Using relay to control christmas lights - NEED HELP

Hi everyone,

For Christmas I would like to control my christmas lights via a TV remote using IR. I have the TV remote working, however I am having troubles with the relay.

Q1 - Is a transistor or diode necessary to run the relay, or is fine to just power it straight through the arduino


Q2 - The outlet for the lights, plugs into the wall, and the wall outlet provides 125 - 150VAC (i think...). As to connecting the lights to the relay, how exactly would I do that.

Thanks you very much, for any help, any suggestions, or any recommendations, as to what I can do to make this possible. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Look into Power Switch Tail available from
Adafruit and Sparkfun ( among others). It can be controlled by Arduino and would not require messing with 110 wiring.