Suppliers for 12V RGB strips

Tim Hutson

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Jul 16, 2018
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8
I am designing and installing a large LED matrix (i.e., 240x600) in a theater using 60 LED/meter strips to be used with xLights and Falcon controllers. The city will be purchasing the lights directly from the supplier I designate but I am required to get three quotes because of the high cost. I have used Ray Wu (aka Shenzhen Rita Lighting LTD) for several years and have generally had good luck with them except for a couple of major screw-ups. Does anybody have recommendations for two more high quality, direct from China, suppliers of strip lights. I can't tell you how uncomfortable I am just randomly picking two more from the dozens shown on Alibaba or AliExpress. I will be required to use the low bid. Thanks.
 

Notenoughlights

400,000+ twinkly lights
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Oct 16, 2016
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654
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Christchurch, New Zealand
BTF lighting are a good crowd to take a look at.
All led strip in reality comes from a select few places, so most stores you look at will have the same suppliers.
Would using p10/P5 panels not be more efficient for creating a matrix/screen, or is it an art installation?
 

Tim Hutson

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Jul 16, 2018
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Thanks for the BTF suggestion, but for clarification, are they a supplier or a manufacturer? I suspected what you were saying about "a select few places" was the case but I still didn't know how to come up with two more quality bidders. Also, do you have a second suggestion? I need three bids total.
This will be a permanent installation on the back wall of the stage. The 240x600 resolution will be done with 600, 4-meter tall strips (60 leds/meter). The resulting width will be 9.9 meters. I am designing this based on what I know and what I believe to be a much less expensive design that is perhaps four or five times cheaper than a panel based matrix of this size. With that said, now is the time to make the change if I am making a huge mistake. I have many people relying on me so feel free to provide constructive suggestions.
 

merryoncherry

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Cherry St., Hudson MA USA
If you just need a price you can always point out https://www.holidaycoro.com/INK1003-60LED-60IC-Pixel-Strip-With-Waterproof-Plu-p/718-wp.htm . Not a direct ship from China, but a legit price from someone who will certainly deliver the order.

You didn't ask for my opinion, but as someone nuts enough to have assembled a 150x96 matrix out of 48 of those strips connected to a 48-port controller, I highly recommend investigating P10 panels for your project. It will be much cheaper, much easier to build and install, much more robust to damage and easier to repair if anything happens. There's a reason every church and school in town has a P5/P10 panel and I'm the only one with a strip matrix, and it isn't because I'm brilliant.
 

merryoncherry

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Apr 2, 2022
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Location
Cherry St., Hudson MA USA
If you insist though, try Shenzhen ScottLED as a China vendor, they're among the best.

Again, think about your time and the quality of end result, not just price. If you have 600 strips, you'll have 600 power wires, count up the current you need and all that... the strips turn out to be quite bright, then you have to dim them, then the lose color fidelity as a result of that because of the limited levels available with WS2811. As far as time, anything that takes you 1 minute per strip adds to 10 hours over 600 of them... Connecting, mounting (hard to get perfectly straight), etc., is gonna be many minutes per strip.

And then there's the issue of controlling it. xLights and Falcons aren't familiar to most people. With something like P10 panels, it's easy to just hook it up to HDMI and run video from anywhere.

Cost calculation - very curious how you figure.

I assume $20 per port for controllers (including power, enclosure, cabling, etc.) This is on the low end. Then the strips, maybe they're $30 each. So now you have a $30,000 project, not counting the mounting material for the strips.
 

Indigogyre

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Jun 26, 2021
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Thanks for the BTF suggestion, but for clarification, are they a supplier or a manufacturer? I suspected what you were saying about "a select few places" was the case but I still didn't know how to come up with two more quality bidders. Also, do you have a second suggestion? I need three bids total.
This will be a permanent installation on the back wall of the stage. The 240x600 resolution will be done with 600, 4-meter tall strips (60 leds/meter). The resulting width will be 9.9 meters. I am designing this based on what I know and what I believe to be a much less expensive design that is perhaps four or five times cheaper than a panel based matrix of this size. With that said, now is the time to make the change if I am making a huge mistake. I have many people relying on me so feel free to provide constructive suggestions.
BTF to my knowledge is the mfg and the supplier.
BTF.jpg
 

Tim Hutson

New elf
Joined
Jul 16, 2018
Messages
8
This entire project has rapidly morphed from a scaled up xLights/FPP/Falcon Controller controlled led strip matrix, to a full-fledged commercial, 4 meter x 10 meter, P4 video screen fed by a Colorlight X6 LED controller. I have lots of homework to do now but I am hoping somebody can tell me that I will still be able to use xLights with this video screen and point me in the direction of instructions as to how to make it happen. BTW, this P4 screen is only going to cost $14K plus $3K shipping. Any help would be appreciated because as of right now, I am clueless.
 

merryoncherry

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Glad to hear it. I think you just avoided a world of hurt.
There are panel experts (make a living servicing panels) on this forum that could make a recommendation for you, but I'm not one of them.
That said... the X6, make sure that it supports the resolution you need. 10m at 4mm is 2500, some of those only go to 1920 horizontal.
There are a variety of ways to get xLights / FPP to integrate with the panel, such as sending to the receiver cards directly, or outputting pre-rendered HDMI video to the controller at the same time... so a few details about what you are trying to do and how it involves xLights may help here.
 

Tim Hutson

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Joined
Jul 16, 2018
Messages
8
The Colorlight X6 was specified and will be provided by the vendor. It seems to be robust and has a loading capacity of 3.9 million pixels, maximum width: 8192 pixels, maximum height: 4096 pixels. It supports input resolution up to 1920×1200@60Hz
As far as what I will do with it; now that all of the video and photo media will be fed to the controller directly from other sources rather than xLights, all I will be doing with xLights if the typical abstract art/ sequences that any of us would use in our typical Christmas light shows, only in ultra-high resolution.
 
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