Merry Boxes & LEDs

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During Christmas 2016 I stared in awe at a neighbour's fabulous Christmas light display. They had moving trains, characters, music, it was amazing. There was an ice cream van.


I resolved that next year we would build a display to rival theirs. Not in volume, watts, quality, charm or creativity, but in raw nerdiness. In November of 2017, unreasonably late, I ordered 80 metres of 30 led/meter WS2812B RGB LED tape. When it arrived I took a week off work and started soldering, wiring and writing code like a madman. I recorded progressive video logs as the deadline rushed closer. The videos detail how the controllers talk to the LEDs, which protocols I've used, and lots of other detail:



My goal was to create an interactive Christmas lights display from whole cloth. Eventually it all came together! People could come by, go to the website on their phone, and vote for which pattern they wanted to display on the lights! They could play snake! I burned out four ATX power supplies! It was great. We had crowds of people in our cul-de-sac playing with our Christmas lights. When kids turned up I went down with my 4 year old son and we handed out Zooper Doopers (An Australian ice lolly) to everyone.


This year I doubled the vertical resolution, added many more patterns, and wrote some multiplayer games. It was even better! Google analytics showed 633 unique visitors over the holiday period. A smashing success.


Here's a video I shot for my competition entry:



I'm in the process of making my code less embarrassing. Once that's done I'll publish it under GPL.


Thanks for your consideration!