Posted 6th Dec 2022 (Posted 16 h, 47 m ago)
Over time we've collected a fair few sets of Christmas lights, the LED ones with a 'wall wart' power supply and selectable options. However this year we've noticed that when we unplug them, they drop back to the initial flash setting. I've found a youtube video from Big Clive that explains why, it's purely a cost cutting measure (one less chip on the board apparently). The problem when we use something like a Tapo plug to control the lights, we're stuck with basically the demonstration flashing pattern. We like flashy, just not that flashy!

I want to replace the circuit with something a bit more controllable, my initial thoughts were something Pi powered. I've figured out that the LED's cycle through their colours by using alternating current. I've also found 'LED controllers' but they're more for proper displays and wouldn't deal with something as common as alternating LED's. I think just a decent power 1hz sine wave output would do, as long as I could meet the voltage and current requirements. Does anyone have examples of circuits or drivers that could handle this type of LED configuration?
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    Don't waste your time, you can't get static lights in this country in any shop or get yours to work.

    Look on Amazon for this product code: B012CM1R9Q (edited)
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    If they are the typical cheap mains voltage with leds in series ones



    You could potentially make your own control circuit based on the original circuit using a cheap microcontroller board eg an Atmel arduino board or an esp wifi chip, if you can work out the signalling/control method. Seems far too much effort, best get better lights as already said.

    Or, I suppose you could use one of the cheaper switchbot clones to press the button. (edited)
    Hmm, not considered the switchbot option... I'll have to look into that one as it might be a lot easier!!

    Thanks for the links, that's the sort of thing I've been finding but without as much detail. It's interesting that the components aren't particularly large or powerful, so while the voltages might be high (32 volts for some sets) the current isn't. Arduino might be a good option, I initially thought Pi but there is a few seconds boot time involved. Arduino might work better. I'd just need an amplifier circuit sat on the front to get it up to the required voltage.
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