The code in the project is currently not working. We are investigating the issue.

Have you put up with non-interactive, regular, old, low-tech tree ornaments for too long? Yes you have! But, this is where things change! It's time to build your own Remote Control Tree Ornament with Circuit Playground Express!!

The Circuit Playground Express (CPX) has a built in infrared (IR) sensor, and it's very simple to decode the signals using CircuitPython, thanks to the Adafruit IR Remote library.

We'll program the CPX to read IR blasts from the mini remote control, and use these commands to change the bright, beautiful NeoPixels. Plus, we'll defuse the light and dress it up with an inexpensive hobby store ornament and festive puff balls!

1 x Circuit Playground Express
Awesome microcontroller with CircuitPython
1 x Battery Holder w On/Off switch
3 x AAA battery holder
1 x USB Cable
USB A to USB Micro - 3 ft.

Or, optionally, to get most of those parts in a single pack:

1 x Circuit Playground Express Base Kit
Includes CPX, battery pack and batteries, USB cable, and storage box

And these two items:

1 x Mini Remote Control
IR remote with NEC encoding
1 x DIY Ornament Kit
6cm Diameter - Perfect for Circuit Playground
Note: at this time MakeCode does not support the use of external IR remotes (only CPX-to-CPX communications) so this project is for CircuitPython use only.


In addition to the materials above, you'll need:

  • White iridescent pom poms from a craft store
  • Ribbon or tree hanger hook

This guide was first published on Dec 24, 2017. It was last updated on Jul 24, 2024.

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

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