Massive Pixel Display Holiday Decoration

Decorating for the holidays is serious business! Finding themselves surrounded by neighbours who go big, redditor [wolfdoom] decided that this was the year to make a strong showing, and decided to build an oversized pixel LED display.

LED Pixel Holiday DisplayDemonstrating resourcefulness in their craft, [wolfdoom] found an old fluorescent light grid pattern to prevent bleed from one pixel to the next. Reusing this grid saves many hours of precision-cutting MDF — to be substituted with many hours of cutting the plastic with decidedly more room for error. Attaching the resulting grid to a sheet of plywood, and 576(!) drilled holes later, the LEDs were installed and laboriously wired together.

A Plastic light diffusing sheet to sell the pizel effect and a little help from their local maker space with the power circuit was enough to keep this project scrolling to completion — after the requisite period of basement-dwelling fabrication.


Despite some minor demotion attributed to a clumsy daughter, the massive 4×4 display remained a suitably festive decoration. For now the control system remains in [wolfdoom]’s basement, but with plans to incorporate it into the display’s frame down the road.

One of the more interesting LED matrix builds we saw this year is the one that uses 1575 beer bottles. For a more interactive holiday decorations, Halloween usually takes the cake — like this animated door knocker.

[via /r/DIY]

15 thoughts on “Massive Pixel Display Holiday Decoration

  1. 4′ X 4′? 576 pixels? That’s nothin! I helped my friend build a 12′ X 8′ matrix with 13,824 pixels 2 years ago. It hangs on his garage door at Christmas. His is hardly the biggest. Some other Christmas fanatics have done as large as 20′ X 16′. The pixels are not all laboriously wired as they normally come in sets of 50, or you can easily custom order them from China with any number per string, and any spacing. Want to build your own? They sell everything at

  2. Give James credit for “Making” something. Give James credit for completing his project.
    Someone else may see this as “I can do that” kick in the pants to do their own “Making”.
    Good job James, don’t let anyone tell you different.

    1. Yes, you are right! My friend’s (or any of the other giant ones I have seen) do not include a diffuser and/or a grid to keep the light separated between pixels. James’ is not the biggest, but it is very clean and professional build. Kudos James!

    2. My thoughts exactly. Be positive people. Criticism is fine if it’s constructive. Things like “I like the use of the prefab metal grid” or “doing blah blah next time would make life easier”.

    3. Exactly!

      I actually think this is great. I have an old 24″x48″ plexi panel from a light table sitting around. I wanted to make it in to a display I could hang on my wall. The plan was to use a raspberry pi to make a website that would allow you to play Tetris on it, and have it play random visualizations or visualizations for sound the rest of the time.

      I’ve been pretty stuck because I wanted square pixels, but I couldn’t come up with a way of making this that wasn’t incredibly labor intensive. This grid option is perfect, and I can pick one up from Home Depot for less than $20.

      I swear, if Galileo had posted his telescope on HaD, the comments would have said “not a hack!” and criticized him because it was kind of blurry.

    1. can’t take his demeanor seriously, exactly the kind of guy you expect to cover his house in lights. Love the “family” part, as if his kids were involved or his wife approved! just keep mentioning how it isn’t “that” expensive and hope his wife doesn’t check the bank statements. i find it very difficult to follow imperial measurements they just rattle off a whole bunch of numbers apparently at random!

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