Light up your limbs

Here’s a Christmas tree project we can get behind. The “tree” itself is made of twisted pairs of insulated copper wire.  At the end of each pair a surface mount LED has been soldered between the two conductors.  All of the wire limbs converge into a 4×4 matrix. One tree uses a prototyping shield and an Arduino, the other tree is just using an ATtiny2313 microprocessor. Take a look at the twinkling tree in the video after the break.

This artful creation uses one color of LEDs.  We’d love to see future improvements that incorporate multiple colors, enhance the fading effects, and perhaps add some interactivity such as pulsing to an inspiring rendition of Chestnuts Roasting on and Open Fire (which, consequently, is called “The Christmas Song“).


  1. saimhe says:

    Yep, needs more colors and a microphone so it becomes some kind of graphic equalizer (red for bass, blue for treble, etc).

  2. monkeyslayer56 says:

    kinda dull looking… but i like the consept

  3. Mav says:

    Could use an led on each port pin and run a Fast Fourier Transform on a mic input attached to an A/D pin. Reasonably easy to implement but whether it’d be worth the effort for such a fun silly project is another thing.

  4. Vanessa says:

    Great ideas on using microphone and equalizer! Our goal was to create a subtle christmas decoration where we could play with multiplexing. :)

  5. Mav says:

    Cool. If you want even more LED’s in the next iteration you could look into playing with charlieplexing this is a little more complex than multiplexing (but not much) and will let you for example run 6 leds from only 3 I/O

  6. M4CGYV3R says:

    Don’t add music, Christmas music sucks. If you’re going to make it blink add some Trans-Siberian Orchestra or Manneheim Steamroller, not that traditional bullshit we hear every year.

  7. Paul says:

    drill a hole in the pot and get that wire outta there :P

  8. sneakypoo says:

    More LEDs, sure. More colours, noes. I really really dislike the multicolour christmas lights that seem to dominate the scenery in the US. Keep it nice and clean like it is :)

  9. napalm says:

    I second that, traditional stuff sucks.

  10. Farris says:

    Why not add two more wires per strand and throw some RGBs up top?

  11. Vanessa says:

    Hi all, we’ve added schematics, hex file, two photos of ATTINY2313 connected and a readme to the GeekPhysical blog.

  12. Whatnot says:

    Wow, that looks sad and pitiful, sorry but it does, and I think it’s on purpose.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,725 other followers