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Help! Really confused about LED Lights

Discussion in 'Lights - Store Bought and Home Made' started by EmmienLightFan, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. EmmienLightFan

    EmmienLightFan One of few displays in the UK

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    Hello. I have posted this on the LOR Forums, and they have no clue about transformers, 240v and low voltage lights as all theirs are mains voltage. Some nice guy pointed me here, as you will be experiencing the same problems as me with transformers, controllers and AC/DC.




    I'm in the UK.
    I have a animated show, with LOR. I choose pixels and RGB as it is cheaper to get pixels than lights in the UK. I have about 1500 channels of RGB/pixels, but I also want to animate my existing lights.


    I have a lot of different lights, some quite old, and some really new. My really old stuff was easy, as it would connect to an LOR controller, but the rest is a bit harder.
    The majority of it runs on 24v. The majority of the, have the normal chaser flasher box. Should I remove this box, join all the negatives of the series together, and run it on a higher voltage, and if I should do this what controller should I use, or should I electrically bypass the controller (Solder on the line of solder) and run the lights on 24vAC from my CTB16PC, and use the existing rectifier to change the currant to DC?


    I tried one set of lights. The lights have one long wire, no controller, no rectifier, and connect straight up to an AC transformer. I tried them on DC and they came on but really dim.
    From what I have read, these are "Half wave LEDs" that run on half the wave of the AC currant. To dim them, I have found I can connect them to the CTB16PC if I connect a 24v AC transformer to the mains plug.


    I have lots of new "connectable lights". These all connect together, with extension leads and "Y" connectors and "O" connectors and all kinds of things. I want to be able to control them individually, but I don't know which of the two methods mentioned above I should use, but I think it has to be the former, because they all share one controller.


    Thanks very much. I think you will understand my question a lot more and will be able to help much more than the people on the LOR forum.
     
  2. bbayjohn

    bbayjohn Senior Elf

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  3. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    Welcome to ACL

    You're right that you can use either DC or 24V AC control for these lights.

    For the DC control it is actually the negative that is switched. See a list of controllers here http://auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/Controllers
    Be aware that the Tiger controllers are not currently being produced/sold.

    You could use either method to control the lights but nearly everyone here including me chooses DC because of the WAY cheaper controllers. If going with AC you would need to assemble a rectifier for any cut section that doesn't have one. Regardless of which method, always measure the current flowing to make sure it is not too high for the LEDs. Send me a PM if you want and I can give you instructions I have on how to convert light sets to all run on the same voltage (this will correct the current and brightness issues).

    Another point worth noting is that you can't use DC control for any light sets that have a built-in multi-function AND only two wires between this controller and the lights.

    I have done exactly what you're trying to do when I converted my static display to computer control in 2013.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    EmmienLightFan

    EmmienLightFan One of few displays in the UK

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    Hey! Thanks for the advice.
    I wondered if I would find you on here, bbayjohns! Thanks so much for the strange sequence help.


    i13, I will send a PM. I keep thinking AC is cheaper, because I already have the CTB16PC, but if I use that it would mean buying another. I think I will join you and go DC.


    I have read one of those pages already, and will read the PDF now.
     
  5. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    You can split up the LOR controller so one bank is 240VAC and the other bank is 24VAC.

    Just connect an appropriatly rated transformer to the bank on the LOR controller that does not supply the processor on the board. From menmory it may be banch 1-8 would be 24vac and bank 9-16 would be 240vac. But cant remember if im correct, but you find this info in the 101 lighting manual.

    But the best method is to just disconnect the controllers and run directly from DC controller through a DC power source as LEDs are DC devices
     
  6. OP
    OP
    EmmienLightFan

    EmmienLightFan One of few displays in the UK

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    Yes. That is what I am doing. You are correct, 9-16 must run at mains voltage.
    If I do this, I will have to buy another CTB16PC which would make it more expensive than doing it with DC.
     
  7. bbayjohn

    bbayjohn Senior Elf

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    Welcome to the addiction / hobby. Must have more controllers and lights. Well you're on the right track coming her to save a $. DIY is the cheaper option, and there are cheaper controller's than lor.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    EmmienLightFan

    EmmienLightFan One of few displays in the UK

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    Do you recommend any controllers that can do the AC lights on DC? I can't find any.
     
  9. mborg10

    mborg10 Michael Borg

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    A lot of us on here have done away with 240v and gone to DC low voltage lights. They are a lot safer and controllers are a lot cheaper as well. LOR have low voltage DC controller you just need to buy a power supply for them. I ran some 12vac led trees of a 12vdc power supply from Ray wu no worries.

    When I ran LOR in my first year I kept the transformer boxes on my lights and just plugged them into 240v controller. I found they turned on and off that quick that the different functions didn't matter. After my first year I sold all my lights at a garage sale, sold my LOR controllers and went entirely pixels with j1sys controllers.

    This year I will be running all minleon lights and controllers.
     
  10. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    Apologies.

    I posted a bad link above. It's fixed now; it takes you to ACL's wiki page that has a list of the DC controllers you're looking for.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    EmmienLightFan

    EmmienLightFan One of few displays in the UK

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    I have loads of pixels and RGB stuff. I also have loads of normal lights. It would be a waste to not use them as some are really nice, and I prefer a mix of RGB and conventional lights, as it keeps it Christmassy.


    If you ran the lights at the same voltage DC as they were rated for at AC, wouldn't they be really dim?
    I tried this, knowing they would be dimmer, but I wasn't expecting them to be pretty much off.

    I have LOR's CMB24D for my dumb RGB stuff. I got another to use for this as well, but I will just use that for RGB and find one that can do a higher voltage for this.









    .
     
  12. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    [​IMG]
    to ACL ELF

    First the disclaimer
    Joining these forums and entering the chat room can give you CLAP!!! :D
    Christmas Lighting Addiction Problem

    As suggested, the new revised 2nd addition AusChristmasLighting 101 manual is a great resource for all things RGB and more. :)

    I will let the 240v experts guide you. :D
     
  13. OP
    OP
    EmmienLightFan

    EmmienLightFan One of few displays in the UK

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    I understand RGB, just not the AC stuff. I will never buy non RGB again.
     

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