1. New to Christmas lighting? Get started with the AusChristmasLighting 101 Manual:
    auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/AusChristmasLighting-101

and now for something a little different.

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by Nefarious, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Nefarious

    Nefarious New Elf

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi guys.

    I am hoping this is the right section to ask this.

    We are planning on laying a new driveway on the next few months at home. I was thinking about inserting perspex bricks in the driveway as decoration. Then I got to thinking a few weeks ago that it would be seriously cool to be able to light them at night. After that I think I might have let my imagination get the better of me which lead me here eventually. I was wondering if any of you would have any idea on what it would take to light up approximately 270 bricks. Ultimately I would like to be able control each brick individually for color and brightness etc. Apart from building my own LED mountain biking lights I have very little experience with LEDs but I have been a security technician for many years now and large stacks of cables, pcbs and channels don't phase me.

    Any suggestions on where to start would be much appreciated. At the moment I have figured out how to make the holes in the concrete and how to keep the conduit in place while the concrete gets poured but the actual lights and how to control them individually is still a mystery to me. I also thought that it might be nice if I could trigger the lights to do one of a few things via inputs. For instance, the first car up the drive way the lights will chase (I think thats the right terminology) towards the first carpark. The second car tup the driveway will trigger a second input which then makes the lights chase to the second carpark. Well, thats just a thought for now.

    Oh I thought that while I was at it I would also run additional conduit under the concrete for Christmas lighting shows etc so it might pay to be able to possible double or triple the amount of channels needed.

    Regards[​IMG]
     
  2. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Albion Park NSW
    Find Me On:
    Welcome to ACL, sounds like a great project. will the bricks be removable so you can service any faulty lights?

    There are a few solutions for what your wanting to do but ideally you want it to be a stand alone setup and not relying on a computer to run it.

    I would first recommend reading the ACL lighting for dummies manual as this should hopefully give you a basic understanding of the lights that you can use. As far as controllers i would actually look for a stand alone solution from China but that can be discussed later when you understand your light choices and the basic principles of controlling intelligent RGB lights.

    But i would be looking at using the intelligent modules for this application
     
  3. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,747
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    That sounds like really cool idea. If you end up doing it we surely would like to see a video.

    Assuming servicing the individual lights will not be as easy maintenance task I would use high quality RGB lighting. Intelligent RGB lights would be a good choice due to your thoughts of chasing lights.

    As Eddy said a standalone system (not your home computer) would also be a good choice. Some stand alone systems are programmed on your computer and then transfer to a memory stick which is used by the stand alone controller system.

    As far as 1st or 2nd car chasing that might not be practical due to a 3rd car or first car parked in 2nd slot etc. Maybe something simpler, such as a motion sensor at the start of the driveway, which would trigger the lights in the blocks. This could be in patterns or chases, etc. for an 'X' period of time.
     
  4. GoofyGuy

    GoofyGuy Guest

    Feels like an Old Michael Jackson video to me. Im sure it can be done, dont know how to make it happen without clear blocks or something along those lines. Or some ELL wire in the cracks then epoxied over to make it more weather and wear resistant. Please post the blocks you are using I would like to see how this is going to work.



     
  5. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,391
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Canberra, ACT, Australia
    Find Me On:
    Hi Nefarious,


    Welcome to the forum, glad you got a chance to post this question after the emails we had exchanged.


    Since the last email i have become aware of a forthcoming Intelligent Light Controller that may do what you are looking for when combined with say 2801 pixels or Pixel Modules, the book fasteddy referenced will tell more on the pixels at least.
    I don't have much detail about the controller or a time frame at this time except that it looks to be a quality product, not sure about handling of multiple trigger inputs though.


    Based on the use of Glass/Perspex Bricks individual Intelligent 2801 modules would be a good choice for lights offering individual control of colour and brightness.


    I'm sure many here will throw good ideas out


    Cheers
    Phil
     
  6. ԆцряєсϮ

    ԆцряєсϮ Senior Elf

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Messages:
    502
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Botanic Ridge
    Find Me On:
    As the driveway hasnt been poured yet I would consider laying induction loops at the start and at each carpark, that would make the trigger logic easier to construct for your chasing solution.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Nefarious

    Nefarious New Elf

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi and thanks. I will download and study that.
    Yes the bricks will be removable. I will post some stuff on how this will be done shortly.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Nefarious

    Nefarious New Elf

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Definitly will do a video.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Nefarious

    Nefarious New Elf

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Phil. Please keep my informed on those. This project has had a few minor financial set backs but it will happen sometime in the next year sometime. Time is on my side still.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Nefarious

    Nefarious New Elf

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Alarm or gate technician talking there? LOL ... yeah that was my plan. That and a few relays and I can make different outputs trigger if a car is already in a certain parking spot.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Nefarious

    Nefarious New Elf

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is how I plan to lay the concrete and conduit as well as provide the holes for the lights.

    OK first of all the perspex isn't really a brick. I copied and pasted most of my post from an email I sent to Phil and missed changing that. When I sent Phil my first email I was looking at using solid glass bricks set back in the concrete. I have gone away from this idea now and instead am using 19MM thick perspex armoured rectangles 120x70mm in size.

    The reason for this is two fold. Firstly these are much stronger than the glass and will easily support any vehicle (maybe not a large semi truck and trailer but then the concrete would be stuffed anyway). And secondly much cheaper at about $2 a piece as opposed to $15 for the glass.

    The reason for the size is because that is what you end up with for a 100x50mm (4x2 in old school sizes) stake with a 10MM sleeve around the top of it. The sleeve is just some more timber 10x20MM nailed flush with the top of the 100x50. The 100x50 will be about 300MM long with a 28MM hole drill at 100MM deep from the top for the conduit to go into and then I will cut a V down to the hole from the bottom so that we can sit it over the conduit and hammer them into the ground thereby holding the conduit in place as well as providing regular depth and levels for pouring the concrete (its going to be a long boring job making 300 of them LOL). Oh I forgot to mention that all of these will be covered with a shopping bag so it will be easier to pull them out of the concrete once it is laid.

    So once the concrete is poured and we have pulled all the stakes out we should be left with a nice clean 120x70mm hole down to 20mm and from there on a 100x50 hole to the conduit which should in theory be right in the middle of the hole which can then be cut flush on each side of the hole. After that is it simply a matter of a thin lay of silicon for the perspex to sit on making it flush with the concrete and job done as far as the preparations before the lights go in is concerned.

    Easy peasy. uhm yeah.

    Kinda scary now that I think of it.

    I need to start drawing some plans and documenting because right now this is all still flying around in my head (a dangerous place to be). I will post in here so that you guys can get some idea of what I am trying to achieve.

    Actually, I just had an idea on a reflector and holder to keep the LED's in place under the brick. I will ponder on that today and let you know tonight.
     
  12. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,391
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Canberra, ACT, Australia
    Find Me On:
  13. OP
    OP
    Nefarious

    Nefarious New Elf

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can't see anywhere where it says how bright they are Phil. The use of these lights is 24/7 so they should be bright enough to be seen in the day under the perspex. I also notice they have a pos/neg Data/Clock connection. I am guessing you can string lots of these in a line on the same cable. What is the maximum? Is it cable dependant or is there a theoretical maximum like 256 or something?

    Maybe I should start reading the LED for dummies book now huh. LOL
     

Share This Page