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I appreciate the dark brick shot as I probably have the same dark red brick. I am going with the 40w Aether II's this year. I figure this will be the most powerful I can afford to build. I wish I was into animated Christmas lighting when I built my house. I would definitely chose a lot lighter brick color and probably a two story house so I only had to do the edge of the roof instead of on top and up the sides of the roof. :)

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Keith Adams wrote:

I would definitely chose a lot lighter brick color ...

You can change that! We changed the brick color on our house from a dark red to Navajo White.

We used this stuff that is known as paint. You may have heard about it. :)

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sorry been really sick. Going to handel this tomorrow. Why must someone be sick with summer time weather outside....

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I would be interested in hearing more regarding your thoughts about the color mixing. I also purchased a CCF device during the March Grab Sale and have been playing with it a lot lately.

Thus far I haven't been able to produce a purple or orange light to my liking (critical colors for my Halloween display). The purple has been a bit blueish. Perhaps the color mixing I'm using isn't ideal (I am using the pre-established colors proposed by the color fade tool in S3). Are there any color mixing guides out there for the cosmic color devices?

Thanks,
Jim

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jimbucks227 wrote:

Perhaps the color mixing I'm using isn't ideal (I am using the pre-established colors proposed by the color fade tool in S3).

The colors on the screen won't match the colors from the flood because it depends strongly on the surface upon which the flood is being shined.

My house is painted "Kelly Moore Navajo White", with a generic "white" garage door. Using Rainbow Floods, in order to get a good-looking orange, I used red:50%, green:5%, blue:1%. To get a good-looking (dim) purple, I used red:2%, green:0, blue:5%. I determined these values by trial and error.

If your purple is too blue, try turning down the blue.

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jimbucks227 wrote:

I would be interested in hearing more regarding your thoughts about the color mixing.  I also purchased a CCF device during the March Grab Sale and have been playing with it a lot lately. 

Thus far I haven't been able to produce a purple or orange light to my liking (critical colors for my Halloween display).  The purple has been a bit blueish.  Perhaps the color mixing I'm using isn't ideal (I am using the pre-established colors proposed by the color fade tool in S3).  Are there any color mixing guides out there for the cosmic color devices?

Thanks,
Jim




The color mixing is a problem that I have not figured out yet. I cannot form orange, yellow, purple and a few other colors. I see the green overpowering the colors and I have tried turning it down by hand and also manually trying to make the colors myself but still cannot form the proper colors as I would with a CCR. When I compare two colors to a CCR there is a major difference in the colors which could be a big problem if you are using them at the same time with the same color.

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I am also trying to figure out the wattage of the CCFs The DC power supply inside the control box is rated at 60 Watt but I do not think these are both 30 watt lights. Or is this true??? Doesn anyone have a kil-a-watt to put on one and try them for me. Even though I do not think this will show the true wattage of the device due to the power supply?

Keith Adams wrote:

I appreciate the dark brick shot as I probably have the same dark red brick. I am going with the 40w Aether II's this year. I figure this will be the most powerful I can afford to build. I wish I was into animated Christmas lighting when I built my house. I would definitely chose a lot lighter brick color and probably a two story house so I only had to do the edge of the roof instead of on top and up the sides of the roof. :)


What is the Aether II 40 watt. I would like to see this

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Take a look at the manual it says 36 watts

BTW

I have 2 and have been playing with them.

I am amazed at how bright they are. I am using them to uplight trees.

I have taken videos but so far none that look good enough to post

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okay have a different question, I'm thinking about doing some floodlights up against my house this year, I have no idea where to even begin looking, so can anybody chime in and tell me what companies are making reliable LED floodlights that work with lor, or does all floodlights work with lor? I live in New Jersey and we get all kinds of weather. So my Led's I by would have to be waterproof and I'd rather my floodlights be extra bright then not bright enough. and I gather coming out of my computer I need a DM X box, do I need anything else to get you.

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Ralph,

Let me give you my experience.

My show has 22 floods - that's a huge number for a single house. The effect is incredibly dramatic, though.

Here are a couple of videos showing how dramatic:

I added these in 2010 and they were an instant hit.

RGB floods were a new concept then; several groups of people were making RGB flood designs as group DIY projects.

There was: Mighty Mini Floods, Rainbow Floods, and V-Floods. There were others, but these were the main three I knew of.

I went the Mighy Mini route, and purchased materials to build 22 floods. It took a great deal of time to build everything, and house them in what I hoped was weatherproof enclosures.

All of these floods were similar, in that they had discrete Red, Green, and Blue LEDS. The Mighy Mini also had White LEDS. (If you don't have White as a separate color, you get white by turning RGB fully on, so all of these floods have White capability.) The "next generation" of floods started using very high intensity RGB LEDs - fewer actual LEDs, but for now, I'll keep talking about the first gen.

Since I am exclusively LOR, I used an iDMX to control the floods. LOR talks to the iDMX, which talks to a V-Drive constant current controller, which drives the flood. Most people at that time drove voltage (12V up to 24V) through CAT5 cable. That is what I did. I should also mention that moisture was never a problem. Most people purchased 20W worklights from the local hardware store, ripped out the halogen bulb fixture, and mounted their flood board in the enclosure. These hold up to weather incredibly well. We get very heavy rain out where I live, and I never found any of the 22 enclosures with even a drop of water in them.

Although my Mighty Minis worked GREAT, they had a nasty problem of LEDs failing. Each season, I found myself replacing 2 dozen LEDs over the course of the month. In my opinion, the burnouts were due to several factors:

1) LEDs were cheap (Chinese) crap, whose tolerances varied from lot to lot.

2) People pushed the current too close to the absolute max of the devices, shortening their lifespan

3) Constant Current drivers were often used on these first-gen lights. Big problem, since the circuits were layed out in parallel legs. This meant that if an LED in one leg burned out, double the current would flow through the other leg, killing a perfectly fine LED in that leg.

The funny thing is that I KNEW that the third item would spell disaster, but I decided to go constant current, against my better judgement...

This summer, not looking forward to replacing 30 more LEDs, I did a science experiment. I modified all of my constant current drivers to drive a fraction of the previous current. That is, I lowered the overall current to the floods. This would make them less bright, but would (hopefully) prevent even a single burnout. Having completed the mods, I ran all of my floods for a week straight in my garage. I made sure they were never running hot. Even doing all of this, I found color after color burning out. I believe that the short periods of overcurrent from previous failues had weakened the LEDs ireperably.

Also, to the point of the cheap Chinese LEDs, I found that throughout the years, certain colors were much more likely to fail while others never (or rarely) failed.

Long story short(er), this year I have decided to retire my Mighty Minis and go a different path.

So here we are in 2012 and the "2nd generation" of floods is widely available.

This newer generation as I mentioned use RGB LEDs or very high intensity discrete LEDs. Gone is the parallel circuit legs of the first gen. This means that Constant Current is not only not a danger to these devices, it is preferrable.

There are two major classes of 2nd gen devices:

Floods with external DMX controllers:

  • Cosmic Color Floods from LOR
  • Rainbow Flood Extreme

Floods with built-in DMX controllers:

  • Extremely cheap floods from Ray Wu

There are other floods, but these are the main ones I know about.

All of these have one new thing in common - gone is the CAT5E cable to drive the flood. They all use a white cable with 4 wires in it. The cable has waterproof connectors.

If you go the Rainbow Flood Extreme, the floods can be purchased as a kit or fully assembled. You will still need to buy a power supply, controller, and mount them yourself in an enclosure. There will still be a fair amount of DIY, and a learning curve. If things go wrong, you will need to debug it yourself. There will be no gaurantees, but a lot of resources who will be able to help.

If you go the Ray Wu route (Ray Wu is the name of the seller in China; you can google "Ray Wu Floods" and you will find his AliExpress store), you will find a wide variety of floods. Some have built in DMX and others do not. We're talking $25 for a very powerful DMX RGB flood in a weatherproof enclosure. Just rediculously low prices. I saw one of these working, and it was very, very bright. Again, going this route will require you to purchase a DMX controller, power supplies, cable, and enclosure. There will be a fair amount of DIY work - a bit more than going the Rainbow route. And again, no gaurantees and little help when things go wrong.

If you go the LOR oute, it will be expensive. However, it will come fully assembled, with power supply and controller already in an enclosure. It will literally be plug and play. It will work in an existing LOR system with zero effort. If you want ZERO learning curve and ZERO DIY, this is the way to go.

Having weighed the options, I chose to go LOR. It cost a fortune. But I want to spend my time building new stuff for my light show I do not want to spend a single hour debugging floods or modifying cables to hook up a power injector. I'm done with that. But that's just me. Plus, I know that if I ever retire the show, I can easily find buyers for my LOR floods - because they are LOR - and will get back most of the money I am spending now, because LOR products hold their value very well. Finally, I know that if I have a problem with the LOR product even 3 years from now, they will take care of me. I just don't have the time to debug anymore.

Because I did not want to do any more building of floods, I considered the Rainbow Extreme fully assembled, but two flood heads alone cost as much as a Cosmic Color Flood (that includes the 2 heads, controller, and power supply). So for my application, the LOR was actually (amazingly) cheaper.

Again, these are my thoughts on the subject, and as you can see, I've been there from the start. I have no dog in this hunt, so choose whatever path you want. I waffled back and forth among the three choices and was about to purchase a few of the Ray Wu floods to play with - when my Mighy Minis started failing again during my experiment. That alone pushed me over the edge. With grated teeth, I pushed the "purchase" button on the LOR website - and this was AFTER the Summer Sale had ended (missing that cost me a ton...)

There's no way I can put the show on without floods. The effect is just too much to lose. But there's no way I can go another season climbing a ladder in the dark with a soldering gun, an ohm meter, and a bag of replacement LEDs...

Edited by brianfox

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