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CHRISTMAS!!!!  We LOVE Christmas in my house, and the Advent calendar is one of those things we always say “We should get one this year..”. Well, I finally did it and of course I had to make it more complicated than it needed to be!  Obviously it needed an Arduino!
The circuit is really simple. There’s a button that just increments a number up to 25. The lights all turn off, then turn back on up to the current day counter.  Using the RGB LEDs gives you tons of opportunity to animate the lights or choose specific colors, so there’s lot of options.  You can even change it for next year!

The code is available on my GitHub, grab it if you’re wanting to make one on your own!


  • Lucas Schuster

    Hi Bob, sweet project. Would you recommend this for someone new to Arduino boards? I learned some coding back in 2005.
    Is it possible to write the code based on calendar time and date? (probably a challenge to keep accurate without a battery (make it solar!)) I’m thinking of trying to design a blank wood calendar with the LEDs showing what day of the month it is, possibly a month indicator also… thanks for the inspiration!
    if only the regular calendar could also be an advent calendar! hmmm
    Merry Christmas!
    ps. my 4 year old son a i really enjoy your videos

    • Hey Lucas! Yes, this would be a great starter project! You’ll learn what’s necessary for using a button and controlling the LEDs but nothing else too complex. You definitely could create a calendar as well although the board I’m using would be unreliable over time for accurate time keeping. A more precise solution would be to get a wifi enabled board (like Particle Photon, Arduino Yun, etc) and have the board go out to the internet to get an accurate time occasionally.

      Tell you son I said Hi! Thanks for watching my videos with him.. that’s super cool of you!

    • The code is available on my GitHub, grab it if you’re wanting to make one on your own!

  • Brian

    I always wish you would sell the elecronics already made and wired up so I could use them, I do NOT mess with electronics.

  • Cam Taylor

    Hi Bob, Thanks for the inspiration on this project, Im using 12mm WS2811 LEDs and reclaimed wood from pallets, I had to slightly alter your code to get my LEDs to work, and I’ve also added a few different features for the 25th day. This is the first of 4 in total I’m doing for my friends and family, but they don’t know yet, so please keep that quiet (:

    Many Thanks for the awesome idea and the great content on YouTube, this is the first thing I’ve tried of yours, but I don’t think it’ll be the last.


    P.s please excuse the mess on my desk as I finished the electronics at 11pm last night.


  • Andrew Vigliaturo

    Hey Bob! Great job.. I tell my wife that you are my spirit animal. Is it possible to revisit the recommended LED’s you have posted here? The cheaper option is not resolving to an existing product any longer. Thanks!

  • Darryl H

    Hi Bob. I was wondering what resistor you used in this project. I am very green in the arduino world and am looking to build a project from this idea.


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