I've been trying to work out if its going to be possible to use my PI (bought but never had time to set up) to run my display cabinet. The cabinet is a bit special in that every hour for 1 minute it switches off its main lights and turns on 7 lasers (4 running a chaser sequence) as well as some UV lights a turntable and some small spotlights. The switching is easily achieved with relays (although I'm having trouble sourcing some capable of switching low amp/voltages (1.5v, 3.3v, 5v and 12v). My worry is that I need to get the PI on bootup to automatically start the timed sequence, and I also need to have a remote way of kick starting the 'special' program (currently RF but a browser tool would be cool). All of this currently achieved with numerous relays / timers and a lot of wiring. I don't mind a bit of programming but I don't want to dive in if it's not even possible (or so awkward it may as well be impossible). Many thanks to anyone who can advise if its feasible.

2 Answers 2


Easily feasible based on what you listed above.

"My worry is that I need to get the PI on bootup to automatically start the timed sequence" .. One clarification, it won't "boot" then shut off. You would leave it on all the time, and have a script start your lights up at the times you want. Easiest way is to use cron. Look here for an easy explanation of how to set up a cron job. To edit the cron file if you are not using a GUI interface (i.e. you are running headless), go to the command line and type crontab -e.

I'll probably get flamed for this comment, but if you are going to program it and are not a programmer then python is probably your best bet.

For the web interface, you can set up any number of web servers on your pi. If you google web server for RaspberryPi you'll be drawn into a religious argument about which is best. They all work fine. I use flask.

Another alternative for interacting with your device is to use text messages. Also requires a web server and a service like plivo or twilio. I prefer this for away from home uses for security reasons vs exposing a web page.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.


I think all the things you mentioned can be easily achieved.

Timely triggers can be setup as cronjobs.

While remote triggering can be achieved by basic web server and binding it to the relevant scripts.

It shouldn't be very difficult.

Hope it helps.

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