The CheerLights Tree - December 2022

This project started back in November as a result an email list that I subscribe to that mentioned CheerLights and then a video by Dave Plummer (Dave’s Garage YouTube Channel) about making Christmas decorations using addressable RGB LEDs and his own software NightDriverStrip.

Cheerlights is a global network of synchronized lights controlled by tweets. You tweet a colour to @CheerLights (like blue) to change the colour of thousands of connected lights around the world! The website is here: and Dave’s video is here:

Here are the LEDs that I bought on Amazon:

Some assembly required!

I purchased the set of 500 5V bulbs because that is all that was available and that made supplying power a bit of a challenge. I didn’t know what to expect so I bought at 40A 5V power supply also from Amazon:

It turned out that the 40A supply was overkill and there is a 30A version that would serve just as well (and the referenced one is no longer available).

I used black and red 16AWG stranded wire from Canadian Tire and made my own power cables using inexpensive cable ties (also from Canadian Tire). I found that the lights worked well supplying power every 3 strips (150 LEDs) so 4 power cables total.

For the controller I used a M5Stack Atom Lite microcontroller and the latest stable version of WLED (1.3.3) which I installed using the Web installer (cool!). I chose to use WLED instead of Dave’s software as I had previous experience with it and it has a large range of pre-made effects which meant a lot less work for what I had in mind.

All the logic was done with Node-RED on my Debian Server which worked out really well and was easy to maintain and modify.

Finally I made a remote control using a LoRa-E5 Grove Module and a Xiao SAMD21microcontroller board (both from SeeedStudio). This actually ended up being an even bigger projects than the lights themselves and not really that useful.

The way that the tree works is that it displays solid colours from CheerLights whenever they change. This display lasts for 1 minute unless another change occurs. When no CheerLights changes have occurred for one minute then a pattern (a.k.a. effect) is displayed. I changed the patterns a few times and then on New Years Eve had a set of them that looked like fireworks.


A short video from New Years Eve 2022:

CheerLights Tree

For further information you can contact me on my contact page Contact Page