Smart Holiday Lights

I thought I would share a work in progress. There will a write up on my blog when the installation is complete.

For some time I have wanted to put up permanent holiday lights on my house that allows me to turn on a holiday theme; Christmas, Halloween, 4th of July etc. wirelessly.

I refuse to get up on the roof in winter… to dangerous, so I wanted something that stays instaleld all year round.

I bought some RGB led strings for my dad’s 90th parade and then kept them as parts for the prototype.

note: my wife does not like blinking and running light shows. The most she can take is fading. This meant that individually addressable lights aren’t required and RGB LED strings fit the requirements and as a result lowered the costs. I found all the parts I needed on Amazon, no electronics or programming required :).

So the specs:

  • Permanent water and weatherproof installation.
  • RGB led strings
  • Wifi control via Google home and my mobile
  • Programmable fade of colors
  • Mobile and wifi timer for on-off control of shows
  • Google home control of main power
  • Professional looking (invisible) wiring and controller
  • Inexpensive as possible
  • Operable, Repairable [must have apps, schematics and documentation]

The final BOM of tested parts (not all is installed yet):
4X: 300 led strings (1121 used)
[ I found a deal on Amazon that included a 300 LED light string and 12V 6a supply with a remote-controlled controller (not used) for $20.]
2x 6A power supplies (included with LED’s)
1x: junction box (Lowes)
1x Sonoff wifi relay [removes all power]
1x: Google home compatible controller [light shows from google commands]
1x: mobile access (app comes with the controller)
2x: repeaters [amplifies the controller output for scale]
3x: waterproof automotive connectors
2x: ac sockets [for wiring the 12V bricks that came with the lights]
2x: fuse and 12v indicators
2x: terminal black
1x: 100ft roll of 18ga 4 wire jacketed speaker wire
19x: mounting track sections, diffusers and assorted hardware [Al, plastic, and stainless]
Multiple cable glands

The design and fab:
Mounted in a large junction box under eves
LEDs mounted in track with

The schematic: https://www.digikey.com/schemeit/project/holiday-lights-V9U2SR85013G/

The power design spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LqshUhgPkGu3nB_FbQVgxE9UCxbBW0HrQ5p0oPpaZC4/edit?usp=sharing

The controller (wifi controller, repeaters and second-string power supply not installed yet):

Controller mounting:

The track mounting:

All the elements of the design are tested this is a running prototype section:

The prototype section running:

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I completed the next phase of my holiday lights project.

  • Installed west channel electronics into the controller box
  • Installed 2x RGB drivers
  • Installed voice-activated light color controller.

A planned build video is in my delinquent QUE. If anyone wants more info before then, let me know and I will accelerate its creation…

The controller now has 2 channels with RGB drivers for each. One goes east and one goes west.
The west string is not installed as it’s to damn cold and snowy here, not going to get on a ladder. I will install that in the spring.

Here is the voice testing:

The final build:

Controls:
Turn the entire unit on and off from mobile remote or Google Assistant
Adjust the colors, brightness and program from mobile app.
Adjust the colors and brightness from Google Assistant

Build features:

  • All the parts are available at Amazon and Lowes
  • Uses low-cost LED strip/power supply kits
  • All mounting parts and wiring materials identified
  • High output power 4 amp per color channel.
  • Outputs are fused with indicators
  • Water/weather resistant
  • No programming!
    *Control for remote pad, mobile app or Google Assistant
  • DIY build video (planned)

BTW this should also work with Alexa!

Schematic is here, includes schematic of RGB amplifier:
https://www.digikey.com/schemeit/project/holiday-lights-V9U2SR85013G/

Other than additional string installations I think I am done! YA RIGHT!

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