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.

15 thoughts on “Light Controller Goes Overboard For Halloween

    1. I think the controller is technically impressive, but I tend to agree with you. Halloween is supposed to be scary. You can get away with uplifting techno music for Christmas, but if anything a Halloween show should have mood music at best.

    2. I started off sequencing ambient / effects stuff but the kids really like the music so I stuck mostly with that. I started the project back in September so didn’t have much time to sequence. The following are the first two sequences I did and are more “Halloweeny”, if you will..
      A Clockwork Orange – (my first sequence)
      Funeral March –

      Playlist with most of our show is here –

      However, if you really want to kill the mood, there’s always Nyan Cat :) — we didn’t run this one for fear of getting egged..

      1. The point I was trying to make is the ambient sounds like someone chocking on blood or a creaking door as a room lights up or motion detection when the kids enter the porch or something would make this freakishly scary. The music makes it seem like I’m watching the thriller video.

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