For many, stringing up holiday lights can be a hassle of tangled lights, rickety ladders, and blown bulbs. But at New Signature, we love to take everyday technology and transform it with innovation. Our holiday light extraordinaire, Chris Poplawski, has helped bring a new interactive light display to our Washington, D.C. and Toronto offices.
For a few years now, Poplawski and his family have used Raspberry Pi to bring interactive light displays to their home for Halloween and Christmas. Users can toggle the lights and inflatable holiday characters at the Poplawski home off and on 24 hours per day.
Now, Poplawski brought his festive holiday ideas to work. New Signature’s live video feed via YouTube shows the office tree in the K Street window of the Washington, D.C. office. But rather than creating web-based toggles to interact with the tree, Poplawski and the New Signature team have developed a social media-based way of changing the color of the tree lights just by using a simple hashtag.
Washington, D.C. live tree feed:
Toronto live tree feed:
Want to play along? Head over and follow New Signature on Twitter, then use these simple instructions to change the tree colors in our D.C. and Toronto offices. Then you can utilize these hashtags to manipulate the tree light colors:
@Newsignature #DCRed or #TorontoRed – (This turns on the Red lights)
@Newsignature #DCBlue or #TorontoBlue – (This turns on the Blue lights)
@Newsignature #DCOrange – (This turns on the Orange lights in D.C. only)
@Newsignature #TorontoPurple – (This turns on the Purple lights in Toronto only)
@Newsignature #DCGreen or #TorontoGreen (This turns on the Green lights)
After a 2 second delay, each light strand will stay on for 60 seconds and then turn off automatically . Also, the hashtag is not character sensitive. It can be in all lowercase letters or all caps.
Finally, it may seem like this type of display is only for technology experts, but that’s not the case. Poplawski has also published a manual so that anyone can purchase a Raspberry Pi core (available on Amazon) and develop your own interactive holiday lights. From there, you can become your own innovator and create new ways to harness Raspberry Pi technologies.
Poplawski Raspberry Pi Manual: Twitter-Controlled-Holiday-Lights
Check out Poplawski’s 2017 home display, live from his front yard. We recommend checking it out at night, when it’s a twinkling, changing set up, controlled by internet users around the country.