Project: Lighting up a Cornhole Game

Our illuminated cornhole game is a huge hit at shows, with people lined up all day and night to play. When a beanbag hits the playing surface, a vibration sensor triggers the first LED animation and sound. When the bag goes through the hole, a motion sensor triggers the second animation and sound. Inside, a RocketLife LightBoard Mini drives the LEDs and triggers sounds on a DFRobot DFPlayerMini sound board. (This article explains how to connect the DFPlayer.)

Here’s an initial look at how we built the game; we’ll expand this article with more details over the next few weeks.

Selecting a new theme via Bluetooth. In the next build of this project, we cut a seven-inch hole in the plywood so the hole lights could shine up through the six-inch hole in the plastic for a brighter ring effect.

Electronic Parts (Amazon Links)

LightBoard Mini (control)

DFPlayer Mini (sound)

Vibration Sensor (for deck)

Infrared Sensor (for hole)

Micro SD Card (for sound files)

Switched Stereo Jack (choose between line out and speaker)

Unpowered Speaker (use with DFPlayer’s speaker output)

LED Strip for Deck (30/m)

Cornhole Ring Light Bracket (remove LEDs)

LED Strip for Ring (60/m)

5V, 6A Mean Well Power Supply

5V Power Jack (5.5mm OD/2.1mm ID)

Construction Notes

LEDs — We routed a half-inch channel in the plywood deck to hold the LED strip. We used a 30 pixel/meter IP20 strip (for flexibility) and soldered splices at the corners. The ring light is a standard 6-inch cornhole LED ring (linked above). We removed the stock single-color LEDs and replaced them with a 60 pixel-per-meter addressable strip.

Sound — The DFPlayer has an amplified speaker output that can drive a small speaker. (Both products are linked above.) For louder sound, you can plug an amplified speaker into the board’s line output using a switched jack. We particularly like this Tribit XSound Go speaker.

3D Files

Download Fusion 360 File

Software Setup

The layout screen. Group 1 is the deck LEDs; group 2 is the ring lights.


The timeline screen. The first section is the default pattern. The second section is the deck pattern and sound. The third section is the hole pattern and sound.


Looping and Branching. We set each effect section to loop back to the default pattern (1) after playing.
FX End

If you give multiple effects the same name, you can trigger them randomly or sequentially. This timeline has five random hit effects and two sequential hole effects.


Triggering. On the Input Control panel, we set input A (the ring sensor) to jump playback to effect 3 and input B (the vibration sensor) to jump to effect 2. Adjust the Debounce value to prevent duplicate triggers.


Hardware Setup. The I/O Configuration section of the Device Settings panel shows where to connect the sensors to the LightBoard Mini. (Click image to see the full height.)

Telling Stories with Light and Sound

The LightBoard Mini inside holds a number of thematic programs, which you can change wirelessly with the LightMobile app. The video above shows the "Fourth of Corn" and "Scary Corn" themes, which highlight the 4th of July and Halloween. We also created a Christmas theme with red-green lighting, sleighbells, and a "ho ho ho." A tribute to the Sacramento Kings basketball team uses the Kings purple along with a rebound sound when the bag hits and a swish and cheer when the bag goes through the hole. For Family Day at Intel, we used the randomization feature in LightDesigner to trigger samples of random Windows error sounds when the bag hit the deck and a sample of the Intel Inside theme when the bag went through the hole. The combination of tension and release makes the game more exciting.

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Wiring Diagram

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Hello community, I’m new to this site & I’m hoping for help with a subject. The cornhole board that has the lights and sounds is just awesome to me and I would like to make one but I’m not savvy at all with the wiring or reading schematics. Just wondering if there is anyone willing to give a hand or at least maybe walking me through this. Well thank you and any info will be greatly appreciated!

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hi there, im mamfred , if you need help please let me know ,i just finishid mine and it works great, my kits love it.

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Thanks, Mamfred! We’d love to see it. Can you post a photo or video?

Here’s the code to embed a YouTube video:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ID_GOES_HERE?rel=0

Thank you mamfred and yes I need help and info you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

I tried watching your video but I keep getting an error message

i still tring to upload, my wifi is failing so let me try later

Were you able to upload your video yet?

Hi Rcaldwell. Mamfred sent us this quick video via our Facebook page. He hopes to take some more videos soon. He offered again to help answer any questions you post here.

One interesting technique he tried was to use LED string lights instead of strips. He drilled holes in the board and poked the string lights through from the bottom.

hi , i use 150 bulbs string, put an audio jack output on the back for the wooffer speaker, print a plastic sheet 0.8mm thick and place on top,cover the wood whit graphic adhesive,
it astill has some details, like double hit sound when score, but works great by now, my kids love it.
now i will work on a second one made in Alucobond sheet.

thanks to david and dan for your help.

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