Laurelin, the tree of light! Build and code a programmable RGB LED tree
2022-08-13, 13:00–15:00, Main Two
Language: English

Come and light up our LED tree! Add your own animations and colour through coding tiny RGB LEDs. Solas is a programmable RGB LED which will act as the leaves on our tree of light. You can code your own light using blocks or text and connect it to the tree.


Solas is a small programmable RGB LED. Using jacdac, a brand new PCB edge connector from Microsoft, you can connect Solas to other modules through dedicated cables and code them using the block platform MakeCode.

The plan is to build an acrylic tree and add the LEDs as leaves on the tree that glow. The more LEDs we add, the taller the tree can grow. The group build both the tree and the LEDs.

The project is in the very early stages of development. We are negotiating sponsorship to provide LEDs to as many people as possible at the festival.

Right now we can guarantee to attend the festival and create the tree, but we want enough for 200 people to take a solas home! This is to be decided.

Plan A: Build and light up a tree
Plan B: (with sponsorship) Build and light up a tree, add sensors to the tree: buttons, temperature sensors, etc.
Plan C (With sponsorship): Build and light up a tree and take a leaf home to code

The LEDs will be wired onto a tree with everyone's pattern being displayed on each leaf. Programming can be done over blocks or text code. Adapted for people's skills.

We are hoping our sponsors will provide extra kits and components for people to win over the weekend. Or even buy if they want to do more at home.

PhD student at Lancaster University, Lorraine Underwood is an author, maker, mum and general awesome person. She wants people to be interesting in physical computing, coding and shiny lights. Lorraine can be found on twitter: https://twitter.com/LMcUnderwood
Previous projects are on her blog: https://lorraine.mcunderwood.org/