Raspberry Pi Controls Christmas Light Effects With Custom Web Server

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Zatagado)

When it comes to Raspberry Pi projects, it’s hard to beat the creative spark that comes with each holiday season. Today we’ve got an exciting Pi-powered Christmas project to show off from maker Zatagado. With the help of our favorite SBC, Zatagado is able to control the lights on their Christmas tree using a custom web server.

The project is built around a Raspberry Pi 4 but you could easily recreate the concept using a Pi 3 or even a Pi Zero W. The Pi needs to have GPIO to control the Christmas lights, which in this case is a strip of individually addressable WS2812b LEDs, as well as an Internet connection to help host the web server interface.

The Pi is connected to the LED strip and is capable of controlling it with custom effects. These sequences are stored on the Pi and can be accessed from any device with a web browser, thanks to a server that runs on the Pi. Users can connect to the web interface and select different light animations to control the effects in real time.

In their Reddit thread (opens in new tab), Zatagado goes on to explain how the web interface goes together, backed up with experience from CS courses they studied in college. It relies on Flask for the back end and uses React to create the front-end interface.

According to Zatagado, plans are already in the works to spruce up the project for next year with more features. Upgrades include things like the ability to pick colors as well as changing the strips out for more traditional string lights.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.