Sunday, 9 December 2012

Raspberry Pi Lights: how to sync Christmas lights to midi audio

I found a link on the Make website leading to this project where somebody has used a Raspberry PI to synchronize Christmas lights to music.
There are no detailed diagrams so I wouldn't rate this as a beginners project, more a series of ideas and resources that you could use to create your own. The components listed are for US shops and e-bay, but in the UK they are just as easily available from rapid and Maplin.
I appreciate that for many of our Genteel readers this is all a bit "Essex" but after twelfth night this could easily be used to control all manner of other electrical devices in other situations.
The only real limits would be the current capacity of the relays you bought and the fact that they are on/off only, not gradual faders. My first thought would be for turning lights on and off with an intelligent sequence at night to make it look as if somebody were in your house.
I was told by one of Kent's finest that the best light to leave on is the toilet/bathroom, because anybody watching from outside will understand why you don't answer the phone or come to the door. That sort of makes sense but even after a cheap take away curry this would look a bit suspicious after an hour or so, so how about..
  • Bathroom light on
  • Wait 15 minutes
  • Landing light on
  • Bathroom light off
  • Bedside light on
  • Landing light off
  • Bedroom TV (or small LED array to change colour) on, sound from MP3 player?
  • Repeat every hour or so.
Hopefully Harry the crim would assume that you were watching TV in bed, so you were in, and just couldn't be bothered to get up.

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