I will show you how to create your own computerized light show!!  If you have any questions or comments feel free to post.




  A few options are;

  • LOR ( Light-O-Rama
  • Vixen Lights
Most of these light shows have a big setup cost for the software and hardware. However they are a much easier setup. The vixen lights is free but will take some foot or should I say finger work but if you are up for it it will be well worth it. I chose to use vixen lights and I have already done all of the searching and will share all of this with you in one spot. So grab some snacks and a drink and get ready to learn. I decided to use the arduino as the hardware controller, but there are many supported hardware options. 

Step 1: Things Needed

  • Vixen lights program
  • Arduino ( I'll assume you know how to use one )
  • Relay board or if you choose to build one click here  for my build info
  • Female cord ends ( I found some on ebay ) But the ones on LoghtORama web site are longer.
  • Plastic enclosure (see pic)
  • Computer
<p>I used this to control my Animatronic Dog! :-) Thanks for posting!</p>
Thats an awesome use! I'm glad it was able to help. Thank you for the comment!
<p>Hi, i was wondering how the lights run off it as arduino outputs 5v only</p>
The arduino 5v signals triggers a transistor and in turn triggers a relay. The relay then switches the higher voltages.
<p>so it makes 5v to 240v</p>
Here is an article to help https://www.google.com/amp/www.instructables.com/id/Controlling-AC-light-using-Arduino-with-relay-modu/%3Famp_page%3Dtrue
Yes, as long as you use the relay that is properly suited for the voltages you will be controlling.
<p>I am running the Arduino Mega with 2 8 channel SSR high trigger cards and using Vixen 2.1. Everything works great when I play individual sequence's but when I try to run the as a program the first one plays and the I get an error message that says in part &quot;Unhandled exception has occured in your application&quot; Invalid Argument=Value of -1 is not valid for index Parameter&quot; and my com port closes. I have to shut down to open it up again.</p>
What windows version are you using? Some arduinos models wont work to well with Windows 10.
<p>when i have my light show set up and try to execute my light show, the controller sets off lights incorrectly. for example if i set it up so only one light will go off the controller sets one light off at a time in a scrolling fashion instead of just the one that i had hoped would go off.</p>
<p>never mind it was just that the program had to many out puts written into it</p>
<p>Hello I'm new to vixen. I made the sequence, I used the code on arduino. and i'm using 3 channels for now. Can somebody tell me how do I execute the whole process??<br>I made the sequence on a song now I want to turn my lights on that particular sequence, how do I tell arduino to do that??</p>
<p>I need some more details. </p><p>What version of Vixen are you using?</p><p>How do you have the arduino connected to the computer?</p><p>Even though you are only using 3 channels on vixen the total channel count in the arduino code needs to match the vixen channel output.</p><p>Post the code you have loaded on the arduino and post a few screen shots of the vixen setup you are using like the channel set up, port set up. This should help me get started on where you are at. </p>
<p>Awesome job !!! I stumbled across this while researching ssr's for light control. This will be my first year animating lights to music. Actually got a pro mini to run a couple strands of pixels, but bought a commercial controller for the pixels due to the fact I'd need so many of the arduinos to run the whole show it just wouldnt be worth it. I still plan on using a few for the further elements from the main controller though. I also wanted to incorporate some 120v stuff that I will try to run with the arduinos. This gives me a great place to start. Mainly using the pro minis because I got 20 of them for about $1.10 each, but we will see where it goes by the time Christmas rolls around again. Just ordered some ssr boards, will see what happens.</p>
Thank you! I will be more then happy to help as much as i can. I would also happy to hear your projects updates as you make progress.
<p>Very nice setup, Im interested in what type of plastic enclosure you are using. Could you provide some information about it? Thanks Again !</p>
<p>awesome project! I love mine and I plan on using it for many years to come. I also purchased a high power fm transmitter so traffic can hear the music. I have videos of it too. facebook.com/eightbitrip</p>
<p>I really like your set. Do you have any additional details on how you put it together? I'd like to build one for the holidays.</p>
<p>i have the vixonlight i am using the sainsmart 16 ch. 12v powerd sepertly and weating on theftdi 5v breakout yhanks</p>
<p>Try this code; BobP2 posted this in the comments below, he supplied this to help with better control. I modified it a bit to fit the 16 channel set up you are going for. Load it into the arduino and let me know from there any additional help you need. </p><p>const int numChannels = 16;<br>// List Arduino pins in Channel number order<br>int channels[numChannels] = {2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,A0,A1,A2,A3};<br>int incomingByte[numChannels];<br><br>void setup()<br>{<br> Serial.begin(9600);</p><p><br> for(int i = 0; i &lt; numChannels; i++){<br> pinMode(channels[i], OUTPUT);<br> // Start with lights turned off<br> //digitalWrite(channels[i],0);<br> digitalWrite(channels[i],1);<br> } <br><br><br>}<br><br>void loop()<br>{<br> if (Serial.available() &gt;= numChannels)<br> {<br> for (int i=0; i&lt;numChannels;i++)<br> incomingByte[i] = Serial.read();<br><br><br> for(int i = 0; i &lt; numChannels; i++)<br> //digitalWrite(channels[i], incomingByte[i]);<br> digitalWrite(channels[i], 255-incomingByte[i]);<br><br> }<br>}</p>
<p>wirenut1980 is there a random codr i can put in wit the sketch i got fron you thanks john</p>
<p>With the code provided it takes the data from vixen and converts it to an output. If you were to try to add a random there wouldn't be a way to have it both ways. When vixen isn't sending data to the arduino it has no way of knowing when this happens and so has no way to fire off a random sequence. I have seen others ask the same question and get the same answer I have given.</p>
<p>thanks wirenut 1980 john</p>
<p>is there or can i ad a random mod to use when the vixen is not runnihg thanks for the help</p>
<p>is there a place to go for help on vixen that is not over my head found some but not user frendly am trying to use vixen thanks hor the help</p>
<p>Every thing I have/are learning about vixen is from <a href="http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com" rel="nofollow">www.doityourselfchristmas.com</a> you can search the wiki and forum. You can also post a question by searching the forum for your specific topic then adding a new thread. Everyone there is very helpful. </p>
<p>hi i have the mega 2560 i am in need of the program to work with the 16 ch relay board. i have the vixonlight in my comp. thanks cbjk@sbcglobal.net</p>
<p>Thank you for viewing. I need to gather some more info. What version of vixen lights are you using? What type of relay board are you using? </p>
<p>Thanks for the instructable. Google got me here when I was trying to fix a problem. Since this helped, I'd thought it only polite to give back. Two details. First, I rewrote the Arduino code similar to Expert Noob. Second, my Sainsmart relays (3 x 8 relays/board) is reversed from the Arduino pins (0 is On, 1 is Off) so the code below accounts this. A side note, in an ON/OFF situation, Vixen sends either a 0 or a 255. Hopefully, this code will help others.</p><p>In this code, there are 24 relays, but I left the 15 relay code commented. To change from 15 to 24 relays, only two lines need to be changed (the number of relays and the actual pins used). To change too reversed relays, another two lines need to change.</p><p>//const int numChannels = 15;<br>const int numChannels = 24;<br>// List Arduino pins in Channel number order<br>//int channels[numChannels] = {2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,A0,A1,A2};<br>int channels[numChannels] = {22,24,26,28,30,32,34,36,23,25,27,29,31,33,35,37,40,42,44,46,48,50,52,54};<br>int incomingByte[numChannels];<br><br>void setup()<br>{<br> Serial.begin(9600);</p><p><br> for(int i = 0; i &lt; numChannels; i++){<br> pinMode(channels[i], OUTPUT);<br> // Start with lights turned off<br> //digitalWrite(channels[i],0);<br> digitalWrite(channels[i],1);<br> } <br> <br><br>}<br><br>void loop()<br>{<br> if (Serial.available() &gt;= numChannels)<br> {<br> for (int i=0; i&lt;numChannels;i++)<br> incomingByte[i] = Serial.read();<br> <br><br> for(int i = 0; i &lt; numChannels; i++)<br> //digitalWrite(channels[i], incomingByte[i]);<br> digitalWrite(channels[i], 255-incomingByte[i]);<br> <br> }<br>}</p>
<p>Glad my instructable helped. Thank you for the post of the code as this will help many others. The reason sites like this exist is to help people by giving a starting point from there new ideas are created and re shared. This means things can only get better. </p>
<p>I ordered an arduino uno R3 and I have 8 relays. What do i need to plug in to the arduino uno from the relays and what kind of code do i need to use to make this work in vixen. I am really new at this and really need some help. Any would be greatly appreciated. I really need to know what programs need to be open when running vixen and where do i need to put in the code.</p>
<p>I need a few details before I can help. Have you read the information on how to program the arduino? Have you had a chance to fully read the information in this instructable? What kind of relays are you using? Are they individual with pins on the bottom no board, individual with a small circuit board on them, or combined on a single circuit board. It would be helpful if you could post the information for the relays. Post a pictures of the relays as well.</p>
<p>I made a setup similar to this using the Arduino Mega 2560 and a 16 channel relay board. I used the code from this article, but when I program my lights in Vixen 2 when the lights are supposed to be off, they are on, and when they are suppose to be on, they are off. I know I can just program it the way I want and then select invert, but is there something easy that I messed up somewhere along the line?</p>
<p>sounds like you have inverted relays: High is off, Low is on. You might want to switch your wires on the relays if they are on NO to NC or from NC to NO depending on how that is set up. The Arduino code can also be re written (probably easiest if things are already build). In the past, I have had to switch HIGH with LOW, however this code has none of that so a &quot;not&quot; or ! will be needed somewhere. I'll see If I cant rewrite this code as I progress through this process.</p>
<p>Try this code on the arduino, also only the first few lines need to be changed in order to compensate for more or less channels.... Notice the ! I added before the last 'incomingByte[i]'?<br><br>int ledPin[] = {</p><p> 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, A0, A1, A2, A3 };</p><p>int pinCount = 16;</p><p>int incomingByte[16];</p><p>void setup()</p><p>{</p><p> Serial.begin(9600);</p><p> for (int i = 0; i &lt; pinCount; i++) {</p><p> pinMode(ledPin[i], OUTPUT); </p><p> digitalWrite(ledPin[i], HIGH); </p><p> }</p><p>}</p><p>void loop()</p><p>{</p><p> if (Serial.available() &gt;= pinCount)</p><p> {</p><p> for (int i=0; i &lt; pinCount; i++)</p><p> {</p><p> incomingByte[i] = Serial.read();</p><p> }</p><p> for (int i = 0; i &lt; pinCount; i++) {</p><p> digitalWrite(ledPin[i], !incomingByte[i]); </p><p> } </p><p> }</p><p>}</p>
<p>Thank you for viewing. That is a weird thing to happen. If you can reply with a few pictures of your set up including the relay board so I can see what might be going on here. </p>
<p>It's not exactly the same design since I used an already built relay board, but the code is essentially the same. I just used all of the digital pins instead of the PWM pins. Let me know if you see something obvious that I'm doing wrong. Thanks!</p>
<p>The relay board you are using utilizes 12v relays. From what I can see from the picture you are trying to power the relay board from the arduino? is this correct? The arduino supplies 5v+. This is simply not enough power for 1 relay let alone 16. This could damage the arduino. My suggestion is to connect a ground wire from the relay to the arduino and then connect a 12v wall wart to the relay board. The arduino and relay board should share the same ground. </p>
<p>I do have 12 volts powering the relay board. It's not exactly clear in the picture, but I have a separate power source for it. Once plugged in the relay board and arduino are both on. Since the USB cable also supplies power to the arduino, should I not have power (jumper wires) going from 5V on the arduino to the relay board? Right now I have the 16 digital I/O pins from the arduino to the relay board. Also i have a jumper wire going from a 5V pin on the arduino to a 5V pin on the relay board. Same thing with the ground. Maybe that's the issue?</p>
<p>That could be an issue. It doesn't hurt to try to remove the 5v+ but leave the ground from the arduino and relay board an see what happens.</p>
<p>It's a little hard to fully make out the wiring. I put together a simple diagram. please refer to it to see if you have wired your setup the same and let me know. </p>
<p>The video is no longer valid :(</p>
<p>How so?</p>
<p>How do you do it with light o rama?</p>
<p>Sorry for the late reply. I was out of town. I have never looked in to Light o rama so I am not sure. A great place to get help for this is <a href="http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com" rel="nofollow">www.doityourselfchristmas.com</a> you can search for help, or you can post a question and someone will help you out. Good luck. </p>
light-o-rama is a completely different beast all together it's prebuilt and preprogrammed, if I'm not mistaken.
<p>Mine is being quite mixed up. Using the channel tester in Vixen, the lights that turn on are seemingly random, sometimes one channel lights two. Right now I'm only using LEDs ran straight into the arduino with just resistors. I honestly have no clue what's up.</p>
<p>Post the code that you are using here so I can take a peak at it.</p>

About This Instructable




More by wirenut1980:Garden storage Wet Shelf Talking Pumpkin Costume Arduino Light Display With Vixen 
Add instructable to: