Xmas Lights Plan Thoughts

Hi All
I am new and just have some questions. I know these have been asked a lot but having trouble locating the info.

Ok Background.
Last Christmas my neighbourhood had a christmas light competition. I joined in but only had light around the gutter and just normal boring stuff.
I started looking around and found the Arduino. Anyway brought this http://australianrobotics.com.au/products/sparkfun-inventors-kit-for-arduino

Loving it I might add.

But this year the Comp is happening again and I want to do something different.

So here are my questions.

  1. Which Arduino Would you recommend. I have the Uno at the moment but it won't be able to handle all the channels I need. The Mega Looks awesome.
  2. How would you power the LED's as I don't think I will be able to put enough power through the Arduino.
  3. Picture Below. Sorry about Crappy MSPaint Skills :stuck_out_tongue:

So the Blue Lines are Cat5e Cable. I have heaps laying around. It gives me 4 Pair wish i think will over that.
Than run LED's down the pink/red part.
Would you change this or do it differently ?

Thanks guys I know you are all saying tool when reply. But Just learning so sorry.

There are so many ways to do that. With an Uno, you can bit bang 10 RGB LED strips easily. My window installation last year comprised of 8 pairs of strips (16 total).

Mate that looks impressive love it :slight_smile:

Would did you do that rain effect that looks awesome.
How are you powering them just from the arduino ?

The rain effect is all in the coding. As for how they are powered, through a 5V/20A power supply. The Arduino only provides the signals, not power. The strips are powered separately.

Awesome about the rain effect can't wait to get at it.

Yeah done a lot of googeling today.
looking at 5v power supplies. trying to see how to wire them.

I only used a 5V because I can power the custom Arduino board without an LDO, but you can go up to a 12V as well, though they get to be more expensive with higher Amps. Depending on your design, you might be able to get away with using a regular computer power supply. The 5V rail generally provides quite a bit of Amps for a lot less than you would buy a custom made PSU. The PSU I used provides 5V/30A so it worked great for the design.

Mate would you be able to show me a pic of the wiring in your system.
I think I have it all sorted except Relay situation with amount of power to go through to change colours.

Take both VCC and GND, and split both wires, one pair going to the lights, the other pair to the controller. Then run only signal lines from the controller to the lights.