Beginner wanting to start basic show


New elf
Oct 16, 2019
Hi Everyone,
I am wanting to start a very basic set up using either strings or strips. Wanting the lights just to do basic functions for now.

Looking at just doing the outline of my roof and around front window to start.

I've read the manual but still dont really understand what I need to get started.

Looking at around 30m of strips or strings to do the roof outline.

To my understanding I need a power supply and a controller. What controller tho? How do I connect the 5m lengths together? How do I run the power to the first strip from the ground up to the gutter where the strips will start?

Sorry if I've asked some stupid questions but I have no idea what I should buy and how to connect.


I love blinky lights :)
Community project designer
Dec 27, 2010
Welcome to ACL
I imagine that you are talking about pixel strip rather than dumb rgb strip.
Assuming that it's pixel strip then the 2 choices are 5V or 12V. Both are pretty easy to work with. 5V allows every led to be controlled individually. 12V allows groups of 3 to be controlled at a time. 5V is "typically" 30 pixels per metre or 150 pixels per strip. 12V is "typically" 10 pixels (30 leds) per metre or 50 pixels per strip.
30m of 5V strip will be 900 pixels and about 50A maximum current. 30m of 12V strip will be 300 pixels and 16.5A. The trade off between the 2 is the resolution of the 5V versus the higher current that you need to work with.
900 or 300 pixels is dead easy to control and near any pixel controller can do that from a single output.
The strips have 3 wires that get daisy chained from 1 to the next. The start of strings usually have 2 extra wires for power injection. Power injection to top up the voltage is generally connected to the start of each strip.
Pop into chat if you want instant answers for nearly any question.
LOTS of choices for a controller. Falcon F16 or F4, Advatek Pixlite 16 or Pixlite 4, San Devices E6804 or E682 or I make the rPi-28D (and rPi-28D+) which plug onto a Raspberry Pi.


Apprentice elf
Generous elf
Dec 13, 2015
Hello JKay83,
Well hope you know what you are letting yourself in for; its probably too late to do a lot this year with controllers etc. It takes a lot of time to build models, sequence sort out power supply's. But you can get a bit of a display together for this year and then if you wish expand next year.
for the windows you could get either some strip say WS2811 led 12 volt at say 30 led per metre at the end of each strip you would have a connector, don't forget that they only allow current in one direction, there are arrows near the black IC on the strip,if you reverse them no lights or WS2811 12v nodes on a string there are 100 nodes per string at 100mm spacings.
you could zip tie the strip to some conduit most use 20mm conduit; zip tie across the copper pads not the IC or led; if you use the string lights you can zip tie anywhere
to "control" the lights you can get Pixel testers which will produce a number of patterns
to power the light use say a 360watt 12 volt power supply. you may need a number of power supplies
You also may need to inject voltage along the line to combat the voltage drop, however if each "string" is 100 or less you could be right.
You will have to sort how you are going to mount them to the windows, working on the roof is fraught with danger.
To compliment the windows, you could try bending some conduit to form arches and place these in the garden/lawn
Hope this gives you some ideas, if you need help ask. There are no stupid questions just a very steep learning curve.