Picture of Music Synchronized LED Pumpkin
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This year, I decided to make my pumpkin a little more exciting.  I thought and thought about it, and then I came across LED Dance Room.  I figured "I could do that", and the project was born.

There are two modules for this setup: The Controller, and The LED/Breakout Board.  

The controller is simply an Arduino running software that allows a computer to control it over USB.

The breakout/LED board is a breadboard that has 12 ultra-bright leds connected to the digital pins on the Arduino over two 15 ft lengths of CAT5 cable.  The three unused wires in the cable are used to connect the speakers inside the pumpkin to the stereo that is near the controller.
The pumpkin is controlled by a processing script running on a computer.  This program detects the beats that the internal microphone in my laptop picks up. It then converts these to data that the arduino can read.  The arduino recives these signals and flashes different leds to different sounds (bass is brighter, treble is darker).  

Here is a video of it in action:

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Step 1: What you need...

Picture of What you need...
arduino led.jpg
 You will need...

For the controller
-An arduino
-a proto-shield(optional)

For the LED/Breakout board
-12 LEDs of various colours (the super-bright ones work best)
-a resistor (that matches your leds)
-2 speakers

You will also need a computer running the arduino software and processing.

Step 2: Installing Libraries

You will need to customize your processing install a little bit.  This is really simple and only takes a few minutes to do.

You will need to install two libraries: minim and the arduino library for processing.  You can get minim from  You will also need to install the arduino library, which can be found at 

Step 3: Building the Controller

Picture of Building the Controller
The controller is the simplest part of this project. All you need to do is attach your wires to the output pins on your arduino.  Start by connecting wires to pins 2-13.  Then attach a wire to the GND pin on the arduino.  That's it.  I decided to make mine a bit better and soldered it to a prototype shield.  This is optional, but will make the finished product last longer.

Hi there
I'm quite confuse at the step 7 because I don't have that wire or where to connect it.

murray484 (author)  NurasyikinMoktarYassin4 months ago
The wire in step 7 is just the auxiliary input for the stereo I was using.

So I have to make new wires that can connect both speakers into the stereo wires ?

nakkas13 years ago
I am new to programming. Could I use my arduino board to synchronize 4 chains of christmas lights in a similar way? Any advice on how to get started?

Thanks! Please email me at

useraaaaa4 years ago
one resistor instead 12

that is really great thinking
hi there.
 this mimim library is kinda useful.IS there any chance that i can get it run on windows?

lemonie5 years ago
Can we see the pumpkin?

murray484 (author)  lemonie5 years ago
Sorry, I forget to upload a picture of the pumpkin.  I just put up a video and a picture.
Yeah that's good. I'd swap the pumpkin and the other image around, so you get the pumpkin image in the thumbnail - nice carving.