Claws-down, Halloween is my favorite holiday. Add some electronics to the mix and it’s an unstoppable force of nature.

In this simple no-soldering-required project we’ll make the Adafruit Circuit Playground Classic or Circuit Playground Express board act like a flickering candle. Pop this inside a jack-o’-lantern (or any other item that might normally use flame) to create a festive spooky atmosphere. (This can also work with an Adafruit Hallowing board with a NeoPixel strip plugged in the NEOPIX port.)

Sure, one can just buy a fake battery-operated candle, but they’re usually pretty dim. Also, we can take this as an opportunity to learn a bit about code…and once Halloween’s over (how sad!) the Circuit Playground board can be used again in endless other projects.

Items needed:

If this is your first time using Circuit Playground, start with our “Introducing Circuit Playground” or “Circuit Playground Express” guide. There’s some software to set up on your computer and some procedures to learn. Try out a couple of the examples, make sure you know how to upload “sketches” (code) to the board.

Circuit Playground Express can be programmed three different ways. You only need to pick ONE of these — whichever you’re most comfortable with or looks interesting.

Powering the Project

For stand-alone powering the project, our 3xAAA battery holder has a power switch and a JST connector that fits the Circuit Playground board. A fresh set of batteries should run it for about ten hours, maybe even longer. Alternately, a USB phone charger (and micro-B cable) can be used.

This guide was first published on Oct 14, 2016. It was last updated on Jul 12, 2024.

This page (Halloween!) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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