LED Chistmas lights -> huge IM contact list indicators

Now that I have a driver to control these cool individually-controllable Christmas lights, I’m thinking of ways to use them. I had an idea this morning: can use each light to indicate the presense of someone on my IM contact list! We use Microsoft Lync at work for IM and Lync has a great SDK so it didn’t take long to wire it up.

The lights are controlled by a Fez Panda using the driver here: http://www.fezzer.com/project/196/ge-35-christmas-lights-individually-addressable/

The Panda runs a simple program that reads light commands via USB serial port and controls the lights accordingly. There’s a small program on the desktop that uses the Lync SDK to get status for each contact and subscribe to changes on presense and out-of-office status.

Video here: LED Christmas Lights as IM presence indicators on Vimeo

THAT … IS … AWESOME!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:


Love it!

We have a server farm. I can use that to “monitor” some statuses.

Great idea and implementation!

Now, all you need to do is the get the Panada on Ethernet to talk to the IM service directly.

@ Chris … I was thinking about that too… might be easiest with simpler http interfaces like Facebook.

SIP, which is used in most enterprise-scale systems, is probably too complicated (certificate infrastruture.

I would love to make this more self-contained.

Went to Lowes today to look for those lights, couldn’t find them anywhere :frowning:

Only the in-house brand of lights were available.

WOOT Picked up on istartedsomething and elsewhere: .NET Micro Framework project turns Christmas lights into IM contact indicators | istartedsomething

I’ll post my source code up soon… just need to extract the working pieces from the junk I have accumulated in this VS project file.

@ chris: I picked up the last set from my Lowes here in West Chester, OH on Saturday. They had one wall of normal lights and these were down the same aisle on the other side with bigger decorations like the stand-up figures.

Hey, Adafruit now has some individually addressable RGB lights strings.
[url]12mm Diffused Thin Digital RGB LED Pixels (Strand of 25) [WS2801] : ID 322 : $39.95 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits


@ bob – it looks like the two-wire protocol these lights use would be easier to use with Fez because it would be more forgiving of inconstent timing.

Holy cow… picked up on Engadget! Christmas lights hack puts your IM contacts on the wall above your desk (video) | Engadget

Holy MOSFET!!!

I can tell! Look at the views count for your article on Fezzer! It jumped from ~100 to 1900 in one day!

Its on lifehacker too!

[url]Hack LED Christmas Lights to Serve as IM Indicators