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Help choosing lights for window frames

Discussion in 'Lights - Store Bought and Home Made' started by DoubleD, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. DoubleD

    DoubleD New Elf

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    Hi all, I hope this is in the correct section.


    I'm wanting to put lights around my windows, I know it's getting a little late!


    I was going to get 240v rope lights cut to size from Literover but that seems like its
    not going to happen now, & ideal so like to be heading toward low voltage lights.


    I've also been put onto Ray Wu's site, and that's totally confused me! I'm not into
    computer controlled lights yet, but have no doubt that it will happen in the future. I've been
    looking at the flexible lighting strips which I'd like to put around conduit frames.........


    So, is there anything I can purchase in say a 50m roll with all the plugs & so I can cut to size and
    learn as I go?


    Cheers
    Dan
     
  2. buzzdude

    buzzdude Full Time Elf

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    Location:
    Chrinside Park, Vic
    I too are just starting out, last year I used something like these, but i purchased off ebay.
    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/5m-DC12V-60leds-m-20pcs-ws2811-ic-meter-20pixels-led-digital-strip-IP68-waterproof-in-silicon/701799_1142314497.html

    Waterproof and you can use double sided tape to attach to the frame.

    The ebay ones came with a power supply and controller all in one pack.

    Search "5M 6803 5050 IC Dream Color RGB LED Strip Light 133"

    You can set a function and away it goes, plus they are compatible with computer lighting when you want to get into that.... like I'm doing this year.

    Its a start if you unsure and don't want to spend a lot until you get comfortable.

    Hope that helps
     
  3. ԆцряєсϮ

    ԆцряєсϮ Senior Elf

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    I still have some RGB window frames for sale from last years display.
    These are ready to go all you need is a controller.
    Details are here
    They may or may not suit, have a look and if you need any more info let me know.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    DoubleD

    DoubleD New Elf

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    Thanks guys for the help,


    I'd love to buy them frames already made but unfortunately they won't fit my windows.


    Thanks buzzdude, I'm happy to make my own up as long as I can get my head around what it is I need to order!
    I know I'm running out of time and I'm thinking I may need to be using my old 240v rope light for
    my frames this year as I'm not sure how long shipping is from Ray Wu's site.


    All the strips on eBay are 5m lengths, so unfortunately they're no long enough for my windows..


    The windows & doors I'm wanting to frame are total lengths of,


    1. 6540mm
    2. 5250mm
    3. 7440mm
    4. 6260mm
    5. 4380mm
    6. 6350mm

    Total of 36,220m

    I already have the conduit to make the frames, so I'm really wanting to get a roll of
    Waterproof RGB Strip light so I can learn as I go (with the assistance of ACL).

    Q's,


    [SIZE=small]Could someone point out a thread that[/SIZE][SIZE=small] would show how to cut/re wire & connect a plough to each of my frames? Or even if I could buy separate low v controllers for each frame until I go down the [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=small]computer controlled road.[/SIZE]

    Regards
    [SIZE=small]Dan[/SIZE]
     
  5. ԆцряєсϮ

    ԆцряєсϮ Senior Elf

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    Ive also just replaced my entire roof line with Pixels so Ive got about 40 mtrs of 12V Dumb RGB Strip which I pulled off the conduit as I re-used the pipe.
    All of various lengths with 4 pin plugs on each end
    These may suit or if your going to cut and solder than you can make any lengths you need.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    DoubleD

    DoubleD New Elf

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    Hi Rod

    What would be my choices for powering them as I'm
    not using a computer controller?

    Would the leads/controllers you guys cut off store bought
    low voltage lights be any good?

    Dan
     
  7. ԆцряєсϮ

    ԆцряєсϮ Senior Elf

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    Your gonna need some sort of controller either way. Cheapest bet would be if anyone has any of the the 12v ones that come with some of the eBay strips. These usually have a few different flash settings that you could set and forget. You'd still need to modify the connections somewhat but wouldn't be that hard.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    DoubleD

    DoubleD New Elf

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    Ok

    So are there any guys out there with discarded controllers from the
    eBay or store bought lights that would work
    on Rods strips? I'm happy to have them steady on!

    DD
     
  9. Habbosrus

    Habbosrus New house (again) 2017

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    I've got 1 here that's off a strip of 3528 led strip from eBay. You're more than welcome to it.
     
  10. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    If you're happy to have them steady on for now you could use dumb strips without a controller and choose from just a few possible colours. The disadvantage of the dumb strips is that once you move to computer control they can still only be one colour along the whole strip at any one time. I think the digital/smart ones require a controller to turn on but there is more that you can do with them in future. Smart ones need pixel controllers and dumb ones are controlled by dumb DC controllers. Sorry if I'm telling you things that you already know.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    DoubleD

    DoubleD New Elf

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    Hi i13


    Thanks for your help, it's much appreciated as I've really got no idea with which way to go,
    if I grabbed Rods 40m 0f dumb strips what would the easiest way to get them hooked up
    to have them steady on or is it just as easy if I could grab a couple of controllers which u
    guys have laying around like Habbos?


    Or do I need to get specific "dumb controllers"?


    Or do you guys think I'd be better off grabbing 7 of the 5m rolls as buzzdude's link & using the
    extra roll to extend to my required sizes (are these able to be cut & extended?) this way I wouldn't have to
    harass everyone for their leftover controllers!!!


    Cheers
    Da
     
  12. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    The easiest way to get dumb strips to light up is by connecting them straight to a low voltage source.
    The only strips I have are four 5m rolls of this. I tested them with a spare boat battery that we have lying around and they lit up nicely. I'm not sure if it is a good idea to use batteries with controllers though. Without a controller you can still choose which of the red, green and blue are lit. You may need to inject power if you're using a single 40m length. If you use power supplies each light set must not be powered by more than one supply. The dumb strips I have can be soldered together.

    I don't have much knowledge on smart/digital lights as this is my first year and I'm starting with dumb ones only (dumb light sets are switched by the controller sending them power, not data like smart ones). I have a simple USB dongle with a limit of 512 channels to send data to my controllers. I'd need to upgrade to a system that allows more channels to make smart lights (pixels) practical because they use so many. I don't know much about systems that allow more channels but there's nearly always someone in chat who does.

    I believe the smart strips in buzzdude's link require a controller and don't come with one (I haven't bought any though) but they can do more in the end than dumb ones. I'd suggest asking about the smart vs dumb option. Some ACL members say the price difference for setting up a system that controls smart lights is not too much in the end so they prefer smart to get finer control over the lights. It is up to you which you choose.
     
  13. ԆцряєсϮ

    ԆцряєсϮ Senior Elf

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    As for smart strip (Pixels) youve already said you dont want to go computer controlled this year so that rules out smart strip.
    With dumb strip you have a few options
    First you can just supply power to the strip and it will be constantly on.
    If you want them to flash then you need a controller, ie one that comes with the strip.
    Thirdly with the dumb strip you still have the option of using them when you do go computer controlled via any of the DMX controllers out there like Rays, AAH Alans or DavidAVD's.
    My entire show last year was dumb strip.

    Theres no one right answer, first thing you need to do is work out exactly what you want your lights to do then you can get the necessary hardware to do it.


    If you havent already have a read of Eddies 101 manual it will explain all the option you have.[/size][SIZE=78%] [/SIZE]
    [/size]
     
  14. OP
    OP
    DoubleD

    DoubleD New Elf

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    Thanks again guys, I'm continually & reading learning & hopefully one day
    will understand enough to set up a nice display.


    Thanks Rod for letting me know about your lights but have decided to purchase
    some new rolls to play with.


    I've bitten the bullet and ordered 7 rolls of
    12V Warm White 5M 3528 SMD 300 Leds LED Strip Light Waterproof.

    With 2 x 2A power supplies & 4 x 5A pore supplies.
    I also ordered some straight & corner joining strips
    to hopefully make things a little faster as time is running out!


    Thanks again guys!
     
  15. OP
    OP
    DoubleD

    DoubleD New Elf

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    Hi guys

    I received my lights and I've done one window surround which I'm very happy with!

    But I need some advice, I'm using the clip on joiners and 3 times now I've used these corner joiners
    & the FIRST 3 LED's in that length are out.

    What am I doing wrong?



    Cheers
    Dan
     

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