Last Year’s Christmas Star (2015)

I also want to share with you one of the decorations I made for last Christmas. It consists of two sets of 8x tubes of LED lights (bought from Ebay as Meteor Shower). They are meant to be hung in a tree as per the photo below, and for the Xmas before, that is exactly what I did.


Last year I mounted the tubes radially around an old bicycle wheel. After initially powering up with 5v I was pleasantly surprised as they started to run out of sync and produce a very effective starburst pattern….something that gave me ideas to improve on this year see Christmas 2016

I’ve also added a Youtube video here so you can see what it looks like.


The lights cost be about £12 UK per set back in 2014. One tube didn’t work and the Ebay seller gave me a good discount for that item. The line behind them is just the copper central heating pipes to my radiator.




2 thoughts on “Last Year’s Christmas Star (2015)

  1. I just watched the youtube video! Boy oh boy does that give an amazing effect and look. To clarify in the video that is just the Meteor Shower lights around a bike wheel frame to keep the shape? You didn’t do any additional programing or anything? This is only the second article I’ve read of yours and I’m loving how your brain works already ha

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi again,

      Thank you again for your comments. I would have to upgrade my WordPress Blogsite to host videos so I thought I’d just use Youtube instead (in keeping with my theme of not spending too much money !).

      Yes, the 2015 starburst used a bicycle wheel as a support frame, but garden canes, stiff wire or plastic tubing would be just as useful. I actually covered it in tinsel as it looked a bit ugly during daytime – in truth it looked like someone had thrown an old bike wheel into the tree. This design only needs the application of +5v. I did not need to program the tubes, I just decided to mount them differently to how they were intended to be used, so it is very simple to build. Initially when powered up the tubes are all in sync but they quickly loose sync (probably because the oscillators in each tube are derived from a resistor/capacitor combination) but I soon realised that loosing sync adds to the effect.

      The Neopixel/WS2812 startburst I have made for this year was meant to be an improvement – in reality I’m hanging both up. I’ll post a video when I get to that stage.

      Thanks again for your encouragement.




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