Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas Cheerlights

This year I joined a few other guys in the Cheerlights project.

CheerLights is an ioBridge Labs project that allows people's lights all across the world to synchronize, stay linked based on social networking trends. It's a way to connect physical things with social networking experiences and spread cheer at the same time. We are all connected.

Whenever anyone tweeted @cheerlights or #cheerlights and a color, my house lights (just the deck icicles) changed to that color.

I was a bit of a rebel and decided to change to the tweeted color just for 1 minute instead of just leaving the lights constantly to the selected color. After 1 minute the stockplus program for GE G-35 Color Effects Lights written by sowbug ( took over.

I couldn't resist not using the random mode: these lights are just amazing, and the effects are REALLY cool.

My setup was wireless. I used an ioBrigde module, xbee radios and an arduino to accomplish this.

The other cool part about this year's Christmas lights is that they were programmed to start/stop via a cronjob. I used the ioBridge x10 board and a bunch of x10 devices to accomplish this.

Cronjob entry:

-bash-3.2$ crontab -l

30 15 * * * /oracle/start_cheerlights > /dev/null
00 21 * * * /oracle/stop_cheerlights > /dev/null

Bash script:

curl ""
curl " XXXXXXX&value=1"

*change value 1 for On and 0 for Off.

I also setup an IP webcam to keep an eye on my cheerlights remotely.
For more info on how you can build you own check