If you are looking for a centerpiece for your display, look no further than the 'megatree'. Since you design and build them yourself, megatrees can fit into any sized yard. If you have a computerized display like the one here at Land O Lights, megatrees can be animated with literally hundreds of different patterns, fills, and spins. Even if your display isn't computer controlled, a megatree is still a standout.
Everything you need can be found at your local hardware, home improvement warehouse or department store. In this article:. There are as many ways to build a megatree as there are people. The type of tree described here is a simple 'to the ground' tree - basically a large cone made out of lights.
The lights are attached to the ground with tent stakes, run to the top of the center pole, and then back down again to be secured by another stake. Most of the strength comes from the actual lights, and there is no need for guide wires. My tree is 10 feet tall, a good height that you too should consider for two reasons:. If you wanted, you could make the tree shorter, or extend it up to around 15 feet without too much problem.
Just remember you'll need to add more lights to each string if you go higher, and will have left-overs if you go shorter.
After 15 feet, PVC is not going to have the rigidity you need to stop the center from swaying. If you are looking to create a tree this high or higher consider a flag pole instead.Why do cheaters cry
In another article in this series, I give instructions on how to build a smaller version of the mega tree called a 'pole tree'. If you are looking to build one of those, you should still read this article first; It has many hints and tips that will help you with the construction of your pole tree. InI took even more in-depth photos of the construction of my tree which you can view while reading this article.
Decisions for Animated Displays:. If you have an animated display, there are a couple of decisions you should make up-front before beginning to build your mega tree non-animated displays can skip this section :. Remember that most music has a beat that is easily divisible by 4. You will have a much easier time sequencing your show if your tree has a number of slices that is a multiple of 4. Much of this article talks about building an 8 slice tree, only because that's the tree that I currently have and know the most about.
Remember, each color you add is going to require as many channels as you have slices. I have an 8 slice tree that is 4 colors - that means I need 32 channels to run my tree.
For those of you that only have a limited number of channels for a megatree, I did do some experimenting between degree, mirrored degree, and full degree trees.
A degree tree does not have a back side reducing the channels by one halfwhile a mirrored is a full tree where opposite sides share a channel again, the number of channels is reduced by half. Full degree trees have slices that are all individually controlled.
The full wins hands down in all categories, especially for spins and other 'animation'. The degree tree is simply too limited and not recommended. While you may think the audience can only see about deg at a time, the back slices add a LOT of depth.
Do yourself a favor and build a full tree. A mirrored tree where each slice is duplicated. The problem really comes to light on the slices directly in front of the audience. If I were to put up a tree with limited channels, I would first sacrifice number of colors before the number of slices or going with a degree tree. There are many possibilities when it comes to channel configurations. You may want to take a look at the 'Animating Your Megatree' article before making your choice.
That article explains many of the different patterns you can be animated, and may sway your decision one way or another.Photos are now available on Vecteezy! Christmas traditional pixel border.
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Decorative Accessories. Wall Decor. Shop All Home Decor. Home Office. Living Room. Shop All Furniture. Kitchen Accessories. Kitchen Textiles. Table Top. Garden Decor. Outdoor Furniture.Add the following snippet to your HTML:. The RTC chip switches on and off the tree at the planned hours! Project tutorial by Martino Ghisleni. One day I decided to change the light bulbs on my Christmas Tree to customize the colors of the bulbs and create my own animations!
The strand is always plugged to the power outlet, but the tree is on just from 5 pm to 8 am! Check it out for further details and more accurate information! If they are compatible with FastLED, the code will need minor changes!
Connect the strands of LEDs to each other with their connectors. The 4 inputs on the strip should be:. Note: data and clock color might be invertedlook for the mark on every led chip. Connect the power supply 2. You can use a Header Pin Housing Kit to create your own jumper wires! Clock and data wires must be connected only at the beginning of the strand. Power should be split throughout the whole strand in at least 2 points.
In this way each LED has enough power! To make the code running properly, you have to install on your computer the following libraries:. It will copy your computer's time on the RTC.
You need do this process just once. Note: There will be a little error of a pair of seconds in the RTC time due to the synchronization between the PC and the board. Also, I suggest you to use this code, it's the easiest that I've found on the Internet.Church ministry support
Instead you can use the examples that are included in the libraries. It is ready to use, but you can customize it! Colors are set via named HTML web colors. There are 3 animations I think the best is the Adafruit's rainbow.Audio only esl
I prefer a tree with quite slow animations; every second that you watch the Christmas Tree, some lights have different colors than before, but you are not blinded by flashing lights. The code will switch on the LEDs at 5 pm and it will switch them off at 8 am in the morning.
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During the day, Arduino will check the time every 10 minutes to see if it is 5 o' clock! It is the best solution to bypass the lack of a relay. There are the same animations and functions, but colors are more calibrated because they are set via the HSV method Hue, Saturation, Value.
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Out tree is composed of of these pixels. Each of these can be turned on or off, fade, etc. Pixels are not foreign to any of you. So think of our tree as being built using pixels on steroids! The first consideration was where to locate the tree in our display. To allow that option we decided to go with a portable base, designed by our good friend Walter Monkhouse. Walter calls this a portable hole, which is a good descriptor of its function!
Here is the assembled base, with the rebar and center pipe flange installed. Given the weight of the base once the concrete was added I decided to mix it on site:.
I brought out a bucket, for better control of the amount of water to be added to the mix to ensure a relatively dry mix, and began the mixing process:.Setting Up The Mega Tree From Start To Finish.
Once the mix was to my satisfaction I added it to the base. You will notice the plastic cap threaded onto the pipe flange. That was a temporary measure to assure no concrete found its way into the open pipe:. It was compacted as it was more cement added to make sure the form could accommodate the pounds of mix:. I did not want the strings to come all the way down to the ground, as that looks like a maypole. I wanted to design something that would resemble the base of the tree, just as I did for our megatree.
I picked up 4 sections of 1 inch diameter EMT metal conduit at Lowes. I marked each one at 1 inch increments to guide me in bending the conduit to the circular shape I wanted. I borrowed a pipe bender which worked out fine. I was so focused on not messing this step up, I never thought to ask my wife to take pictures of the process! Additionally, I already had a megatree that gives a degree view.
After considerable thought I went with a degree arc, which gives the illusion of a full degree tree from all possible viewing angles in our display. I cut the conduit down to the length needed for the partial degree circle. The next decision was how to support the hoop above the ground to avoid the maypole appearance, and provide enough height to clear the usual amount of snow that we get. Based on that I went with 24 inches above ground.Interactive svg viewer
Based on my degree hoop I would need with 8, plus 2 more which would be located behind the tree to serve as a counterpoise. More on that later. When all attached it looks like this:. I used a length of string to be sure the center of the pipe fitting installed in the concrete base was in the exact center of the conduit hoop that went in a degree arc around it. Once I was assured everything was centered I sprayed white yard marker around the conduit to enable me to know where to drive the 1 inch rebar into the ground:.
During the process of anchoring the rebar we used a long level to ensure each one was level with the next rebar, so the hoop would be perfectly level. We then lowered the conduit with its galvanized Ts onto the anchored rebar and rechecked for level:. More on that later…. With the proper sized star on top that would look fine.This is the illuminated tree that plays Christmas songs while its multi-colored LEDs flash and change color in synchronization with the music.
Made from thick powder-coated steel, the frame is built to endure years of blustery winter weather. Includes remote control and four lawn stakes. Items that we sell are guaranteed for their normal life under standard non-commercial use. Should any product fail to meet your expectations, we will replace it or refund the cost of the item less shipping and service fees. Returns older than one year will be credited in form of a gift certificate.
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