Multi-Tasking Garden Lighting

MichaelF5

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Morning all,
An idea that's been boiling in my head for a fair while is how to make some ordinary Garden lights smart and give them double duty for being able to adjust for theme days (Xmas/Easter/Halloween etc)

in theory I'm after something fairly normal looking, and personally I like the Tiered look and they give plenty of internal space for Pixels and Electronics

however from there it gets a bit harder, I don't want cables all over the place and while I do have lots of underground conduit for running stuff safely, from what I've been reading when you get a fair few pixels you end up needing a serious load and that ends up meaning a fair load and thick cable.
generally it would be my preference to run something ethernet based as you can push a fair amount of power a decent distance, I'm hoping that I can get some cheap and small PoE power converters to pull power directly out of the cable to run the control inside each Tier and so forth, this may not be a reality and I might end up pushing power to each junction point which I'm basicallly already doing.

so for the tiered lights I would like full control of various pixes in each housing, including which side of the lamp is illuminated/colours/brightness etc

there would be two modes for the lights, in normal duty they'd be sensing the light level in the area the motion sensor is aimed at, then enabling the motion detection below a certain lux level, then depending on where the motion is, gradually bring up the brightness of the illumination in that area... and depending on the lux level, set the final light output of those pixels, maybe even use this to send data back to the DMX(?) controller to let it know to start enabling the other lights adjacent.

then theme mode where the system can do all the usual stuff of controlling each pixel etc

it feels that the DMX side of things is the way to go, feel free to advise otherwise
 

Notenoughlights

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I've done something similar, however I only have a "single" pixel per light, and it looks quite good, wasn't overly expensive to do either.

Not sure what you mean by "which side of the lamp is illuminated/colours/brightness etc" if you're going by the product you linked, you'll have to make some sort of divider to stop light spreading or to house pixels so they are aiming outwards, or go with something premade Like this flexible LED matrix and roll it up against the inside of the fitting, with a small mains down to 5V (Might be able to get away with a high output USB power supply) power supply per light housing and a small ESP8266 controller to run each light.

This would eliminate/minimise the cabling required to only a loop in/loop out of mains power in between each light and increase the distance each light can be from one another without issue. You will require a high power wifi AP outside to transmit to these lights, a standard ISP router/wifi combo box stretch that far.

Then just set them up in your chosen sequencer, set up some sequences, and either use FPP as a low power year around show computer or run as required on a standard computer.
 

MichaelF5

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Yes, the flexible LED Matrix would be perfect thankyou!

looking at the Vixen Video's it looked very easy to control, I've yet to work out what system will support feedback from motion sensors in the stem of each light to then bring up that specific light

there is a server running 24/7 that could run the software ongoing, it's just a case of the right package and components, if it helped in theory I could run ethernet to various locations without too much of an issue
 

Notenoughlights

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A sensor may be the tricky part, unless you use a general area sensor like a security light sensor to send an input to a device that passes a signal on to run x sequence and bring the lights on to your desired colour/brightness. I was thinking something like HomeAssistant and a shelly i3 switch, i've had luck controlling Falcon Player with MQTT and am able to set playlists, stop/start etc with automations.
 

MichaelF5

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hmmm, so you are suggesting let the Home Automation be in control of them until such point as they need to convert into Theme mode, hmmm will have to look into that
 

Notenoughlights

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Have a playlist with each "scene", use home automation to initiate the playlist and have it on loop so it never ends (Idle playlist), stop that playlist and start the required one when sensors are triggered, use a time delay to then turn them back to their idle playlist
 

damona

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Oct 23, 2013
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You want glass, as plastic goes yellow over time. Very hard to find some glass ones which can have the lights changed in them.
 

r4nd0mbr1ck

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This has been something I have been mulling over for a long time - driveway lights that double up as a holiday lights.

My original thought process was to use some of those circular SK6812 pixels in an enclosure - the advantage being they have dedicated white channels. Yet to find an inexpensive enclosure (especially when you consider that most of the stuff inside will get thrown out) that will work for me.

I am now thinking of using WS2811 modules (the ones with three LEDs per module) in a simple L shaped thing. Depending on light level needed, I could use 2-3 modules per position. Not sure how it will look.

I didn't think of that LED matrix idea. That would work a treat.

Curious - have you found a suitable enclosure?
 

MichaelF5

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not really, will probably either look at what will fit in whatever lamp and pole the S.O considers acceptable, if whatever ends up being too small then I'll just run one of those IP68 boxes bolted to the side of the house and just stuff what's necessary to be outside in it..

I like a wild and lush looking garden which somewhat hides the tacky bollards, however if we can't make that work my next step back is to ultra low key it and split the lighting between a few bollard style in the garden and some underground lamps with broad deflectors buried along the sides of the various paths

so I do like some of these, and quite a few are that huge that you could fit a mountain of electronics in each one and just have Eth + power into each pole

something like this if the bollards can't be suitably hidden back into the foliage, again convert to RGB.. attempt to stop them from providing glare as much as possible, let the grass grow over so they are not as obvious etc.

Edit, even better these look less like overkill
 
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