I used a Raspberry Pi to give my Christmas Tree an IP Address

Christmas tree with IP Address - syncs with MIDI files and audio

In 2013 I thought it was about time I got a Raspberry Pi and decided a good project would be to give my Christmas tree an IP address!

Counting the wires on my Christmas lights and looking at the patterns they could produce it seemed logical that the lights weren't individually addressable but one wire controlled each of the four colours of lights. This hypothesis was proven with some wire cutters :-)

The GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi can't supply a high enough voltage for the Christmas lights - so I used a MOSFET for each colour of light so they could be powered by the original power supply but switched on or off with the GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi.

The first use was a simple Android app to turn the lights on and off. My Christmas Tree had an IP Address!

The next logical step was to react to sound. Each colour of lights has a minimum and maximum amplitude - set in an Android app and uses the microphone on an Android device. Quite simple - but some very interesting results. It was quite satifying to have the lights flash as I typed, clapped or spoke :-)

It seemed a shame not to modify my MIDI editor Android app to make the Christmas lights sync to MIDI files as the score scrolled on the screen. A rest will switch the lights, when the pitch changes the lgiths change colour.

The music to this video is my Nexus Keyboards Class Overture - it features parts of songs and exercises we played over the year. See if you can recognise the Beatles, Michale Jackson, Ghost Busters and many more.