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Thinking of getting some 'dumb' strip lights for the house. What I want to know is what is everyone using for strip lights. I have found some that are fully injected and some in a silicone jacket. I live in Northern Ontario, Canada and have cold temperatures and snow....should I use the silicone covered strips? How does one attach these as there is no 3M on the silicone jacket. Anything else I should be aware of? Thanks everyone.

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Thanks jerrymac, looked at the site. I find it hard to believe with all of us diy'ers that everyone is purchasing $$$ mounting hardware. They want $7? per meter...my house front is 8 meters long. If I want to follow the front section and follow the roof line and then across the peak...there is more than 32 meters. At $7 ish a meter thats over $154 just for mounting. What are others using for their strips? And what are the pros and cons of fully injected strips and the silicone jacketed type? I saw somewhere in ciber land that the fully injected type tend to harden and crack through time.

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An inexpensive alternate is PVC pipe (zip type the strip to the PVC).  Can't help on the advantages on injected -vs- jacketed due the cold weather,  Here if it gets below 50 everyone freaks out. (south Georgia at the Florida line)

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We started out using a combination of fully encapsulated/solid filled dumb strips and smart strips inside a flexible square tube last year, mounted on all the eaves and vertically defined corners, etc.   We left the higher eave mounted strips up all year long with no issues at all.  We're in Indiana, not nearly as cold as you folks, but it gets pretty chilly enough.   My bet is on the hollow tubes as it will allow a bit more flexibility than very frozen solid matter if anything ever gets bumped or displaced.  Strips are really just a very thin and fragile circuit card.   

 

As far as mounting techniques, I've seen about everything.  We chose to get 1/8" thick x about 1/2" wide aluminum strips then screwed them about every 4' or so to the house eaves just under the shingles using common nylon washers as a back spacer.  From there, we just zip tied the strip to the aluminum allowing for easy replacement if it came to that.  They really blend in with most neighbors never noticing that the ridge strips  stay up all year.  

 

In our vertical installations, where we didnt want to screw into the siding, we simply ripped 1"x2" pine strips into 1"X1" strips, glued/stapled paint stirrers onto the back (L shape) and just slipped the paint strip under the corner of the siding edge caps.  The friction was more than enough to secure them against even extreme high winds with installation taking about 30 seconds each with no tools or extra holes.   On our garage door, we took the same ripped wooden strips, used a forstner drill bit to create a counter-sunk socket and glued in flat round magnets from the hardware store.  They fit against the steel garage door frame and hold better than we ever expected.   Works like a charm and disassembly couldn't be easier.    I'll try to send pictures soon.

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Thanks for the input Bizywk...because the season is over for this year now I have lots of time to think of next year. If anyone else has ideas or hints...pass them on...perhaps something else might work somewhere else...Bizywk you have given me some ideas to start thinking about, the magnet idea might work around my windows as I have metal capping. A big thank you!!

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I live Alberta, I had no issues with strips in the silicone jacket from Ray Wu. Holiday coro does not ship to Canada.

Mine are zip tied to j channel used in residential siding. I then have them clipped to the bottom of my soffits

Edited by sticks4legs
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Any thoughts on the power to supply the CMB24D? I have a 20A/12V/240W power supply (AC 85-265 V). Because the power supply supplies 12 V the board cannot be dammaged? LOR is offering a 200W. If mine can be used then I am good!

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12V is 12V providing it is a decent quality ps. It's always worth checking the output with a meter as some are adjustable. 

 240W is fine. I use 350W supplies on mine. Just depends on how much load you need. Beware of exceeding the limits of the individual channels though,

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Thanks PhilMassey. I believe with only 1.5 reels (24 ft) of RGB leds per channel, I am well below the limits.

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We have vinyl siding on our house. I simply bought more "J" channel and attach the strips to it with zip ties. Turned finished side towards the house the J channel will hang on the gutters. Finished side facing the house it will also hook behind the existing J channel around the windows.

We are also using the jacketed RGB strips from Ray. The ones around our windows can't bee seen unless you are standing right next to them. They have been around the windows for 3 years now. They still work great.

Edited by Paul Roberson

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This year I used LOR dumb RGB ribbons. Mounted to 1" PVC and worked great. Only is is they are too bright. Might choose to put them in pex or poly tubing next year.

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I'm adding a bunch of dump RGB strips this year and have been test buying a strip here and there to compare the types..resin coating, silicon tube and injected silicon tube.

Got a inject silicon tube from Ray Wu and was impressed with the "bulkiness" of it.

Just got a silicon tube only strip and was disappointed in how "spongy" the silicon tube was. Guessing that the tube thickness varries by dealers.  

Did cut a short length of Ray's strip, and pulled the pcb  out from the tube.  It's a beefier tube than the silicon tube strip I just got.

I know you have to be careful with zip ties and appears that with silicon tube only strips, that this would be even more of an concern?

From past threads, I know several have questioned injected silicon tube strips in cold weather.  That there may be a concern with different temp handling characteristice between the injected material and the pcb.

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I am all mixed up with my math...can anyone confirm the CMB24D would be fine if a channel has 7.5m of 150-50/50 led strip with a draw of 7.2watts/meter? I understand the board can handle 4amps per channel safely.

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Yep. Approx 1A per color for 30 LED's per metre. Should be fine.

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PhilMassey, are you saying that 7.5 meters will be fine or I am using 1A per color per metre and at 7.5 metres I'd be over?

Sorry for my dumbness...I didn't take electrical in high school...Advertising Art and Graphic Design....I'm a dumb art student... LOL

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The CMB24D can handle 4A per channel & 60A total per board ( 30A each side ). So if you take the formula - Power = Voltage x Amperage . You have 4A per channel X 12V ( which I think all RGB dumb strips are ) gives you 48 watts. So you cannot exceed 48W for any channel.

Now take your strip 30Led's per meter 7.2 watts/meter. Thats for white color meaning Red,Green,Blue on 100 percent. So each channel will have 2.4 watts/meter ( 7.2W divided by your 3 colors ). Now take 2.4W x your length ( 7.5M )and you get 18W. So for this particual strip @ 7.5M you are using 18W per color which is well below your maximums.

Also the controller handles 30A/side so 30A x 12V= 360W . Do not exceed 360W on either side of the CMB24D. Depending on how many strips you are planning on using ( think of the future )you may need a larger power suppy.

I'm in Ontario as well, I don't get the cold as bad as you but it's bad enough here this week. I have 10 5M RGB dumb stips in use & havn't had any issues related to the cold Besides freezing my a$$ off during setup.

Another consideration is at 7.5M you will need to inject power on the strip. Meaning the end of the strip will be a different color or not light at all because of voltage drop. Theres lots of information on here about that.

Edited by Darryl Lambert

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PhilMassey, are you saying that 7.5 meters will be fine or I am using 1A per color per metre and at 7.5 metres I'd be over?

Sorry for my dumbness...I didn't take electrical in high school...Advertising Art and Graphic Design....I'm a dumb art student... LOL

Darryl is spot on except I don't  know about the freezing part  (:

 

Just to clarify what I said earlier, I was not precise.

 

One 5m strip of 30 LED's per m  should draw 3 amps at full white. That is 1A per color or channel. Therefore a strip and a half will be 4.5 Amps total at full white or 1.5 Amps per channel or color.

Edited by PhilMassey

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Thank you all for your input, and thanks Darryl L. I set up most of my lights before Halloween when it is somewhat warm. Use some of the lights for Halloween and then all the rest for Christmas...This year all I needed to put out was the arches...sure it was cold but it only took me about 1/2 hour. Then I could sit back and enjoy my hard work and planning. Happy Lighting Everyone. Love learning from you all.

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James if you get down this way give me a shout.

Could always use someone else to gab about lights with. My wife is tired of me always turning our discussions into something about Christmas lights!! :-)

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No problem Darryl, sounds good. If you use facebook look me up... I have a few video's of this years lights...I am still a beginner but looking to grow and grow...and grow...!!! My wife is the same...in her voice "don't tell me what you are going to do just do it...I am sure it will be great. Just don't turn this into Las Vegas!!" LOL

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I don't use Facebook per say but I have a Facebook page. It's "Lamberts lights " the wife usually takes care of it.

It's funny you say Las Vegas. My neighbors directly behind me when they look out their back window say that's what it reminds them of. :-D

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Happy New Year!

I am looking for guidance on using RGB strips around all of our windows. Is there a preferred way of accomplishing this as the strips do not seem to be capable of 90 degree bends at the corners?

 

Also looking for ideas on converting my Mega tree to use RGP strips.

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For 90degree corners you can use something like this.

http://m.aliexpress.com/item/2037576797.html

There a bit of a crapshoot. Some people have had success with them and others not so much

You can also just solder a short piece of wire at the corner between the 2 strips. This allows you to bend it to any angle. Just make sure to waterproof the ends after.

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+1 on Darryl Lambert's recommendation to solder joints with plain old wire.   Another option we use is the mini-waterproof connectors from ebay (Item number 110954041422) when we have to connect larger RGB strip sections which allows us faster set-up/take down/storage.   You still solder them in like plain old wire, but they give you flexibility to disassemble without the bigger footprint of the normal waterproof connectors commonly used with controllers.

 

The corner pieces install quickly with a snap in pressfit and will probably work just fine indoors, but I've seen a LOT of complaints on the forums about them when exposed to temp extremes and moisture.  It's a trade-off between convenience and reliability.    I suppose it boils down to your willingness to get out there in the cold to fiddle with them if they become dislodged.  

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