The Lights!


September 2018

The Netflix original series Stranger Things is one of my all-time favorite TV shows. The synth-heavy soundtrack backs up a perfect balance of cheesy moments with lovable losers. Without giving away too many spoilers, there is a scene in the first season where a primary character realizes she can communicate with her missing son through Christmas lights. So she paints an alphabet on her living room wall to receive messages from her son.

I decided I wanted to recreate this iconic scene using my own programmable Christmas lights. I used a Teensy 3.2 for the microcontroller, with the Arduino IDE, hooked up to the lights and a keyboard for users to send their own messages from the upside-down.

Once a message is sent, it is stored in memory, and will reappear among two other messages randomly every couple of minutes. Each message is preceded by a flash of the lights, to get your attention in order to read the message.

The circuit was very simple, and if you’d like to take a look at the code, you can find my Github Repository here! Feel free to send a message and let me know what you think!

Shred on, Shredders