Hacking the Garden Lights

10/27/07

Since I had a stack of pixel circuit boards from the factory, I decided to make some Halloween lights for the trick-or-treaters.

Solar powered garden lights are nothing new. Contrary to the marketing copy on the box, they cast their pale yellow or blue glow mere inches across the yard. It was time for a change.

I chose 16 of these lanterns, which complemented the lighting package on the rest of the house. They’re spaced about four feet apart along the sidewalk and driveway in front of the house.

I inserted an RGB lighting engine into each chassis, connected them together with CAT-5 cable, ziptied the cables to the lantern stand, and voila:

YouTube Video Clip:

Warning: My camera isn’t so great. For some reason, the brightness levels have been heavily quantized. In real life, the fades are very smooth and clean. The flickering amber flames, in particular, are very realistic.

RGB DMX Controlled Garden Lanterns