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Cutting store bought Led rope light

Discussion in 'Lights - Store Bought and Home Made' started by Cabrinha, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. Cabrinha

    Cabrinha New Elf

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    Has anyone successfully managed to cut store bought LED rope light? I was thinking of purchasing about 25m of rope light to place on the roof line and splicing it using a two way connector so I can run it down either side of the roof in a Y shape.


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  2. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    That might be possible but I really don't know enough about ropelights to be sure. I gave up on them because they kept dying and weren't repairable. I think it could depend on the voltage too.

    I would recommend doing it with LED strips. They are commonly used on this forum and the dumb RGB strips allow you to change the colour just by plugging in different wires.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Cabrinha

    Cabrinha New Elf

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    Thanks for that. I am not sure about the LED strips just yet as I am only just starting out and have not invested in a controller or figured out how all those blinky lights work
     
  4. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    Dumb RGB strips are not pixels and therefore they'll work if you just connect them straight to the power supply. That said, pixels are the obvious choice IMO if you want computer control. If you want it running in time for this year then they probably won't arrive in time so there might not be much point in investing in dumb RGB unless you plan never to have computer control. You can have dumb RGB in a computer controlled setup but it significantly limits the effects you can have compared to pixels.

    Really the main thing to watch out for in this setup is voltage drop because 25 metres is long. If you used short or thick wiring, 12V or higher and connect the power at the middle of the Y then this wouldn't be a problem.

    You could use pixel strips but I'm unsure if they can be branched that way. You'd just need a little tester unit to run preset patterns until you introduce computer control if that's what you want to do. http://www.aliexpress.com/store/701799/search?SearchText=smart+pixel+controller
     
  5. battle79

    battle79 Full Time Elf

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    Cabrinha,

    Firstly, this is only possible if you use low voltage rope light, Most rope lights run at 240V and are effectively a complete unit that can't be touched. Electrician may be willing occasionally.

    24V or 12V rope lights are a lot less common but could be done as you described. You will need to use heat shrink on the connection and fill it with NEUTRAL CURE silicon before shrinking to water proof the joint. This is the way most of us do all our joints to water proof them.

    Even at 12V or 24V, you will have sections where the LEDs are connected into groups, you will have to cut between these sections where only two wires are present. This is sometime inconvenient for lengths, but most be done or that section wont work.

    Simplest idea I can see is just use two ropes and double up the top section by cable tying them together. Possibly not the best idea if they are 240V as they get hot.

    Regards,
    Rowan
     

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