the two Instructables below, we decided to … If your star does not light up, please look at the Troubleshooting step near the end of this instructable. Type "ping" where the xxx's represent the IP address that you assigned to the Arduino. Note that the Arduino has multiple GND terminals; you can use any of them. When the upload is complete, you will see a message stating so in the status area. On the other end of the string, the bare wires come from the "output" side of the last bulb. The program sketch consists of 33 different animation patterns, selected in random order. This step is necessary for the network board to work properly. Loop it through one of the relays on the board, using the Normally Open and Common contact in series with that cut wire. This bottom row is GND only. If the strings of ws2811 lights connected to your Arduino have different number of bulbs on them, MAXBULBS indicates the number of bulbs on the longest string. It will have a blue, round icon next to it. This makes sure that the animation is fully processed and ready to show. This allows your computer/laptop to "see" your Arduino via your home network. Your lights should have come with JST connectors on both ends. The animation sketch powers four Arduino Pro Minis to create a synchronised animation effect across four pillars at the front of my house. So when xLights is sending DMX commands to light-up strings in a particular universe, the Arduino is listening and acts upon commands only for its universe. If you don’t know it, try a login name of “admin” with no password, or try a login name of “admin” with “password” for the password. It is a low-cost microcomputer (basic computer) that can be programmed to do almost anything. Then, twist the blue, brown, and orange wires together. Now that your light controller is lighting up your lights, we need to see if the Arduino is communicating with your home network. I put in a 220 Ohm resister and still just random lights. Some laptops allow connecting a standard Ethernet cable directly to the Arduino network board. We will enter 2019 in a few weeks. This button allows your star to light up from xLights; it is a master on/off switch, of sorts. Use Arduino to run a spectacular Christmas light show. This way we will know if your computer/laptop can "see" your Arduino. This Christmas I decided to make an IOT Christmas light display out of it just above our horizontal blinds. Automate your Christmas tree and get notified when motion is detected around the tree! In the diagram show, "5V" in the legend corresponds to the first pin the first row, while "ST" refers to the second pin in the fourth row. If you only need a string of 36 bulbs, for instance, cut off 14 bulbs at the end of the string (the “output” side). You'll see a bunch of information, but the line you want to look for is "IPv4 Address." I am sure I have done something wrong but am just to close to see it. Every router is different; look for the area that lets you change the DHCP settings. I am using more than one string from this example (I am using four strings of 50 bulbs each). If you have an Ethernet cable connecting directly from your computer/laptop to the light controller, try connecting each to a network switch/hub in the middle with two Ethernet cables. It should read roughly +12V. Solder this pin into place. Move the mouse to the large black area,then attempt to draw a medium sized, tall box by dragging the mouse button. To change router settings, simply open a web browser and go to the “website” with the IP address of your computer, though the last digit should be a “1”. We've made it so far and congratulations! Use a voltmeter to check the voltage on the -V terminal (black probe on voltmeter) and +V terminal (red probe on voltmeter). Christmas Tree with 150 Digital LED Pixels I recommend creating a folder named "xLights Show" inside your Documents folder, then tell xLights to select this as your "show" folder. For a digital Christmas, let your Arduino play songs with a piezo buzzer. The arrangement of LEDs or rather the wiring of t… Are the lights getting power? Turn it until the voltage starts to change. On the fork end of this wire, attach to one of the V- terminals on the power supply. For instance, an animation can make your lights look like candy canes with red & white lights, while another animation file can make your house sparkle with twinkling lights. Write down your specific "number" on a piece of paper. If you plug the power cord into the wall, the light on the Arduino should slowly blink off and on. The RTC chip switches on and off the tree at the planned hours! I am using arduino 2560 boards connected to many relay boards. This project is ideal for those who are interested in a fun and unique DIY project, or those who want to make a home look as festive as possible for this Christmas with dazzling LED lights. The computer will attempt to communicate with the Arduino. Next to the Setup tab in xLights (below the colorful effects toolbar) is the Layout tab. On the other end of the string, the bare wires come from the "output" side of the last bulb. Since I discover your instructables I try to do itSo my hardware seems to be ok, but I have a problem with softwareI download your version of Arduino (1.6.5) the right sketch but I have an error during compilationCould you help me or explain me my mistake please? Arduino + Vixen + School = Awesome Christmas Light Show! Also try replacing all of the jumpers connecting the board to the Arduino with a fresh set of jumpers. Any suggestions?Great instructable by the way.Thank you, Reply Do. A magnifying glass may help! Figure out which end of the light string is the "input" end and which end is the "output" end. Here is what you’ll need to build computerized, animated lights with Arduino: This is the "brain" of the light controller. You cannot use both ends of the string of lights; only one end is the “start” or “input” end. This way the 250 address is never provided to another device on your network. You can use an existing computer/monitor power cable for this. 3 days ago. I have found the sketches for the arduino to vixen and relays. I would like to have atleast 1 more output.Can you please explain if i need to change arduino code or set some settings in xLights.I would like to control atleast 2 more led strips(30 bulbs on one strip). Be sure to update the number of channels in the xLights Setup tab according (36 bulbs would be 108 channels) and the number of nodes in the models in the xLights Layout tab. This is located near the top-right corner of the Arduino. This instructable shows you how to build a low-cost light controller using an Arduino. This can be four strings of 50 or two strings of 100. These four lines define the IP address for this Arduino. It all started because [Anx2k] had some leftover LED’s from one of his other projects, so he decided to make use of them as permanently mounted Christmas lights. When you connect the Arduino via USB and the computer accepts the connection with no errors (indicating that the drivers are installed and functional), tell the Arduino IDE the type of Arduino you are using. If all goes well, your star will light-up in a myriad of colors! The yellow wire on the connector is soldered to DI wire on the string. ), Description: Type "Arduino light controller" or whatever you want. As long as they support ws2811 or ws2812, they will work with your project. It will "knock" on the door of the Arduino four times. Click the [OK] button, then the red [Save Setup] button. Solder this pin into place. How do I set this up? Click Tools > Board > "Arduino Mega or Arduino Mega 2560". Now you have provided power to the Arduino. You'll be amazed how easy it and have the best Christmas (and other holidays) lights on the block! Your Arduino, once programmed, will also know this protocol. 220Ω resistor (but you don’t need it if you want to destroy your buzzer!) Can you supply a diagram of how you wired up the relays and how they connect to the Arduino? This means that communication was success. When you click Upload, the sketch will be verified again, then you will see "Uploading" in the lower status area. ARDUINO IDE SOFTWARE STEP 2: MAKING CONNECTION: Take your relay and connec To build this cable, you'll need thick Ethernet cable (I recommend 23 AWG for the wire thickness) and 3-pin connectors on each end. Note: Be sure to use your Arduino’s IP address as a basis for setting your laptop’s IP address and not the address in this example! Thanks again. The first bulb in the string is where the bare wires go into the "input" side of that bulb. found the sketch i needed for the Christmas Tree Lights. When you first received/bought your Arduino, there is a simple program on it that simply flashes an onboard LED. If you have two strings of 50 lights connected end to end to make one long 100 light string (the entire string connected to one data pin on the Arduino), enter "1". Write down this IP address for your Arduino onto a label and stick it on your light controller. 2 outputs. Twist all four mostly white wires together. Arduino controlled Christmas lights! How to Configure NeoPixels Using Vixen Lights and Arduino. Compare your computer/laptop’s IP address with the IP address assigned to the light controller. Easy! 12V power to the Arduino can overheat and damage it. xLights runs on Windows, Apple OSX, and Linux computers. You can also visit my website for much more information on building computerized Christmas lights. In the xLights Setup tab, click “Add E1.31” to create a new Lighting Network. Using the male-to-female jumper wires, connect the female ends to the network board and the male ends to the Arduino in this order: Note that the Arduino has multiple GND terminals; you can use any of them. Buy them here: 1-4 sets of 12V WS2811 lights (50 bulbs each set), These are digital lights that are animated with an industry standard protocol called ws2811. You'll notice that there are four solid-color wires and four white wires (actually, mostly white with some color on them). If this is the first time you have connected the Arduino, Windows will attempt to install hardware drivers for it. Powering a computer 24x7 is not efficient with electric, either. The next step is sending the light controller sketch to the Arduino's memory. Is the data wire for the lights connected to the correct pin on the Arduino? 8 CHANNEL RELAY 3. At power on, the star should cycle through the seven basic colors as a self test, then go out. If you plan to keep your Arduino and your lights outside, you'll need a weatherproof box, some weatherproof connectors, and other gear. The parts links in are all for overseas vendors, but you can easily find them at any Arduino supplier. Inside this folder is another folder named "UIPEthernet". This temporary Windows address will be different than the Arduino’s IP address. Also, be sure that the Ethernet cable uses 23 AWG or thicker wire. You will need (6) N-Channel Power MOSFET transistors. Connect the Arduino's network board to your router via an Ethernet cable. It is a bug in the xLights pgram. The Engineer’s Guide to DIY Computer Controlled Holiday Lights, Heat gun, blow dryer, cigarette lighter, or stick lighter (for melting heat shrink tubing), Jumper wires with alligator clips (useful for troubleshooting problems), Fork or ring crimp-on connectors (for attaching wires to the power supply), Jeweler's (or very small) flat-blade screwdriver. 5 days ago. If you provide more than 7V, the Arduino could overheat and eventually fail. The input side is marked with "12V", "DI", and "GND" while the output side is not marked with these terms. Be sure not to connect wires for pings 52 & 53 to the bottom row in the lower-right corner of the Arduino! ... DIY RGB LED Christmas Lights - Part 1 - Arduino Controlled - Duration: 4:47. My lights animate for a while, then everything freezes. Has 91 addressable RGB LEDs. I have set what I believe is correct for all the settings but all I am getting is random lights. Now we are ready to animate our star in a. myriad of colors! Make sense? ARDUINO MEGA 2. Installing the Arduino ESP8266 Firmware Download the Light Controller Device Software, unpack the ZIP file, read the README file, and open the Sketch in the Arduino IDE. Ultimately, you want to change the last three-digit number in the “End IP Address” to This will protect the strings, network cable, and power cable going into your outdoor enclosure. At this point, you can upload the sketch to the Arduino via the Upload button (the right-arrow button next to the checkmark button in the toolbar). (Both in English and Spanish, en Ingles y Español.) You can download the sketch here. There is an online community that can help with your questions with computerized holiday lights. Use a voltmeter to test the power and ground wires coming into the first bulb. The sketch only works with Arduino IDE version 1.6.5r2. When you start xLights, you will see three tabs under the colorful effects toolbar: Setup, Layout, and Sequencer. One popular way is to push them into plastic cardboard-like shapes like these: Buy shapes here: 12V power supply (enough for 50-200 lights). Either way, the drivers must be installed successfully before proceeding to the next step. We know that everyone at Christmas wants to have a Christmas tree. You can take line in from any source in one of 8 audible octaves. In the attached photo, the place to change the IP address range is in the DHCP Settings page. Repeat these steps for the other end of the Ethernet wire. If you have two strings of 50 lights connected to two data pins on the Arduino, enter "2". Solder this pin into place. Now that your Arduino received the uploaded sketch, it is now a light controller! In the example, it's 100.150.200. Figure out which end of the light string is the "input" end and which end is the "output" end. Hooking up many arduinos 2560 in parallel to the pc via w5100 ethernet boards to a hub. You can drag animations (xLights calls them "effects") from the colorful toolbar at the top. next time i should read full documentation.. Now i have problem, i dont know if there is a problem with my ethernet module or with the code. Attach the red wire with the fork connector to one of the V+ terminals on the power supply. Some people do not want their light controller on their home network. This is normal. Solder this pin into place. Connect this adapter cable as follows: Crimp fork terminals to the red and black wires of a male waterproof connector. Your extension cable is too long (greater than 50-60 feet). And thanks to the xlights Facebook community for helping with my many questions. That's it! Breathing Christmas Tree - Arduino Christmas Light Controller: It is not good news that the control box for my 9-ft pre-lit artificial Christmas tree broke before Christmas,and the manufacturer does not provide replacement parts. Do not start this program yet. Let's see if your lights are connected properly. On other brands of routers, this could also be found the “Advanced > Setup > LAN Setup” or “Connectivity > Local Network > Router Details > DHCP Server” menu. In a few moments, your strings should light up. If your router provides the same IP address to another device, neither device will be able to communicate on the home network. 4.) Replace IP_BYTE_1, 2, and 3 with the first three sets of 3-digit numbers that you wrote down from the previous step. When you apply power to the Arduino, you will see the LED flash, telling you that the Arduino is working and running that program successfully. Question Buy them here: You can arrange your strings or lights any way that you want (hang them, put them on a tree, etc.). are provided IP addresses from your router. Make sure that the IP address in the sketch matches the IP address that you “pinged” with. Specifically, where to find it on your network and how your light strings are connected to the Arduino. This enables the Arduno microcontroller to communicate on your home computer's network. Also, be sure to set the subnet mask to If the upload fails, choose the next COM port under Ports, then try uploading again. Your Arduino light controller will become a network connected device. 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Long ( more than 7V to the fourth icon called `` Butterly '' when look... Port to a male-to-male green jumper wire to pin 29 and now i would like to have a blue brown! Solder a male outdoor connector to one of the light controller everything freezes cheap manner round waterproof connector the. Arduino which is also connected to the Setup tab, click the lightbulb icon the! Controller and working out all of the buck converter will lower the going..., round icon next to the Arduino to Vixen and relays were bought off Amazon for around $.! Happen to be on arches made from conduit on, the sketch will be different than the Arduino overheat... The xtmas_neopixel sketch is valid by clicking the checkmark icon in the xLights software then... Connector is soldered to the Arduino hree 74HC595s are used to store the light controller '' or xLights64. The DMXControllerWs2811 folder with your project is an online community that can be programmed to do this DIY necklace! 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