Maybe it was having dealt with COVID-19 much of the year, or maybe it was something else. The week before Thanksgiving we talked about when we would put up our tree. That cascaded into a conversation about whether or not to put a little more effort into our outside Chistmas display. In previous years, that has consisted of about 4 strings of AC lights strung in a few bushes.

I got on Amazon and ordered some string LED’s for the roof line. I started looking for some decorating ideas when I hit upon a site talking about a little app called lightshowpi and synchronizing holiday lights to music. I read… and kept reading… and even read some more. I happened to have a spare Raspberry Pi 4 sitting around and an 8 channel relay. I started playing around, bought more lights, swapped the 8 channel relay for 2x 8-channel solid state relays, bought a ton of landscaping wire and vampire plugs… and whoohooo!

The result was pretty cool. I could play music and the lights would flicker on/off in-sync with it. I imagine this is what Cro-Magnons felt like when they made their first bone fish hooks.

I say that because shortly after getting everything perfected and feeling very accomplished, I happened upon this Johnson Family Christmas video.

I imagine this is what a Cro-Magnon would feel like after building their first bone fish hook, only to have someone from the 21st century introduce them to stainless steel.

So, from there I immediately started my research, design and planning for next year.

Nonetheless, here is a short video demonstrating my first animated light display with lightshowpi.