Christmas music and lights, synched with a Pi

Chivalry Timbers (I have a feeling that’s not his real name) has gone one step further than all those people who were making flashing pumpkins earlier in the year. He’s hooked up his Pi to a house-sized set of relays and Christmas lights, some MIDI festive tunes, an amplifier and some big speakers, and he’s got the Pi synching the lights to MIDI events. The result…well, video speaks louder than words. Especially if you’ve got the volume turned up.

You can learn how to do something similar to your own electricity bill house on Chivalry Timbers’ blog, where you’ll find software and hardware instructions, a shopping guide and much more in the way of photos and video.

Cat and box of wiring

Chivalry Timbers decided to build a box to house the Pi, amplifier, outlets, relays, and connectors. Here it is, partway through construction, being guarded by Dewey the cat.


Gordon77 avatar

Festive tune ?

liz avatar

Well, it’s festive if you’re a Wookie.

Montekuri avatar

“Luke, come to the Pi Side”.

Norman Dunbar avatar

Darth Vadar: Luke Skywalker, I know what you are getting for Christmas.
Luke: How do you know?
Darth: I felt your presents Luke, I felt your presents.


beta-tester avatar

cool, looks great, but i am happy that i am not your neighbor… all the time that blinking lights would make me sick.

Norman Dunbar avatar

Never mind the lights, the damned music! I hate other people’s music played so loud that I can hear it from my garden. Even if the music is something I like. Why the hell should I, or anyone else, be force fed your taste (ahem, or otherwise) in music?

No-one ever hears my music whther I’m in the house, car or garden. They shouldn’t have to!

No consideration these days!

Yes, I am a grumpy old git at the best of times, but seriously, noise pollution is a huge problem in the UK and we don’t have to put up with it.

Now, having got that off my chest, I can say that it’s a fabulour project and a hugely seasonal use to put a Pi to, just turn the damned music down! ;-)


Statistics have shown that at this time of year, only one in seven dwarves are happy! ;-)

Jon Senior avatar

There was someone doing this sans Pi many years back. His light shows were not generated dynamically however, but pre-recorded to sync with the music which he broadcast on a low-level FM frequency so that passing drivers could tune in their radios and admire. I have a feeling that he wasn’t popular with his neighbours though!

svenn avatar

waw, epic !

paulie avatar

Now that reminds me…
Dengie Boy!

Not really pi-related tho’

tzj avatar

If I had the monies I’d do this I would!
Skills and no cash make tzj something something…

Cogarooni avatar

Im personally very interested in controlling my heating and other things, which will of course involve interfacing the mains AC as per this project and the other project referenced in

There is quite a lively little discussion on the site about safely working with mains voltages, and Alex’s board/mash up did look a little unsafe – of course a picture is not the same as seeing it in real life.

I havent looked at the details of this project so forgive me if he has covered it already. Im all for this sort of stuff but how about an article on safe working with AC in the Magpi. I would hate for someone to hurt themselves or worse. I know there are all sorts of issues to consider but it would be very helpful.


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