This software engineer really, really loves Christmas...and symphonic metal, as his cube decoration contest entry shows.
Redditor and software engineer Billiam5 posted this video on Reddit late last night demonstrating his achievement in action, replete with dancing Christmas lights synced to the song "Wizards in Winter," by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO).
According to the artist himself, Billiam5 used the Arduino prototyping platform and Flash-based animation programming to bring the LEDs to life:
"Basically, the Arduino is accepting RGB color data serially via Flash. I created a rudimentary animation with simple color shapes and tweens to the music over a rough drawing of the lights setup. Then, each frame, actionscript code polls ~400 pixels in the frame and parses their color. The color data of each pixel is then sent to the Arduino, which interprets the data and sets the LEDs accordingly."
Seems simple enough for any DIY enthusiast.
Although Billiam5 hasn't released an official statement--or better yet, an Instructables page--the project is likely an homage to a similar holiday lighting spectacle from 2005, when electrical engineer Carson Williams hooked up 25,000 Christmas lights to his home in Mason, Ohio, using a controller board, software, and a USB adapter while sequencing the same TSO track on a much larger scale.
Billiam5's own creation probably won't earn him a spot on television, but judging by the lack of decorations in the surrounding cubes, I'd put my money on him winning the contest.