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Joining Store Bought Net Lights

Discussion in 'Lights - Store Bought and Home Made' started by Damon, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. Damon

    Damon New Elf

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    I have 8 or 9 LED net lights that currently run off individual transformers/controllers that I want to join together to run from one common point. Am new to this and have had a read of some of the other threads which have confused me even more due to the large number of options out there.

    What would be a simple way for a novice to go about this? The transformer/controllers I currently have connect to the lights via a 3 pin plug, so I assume I will need 3 pin pig tails to connect to my power supply/controller. The output from each transformer is 31V 270mA 8.4W
     
  2. Mark_M

    Mark_M Apprentice Elf

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    Hello Damon,
    If the connectors have 3 pins I would assume it flashes between two banks of lights using a small controller with a button and 8 functions.
    I assume the transformers look like the image attached.

    If you mean to connect to a pixel controller such as a Falcon this will definitely not work.
    Store bought lights aren't likely to be pixel lighting. If the string is 31v it is definitely not.
    Most of this site is about pixel lighting so don't get confused between the two types of lights.
    The term of "pig tails" is commonly used for pixel lighting on this site.




    Joining the lights together off one of the original transformers isn't a problem but I would advise not to, unless you get a more powerful power supply.
    The transformer specifications you've described seems very low to drive more strings without being overworked.

    31v is a weird voltage so a supply isn't going to be easy to find.
    My modified lights run off a printer power supply which so happened to be 31v.
    All printers are different so I do not endorse dismantling printers to find one and there is a lot of dangers in working with mains 230v.


    If you have found a suitable power supply, connecting all the strings will be very easy. One of the pins will be a common (positive or negative) and the other two will be the opposite to the common, (negative or positive).
    It would be a case of connecting them all together in the exact same wiring but to one connector (this will form a parallel circuit).
    Using a different power supply will eliminate the flashing controller and the lights would be static.


    Concluding what I have said; I don't want to be mean but If you're confused about connecting a set of store bought lights I would suggest you leave them as is. I know it is very annoying for them to flash in separate patterns.
    You could change from net lights to a long string and attach to a large net.

    Thanks,
    Mark

    Credit for image attached: https://image.dhgate.com/0x0s/f2-al...1v-3-6w-6w-7-2w-transformer-adapter-8mode.jpg
     

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  3. lithgowlights

    lithgowlights Senior Elf

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    OK using more than 1 set of lights on the original transformer will usually result in failure of that transformer in a matter of hours or days, so don't do that.

    31V is actually easy to find as most PSU's have an adjustment that allows up to 10% increase and decrease from their nominal voltage. 36V wound down will give you just over 32V, and that's usually fine for these lights. Don't forget if you replace the power supply, you really should be adding fuses, something that's easy to understand with a bit of help in chat/zoom

    Controllers, well a 27/30 channel DMX board would be ideal, and some sort of DMX controller, both of which are relatively cheap, and available from China as well as some of our Australian board makers and stockists as well, so there's plenty of variety out there.

    Pigtails - Mark, the term pre-dates pixels by a long way, and any 2, 3, 4 or 5 pin pigtail can be used - just pick one that suits the number of wires in the lights and go from there. Most of our usual vendors have their own design, as well as the new x-connect style, which are sort of universal between vendors, but stick with one source for best results,
     
  4. Mark_M

    Mark_M Apprentice Elf

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    In response to @lithgowlights and Addressing @Damon for the original question;

    Are you @Damon planning on doing a synchronized display or is this to save on power supplies for a static display?
    I know for when I did (and sort of still do) static displays that the number of power supplies got out of hand and so I started using bigger ones to power multiple lights.

    I know I mentioned about connecting to a pixel controller when you mentioned about pig tails, and interpreted it directly connected, opps :oops:.
    Using a cheap DMX controller board which switches power on/off to lights would work well.

    Like I said in my first response, keep in mind that most of this site is related to pixel lighting.
    Information and advice on controllers won't be relevant to you @Damon if you're doing a static display. A static display will just need power.

    @lithgowlights - I didn't know the power supply's could lower in voltage down to a suitable level. Thanks for that one. And I haven't jumped into external controllers because if Damon is confused with this I don't want to confuse him/her more.

    Thanks,
    Mark
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Damon

    Damon New Elf

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    Thanks guys.

    Currently running them as a static display, but would like to have them flash. So I need a power supply and a DMX board to make them flash, will do a bit more research.
     
  6. drakky

    drakky Full Time Elf

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    ask @AAH I'm pretty sure he has the solution for this already made in a board
     
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