This week I gave a talk on Hacking Holiday Lights at Kenna Security and here is the promised accompanying blog that outlines the hardware and software I demoed for easy reference for anyone who wants to build their own holiday lights.
I looked at a bunch of different boards that ended up having a variety of technical hurdles and ended up really liking the first two boards for ease of use and the last one for the “Real Hacker Experience”.
- Some Soldering Required.
- Most Programable.
- The Kube NodeMCU LED Strip Controller
- Runs WLED Software
- 3D Printed Enclosure.
- AllPixelMini Universal LED Controller
- Requires a PI or Laptop to run.
- Here is a simple python script to scroll a text message on an 8*32 matrix.
Getting the right lights for your project is probably one of the most important parts of building out your project. Below are the lights I have used and really like.
- Stick with 5V Lights.
- This allows the strip and controller to be run from a single USB cable.
- Alibaba has tons of lights if you have extra time.
- Tindie is always is adding new controllers to check out.
This has been an amazingly fun project that I was able to do with my son and my hardware hacking is not always that easy. You can easily build more complex and complicated displays using these tools and I hope you have fun exploring these systems and finding the right fit for you. If you have any questions please ping me on twitter @jgamblin.