As my first Arduino project I wanted to make something impressive but not too challenging. I entered a Christmas Hack with this project and won it! People love Christmas lights.

By the end of this you will have a set of christmas fairy lights that flash in time to jingle bells as can be seen in the attached video. Feel free to modify it and make it your own once you have completed these steps.

During this tutorial I have provided serveral links to Arduino's own tutorials and more about Arduino can be found here.

No soldering required.

Hovering over the image squares gives you more information.

Total time to complete: 2 hours
(you do not need to complete all of this in one sitting)

Please note that as always you will need a computer with USB capabilities to program your Arduino.

Step 1: Things you will need
Step 2: Connecting up the LEDs
Step 3: Making the LEDs blink
Step 4: Setting up the speaker for Jingle Bells
Step 5: Code for Jingle Bells
Step 6: Making the LEDs flash with the sound
Step 7: Starting and stopping with a button
Step 8: Setting up your fairy lights
Step 9: Connecting your relay shield
Step 10: Testing your relay shield
Step 11: Connecting your fairly lights
Step 12: Finished product

Step 1: Things you will need:


Circuit components
  • mini push button (£3.20)
  • LED (£2.89 for 75)
  • 150 ohm resistor (£1.04 for 100) (colour code = brown, green, brown, gold)
  • 100 ohm resistor (£1.02 for 100 ) (colour code = brown, black, brown, gold)
  • 10 K ohm resistor (£1.00 for 100 ) - missing from images (colour code: brown, black , orange, gold)
  • Male to Male jumper pins (£5.99)
  • 8-ohm speaker with cable (£2.48)

  • Solderless breadboard 400 tie points contacts (£2.79)
  • 3A Terminal Block (£2.09)
  • Multifunctional Fairy lights : They must have two or more sets of lights that switch on independently (£14.99)
  • Relay shield: Note. If you use a module shield you will need male to female jumper pins (£25.61)


Total Cost
Arduino : £37.84
Circuit Components: £18.62
Hardware: £44.48
Tools : £5.68
<p>where is the code ?</p>
<p>Hi, the code is attached in step 10 </p>
<p>nicely done, I especially like the way you broke down the project into steps and then merged the steps into the finished 'product.' <br><br>I'm curious about one thing though: my led strings come up in a random 'feature' mode when you first plug them into the mains, rather than in any predictable sequence. They blink or they 'chase' or they fade, but they almost never come on in steady mode. I see from one of the photos that the little box for your lights has a button as well; do these lights predictably start in always-on or steady-light mode when you plug them in so you can safely assume the relays will be modulating an always-on power feed?</p>
Hey, nice to see people still interested in this instructable. With my lights, they always started in the mode I turned them off on.
<p>Nicley Done! Little tweeking with the temp and its pretty cool! Im using it with a remote to find my car in the parking lot with a horn speaker. lol</p>
i would recommend to solder the headers on the relay shield
Thanks for the advice, this may have created a better connection with the relay and arduino. The relay shield came with no instructions and I didn't have access to any soldering equipment hence I just placed them in.

About This Instructable




Bio: I graduated with a degree in Computational Physics. I am now working as a full time web developer but looking to get into embedded software ... More »
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