One way to reuse your Christmas lights post-holiday

[Andrew] shows us one way to reuse all those strands of Christmas lights you used for decoration this year. He had a friend that was helping with stage props for a local musical and ended up using his skills to build a lighted sign with some animation capabilities.

The original plan was to cut out letters for a sign by hand and ring them with white Christmas lights. It is possible to hand cut parts reasonably well, but [Andrew] knew he could get a much better result in less time using a CNC ShopBot to make them. He didn’t know the spacing for the lights so waited and drilled holes for them by hand. Each strand is connected to a relay, then driven by an Arduino. They turned out great as you can see in the clip after the break.

This is a timely hack, because it uses plain old while incandescent bulb strands which will be going on sale in the next few days. Usually you can get them on clearance for a dollar or less so plan ahead and hit the big box store early.

Comments

  1. Zee says:

    He took down the xmas lights before xmas is over?

  2. Hirudinea says:

    Nice hack, and I’m glad he had the good taste not to shake his ass in the video.

  3. N0LKK says:

    Would using lights that where used to celebrate Jesus birthday to to build a sign advertizing burlesque be on route to hell? I always figured the Hackaday staff would lead us astray. :) No worries, who would send hackers to hell risking they may figure out a way to cool it down some?

  4. obsoehollerith says:

    Aint’ no place fer religion here- (GAWD Damnit!) LOL!

  5. obsoehollerith says:

    Aint’ no place fer religion here- (GAWD Durnit!) LOL!

  6. Hal H says:

    Yee Gads. Listen to those relays click. Three words good hacker: Solid State Relay. Or just try to enclose the relay box with a little noise dampener.

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