Light Sync House

When I first saw Christmas lights blinking in time to music, I had give it a go myself.

This video shows version 5 of my miniature light sync house. At less than a foot high, and USB powered, it’s super portable. LEDs and Electroluminescent wire make this possible. The amplifier and speakers are powered separately at the moment, but aren’t required if you use a bluetooth speaker or connect to a stereo.

VixenLights software allowed easy (and free) synchronization of the music and lights. Easier, I should add, as several hours still go into the making of one song’s worth of light show.

This version of my house acts like a computer peripheral. It shows whatever light sequence VixenLights throws out. The connected laptop or computer does the work of playing the music and outputting a stream of data to the house. An Arduino microcontroller takes this stream of data and controls the lights. The EL wire requires an extra step, a power supply that raises the 5 volt USB power to 200 volts at very low current. Handling this high voltage was the hardest part of this project, and I ended up using optoisolating triacs for separating the low and high voltages.

The next step I’ll be taking involves the computer software. Namely the ability to auto synchronize with music being played, such as a radio station or at a party.

IMG_2947

Rat’s nest of wires! Amp to the right, mainboard in the middle, EL power supply and Arduino to the left

Better view of mainboard. MM5450 LED chip in the middle of all the white triacs

View of EL power supply in a plastic case

Amplifier

Underside of mainboard

EL power supply and control

Arduino Micro, with connectors on the used pins

House with Vixen Lights running next to it

Schematic for light control. Click for full size

2016LightHouseSequence for Pentatonix Carol Of the Bells

LightHouseControl2016 Arduino Code (.ino)

Feel free to comment or contact me if you have questions! 🙂

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