Flameless jack-o’-lantern with an ATtiny13

[aballen] wanted to light the jack-o’-lantern this year with something that didn’t actually require fire. After searching for a project that was cheap and yielded decent results, he ended up just making his own. This project utilizes an ATtiny13 and two LEDs, red and orange.  The overall build is quick and simple with some very basic code for the flickering. If you really want it more enclosed, there is this similar project using a cheap electric candle. Of course, not everyone has the time or desire to make one that is this realistic. You could always just go the easy way, no microcontroller required.

Why limit it to just lighting up your pumpkin though? Lets take a stroll through Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories hallways and see the Snap O Lantern or the dark detecting pumpkin and the Cyclonolantern.


  1. avaviel says:

    I see your context spell checker was turned off! “using a cheap electric candle. Of course” and not “using a cheap electric candle. Of coarse”

    Keep up the great work hack a day! Because I point our your errors it means I love you! Want your posts to look great ^^

  2. Andrew says:

    What? and you call this geek? What is this??? Flameless? I need to double check the hand book, but I am fairly certain geek == “Giant Fireball from Jack-o’-lantern controlled by attiny13″?!?!?!?!?!?

    (cool concept and all… but I swear there needs to be fire/explosions somewhere! this is just all wrong. Am I in a parallel universe or something?)

  3. kurf says:

    Hey, not every project fits everyone’s bill. This basic project is great for a beginner, I applaud.

  4. freyyr890 says:

    Alright, somebody has to do a follow up to this with the reverse configuration.

    Fire. Lots of fire. And explosions.

  5. ehrichweiss says:

    there’s only one problem with **not** using a candle in a jack-o-lantern: the pumpkin will rot very fast because the candle aids in drying the pumpkin out and the soot/wax seem to offer some form of protection as well.

  6. poof says:

    Ok – so you add a small electrode with a .010″ airgap, capacitor, and a timer. Float this device in a pool of charcoal lighter fluid. Once activated, device works as originally designed until timer expires, then the capacitor charges and creates enough voltage to jump the airgap creating a wonderful ignition source for the lighter fluid. The pumpkin will thank you for a quick incineration over a slow rotting death, but the fire department may want a word with you!

  7. Jynx says:



    Just yes.

  8. carlton says:

    neat, but I’m thinking an all analog approach could be cheaper and (in my totally bias opinion) cooler (thinking 555, or even less, but some means of “pink” noise or something for the flickering, which the micro does randomly, instead of just doing it at a fixed frequency).

    nice, cheap solution though!

  9. kurf says:



  10. Nice project. I wish I had the skill or patience to make my own flameless candles! Think I will stick to buying them though.

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