Christmas Light Props - Including Arduino controlled WS2811 RGB LEDs
Pine Christmas Trees with LED strands
- 33inch Tomato Cages
- Brass brazing rods
- Steel wire
- Artificial Pine Garland
- LEDs or lights of your choice
- 4 inch yard staples
I ended up making 8 of these little trees, this took 2 100 foot rolls of garland.
I basically stood the tomato cages upside down and used some steel wire to bring and hold the ends together at a point. Once secured I used a brass brazing rod to lock everything in place.
I then wrapped each tomato cage in a nice rigged garland. It took 200 feet in total to wrap 8 of these trees.
I also wrapped each tree with 2 25 foot strands of Red and Green LED Christmas lights from 1000bulbs.com
LED Lighted Bells
To create my LED lit bells I have on the Garage, I first found some bell designs I liked on google then imported them into Photoshop and traced their outline.
Once I had the design, I enlarged them to my desired size with Big Print
I taped the prints together and began bending some metal rod to match the shape of the printout.
The rod I used was 1/8" x 3ft round steal welding rod, and can be a bit tricky to bend.
Any cross sections or connections, I used a brass brazing rod to join them together. I ended up making 2 large bells and 2 small bells.
Once everything was brazed together and in the shape I wanted, I painted everything with a few coats of black spray paint to protect everything from the elements a bit.
I secured UV stable clear PVC tube to the metal frame with zip ties and then fed LED strips through the PVC tube and soldered everything together.
32 Channel Arduino Controlled Relay box
The Arduino code used to communicate with Vixen 3
To control the relays, I connected all 32 of them into the Arduino Mega on input pins starting on pin 22 of the Arduino and ending the last relay on pin 53 of the Arduino.
Using the code attached above, I was able to configure Vixen 3 to talk to the Arduino and then turn each relay off and on.
Any time I utilize these in Vixen, I just am sure to do a set level of off or on as these are mechanical relays and cannot do PWM dimming.
Once I had a working relay controller, I hooked the relays up to a bank of 32 dual port power outlets. Now I can plug in lights and test everything
Lastly, I placed everything into a wheeled, outdoor, water-proof tote and drilled a few holes to route power cables through.
WS2811 RGB LED Star
Following the same steps I used to create the LED lit bells, I printed out a star design to scale that I wanted to use.
Once I had the basic shape and everything welded together and painted, I then zip tied the RGB LEDs to the newly made frame
Once all LEDs were connected, I used my Vixen-Duino code for WS2811 LEDs and ran a few tests
Download the Arduino Code below
I then mounted the start to a 1 inch PVC frame to stand it up on my garage roof.
I am working on new items for the 2019 display! This year I will be adding; 4 more Pixel Arches, 6 pixel spiral trees and still debating a small pixel grid on the front office window.
The spiral trees are made from 42inch tomato cages
Wrapped with 50 WS2811 RGB LEDs each and zip tied like crazy!
I then use these 3 Pin water proof adapters on each of the the LED strands for connections, and I am using 18awg 3 conductor wire for the wire runs between each tree and from the Arduino controller to the first tree.
(of course sealing it all up with some water resistant heat shrink)
I am working on a assembly video of the spiral trees and should have it up in a couple of weeks!
Making my RGB Christmas Tree Topper Star
My new controller board, sporting 6 Arduino Uno R3 boards and 4 Arduino Nano boards, 1 Raspberry Pi 4 4GB, 2 40/50AMP PSUs, 1 USB 3 HUB and a pack of Bus Bars for power.
The brackets I made to mount the Power Supplies and Raspberry Pi 4 can be found on my Thingiverse page.