LED bling for food truck

sabo

New elf
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Sep 8, 2021
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15
Not particularly xmas themed I know, but hoping the brains trust can offer advice. Im after running outlines of strip leds around my foodtruck. Think one big rectangle, with two small vertical rectangles each side and then a horizontal rectangle where the serving window is. Presume im going to need channel to run it in and of course needs to be waterproof. Trying to minimise holes through the walls too, which I think I can get away with just the one for output from controller. Also thoughts on a tiny controller I can still program with xlights? Due to a major lack of time I havent kept up with the scene the last two years so wondering if there is some consensus on whats decent these days for this kind of setup.

Cheers
 

Mark_M

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Dec 30, 2018
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Christmas Light world
Small controller could be an ESP32 based microcontroller, running software like WLED (free/open source). WLED has a phone app and built in effects, also the option to connect a button/motion sensor/IR remote/etc.
There are pre-made WLED controllers, like the DigUno/DigQuad and the ESPixelStick. You can also make your own with an ESP32, level shifter, fuses, PCBs, enclosure and some afternoon soldering.

Strip + channel sounds like a great idea. Because you can ran power injection wiring inside the channel, beside the pixel strip. Maybe you would want to use 12v WS2815 (has backup data line if a pixel goes out) or even 24v pixel strip.

A charge monitor on your battery would also be wise.... so your pixel's don't drain the battery past dying point if they're accidentally left on.


Regardless of pixel lighting, also have some white lights at the openings so that's it's easy for customers to read the eftpos machine keypad :).
 

sabo

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Sep 8, 2021
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Thanks mark. Battery drain not a drama as will be powered by genny so also happy to run any voltage. Eftpos also not a drama as backlit screen. Ill look into those controllers too, thanks. Main issue is trying to work out best channel and most reliable strip lighting thats around these days as its going to be permanently installed and really dont want to be fixing it every couple of months or even years if there is anything out there thats really good quality.
 

Mark_M

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Finding the best quality strip pixels & channel you can is the best to avoid issues.

Also little things like using adhesive glue to attach the strips into the aluminium channel. I guess most pixel strip's double sided tape would lift off after a hot day.
 

Kent

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Nov 21, 2020
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Last year I for my arches I purchased "10mm width Digital LED flexible strips, SMD 5050 BGR LED, 60 pcs LEDs/m , 60pcs GS8208/m, Signal break-point continuous transmission, DC12V, 7.2W/m, 2meter /120LEDs /roll, IP67 waterproof (silicone tube and full glue injection), white PCB, 15CM waterproof male in, 15CM waterproof female out" from Shiji Lighting. Being GS8208, they've got the redundant data in case of a failed LED. I also found the 12V let me run quite some distance without power injection (here is 10m of it: https://photos.app.goo.gl/KKM7TVmJaW4Ccehv9), I think at least 4m 100% white should be OK without injection. If you get them made to length, I found their connections at the end were very solid and waterproof. I didn't have a single failure, but I've also only had them for one season :)
 

sabo

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Sep 8, 2021
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Thanks kent, got a link?, even though very descriptive. :) And yep, channel will be screwed and siliconed to the walls, then strip probably siliconed in the channel. Since ive not used strip before, my lack of knowledge is with 90 degree bends and joining between the outlines. I guess channel that may have a uv protective diffuser would be the best. Also the actual channel being waterproof would be a bonus as extra insurance to having waterproof strips as well. Probably looking at 30-45m all up depending how crazy I go :D
 

someoneAUS

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I have had pretty good luck so far with my Shiji stuff. I think at the moment I have one bright pixel. Also gone GS8208 for that redundancy and power draw seems good for 12v. Im running 10m of 30 LEDs/m across my eaves and 12m of 30LEDs/m across 8 arches each on a 5m extension without power injection or issues so far. Brightness is only 30% but I can see if it handles 100% I know some other bits of my display need injection if I wanted to do that so its not something I have tested.
 

Kent

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I was going to suggest if you're looking to save cost / power injection, consider 30l/m. For reliability on your food truck I wouldn't skimp on the IP rating though. Also I was impressed with the quality / water resistance of their terminations, so if you're looking to save fuss, I'd highly recommend getting them cut to length and terminated with the waterproof connectors rather than JST.

I believe this is the product page for what I have: https://www.shiji-led.com/led-strip...050-bgr-12mm-addressable-led-strip-light.html
Contact there was Sophia.

I'd consider the 90 joins a great place to put connections, I don't recall how large the connectors are, but can check back when I pull everything out of storage next week. At that point I could also let you know how far I can get 100% white w/o PI. As for the channel to put it in, I'd be mainly for rigidity & protection from impact. The quality seemed like you wouldn't need to worry about further waterproofing.
 

sabo

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That would be great kent if you can follow up. So are you saying its not the usual roll of strip that you can cut yourself? And they do the terminations in factory? I dont mind soldering and stuffing around, but I also dont want to stuff up the IP rating. Recall rough idea of price from them? I dont think PI will be an issue. Ill definitely go 12v and will be running them way down on output because I dont want to dazzle people. I ran my display zt 30% and it was way bright enough. For the foodntruck i imagine it will be dialled right down.
 

Iain

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Nov 13, 2018
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I dont mind soldering
I don’t want to start a flame war but I would crimp rather than solder, especially on anything moving, as it’s much better at vibration resistance.
Wire-to-wire: crimp
Wire-to-circuit board: solder
 
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