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Newbie request - How many LED constitutes a display????

Discussion in 'New Members Say Hello' started by Cybernautwa, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. Cybernautwa

    Cybernautwa New Elf

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    I am new to this style of system using the boring traditional christmas lights.


    Ok, I see what controllers, software, etc being available but have NO IDEA how much or many constitutes a display.


    Yes, that is a broad comment given variables as some kind of understanding is helpful to bring things together.


    What would be the average cost to start from scratch?


    Can anyone give some direction, pointers, web address, information, etc to get me started.
     
  2. Benschristmaslights

    Benschristmaslights Dedicated Elf Global Moderator Generous Elf

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  3. bbayjohn

    bbayjohn Senior Elf

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    welcome to ACL Cybernautwa.
    You can spend a fortune or go the DIY path and still spend a fortune for even more blinky.
    Before you know it you will be suffering the clap along with the rest of us.
     
  4. Thinkagainagain

    Thinkagainagain New Elf

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    Last year, first year with pixels and music, I estimate I spent around 6-8 hundred... This year, so far, I'm well over a grand... So yea, the addiction starts setting in...
     
  5. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    Hi Cybernautwa

    Most displays start off small and we add to them as time, money and knowledge allow. I try to keep costs down by repairing old light sets and choosing new ones that I can repair in future - this works but takes time. I don't retire anything if it still works. Yes, there are newer and better setups out there but being satisfied with what you have makes a big difference. The setup allows me to control the store bought lights alongside the new pixels.

    What do you want to have in your computer controlled display? My suggestion would be to figure out what you want this year and work toward that. You'll need to start ASAP to be ready for this year because the first year is the hardest.

    The number of controllers depends on the type of display, size of the yard etc. If you have traditional DC light sets then you'll need a minimum of one controller channel per light set so you're likely to need multiple controllers. On the other hand, with pixels you could have everything running with one controller as some of the newer controllers like the F16v2, PixLite 16 MKII and PixelBone support well over 10000 pixels.

    A great place to learn is the chat room. It gives you the chance to talk directly with forum members who have been here for years.
     
  6. MikeKrebs

    MikeKrebs New Elf

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    My first year I started with two tr24 controllers (150 usd), 2000 feet of spt1 with 150 plugs (300? Usd), 2 CG boxes (40), fm transmitter (100) and 47 strings of mainly led lights that were cobbled together from stuff I had and stuff I bought. Led were important to me so that I could run them of one outlet. I could have gotten started easily for half of that (one controller with 6 groups of 4).
    Of course there were the "incidentals" as well. Plastic cups to make sparkle balls, clips for the roof mounted stuff, dowels for stars, welding station and a few new tools, power cords, and ...

    If I started this year on a budget knowing what I know now, I would start with one pixel display item. Probably a roof outline done with pixa bulbs with the least expensive controller (esp wireless based?)that will work for that. I would not even try to do dancing to music. Just set up the lights, put some patterns on them. Once you get suckered in to that, go big year two! :)

    Btw, while there is a time element to this hobby, for me the biggest time is deciding. Once I decide, it isn't that bad to do. I suffer analysis paralysis so deadlines are important. Ymmv.

    Welcome to the party!
     
  7. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    I started with a bang in my first year. I did start on December 26 though, so had plenty of time to prepare.
    I did a fence line, window lines mega tree and north poles and a few other bits and pieces.
    If I were to change 1 thing, it would be to keep all of the traditional lights (Big W ) in there as fill. Even though I could see all the hard work and the sequencing that went into it, people would just drive by and not really take notice (especially if there was a slow part of a song)
    Even now heading into my 3rd year I am going to use fill just to keep lights blinking. As I manage to get more lights and actually fill my whole yard and house, then I will lose the fill lights

    In saying that, and to answer your question. Even the smallest display can be awesome if you can catch the imagination.
     
  8. multicast

    multicast Senior Elf Generous Elf

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  9. the grinch

    the grinch I guess I could use a little social interaction

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    Hello cyber tricky question (like how long is a piece of string ) I would suggest starting with a couple of small projects mini pixel trees , leaping arches , etc etc and get your head around them and then move on . Good luck and always ask for help in chat or forums as lots of help available .goodluck mate
     
  10. firebug

    firebug Senior Elf

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    Welcome to ACL 8)
     
  11. gerry

    gerry Senior Elf

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    Welcome to ACL

    I second what the Grinch has said.
     
  12. fasteddy

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

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    Welcome to ACL There are no rules here, a display is what you want it to be and will cost as much as your willing to spend which seems to get more each year. Lots of great help and advice here, so enjoy the learning curve and before you know it the pieces will fall into place.
     

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