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Led strip lights

Discussion in 'Lights - Store Bought and Home Made' started by hamish, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. hamish

    hamish New Elf

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    I have a few questions about led strip lights sorry if these have been gone over before
    after reading lots about led strings and needing resistors. I have decided to run the line of strip lights from what I can gather these already have the resistors fitted , is this right ? is anything else required other then a suitable fuse ?
    also even tho these are stated as waterproof is any extra precautions required and what do people suggest to do ?

    as for current draw are people dividing the meters up over multiple channels say in doing the roof line or would a 12v relay be a smarter option when dealing with high current (long stretches). this been my first year im trying to keep my channel count down so my roof line just been RGB would suit me fine

    thank you
    hamish
     
  2. fasteddy

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

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    These strips already have the current limiting reistor, so all that is needed is to connect to a suitable DC controller (this is for dumb RGB lighting)

    Now as far as how far you can connect then you will find you will be lucky to get 2 whole strips working together with an even white colour as you will get voltage drop issues and end up with a pink white at the end of the second strip. So this may be better to run each strip from its own output.

    Reality is if your doing a gutter or a tree then you really should look at using 12vdc 2811 pixel strip for this purpose as the cost difference is not great but it will enable a whole new level of control

    Depending on the coating of the strip will depend on what may beed doing, I have found the silicone tube to be the best to work with and its easy to just add a good dab of silicone to the ends to stop water from getting in
     
  3. OP
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    hamish

    hamish New Elf

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    I understand this if connected in series . but what about parallel all linking to a suitable relay to direct power supply , relay would obviously be switched by controller using very little current is any body else doing this , or am I missing something
     
  4. fasteddy

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

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    Others have used relays in the past, but you will find most of those were LOR users as the cost per channel would justify the cost of a relay. But for many nowdays this is just a limiting options as the cost per channel has dropped to the point where a relay will cost more per channel than getting a board with enough channels to do what you want
     
  5. OP
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    hamish

    hamish New Elf

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    is everyone really using so many channels to do this ? if I have 40m of roof line in 5m strips all on there own rgb channel that's 24 channels :eek: opposed to 3 I understand been in sections allows for a lot more ability in sequencing but I would much rather use the channels else where . surely there is another way ?
     
  6. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    There's nothing wrong with wanting to control the roof in large sections.

    Instead of mechanical relays, take a look at "RGB Amplifiers". These take a low current signal in but can switch a much larger load. Lots of the on AliExpress stores such as Ray Wu's.
     
  7. caffeine

    caffeine Full Time Elf

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    Hamish, you can certainly do it in bulk, most don't nowadays.


    Just to clarify though from your phrasing ("rather use the channels elsewhere") what is the restriction you have when it comes to channels?


    I ask this only as that used to be the case for all of us, expensive physical controllers, limited available channels and trying to make 32 or 48 stretch to cover the entire display most effectively. Most of those barriers have gone away now with changes in the industry so I'm wondering if there is some alternatives we can suggest?
     
  8. battle79

    battle79 Full Time Elf

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    I'm guessing Hamish your calculating channel cost off of LOR boards. If so, these are amongst the most expensive options available.

    Cheaper DMX channel options are:-
    ray wu 27channel $41 + shipping
    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/27-channel-Easy-DMX-LED-controller-dmx-decoder-driver/701799_378111925.html

    AAHMega60 (60 channel). ~$200-$220 +shipping
    Available from AAH here on the forums

    If your starting out, I'd suggest skipping DMX and going straight to pixels.
    One P2 (~$70) can control 1360 pixels. Enough to outline a house. And pixels only cost a fraction more than dumb strip. For the first year you can always simply treat the pixels as dumb strip to make sequencing easier.

    Cheers,
    Rowan
     
  9. OP
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    hamish

    hamish New Elf

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    well I was planning on getting one of alans mega 60's and 24 channels for the roof is half that gone already . im concidering just purchasing 2 of these to stop my worry about channels how ever I do like the idea of using rgb amplifiers , is any1 else using these , im assuming that they will not affect the load on the controller ? more act as power injection yeah?
     
  10. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    The RGB amplifiers can be thought of as 3 solid state relays. The load current (on the outputs) is not pulled at all from the input (controller) side.
     
  11. OP
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    hamish

    hamish New Elf

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    so just to confirm if I power one 5m rgb strip from controller then attatch one of these http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/5-24V-24A-RGB-Singal-AMPLIFIER-Controller-For-3528-5050-RGB-LED-Strip-/110935640402?pt=AU_Car_Parts_Accessories&hash=item19d4478952#ht_4440wt_1032 on its own 30amp power supply . I would be able to run 40m of 30led/m or 20 of 60 led/m with out any extra input ? this seems like a big stretch would I be better with 2 smaller amplifiers more evenly spaced or should this not be an issue ?
     
  12. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    In theory yes, but I would never run something like that near it's full rated capacity. Two units would seem a safer bet to me.

    The other big thing no matter which way you go is to make sure that the cabling is sized appropriately.
     
  13. OP
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    hamish

    hamish New Elf

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    Alright I will experiment with this a little later and see how it all goes.
    Back to the additional water proofing. I was thinking maby a silicon spray like this http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/CRC-LUBRICANT-COATING-CRC-300G-ELECTRICAL-SILICON-2094CRC-/310395614816?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item4845053660#ht_4933wt_1226 as additional protection. is it really worth it ? or are most failures do to entry at the ends of the strips ? (in which case I was going to use bostik roof and gutter silicon as it has a 25yr guarantee)
    I have read about people putting the strips inside rubber hose , but this seems costly and difficult to mount straight. my plan was to attach the strips to 20mm conduit to allow ease putting them up and storing can be achieved in a large pvc pipe
     
  14. firebug

    firebug Senior Elf

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    Most silicone sprays such as that are a lubricant similar to WD40 or lanolin spray. ie it doesn't dry with a skin like silicone in a tube...
     

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