Chapter 2

Animating Holiday Lights


check Decorating your house with computer-controlled flashy holiday lights

check Looking at Light-O-Rama controllers

check Programming a light sequence with Light-O-Rama’s Sequence Editor software

Have you seen those crazy animated light shows some people put up for the holidays, in which thousands of lights (or maybe tens of thousands or in some cases hundreds of thousands) are sequenced in time with music to create dazzling displays? Usually the lights are sequenced to cool holiday music by Mannheim Steamroller or Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Often the music is broadcast over a low-wattage FM transmitter, so when you drive by the house to see the show, you can just tune your radio to the local broadcast to hear the music. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, just hop onto YouTube and search for Christmas lights. You’ll find plenty of videos.

If you’ve ever wanted to create such a display yourself, this chapter will show you how. Although you can design the circuitry to control light shows like this from scratch, the easiest way to build a light show is to buy an inexpensive lighting controller. That way, you can focus your energies on the design ...

Get Electronics All-in-One For Dummies, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.