This year we decided with my 6 and a half year old son to make a Halloween project. We decided to make a window display, with scary figures cut out of paper and a Raspberry Pi providing lighting for it.
How it looks
Here are the lights when turned on (keep watching to the end).
There are two color sequences, one with a lilac-blue fading and the other red-orange. In between it flashes a white light. The flashing stops at about 20:00 (8pm) to not disturb my sons bedtime, but the light is turned on until about 23:00 (11pm).
How it works?
The figures themselves are cut out of black cardboard. I searched the internet for models, then printed them out on regular paper. Either me or my son cut them out and then I transferred them onto the cardboard. My son then proceeded to cut the final pieces, I helped with the eyes mostly.
We also made the tree more spookier by adding eyes ourselves.
The cut out pieces were then attached to his window. This is how it looks during daylight.
What about the lights?
The lights are provided by a Raspberry Pi Zero with a Blinkt! light on top. You can find links in the Resources section below.
I took the Python code of the Blinkt! examples and the documentation for the Blinkt! and made some simple lighting routines. Turned up the brightness to the maximum on the Blinkt! and it was enough for a great looking window display.
The source code for the project can be found on GitHub.
You will need a Raspberry Pi of course. I used a PiZero W (where W stands for wireless). For the PiZero you need a header as well, to connect the lights. I used to use Hammer Headers from Pimoroni, which require no soldering, but nowdays I also solder my headers. Whichever way you prefer works just fine.
I am planning a similar project for Christmas. We just need new shapes and a new lighting sequence 🙂