US 110v Lights

aaronwa

New elf
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Messages
41
Location
Perth
Hi Guys,

I have been watching a lot of US videos. They use 110V lights with male and female plugs. It looks like they have this voltage out in the snow, rain and shine. How can they get away with this, and not have everything blow up?!

I am thinking of importing US lights and using a 250 - 110 step-down transformer on an RCD circuit.

Let's face it, pixels are great but it takes a lot of knowledge, and time to make nice displays. Lights in Australian shops are BORING and the US has some pretty cool stuff!
 

David_AVD

Bite my shiny metal ass!
Community project designer
Generous elf
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Messages
4,172
Location
Victoria Point (Brisbane)
I doubt you'll find any suitable 110V lights that are approved for use over here. There's a reason we don't use them. :)

What type of lights are you looking for ?
 

AAH

I love blinky lights :)
Community project designer
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Messages
3,471
Location
Eaglehawk
110V is "relatively" safe. They do have lots of issues with earth leakage over there and the common solution is to isolate a light prop from the ground via separating with a piece of timber or something like that.
There's all sorts of issues with going to 110V lights
-using 110V lights means that you'll have to use a mains voltage dimmer which just about guarantee that you have to use LOR AC boards which are likely to run you to something like $16 per channel.
-the 240-110V transformer will potentially have to be quite large as LOTS of US lights are still incand.

Depending on the type of light that you are looking for you can potentially source similar looking lights in low voltage LED lights direct from China and then control them with a DC dimmer which is likely to be in the sub $5 per channel range.
 

videoman3857

Full time elf
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
Messages
425
Location
Glass House Mountains
I would not even contemplate going that way - you are asking for trouble.
If you do not want to go pixels, just go straight DC lights. You can go dumb RGB or Fixed colours.
You just need a DC board, power supply, a housing and then a program to run it all.
RGB and DC lights you can pick up dirt cheap from the Likes of Ray Wu in China.
I just got a heap of single colour 12 volt LED strings - 50 LEDS x 100 mm spacing for a bit over $2 each string.
Just perfect for what I wanted to do.
 
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