This was a fun project to try to make some flashing lights. Of course, it needed to be a bit more complex than that so a Raspberry Pi was used for Internet connectivity, and some analog circuitry was used to generate multiple PWM outputs to drive strings of lamps. Everything can be dimmed or particular patterns selected from any web browser. For a holiday look, the lamps were enclosed in star-shaped laser-cut acrylic. All the steps are detailed here if you wish to build something similar.
The controller board was built in two evenings after work, and the strings of lamps can take a few hours to assemble; so this could be a weekend project.
Even if you’ve already have your holiday lights arranged by now, this post may be useful for the following information:
Using 555 timers
Controlling a DAC using the Raspberry Pi
Controlling hardware using MOSFETs
The source code is also useful if you have other requirements for controlling or retrieving status information from software or hardware using a web browser.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.