Light Controllers and Bridges

Light controllers listen for data in one or more communications interfaces, notably E1.31, DMX512 or Light-O-Rama protocol. There are a few common types of light controllers that exist. Refer to the relevant sub-sections below for more details, products, etc:
Protocol Bridges are designed to convert from one communications interfaces to another, such as E1.31 to DMX512. They don't control lights directly but simplify show setups that utilise more than one communications interface. A popular example would be combining E1.31 pixel controllers (for Intelligent RGB lights) with DMX12 low voltage DC controllers (for Dumb RGB or single colour light strings).

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Sub-areas in 'Light Controllers and Bridges'

AC Controllers

AC controllers require alternating current (AC) to operate and use triacs that are designed to switch the AC supply. These cannot be used to control anything else other than an AC supply.
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DC Controllers

Low voltage Direct Current (DC) and use electronics (mosfets) that are designed to switch the DC supply. They are used for things like Low Voltage DC LED rope lights, string lights and (dumb) RGB LED lighting (note: Intelligent RGB products use special
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Pixel Controllers

Pixel controllers will control low voltage DC RGB pixel lights (aka addressable RGB, intelligent RGB). These RGB lights must have an IC. Pixel controllers cannot control dumb RGB lights or any other type of 'dumb' lights.
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Protocol Bridges

A protocol bridge is a device that converts the data signal from one protocol to another. One of the most common instances of this in computer-controlled Christmas lighting is an E1.31 to DMX512 bridge, where the data is converted from the incoming E1.
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