Noel’s Epic Christmas Hack

I suppose a guy whose name means Christmas in some languages should be expected to go all out for the Holidays, but wow, color me blown away by friend of the ‘Lab Noel Portugal’s epic Christmas lighting hack.

Check out the video.

Like I said, *epic*.

I’m not going to begin to break down all the pieces of this hack.

The sweet part is that Noel has made his light show intertubes friendly. You can request songs for his house to play on his APEX-built front end here; queue up now for the daily playlist which runs between 6:30 and 10 PM Central time each day. I see a few names I recognize in the request list already.

You can listen online or if you’re within 300 feet of his house, you can listen on the radio, looks like he’s broadcasting at 87.7 FM.

I suppose if you’re that close, you could just walk over to listen live and watch the light show.

If you’re not that close, it looks like he’s going to put up a web cam you can watch the fun unfold, and he’s also set up a Twitter account, @xmasbox, to tweet the songs as they play.

Check out Noel’s post and his Instructables rundown of what went into this awesome display of hacking.

It’s made it to Engadget and Hack a Day already. I expect to see it make the rounds of the other major geeky blogs too.

Rock on Noel, one Christmas tune at a time.




  1. Thanks Jake for the shout out!! A lot of the tech blogs (engadget & hackaday) comments seemed to loose track of what I really tried to achieve: an internet enabled Christmas lights and music display! I am of course aware of the amazing light shows out there, but most of them rely on a PC and run with predefined scripts. As you mention is working well!! I'm still working out the Video and I have the Audio semi-working…

    The novelty here is that in the past doing things like this will take a lot more effort. Now with what is called “Open Source Hardware” is far more easy. There are plenty of [free] libraries that you can use to control your micro controller. Check this article by the WSJ about the Arduino … I just barely got into it (right before Halloween) and I have learned a lot since there are lot of resources out there.

    Thanks for the post and Merry Christmas!!!

  2. Yes. It's been on my calendar for a few days now! Now lets just keep it hush hush 🙂 Its going to be interesting the load they will get on their site the 7th!

  3. Yeah, we have a big Arduino community here. I haven't dabbled much with open source hardware, but I've seen how cool it can be.

    Don't worry about commenters. They're never happy.

  4. I'm surprised you didn't do something like this. Maybe you and Noel can cook up something even better for next year.

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