Controller for AC lights

johnalex1985

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Hi Everyone,

Absolute newbie at most/ all things Christmas lights so bear with the stupid question here. We have had quite a large and growing collection of AC Christmas lights display over the last couple of years but have decided this year to dive head first into pixels including musical sequencing etc. Just trying to purchase a controller that will control both the pixels and AC lights (if there is such a thing.) Any suggestions or tips at what I'll need? Thanks in advance.
 

Notenoughlights

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What type of AC lights do you have? The type with 2 wires coming from the controller or the type with 3 wires? Pictures of the controllers/cables coming from them will help.
 

Mark_M

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Welcome to ACL!
There's not one signal controller I know of to do both.
However there is many sub controller boards that can work with a pixel controller for standard lights.

What type of AC lights do you have? The type with 2 wires coming from the controller or the type with 3 wires? Pictures of the controllers/cables coming from them will help.
Alan Hanson @AAH has controllers that act like a pixel (receiving pixel data from a pixel controller) and then switch standard lights. He has controllers suited to the evil 2 wire lights and 3 wire lights.

There's other options like, DMX switching of dumb lights (Falcon pixel controllers can output DMX).
DMX switching boards are cheap from AliExpress.

xLights can also have USB controllers, so if you like DIY with Arduino's then that would work.
 

johnalex1985

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What type of AC lights do you have? The type with 2 wires coming from the controller or the type with 3 wires? Pictures of the controllers/cables coming from them will help.
Haha just going up into the roof to find out. We have a combination of both 2 and 3 wires coming from the controller
 

johnalex1985

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Welcome to ACL!
There's not one signal controller I know of to do both.
However there is many sub controller boards that can work with a pixel controller for standard lights.


Alan Hanson @AAH has controllers that act like a pixel (receiving pixel data from a pixel controller) and then switch standard lights. He has controllers suited to the evil 2 wire lights and 3 wire lights.

There's other options like, DMX switching of dumb lights (Falcon pixel controllers can output DMX).
DMX switching boards are cheap from AliExpress.

xLights can also have USB controllers, so if you like DIY with Arduino's then that would work.
Thanks Mark I'll have a look 😊
 

i13

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There is no single controller that controls both traditional LED strings and pixels at the same time but you can have both types of controller in the same setup.

I agree with Notenoughlights saying we need more information about these light sets. Each light set currently has its own plugpack. Even though the plugpacks may (or may not) claim to be the same voltage as each other, there is likely to be some variation between them. If you're using central power supplies, you'll ideally want to determine the correct voltage for each light set and you might want to modify the light sets so that they run at the same voltage as each other. If you supply a voltage that is too high, it will result in too much current flowing through the LEDs and this will damage them.
 

johnalex1985

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What type of AC lights do you have? The type with 2 wires coming from the controller or the type with 3 wires? Pictures of the controllers/cables coming from them will help.
This is one of the examples of the lights we have
 

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johnalex1985

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Starting to get my head around this a little more. So most of my DC lights are 31-33V ranging from 2.5 - 8AMP outputs. Most of the controller boards look like they take a maximum of 3Amp loads per output? Is there a way to circumnavigate this issue for the lights with larger Amp outputs?
 

AussiePhil

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Starting to get my head around this a little more. So most of my DC lights are 31-33V ranging from 2.5 - 8AMP outputs. Most of the controller boards look like they take a maximum of 3Amp loads per output? Is there a way to circumnavigate this issue for the lights with larger Amp outputs?
31-33v @ up to 8amps doesn't sound right.
Example from the photo above shows a 24v DC set @450mA ... LED lights would rarely get above 1A for common strings
some more photos showing tags like above would be good
cheers
Phil
 

johnalex1985

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One of the power packs of the lights we have
 

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AussiePhil

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as i unblur my eyes ... i think that was 8.4W as in watts = 260 odd miliAmps V>30v though. looks like you might need to catalogue and test all the strings against something like 27v DC and see what works and what doesn't
 

angus40

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ADMIN NOTE: This does not apply to DC based lights used in AU/NZ and should not be used to control transformers used with those lights.

Please be advised : This is for Mains lighting control only ,


Hi Diyer's , If you are handy with a soldering iron, you can build a simple igbt circuit for single channel AC or Multiple channel AC lighting that is controllable via pwm/pixel data .
I am using WLED firmware on a Wemos D1 Esp8266 connected to such a igbt circuit and it will dim AC led ,high wattage AC Led Flood lights and AC incandescent bulbs .

The beauty is , the circuit is designed for 220 mains power .

Note; DIY WARNING -> AC is/can be deadly so all safety precaution is to be taken seriously and at own risk


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdCvJ1wZ0bA
 
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Notenoughlights

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Hi Diyer's , If you are handy with a soldering iron, you can build a simple igbt circuit for single channel AC or Multiple channel AC lighting that is controllable via pwm/pixel data .
I am using WLED firmware on a Wemos D1 Esp8266 connected to such a igbt circuit and it will dim AC led ,high wattage AC Led Flood lights and AC incandescent bulbs .

The beauty is , the circuit is designed for 220 mains power .

Note; DIY WARNING -> AC is/can be deadly so all safety precaution is to be taken seriously and at own risk


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdCvJ1wZ0bA
I believe doing this with the little transformers/electronic power supplies/LED drivers whatever you want to call them; most light sets come with will destroy the transformer as they are not designed to be "dimmed" with their electronics etc and you are required to control the lights at the low voltage side as is mostly done.
 

angus40

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You have transformers in your lights ? We don't have such in Canada . Sorry for my ignorance !
Maybe the admin could delete this reply .
 
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