HomeTechHacker: Jazz up your holiday displays with programmable LEDs

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

LED Strip
By Marlon Buchanan

After reading the title of this article some people are thinking that it is way too early to think about holiday lights. 

Others, on the other hand, are thinking it's never too early to get started! 

No matter where you sit on this spectrum, this article will give you some tips for jazzing up your holiday lights using LEDs.

Look for connected LEDs

You can find LED lights everywhere. Compared to older incandescent lights, they are more energy efficient, run cooler, and are capable of displaying many different colors. 

However, if you buy a plain set of lights, chances are it simply comes on and goes off when you plug it in and doesn’t change colors.

LED String
You can also find lights that have control boxes that will let you cycle through a few colors and/or patterns.

But, it would be better to get a set of lights you can control remotely, such as ones that are Bluetooth enabled or Wi-fi enabled. 

These lights are likely to have more patterns and features than other lights. And, you often don’t need a timer, as you can usually program them through an app. 

You may even be able to control them with your preferred voice assistant.

“Siri, turn on my holiday lights!”

Not to mention, many connected LEDs can integrate with each other to create coordinated light displays. You can potentially coordinate multiple light displays if the lights have multiple colors and patterns.

Addressable LED string
Look for individually addressable LED lights

The holy grail of LED lights are individually addressable LED strips and strings. 

Most LED lights can only be one or two different colors at a time. 

In contrast, individually addressable LED lights allow control of each individual light by itself, so your strip can be just about any combination of colors. 

This allows you to create impressive animated light displays.

Another advantage of individually addressable lights is that you get a ton of color choices. Most lights are 24-bit, meaning that each LED can be 16.7 million different colors. You can also control how bright they are too.

If you want to have the ultimate control you can pair individually addressable lights with a separate controller, or even build your own controller!

LEDs on the fence

I got the addressable LED light bug a couple of years. In addition to augmenting my holiday displays, I use LED lights year-round for themed lighting, kitchen and bedroom accents, and more. You can see videos of these lights in action in this article where I describe the lighting at my home.

Where to find the right LED lights

If you're looking for LEDs that fit some of the criteria, you’re in luck! Here are my recommendations for LED lights and controllers. Here you can find connected and addressable lights that will fit your needs. I also have recommendations for DIY LED and ready-to-go LED kits in the HomeTechHacker Shop.

Best wishes with your holiday display!

Marlon Buchanan is a best-selling author, IT Director, and founder of HomeTechHacker.com, a website with free resources to help you make the most of your home technology.


Post a Comment

We encourage the thoughtful sharing of information and ideas. We expect comments to be civil and respectful, with no personal attacks or offensive language. We reserve the right to delete any comment.

Facebook: Shoreline Area News
Twitter: @ShorelineArea
Daily Email edition (don't forget to respond to the Follow.it email)

  © Blogger template The Professional Template II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP