Hello from Canada, eh!


New elf
Jan 14, 2021
I’m a newbie from North of Toronto, Ontario, Canada And just joined minutes ago.

Getting my feet wet after seeing some of the WS2811 RGB lights in action in my son’s robotics class. My plan is to build a permanent multi functional display. I currently have an unused 50’ (15m) TV tower beside my house. The intention is to mount a 13 pronged 3D star frame, about 6’ (2m) in diameter to the top and have a trail of RGB LEDs trailing to the ground. in the pre-Christmas season the star would be illuminated with twinkling of the LEDs. During special occasions I would use the trailing LEDs to simulate a trailing flame of a firework launch and then use the star as the exploding firework.

Initially sound may not be part of the effect but that may change.

So far I have 500 (10 strands of 50) of 5V WS2811B LEDs, 3 ESP8266 WiFi NodeMcu units, 1 Raspberry API 4B, 1 5V 20A Power Supply.

I am currently mocking up the star out of dowels on a small scale and will be building the actual structure from 1/4-5/16” (6-8mm) tubing.

Electrical interconnections are not problem.

So here is are the big questions:
1- what would be the appropriate hardware to use?
2- how about software - I’m really green to this
3- programming?

Thank you for indulging me.

Old Salt

Apprentice elf
Dec 8, 2020
You may not have enough pixels for a 3d prop of that size. There are 2d props less than 2/3 the size that take over 1000 pixels (Rosa Grande)

Before building the star, I suggest modeling it in xLights, and working on some sequences for it. That will give you a good idea of what your finished product will look like. Once you are happy with the xLights model you can start building the framework for the pixels, and ordering the supplies you'll need.

Take a look at some of the videos on the Gilbert Engineering website, and on YouTube to see what others have done. It will at least give you a starting point.
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