Getting Started

Some of the information below may be out of date, please visit our Reddit Page for the latest information on using and getting started with LightShow Pi!

Looking to create your own light show using LightShow Pi? Here is a list of steps to help you get started:

Download and Install LightShow Pi
Configuring and Testing your Hardware
Playing your first Song and Playlist
Hardware Design Guides

Once you’ve completed the above, you can move on to some more advanced setups:

Using SMS (text messaging) to control your show
USB Audio-In Support

Below are links to more excellent tutorials other users in our community have written:

Create a Fully Automated Light and Music Show for the Holidays – by Swapnil Bhartiya

Last (but not least), here are some great video tutorials as well provided by community member Ken B to help you get started:

LightShow Pi Hardware and Software Basics

Software Configuration Tips

55 Replies to “Getting Started”

  1. Hey, I’m looking at doing something like this, but I’d prefer to use the new Raspberry Pi Zero. Would this be possible?

    1. I’m waiting to get my hands on my own Pi Zero – so can’t say for certain if any modifications are required, but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work with one! Report back with your experience!

  2. Hello, I have having some issues with the webui fork. I can’t seem to get it to work properly. I can access the webpage but none of the functions work. I haven’t reinstalled lightshowpi but i need to get this working my Monday.

  3. Hi am new to all this and have downlaoded the lightshowpi but what i a worried about as a newbie is getting the wiring wrong and blowing my pi, any ideas where i can get a scematic drawing from or some pics to show me what i need to use thank you

  4. Hello Todd,
    This work is really awesome !!
    What I’m looking for is Light changing RGB led strips according to audio input from a mobile phone(using an aux/3.5mm cable) !!
    Is is possible to do this using this ?

    1. Parth,

      Depends on the RGB strips – if you are talking about analog RGB strips such as the 5050 (i.e. not individually addressable) – then sure, this project would work great for changing the RGB strip color / brightness to the music output via an audio cable to your RPi via a USB Audio card.

      Take a look here for audio-input help:

      And here for some details on using the RGB strips:

      Good luck!

    1. Not with the software as it exists today. You could however drive an RGB led light / lights using 3 GPIO pins from the RaspberryPi that will change the colors of the RGB lights based on the music playing w/out the WS2811.

  5. I am running the Raspberry Pi 3 and connecting all the LED’s up using the GPIO.
    I thought I might be connecting up the LED’s wrong so I have run a short program to check each connection, one at a time. This program shows that I did connect up the LED’s correctly and each one lights.
    When I run the “sudo python py/ —state=flash” all I get is:
    Channel 1 : GPIO pin number 0
    Channel 2 : GPIO pin number 1
    etc to Channel 7 when the same thing repeats. None of the LED’s light or flash.
    I am not a Python Pro, but it appears that the problem is in this program.
    Can you PLEASE HELP. Would like to connect this up for a Halloween Light show.

  6. Is it be possible to have Lightshow Pi produce video visualizations over HDMI? I’m looking for something like the old Milkdrop and other audio dynamic video outputs like Winamp used to do.

    1. Possible, with enough time and effort most anything is possible 😉 However, there are no plans to add such support to LightShowPi.

  7. Hey, Todd! Are you still helping strangers on the internet?
    I can’t get any audio lightshowpi. Leds are working as they should and I’m hearing raspberry’s audio from bluetooth to my computer’s speakers. I can hear audio from other programas (like Chrome – Youtube), but can’t hear anything when playing the lightshow file

  8. I have a few questions:
    1) How to check the song that’s playing, and its timestamp, from the command line?
    2) How to play audio through bluetooth speakers?
    3) How to make all lights on or off using a command in the terminal?
    4) How does the Text and twitter work?

  9. I have a few of questions:

    1) How do I stop my FM Modulator from powering my pi (and everything other devices) off (or on) in the case of other devices, such as lights and television.

    2) How do I reinstall microweb, my microweb stoped working on the web_control.cgi page only, in the terminal it gives an error saying that there is a hooks file missing. This started happening after I tried setting up airplay. Which brings me to my next question:

    3) How do I set up airplay? Pandora? Is Spotify supported?

    4)How to set up twitter support? Twitter requires an approval to make an app. (I got declined). So I tried to set it up using one of my old API Keys, and Access Keys (from another app I created a while back), adding them into the placeholders in, but no luck. Is there another way?

    5) What is the recommended format. does LightShow Pi support flac files? What audio formats does it support? And what quality works best (kbps)? I have 320kbps files but that is way to low, that the background static makes the lights not flash close to the song.

    6) The lights flash way fast, although not 100% necessary, or high priority: Is it possible to slow the flash a little bit? I have light_delay set to 0.69, in overrides.cfg, as recommended in one of Ken B’s videos, but it has hardly helped.

    7) Is it possible to add new sms commands in the file, for the following functions: Play next song, play previous song, change playlist, stop flashing( Lights always on), resume flashing (Lights back on tune), Lights off (no flash, no light), start_music_and_lights, and stop_music_and_lights. I understand that some may not be possible, And that the sms only runs when start_music_and_lights is, so it would not be able to start them, but is it possible for sms to always be running?

    8) Last question/issue: Is it possible to add 2 Relays? I have two 8 channels mechanical relays, pluged into pi via the 5 volt, and ground pins, however only one comes on, could this have to do with active_low_mode in overrides.cfg?

    I understand if not all can be answered immediately, but hopefully can eventually, my priorities are numbers (1, 2, 3, 5, and 8). Thank you in advance.

  10. Great software!. I have lot of fun with it.
    But I have question – trivial I suppose.
    How can I output music to bluetooth speaker? I have paired and working JBL – it works ok with browser etc but with Lightshowpi I have my audio outpun only on jack.

  11. My 2+ running V1.2 of L/S died, so went to install V1.4 on a 3B+ following the directions on the web site. Running 9.11 Stretch with config of 20190423. Running hardware_controller and error of :
    File “py/”, line 66 in

    import wiringpipy as wiringpi
    Import error:: lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/ version ‘GLIBC_2.28’ not found
    (required by /usr/lib/

    Did the installation miss a file?

  12. I am hoping to project a video on a window with the music. Are there any video files supported that lspi will detect and play as well as sync lights to music?

  13. Loving this project but as a noob, I’d really appreciate some updated links now Google+ is dead. Is there a document describing the various programs, tools etc.?

  14. I’m using a RPI 4 and when I install lightshowpi, it gives me this error code “Command “python egg_info” failed with error code 1 in /tmp/pip-install-dBLBAE/twython/.” Any help would greatly be appreciated . Thanks in advance!!!

  15. It appears that you have a configuration error as the links on this page are pointing to the server IP rather then to the domain name causing timeouts in my browser.

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