Arduino Halloween Pumpkins

Written by Justin Goetz -

Halloween is always fun. But of course I have to put my touch of "tech" into it. This page will be covering how I made a bunch of these plastic "trick-or-treat" pumpkins into a light show.

This project was easily completed thanks to a mini computer called an "Arduino".

First things first, we need to wire up the lights. I chose 12v LED strip lights because I have plenty laying around on hand. I carefully soldered them together, putting 2 strips back to back on a cardboard base. I then placed these LED Units in each of the plastic pumpkins and covered the top with electrical tape for waterproofing (Since it will be outside).

LED Lighting Units inside pumpkin: 

Now there is just one problem, the Arduino doesn't have enough power to light up the 12V LEDs. So I will have to use an external 12V power source. To accomplish this, I used some TIP122 transistors. This youtuber, "thecustomgeek", explains it much better than I can in his video.

The "Brains" of the unit:

Now comes the code. To make the LEDs light up in patterns, I used an Arduino library called "ALA" (Short for "Arduino Light Animation"). The source code can be found on github. I used the author's example from his blog page that gives an excellent explanation on how to setup the LEDs.

The finished product: