k6ccc Posted November 27, 2021 Share Posted November 27, 2021 Two years ago one of techy nerdy friends told me that I should figure out how to start my light show from Alexa. I thought about it and realized it would be easy. So here is what I did. For background, on opening night (last night), I don't start the Christmas show until 7:00 PM, so I have my normal year round evening landscape lighting running from the time it gets dark until just before the 7:00 start of the Christmas show. The landscape sequences are 4 minute musical sequences where the music audio file is 4 minutes of silence (this will become important shortly). The short version is that I set up the Christmas show with the option to start show on a trigger. I connected an input port on an InputPup controller to a 5 volt relay which is powered by a USB wall wart that is plugged into a power outlet that can be controlled by Alexa. I took one of my Echo Dot "Alexa" devices out into the front yard where I would be, and when I was ready to start the show, I told Alexa to Turn on Light Show. That turned on the outlet which energized the relay, which triggered Input #1 on the InputPup which caused the show the start. The 40 - 50 people that were there for the start loved it... Now for the longer version. Because the landscaping show is using 4 minute musical sequences and the show starts running based on a light sensor detecting that it has gotten dark, there is no way to control where in the 4 minute sequence it will be at a scheduled end of the show time. Therefore, it could be up to 3:59 later. Also, from earlier testing, I had determined that when the Christmas evening show starts, it takes the S5 show player about 25 seconds for song "checking" before it can actually start playing. So with all that in mind, I scheduled the evening landscape show to run until 6:54, and the Christmas show to start at 6:54 with the option set to start show based on a trigger. So what happened was this. At 6:54 PM the landscape show went into shutdown mode - so it will continue to play the musical sequence currently running. At about 6:55, that sequence ended, so the landscape evening show ran the shutdown sequence which shuts off a lot of the light, but leaves some still on. Because I do not have the checkbox set to turn off lights at the end of the sequence, the few lights left on will stay on. However because a lot of the lights went off, I knew that the shutdown sequence had run. At that point, the Christmas show loaded, and did all the sequence checking. That should have been completed before 6:56. At that, the show player just waited for the trigger. When I asked Alexa to turn on the light show, the LOR player saw the input trigger and started running the show. Very cool! Just to add to the complications, I run Zara Radio during non-show hours, so I had to get that shut down. So Zara had an event trigger set to Stop with an up to five minute wait time at 6:50. What that will do is cause Zara Radio to stop playing after whatever song currently playing is finished. Just in case a really long song was playing, I had a forced immediate stop command at 6:55. Zara stopped playing shortly before LOR shut down the evening landscaping show. Happily, it all worked right. I had tested this several times in the previous couple days (in daylight), so I was pretty sure it would work right... And yes, the techy nerdy friend who suggested it, was there for the opening last night. 3 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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