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Christmas lights

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I want to drive some Christmas lights from a Arduino but not quite sure how to do it and multiplex the pins together since the arduino only has 12 pins. I am thinking of using a 12 relays and need to output 40 lines. Any Suggestions :P

Here's one. Do you really need to set it up as a 40-element matrix display? Strand lights usually don't. Common effects like the "racing" cycle tend to use sub-arrays tied to a common signal.

LEDs also don't need to be at logic high all the time in order to appear on. Even a fairly low duty cycle will usually look like it's persistently lit, but you'll start losing some apparent brightness if you go too far. Because of this, a common technique for arrays of LEDs is to set up an m x n matrix and strobe over it.

Shift registers are great for this type of low-update rate and pin count situations. 4094 is serial to parallel converter. You'll need a driver if the lights aren't LEDs, like the ULN2803A.
More resources: http://www.lightorama.com/products.html

I lave light-o-rama....  Very good company to do business with.    ;D ;D

I use there controllers for my display.  ;D   I am a very happy customer, and my neighbors love my display.
Buy your lights and stuff when they go 75% off for the after christmas sale.

I am blanking on the name but there chips that will do this.


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