Global sunrise/sunset Raspberry Pi art installation

24h Sunrise/Sunset is a digital art installation that displays a live sunset and sunrise happening somewhere in the world with the use of CCTV.

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Artist Dries Depoorter wanted to prove that “CCTV cameras can show something beautiful”, and turned to Raspberry Pi to power this global project.

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Harnessing CCTV

The arresting visuals are beamed to viewers using two Raspberry Pi 3B+ computers and an Arduino Nano Every that stream internet protocol (IP) cameras with the use of command line media player OMXPlayer.

Dual Raspberry Pi power

The two Raspberry Pis communicate with each other using the MQTT protocol — a standard messaging protocol for the Internet of Things (IoT) that’s ideal for connecting remote devices with a small code footprint and minimal network bandwidth.

One of the Raspberry Pis checks at which location in the world a sunrise or sunset is happening and streams the closest CCTV camera.

The insides of the sleek display screen…

Beam me out, Scotty

The big screens are connected with the I2C protocol to the Arduino, and the Arduino is connected serial with the second Raspberry Pi. Dries also made a custom printed circuit board (PCB) so the build looks cleaner.

All that hardware is powered by an industrial power supply, just because Dries liked the style of it.


Everything is written in Python 3, and Dries harnessed the Python 3 libraries BeautifulSoup, Sun, Geopy, and Pytz to calculate sunrise and sunset times at specific locations. Google Firebase databases in the cloud help with admin by way of saving timestamps and the IP addresses of the cameras.


The artist stood infront of the two large display screens
Image of the artist with his work by

And, lastly, Dries requested a shoutout for his favourite local Raspberry Pi shop Gotron in Ghent.

If you’d like to check out more of Dries’ work, you can find him online here or on Instagram.


Bogdan avatar

How the Arduino is used? For what?

Gary Tait avatar

To feed data to the VFDS as far as I can see.

Jeff Cullen avatar

It looks like the Arduino is being used for the vacuum fluorescent displays because they operate at 5V (including the i2c lines)
(see for the VFD Module)

Bogdan avatar

Ok, now I see it on picture, thank you!
This part from original article sounds completely confusing and wrong then:

‘The big screens are connected with the I2C protocol to the Arduino, and the Arduino is connected serial with the second Raspberry Pi.’

Floris avatar

cool that you can see the sunshine on a another place!

Solena avatar

Arduino is a Microcontroller board developed by and based on Atmega328p / Atmega168

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