Make a Simple Music Controlled Christmas Lights Circuit

Building your own music controlled Christmas lights may not be as difficult as it may appear to be. The article discusses two simple configurations which may be used to decorate a party hall.


The first circuit employs colorful LEDs which when integrated to a music system, interestingly dances forward/backward in a sequential pattern with the applied music intensities.
The second circuit involves mains powered incandescent lamps and produces the same results as above imitating and sequencing with the connected music peaks.

Imagine all those bouncing and dancing lights around you during party nights, shooting up and down with loud music beats, can definitely enhance the ongoing ambiance. Wanna like to build them at home. A couple of circuits that may be used as music controlled Christmas lights is neatly explained here
Any celebration or a festival is unthinkable without music and lights, especially when it’s a Christmas party an enhanced ambiance becomes an absolute necessity.
Dazzling, flashing, strobing lights, we have all seen them pretty commonly during celebrations and festive occasions. However, involving music to lights or rather synchronizing the two together so that the lights flash and follow the music pattern can add entirely a new volume of excitement to the party mood.
Although the design may appear to be complicated but actually integrating the two parameters is very easy, obviously a bit electronic wiring may be involved.
In many of my previous articles I have discussed LED lights and circuits to illuminate them in many different decorative ways.
In this article we will discuss how to make arrays of LEDs and mains operated incandescent lamps move and shuffle in a to and fro motion in response to the applied music at its input.
The attached incandescent lamps may be arranged in rows and columns to produce highly pulsating lighting effect. The effects created by the light arrays responding to the music peaks can simply become a visual treat.
A couple of circuits that may be used as music controlled Christmas lights are discussed below. Let’s understand their functioning through the following explanation:
Parts  List for the proposed music controlled Christmas party light circuit
All collector resistors are 1K,
All presets are 10K,
4 Nos NPN transistors are BC547B,
1 PNP transistor is BC557,
All diodes are 1N4007,
All Triacs are BT136,
Lamps, as per preference, not to exceed 200 watts each.

Circuit Description

The configurations are pretty straightforward, looking at the figure, we find that the first circuit involves simple transistor amplifier stages arranged in sequence.
Each stage is comprised of an NPN transistor whose base is rigged into a potential dividing network via a preset. Its collector handles the load in the form of LEDs whereas the emitters are connected to the ground potential through diode or diodes as the sequence is preceded.
Here, the diodes perform an important function of regulating the transistor bias voltage. Each diode will drop around 0.6 volts across itself and enables the subsequent transistor stages to conduct only as the music peaks tend to reach the appropriate values.
The presets also help to the above function and may be precisely held to positions such that each subsequent stage conducts gradually or sequentially with increasing music peaks.
An input PNP transistor is included to initially amplify the music level available across the speaker terminals sufficiently, so that the light sequencing variations can be optimized over a wider range.
The second circuit which controls mains operated incandescent lamps works quite similarly as above. However, here the voltage regulation through diodes and zeners is rather employed to the bases of the transistor instead of the emitters, because we don’t want the AC lamps also getting rectified and producing half the illumination.
The base of the each subsequent transistor is offered an incrementing potential drop through additions of more number of diodes and zeners, but practically it’s found that it’s absolutely not required, a single diode to each of the bases appears to do the job well as the actual setting of the sequencing pattern is effectively optimized through the presets itself.
The above explained music controlled Christmas lights circuits can be assembled over a piece of general purpose PCB and housed inside the associated amplifier cabinet and powered from there itself. The output connections to the lamps will however require attention and should be very carefully terminated to the lamps using good quality insulated PVC wires.

13 thoughts on “Make a Simple Music Controlled Christmas Lights Circuit

  1. Have questions? Please feel free to post them through comments! Comments will be moderated and solved ASAP.
  2. helo SWAGATAM i changed my led strip to SMD LED strip 12v input and 6A output to led strip but i connected the circuit on 12dc of my battery and my woofer speaker but the leds gave out a small light as they move with music peaks ,then i asked my self is it the 12v battery current not enough to make them bright high because these smd leds have there 12v,5A charger which i bought with them, then can i use that charger to power the SMD leds expected brightness as they move with the music and wont that 12v 5A dc supply damage my circuit. help me

    • hello kakumba, actually it's not the battery which is causing the low brightness, it's the emitter side configuration.

      try connecting the strips across the collector and positive of the transistors, and connect the emitters directly with ground…after this adjust the presets carefully to produce the intended sequential running effect on the strips.

      you can also use use 12V 5 amp charger it will do no harm to the circuit.

  3. hi SWAGATAM have noted one thing about the circuit as i used tip122 and replaced them as u said, as music plays and led strip respond with music with presets set to different positions, and as time passes the 12v 2A charger blows which powers the circuit and is it caused by diodes as there is slightly high draw back current through the negative rail , i failed to troubleshoot this help me . thanks very much

    • Hi Davis, the problem has nothing to do with the above circuit, it's specifically your adapters fault, may be it's not of good quality….please change it or try using a transformer based power supply and see the response

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