drums114

Dumb RGB strips for next year's display 2013?

35 posts in this topic

I am already planning for next year's display :) My first year is going great! Now I want to amp it up fro next year! :)

I think I want to get into the RGB dumb strips. From reading the forums, this is what i think I need (please correct, add modify the list below or if you have a better example also send that):

1. RGB strip off ebay like this (if you have a better example, let me know): http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hot-Sale-5M-3528-RGB-Flexible-Strip-300-LED-24-key-Remote-Control-/380529261777?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item58994fbcd1

2. DC power supply off ebay like this (if you have a better example, let me know): (http://www.ebay.com/itm/DC-12V-30A-Regulated-Switching-Power-Supply-AC-110-240V-/110785514843?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19cb54cd5b

--how many RGB strips would this handle if I got the strip above?

3. Light-O-Rama CMB16D DC Controller

I think this is all I need. I know I researched this topic eariler in the year but I did not get aroudn to using it this year so I was wondering if there is a good example, video, doc on how to hook, connect, and configure this using a LOR system. Right now I just have the 16 channel Show TIme Pro LOR 1602W lighting Controller. Let me know if I need anything else, wires, etc...

Thank you so much!!!

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Not the right kind of strip.

http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/promotion-5m-5050-30leds-m-RGB-waterproof-led-flexible-strip-IP65-with-controller-24key-IR-and/701799_572925961.html

That kind, if its dumb strips you have to make sure there isnt a chip that runs the RGB led's. The power supply you picked will work. There are better brands out there but you have the right idea.

As for the controller, if you starting into RGB and already use LOR then you made the right choice.

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Got it - thanks. Is that the best RGB dumb strip? This will be going outside so I want to get something that I will get a few years out of.

Do you have a suggestion on a better power supply?

--how many RGB strips would this handle if I got the strip above?

And is there a good example, video, doc on how to hook, connect, and configure this using a LOR system?

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I dont know the best of dumb rgb strips. If I were you I would contact Cracker AKA Kevin. He sells these products ready to run!

http://store.creativelightingdisplays.com/

His website, super easy guy to deal with.

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Here are a couple examples of strips from Ray Wu's store. The first is 60 LEDs per meter and the second is 30 LEDs per meter. Both these are waterproofed by being in a silicon tube.

http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/DC12V-5m-one-roll-5050-SMD-60LEDs-m-led-strip-waterproof-by-silicon-tube-IP68/701799_654720379.html

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/DC12V-5m-one-roll-5050-SMD-30LEDs-m-led-strip-waterproof-by-silicon-tube-IP66/587735379.html

Everything I am doing so far is using Astron 12V power supplies, but I will be powering some smart pixels with this 5 volt DC supply:

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/350W-Dual-Output-Switching-Power-Supply-88-264VAC-input-5V-350W-output-CE-and-ROHS-approved/289599937.html

And yes, the CMB16D is the correct LOR controller for controlling dumb strips. If desired, you can also also go the DMX route with several various controllers.

I am doing almost everything with DC controllers and RGB strips so I should be able to answer most any questions you might come up with.

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I bought my dumb strips from ebay. Whatever you do, buy from the same vendor. I bough a couple extra strips from a different seller and when they they are all turned on white you can tell that there is a slight color variation between the two strips. Any other color and you really can't tell the difference. Plan on no more than two strips per channel (although some say this is pushing it I haven't had a problem). Keep in mind one strip will take up 3 channels on your controller so plan accordingly. You'll need an enclosure too, as well as some 4 pin connectors, 4 conductor cable to run from the controller to the strips. I would recommend soldering the strips rather than use those solderless connectors that are all over ebay. They don't work well in my opinion. I outlined my house completely in RGB dumb strips this year. I'm very picky and still not sold on how they look mainly because they are hard to keep straight on the eves of the house but everyone else likes them.

Matt

Edited by mattpatt

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Thinking of diving into this with dumb strips. Can you give me an idea what I can do with them given the correct controller/software. On/off, fade, I understand. Anything else? I also read twinkle, and ramping and was wondering what they were. Am I able to light the strip up starting from one end to the other, or is that what the $250 strips were all about?

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Goofy...do you use any of this stuff???

If so...I would really like to drive over sometime this season, I want to try this stuff, but frankly am clueless, and I'm thinking its not as hard as I want to think it is...(no comments!!!)

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I do not, but Cracker, a member here also known as Kevin put on one heck of a show with these and other controllers. I had 32 channels last year on the A/C baords, this year is 100% DC pixels. Its not as hard as most make it out to be, but there is a right way and a wrong way. Theres not really a gray area its going to work or its not. There are many many ways you can use LOR software to get RGB lights, but the LOR was is a lot less hassle, theres no guess work, and if it breaks they are quick to help get it fixed.

Here http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/user/2443-cld-kevin/ send him a message and he sells the LOR product as well made it into magic

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Thinking of diving into this with dumb strips. Can you give me an idea what I can do with them given the correct controller/software. On/off, fade, I understand. Anything else? I also read twinkle, and ramping and was wondering what they were. Am I able to light the strip up starting from one end to the other, or is that what the $250 strips were all about?

The DC controllers can do anything that the "normal" LOR AC controllers do except that they are powered by and control low voltage DC lights and strips rather than 120V AC. So ramping (or fading) up and down, shimmer, and twinkle behave the same as with the AC controllers.

Dumb strips will be the same color from end to end. Normally they have 4 wires on them. A common + voltage and then a - wire for Reg, Green, and Blue. You can turn on any of the three colors in whatever combination that you want giving (in theory) thousands of possible colors. You can cut the 12V DC strips in lengths of something between 2 - 5 inches (depending on the strip).

To get control of individual pixels, you have to go with an intelligent strips or pixels. From LOR, that means one of the Cosmic Color Devices (CCD) - either Cosmic Color Ribbons (CCR), Cosmic Color Bulbs (CCB), or Cosmic Color Pixels (CCP). Each have their advantages and disadvantages depending on what you want to do with them. The other thing that a lot of people are doing (including me) is to use one of several varieties of DMX pixels or strips. It's far more Do It Yourself as compared to the CCDs which are far more Plug and Play. I have 300 pixels worth of CCPs, 600 DMX pixels on strings, and 1200 DMX pixels in strips, to go along with about 60 feet of dumb strips. Hope to have most of the DMX (which I am running as DMX over ethernet using E1.31) turned up this weekend.

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I do not, but Cracker, a member here also known as Kevin put on one heck of a show with these and other controllers.

Does anyone know what strobe/floods were used on his home?

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Is this the best way to run dumb strips?

 

http://store.creativ...16D-RGB-RTG.htm
 

 

Thinking of buying 2 boxes and 10 strips to lay on my roof.  You think the strips and boxes would be ok sitting on my roof?  I live in IL.

 

I am thinking this method will be the easiet and most efficent rather than me trying to piece everything together and then soldering everything together risking doing something wrong. 

 

Let me know your thoughts.

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something you may think about trying is making dumb rgb strings with led strings.   it something i've done for a few years and its a cheap way to get some of the rgb effects without spending alot of money.

 

what you do is get a string of red, blue and green leds (same spacing is very helpful) and zip tie or twist tie the bulbs next to each other.  then you plug them into you control in 3 channels.  in the sequence editor create an  rgb channel and assign the came plugs and then the sequence editor will treat them as if they are an dumb rgb string.   i did it and connected them to pvc and made a "mickey" (3 circles) on my roof and got alot of complements.  you can get alot of colors and do alot effects as well. when you tell the sequence editor that you want white then all the leds go full power.  if you want to fade from orange to red to purple to blue then the leds adjust the brightness to get the desired color.  if your real close to it its hard to see some of the blended colors but with a little distance (say around a roof ) and if its darker, they turn out pretty cool.

 

its a cheap and easy way to get a feel of dumb rgb strings without alot of assembly or expense.

 

good luck

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Last year I ran 20 strips off one 30A power supply very similar to the one in the OP.  Worked flawless once I got rid of the damn solderless connectors.  It's no fun soldering when it's cold out.  Also, if you use the epoxy/silicon covered ribbons, Don't pull your zip ties tight!  If the substrate you mount them too expands/contracts differently than your ribbon, it will cause some seperation.  For instance, I used hoola hoops to make my ball tree, it wasn't a good choice, but they did survive the heat last year.

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Jim got to ask what is op that you refer to, any pictures of the power supply set up for the strips 

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OP = Original Post  Mine looks identical to the in the original post or very similar, mine is currently packed away.

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Last year I ran 20 strips off one 30A power supply very similar to the one in the OP.  Worked flawless once I got rid of the damn solderless connectors.  It's no fun soldering when it's cold out.  Also, if you use the epoxy/silicon covered ribbons, Don't pull your zip ties tight!  If the substrate you mount them too expands/contracts differently than your ribbon, it will cause some seperation.  For instance, I used hoola hoops to make my ball tree, it wasn't a good choice, but they did survive the heat last year.

 

 

Just so people are clear that this discussion is regarding the 60 LED/m 3528 LED strip  which is rated at 0.22 amps per metre so  0.22 amps x 100 metres = 22 amps so well within the rating of the 30 amp power supply to run 20 strips and the 2 x 3528 strips can be connected together without using any injection. but its not RGB and is not the most common strip used.

 

But

 

if using 12vdc 30 LED/M RGB strip then this has a calculated rating of 0.6 amps per metre (0.2 amps per colour) so each 5 metre strip when showing white will have a calculated current draw of 3 amps

3 amps x 20 strips = 60 amps.

 

Now if you were only using one colour at a time then you would be drawing a calculated load of 20 amps

 

If using 2 colours you would be using a calculated load of 40 amps.

 

Now real life loads are always lower than calculated loads due to voltage drop when using dumb strip, so there is no way you could run 20 strips of 5050 30 LED/m strip from a 30 amp power supply when producing white for all the strips.

 

 

So the magic calculated number for using  12vdc 30 5050 LED/M strips per 350 watt power supply is 8 strips and this number also takes into account the 85% rule when using power supplies. Using this figure ensures that you have designed a correct rated circuit that can be fully powered with white light and with short cable runs that gives little voltage drop.

 

Just making sure people dont confuse the 2 types of strips with their load ratings.

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I was able to run my ball tree on a 19amp supply last year.  I ordered a 30 amp because I had issues and thought it was the supply.  Turned out to be the solderless connectors.  The 5050 30leds/meter I used I believe calculated to use 12A.  The new ribbon I just got says it uses 5A/meter.

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I have a power question for anyone who can answer, sorry if it sounds very newbie, because I am.  Scubado in post #15 said he ran 20 strips with one power supply, but according to edvas69 post #18's calculation's this isn't possible.  When I plug my test strip (SMD 5050 150 LED) into a kilowatt meter I only show .4 amps with white, how is that possible?  and if the calculated amperage is 60amps, how does that draw at the breaker box?  Am I going to need a 60amp breaker for that circuit?  I'm looking to do my roof line this year so I bought a LOR DC Controller with the hope of running about 15 or so strips.  I plan on custom fitting each one to fit each part of the roof.  Can I do this with one controller or am I going to need a 2nd.  My lengths are as follows in feet: 55, 49, 20, 38, 30. I've read and understand the length restrictions and was going to max each length to 2 strips and use an amplifier on the longer ones. 

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I have a power question for anyone who can answer, sorry if it sounds very newbie, because I am.  Scubado in post #15 said he ran 20 strips with one power supply, but according to edvas69 post #18's calculation's this isn't possible.  When I plug my test strip (SMD 5050 150 LED) into a kilowatt meter I only show .4 amps with white, how is that possible?  and if the calculated amperage is 60amps, how does that draw at the breaker box?  Am I going to need a 60amp breaker for that circuit?  I'm looking to do my roof line this year so I bought a LOR DC Controller with the hope of running about 15 or so strips.  I plan on custom fitting each one to fit each part of the roof.  Can I do this with one controller or am I going to need a 2nd.  My lengths are as follows in feet: 55, 49, 20, 38, 30. I've read and understand the length restrictions and was going to max each length to 2 strips and use an amplifier on the longer ones. 

no you won't need a 60 amp breaker,,it's 60 amps at 12 volts totally different

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something you may think about trying is making dumb rgb strings with led strings.   it something i've done for a few years and its a cheap way to get some of the rgb effects without spending alot of money.

 

what you do is get a string of red, blue and green leds (same spacing is very helpful) and zip tie or twist tie the bulbs next to each other.  then you plug them into you control in 3 channels.  in the sequence editor create an  rgb channel and assign the came plugs and then the sequence editor will treat them as if they are an dumb rgb string.   i did it and connected them to pvc and made a "mickey" (3 circles) on my roof and got alot of complements.  you can get alot of colors and do alot effects as well. when you tell the sequence editor that you want white then all the leds go full power.  if you want to fade from orange to red to purple to blue then the leds adjust the brightness to get the desired color.  if your real close to it its hard to see some of the blended colors but with a little distance (say around a roof ) and if its darker, they turn out pretty cool.

 

its a cheap and easy way to get a feel of dumb rgb strings without alot of assembly or expense.

 

good luck

I already zip tie three strings of ican lights together for my roof line, with each set of string on its own channel.  My question is, with a CTB16PC, can I set one channel in the editor to be a RBG channel and have all three strings on one channel and saving the additional two, as long as I don't exceed the 8 amps on the channel?  Im not looking to color blend to make additional colors, I just want the original color of the string to be on one at a time. 

 

Im sorry in advance if my explanation is confusing.

 

Thank you,

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Yes, you can define them that way and will work OK.

 

FYI: zip tieing the strings together is known as a "Superstring" if you care to search the forum.

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Thanks James

 

After rereading my post I'm not sure what I was thinking, because I realize that AC and DC amps are going to be different. 

 

One more question for anyone out there, is there a difference between a dual power supply like the one Ray Wu sells, and a single power supply like off Amazon? Does the dual have 2 separate outputs or is it the same one?

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