Christmas In Kent

Static Light Dongle

Here's something I came up with because I wanted certain strings or areas of lights to be static before and after the animated show. Last year I had these "dongles" hooked up to my icicle lights. This year I will be using these for other static lights probably the bushes and trees adjacent to the house. We will be using LED's from Creative Displays.

I decided to not have any static lights on during my animated show as it detracts for the animated lights. I also wanted those static lights to be part of the show this year.

Since I didn't want my controllers to have to be left on for the static lights I came up with a relay device that switched between an animated controller and a timer circuit or house automation circuit. I have circuits under my eves that are controlled through my whole house automation system. I can program those circuits to come on at any time and then shut off right before the show starts.

The relay is basically taking the Christmas light animation circuit and sending it straight through. When the house automation turns on, it interrupts the Christmas light animation circuit and powers the lights from the whole house automation circuit.

Here is the circuit diagram: (The n is for neutral)

Static Light Dongle

Here's the DPDT (double pole - double throw) relay with terminals noted
All Electronics $1.75 each - rated 12 amps


Coil (connected with normally open contacts and automation controller or timer)

Relay Coil


Common (connected to lights - female outlet)

relay common


Normally Open (connected with coil to house automation or timer)

relay normally open


Normally Closed (connected to animated controller)

normally closed

Here's a picture of the first iteration of the dongle. I used a female socket and a small metal box from Fry's.

relay in box

Relay in box too

Here's a much simpler arrangement:

relay wired up

Finished dongle before coating with liquid electrical tape:

Finished Static Light Dongle

Now I used my house automation to control this but you could use any timer or other circuit that can be switched or controlled.