## Solving the “Lights Out” Puzzle via Linear Algebra

Lights Out is a puzzle that sits in a very interesting place mathematically: while many puzzles can be solved with the *help* of math, Lights Out is solved exactly and completely by math (linear algebra in particular). Linear algebra doesn’t just make it easier to solve: it finds an exact solution, and does it so cleanly that it seems like Lights Out was made for mathematical reasons (even though it wasn’t, unlike some other puzzles).

So if you’re ever stuck in a video game that has this puzzle (which seems to be just about all of them), just give the following video a quick watch and then whip out your favourite linear algebra software to solve a too-large-to-want-to-solve-by-hand linear system:

The Manim Python script for creating the animations in this video is attached below since, given how absurdly long it took to put together, it would be a shame if no one else made use of it for anything. So please, make use of it – make more videos about Lights Out!

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