Display design ideas

ChristmasLover

New elf
Joined
Nov 29, 2012
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43
Not sure if this is the right spot for this question.....(feel free to move it)

Are there any programs out that people are using to put the parameters of their home into so they can accurately plan a display. Or are most people using the old pen and paper?

Not looking for something really complex like AutoCad though....
 

burner

Full Time elf
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Nov 2, 2011
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I scanned a architect drawing of my house in, then used Paint.NET (free) to remove the measurements and unnecessary items. I then created a few layers (i.e. wiring route path, RGB lights, static lights, controller and PSU) and colour coordinated it. I then added notes for the qty of pixels and pixel number (i.e. pixel 1-84, Universe 1) to each element.

Having said all that, my initial drawings were all done on paper, till I worked out how to maximize each universe (about 6 retries).
 

mborg10

Michael Borg
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Dec 28, 2011
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claremont meadows
I did the same thing as burner, but I am a draftsman "MBorgDesign", so I was able to draw my house from scratch using Autocad giving plan end elevations. Due to time restraints it was only 2D but next year I'll have a 3D rendered version.

I also drew on my cable routes and mounting locations. This helped greatly in working out cable quantities and so I could methodically install each section. I could do alot of fabrication for lighting mounts off the drawings. Unfortunately Autocad is not an animation software so it is purely for layout purposes only.
 

AAH

I love blinky lights :)
Community project designer
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Dec 27, 2010
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Eaglehawk
I did a hand sketch of the yard and roughly where controllers would need to be. I then grabbed all my channels etc and put them into excel where I worked out what controllers they were going to go on, what voltage the lights were, what the channels the lights were going to be on, the start channels of the specific controllers and what outputs the lights were going to be on on each controller. I've only got about 400 channels over 15 controllers in use but it made an amazing difference in the hookup time having it all down on paper and in sequential order. Because I have a mix of 5V, 12V and 24V dc, 24V ac and 240V ac lights it made it easier to work out what I could connect up where. My corostars ended up being moved as it worked out easier for controller assignments.
 

burner

Full Time elf
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Nov 2, 2011
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I extra tip I can give you is to put plug tails on all your elements, and then make up extension cables for connecting back to the controller. If you standardize this across the board, (including where the male and female plugs go) you can move things around each year and will only have to make a few extra extension leads if required.
 

DeeJai

Is that Magic Smoke?!?
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Oct 18, 2011
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1,007
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No longer in Radelaide
i took a photo of the house, used image software to make it have a sketch appearance, then using my trusty old tape measure, a ladder, and a mate, I climbed on the roof, and measured all the lengths by hand, then transcribed them onto the sketch, and later scanned it into the computer.

Afterwards I did the calculations of how many pixels woiuld be needed for each run in length, it worked pretty well for me.
 

Adam007

Adam007
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
43
Location
QLD
I am just in the planning stages, but like others scanned a rendered image of the house front from the house plans, then went out and physicly measured each area that I wish to light, and put those measurements into the scanned document. This let me easily look and calculate what lengths of each product I need :)
 

Skunberg

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Jul 10, 2010
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Eagan
I use the kids scribble pad, tear out a sheet the kids used and flip it over. Then I grab a crayon or marker or whatever I can find and start drawing. In the unlikely event I come up with something I like keep it. And thus the reason I do this year-round.
 

ChristmasLover

New elf
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Nov 29, 2012
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43
I ended up takin a photo of hhe house and hand measuring all my lighted areas. Will now just start figuring the number of pixels in each are etc.
 

DeeJai

Is that Magic Smoke?!?
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Oct 18, 2011
Messages
1,007
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No longer in Radelaide
ChristmasLover said:
I ended up takin a photo of hhe house and hand measuring all my lighted areas. Will now just start figuring the number of pixels in each are etc.
Well calculating the pixels is probably the easiest part. For me, what i did (since mine is all strip 2801) I knew every 5m was 60 Pixels. so I just did the divisions by 5m then timesed it by 60.

You have plenty of time, so do what was told to me.. Check, check, check then recheck before you cut anything. :)
 

BradsXmasLights

WiFi Interactive
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Dec 23, 2010
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573
Location
Brisbane, Australia
I did a 3D CAD model of my house in Google SketchUp. It's not 100% to scale, but quite close for taking good guesses at cable runs, etc. Any final measurements is always done with a tape measure first :D

I also use this model for then creating documentation of pixel strip directions, join points, start/end node numbers etc etc.

SketchUp is extremely easy to use too - you'll master it in no time (unlike any other CAD/3D/photoshop program I've ever used)
 
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