Light Controller Goes Overboard for Halloween


Yep, we said it. This Halloween decoration goes way overboard… and we love it! Not only does [Shelby Merrick] put on an incredible sound and light show for the neighborhood, but he keeps us happy by posting all the details for the lighting controller he designed. He calls the creation FloodBrain as it’s switching a set of flood lights to achieve the effects seen above. But for the full experience you’ll want to watch the demo videos below as well.

He needed a way to switch twelve RGB flood lights which pull 10 Watts. His controller was designed to communicate with them via RS485, with an AVR Xmega8E5 controlling the system. We like it that he included some images of the manufacturing process, using a stencil for solder paste before placing components for reflow.

The floodlights themselves are also an interesting hack. To get what he wanted at the best price he picked up 10W white LED flood lights for about eight bucks a piece, then swapped out the LED itself for an RGB version (same wattage) using the same heat sink and case.

More often that not we see this type of system controlling Christmas lights. [Shelby] mentions that he did get help from Christmas light controller forum We also think he should have no problem repurposing the controller for that type of application.


  1. joe says:

    amazing, great job.

  2. Dave says:

    Really cool. Nice work, kudos!

  3. Joejoedancer says:

    The music kills the mood. Isn’t it supposed to be scary and not cheesy?

  4. Michael says:

    This is so nice! Keep up the good work!

  5. Tiersten says:

    Really nicely made controller. I like the buck converters in the lid with detachable wiring.

  6. Matt says:

    Very nicely done.
    I like the sequencing too, and I’m picky about that.

  7. Travis Kneale says:
  8. komby says:

    Absolutely awesome! Great work on the hardware and sequencing!

  9. Thanks everyone, and HaD for featuring this!

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