Celebrate Christmas

Made by Hongxun Jin

Found in DioT 2019: Internet of Plants

The Christmas tree will lighten up in different styles based on how many family members are gathering around the tree.



Christmas is a time for families to come together and share and enjoy and celebrate the love and appreciation for each other.  All of the gifts, the cards, the bows,  the special food are, in so many ways, expressions of the love and appreciation that we hold for each other. As one of the most essential elements in Christmas, the Christmas tree can respond to how many members have already gathered around it by lightening up certain amounts of color.



The initial goal is to have the Christmas tree to detect how many people are around it. And I come up with the idea that a force resister sensor can be used to install on the floor to measure the weight and then reflect how many people are there. If only one of them is in the house, the tree only displays yellow lights. If two of them, it displays yellow and orange. When all the three members gather together, the tree displays three different colors.



In the beginning, I considered using the infra proximity sensor or thermal sensor to detect the distance or relation between tree and person to let the tree respond with lightings. However, I finally come up with the force resister sensor to detect the floor pressure to provide more stable interaction between the tree and family members.




  • The force resister sensor determines how much weight is in a certain area.
  • Then it will calculate how many members are in that area.
  • If there's one, the tree will trigger only yellow lights.
  • If there're two, the tree will trigger yellow and orange lights.
  • If all the three family members gather together, the tree will trigger yellow, orange and red lights.
  • When there is no one in that area, the light will be turned off.

List of parts:

  • Argon Particle with WIFI connector
  • Breadboard
  • Force resister sensor
  • Three 1k-ohm resistors
  • One 10k-ohm resistor
  • Yellow LED
  • Red LED
  • Green LED

Demonstration video, completed code, circuit diagram, photos of the prototype are below.

Internet of plant_Hongxun Jin
金洪勋 - https://youtu.be/a7KzWeyX2qQ
// Define a pin that we'll place the FSR on
// Remember to add a 10K Ohm pull-down resistor too.
int fsrPin = A0;

// Create a variable to hold the FSR reading
int fsrReading = 0;

// Define a pin we'll place an LED on
int ledPinA = D2;
int ledPinB = D3;
int ledPinC = D4;

void setup()
  // Set up the LED for output
  pinMode(ledPinA, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(ledPinB, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(ledPinC, OUTPUT);

  // Create a cloud variable of type integer
  // called 'light' mapped to photoCellReading
  Particle.variable("force", &fsrReading, INT);

void loop()
  fsrReading = analogRead(fsrPin);

    if (fsrReading>500 && fsrReading<2000)
    digitalWrite(ledPinA, HIGH);
    else if (fsrReading>2000 && fsrReading<3000)
     digitalWrite(ledPinA, HIGH);
     digitalWrite(ledPinB, HIGH);

     else if (fsrReading>3000)
     digitalWrite(ledPinA, HIGH);
     digitalWrite(ledPinB, HIGH);
     digitalWrite(ledPinC, HIGH);

        digitalWrite(ledPinA, LOW);
        digitalWrite(ledPinB, LOW);
        digitalWrite(ledPinC, LOW);

Click to Expand

Next Steps

The next step would be iterate on the frequency of the lighting system and the music system of the Christmas tree.

If there's only one member is in the area, the yellow light will be on with low-frequency blinking, and if there are all the three members are in the area, the three colors will blinking at a higher frequency. And also the Christmas music will be played only if all the members are there.

This will be a level up interaction between the tree and family members and will bring more happiness to the them and let them cherish the gathering of the family members.



When I first encountered the topic of this project, I only came up with some obvious properties of the plant, like sunlight need, soil moisture condition, and shape of the branch. However, the creative project is all about ideas and I was trying hard to focus on ideation and then a Christmas tree-related concept emerged.

And I worked on the if statements to develop the code for my design solutions, which is really simple but achieved a relatively good effect.

I will continue to put more time and effort on idea generation itself and then choose suitable technology to solve the problem.



The idea is original.

For code guidance and circuit diagrams: https://diotlabs.daraghbyrne.me

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The Christmas tree will lighten up in different styles based on how many family members are gathering around the tree.


November 6th, 2019