Like many people at this time of year, Leo Currie has a decorated tree in his living room. But this one is a bit different, as anyone can open an online landing page and take control of the lights snaking through the branches.

The project – currently listed on the Hackaday IO community – started with a few strings of LED tree lights daisy chained together and wrapped around the branches of a tree in front of Currie's living room window. Facing the tree is a Raspberry Pi camera which live feeds the image of the tree to the online control portal.

Currie programmed an ESP8266 Wi-Fi microchip to accept UDP packets of RGB values for each LED on the string over Wi-Fi. The LEDs are mapped using a Python script, which is achieved by the software illuminating each "pixel" in turn and instructing the camera to take a picture, with the resulting coordinates stored in a pixel map.

JavaScript is used to detect mouse clicks on the real-time video image on the control portal, and the coordinates are sent to the pixel map followed by the lighting up of the appropriate LEDs on the tree.

To the top of the online portal is a drop-down menu screen that allows visitors to upload an animation, select a preset or choose a color and use a mouse cursor to paint custom designs on the tree itself.

You can try it yourself via the source link or watch the demo video below.

Source: Leo Currie via Hackaday

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