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jross2828

Ebay/Amazon RGB Lights Individually Addressable Worth It?

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Hey There!

Anyone have any luck with ebay/amazon RGB lights? Unfortunately, I don't have the budget to buy LOR or similar quality lights, especially this year. It seems like strip lights could be a great option for lining my roof as well. They are affordable and should be easily mountable. I also think a pixel tree would be somewhat easy to DIY for a fraction of the cost. I'm not new to hobby electronics so I know I could get whatever needs to work running, but am worried that this could be a case of you get what you pay for. 

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Thanks,

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Caution(s):

Smart RGB are not all the same. This is mostly a compatibility issue. You can only use a single TYPE of chipset at a time on a single Pixie.  Different vendors, may have different Color Orders  (same chipset).

Connectors: There are no standards 😕 Pick a vendor you plan to stick with (if you use connectors)

Wire color and order. How many ways can you do this? Yep 😕  Keep wire order records and mark the strings if you choose to mix

OK, we made it to quality:  When a node fails: it could be a single color (R,G,B) or it could be the chip. If the chip fails, the data stops there (cut and splice time). Seal: Water is the enemy that causes failures.

Last, Warranty (or lack): IMHO Warranties have 2 philosophies. Build it $olid and it won't normally be needed. Build it cheap and replace the fallout.  What does a fail cost you (time and place)?   Having a 'forever 'battery fail in the boonies is not good. The warranty becomes worthless because the replacement location is in the big city.

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I suggest you consider a 'want to buy' request for used LOR pixels with controllers.   There are many original  CCR CCP CCB (100 pixels) out there which are being replaced by pixies.    I have been very pleased with the used equipment I have purchased on the forum.  PM me if you need some price history.   

Strip lights look great.  But I want to caution a newbie they are very fragile.   I suggest a fixed mounting where you can store the lights mounted and do not have to retie them. 

Edited by ItsMeBobO

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One other thing, always purchase spares. I buy my lights in groups for my props so lets say I am buying ribbons for a 16 ribbon tree, I purchase 20 ribbons for that tree. this way I have a spare if a ribbon goes out during my show I can replace it with the exact same light in 15 minutes for minimum down time.

Lights are made in batches so even though you may always purchase lights from the same vendor they may be off color, a change in color order or a host of other issues where the light will look odd or are not compatible even if they are the same IC.

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21 hours ago, ItsMeBobO said:

I suggest you consider a 'want to buy' request for used LOR pixels with controllers.   There are many original  CCR CCP CCB (100 pixels) out there which are being replaced by pixies.    I have been very pleased with the used equipment I have purchased on the forum.  PM me if you need some price history.   

Strip lights look great.  But I want to caution a newbie they are very fragile.   I suggest a fixed mounting where you can store the lights mounted and do not have to retie them. 

I totally Agree with Bob on this.

This is your best bet to get some quality LOR USED RGB Controllers and Lights that match up with them as a set.   I have bought some from LOR Members here as well and have been happy with what I got as well.  I prefer the bullet nodes over the C7{?)/C9{?} bulbs.   I have far too many failures with these.  When I took them down last year all 4 strands have way too many fails of a single color in too many bulbs.  These were used and only in use for perhaps a year when I bought them, when I got them they all worked perfectly.

But after take down after the season and I tested them, I had many failures on all 4 strands with each node failing on Red, others with Green and many with Blue failures, so they could no longer be uniform in color.   But even with those 4 failures, I had 6 strands of RGB Bullet Nodes and only one strand that had any failures.  So that gave me the impression the bullet nodes are a bit sturdier than the bulbs.  And the Bullet node strand was just one failure of one node not working at all, of course in a 50 light strand it would be light #49 that failed. 

Tried cutting and splicing in a couple of new nodes to the end, but unfortunately, that didn't go well and they didn't work, no idea if the replacement nodes were bad I got or what occurred.  The wiring was followed exactly like the original nodes, but they didn't work after soldering and splicing them together.  The good side of it is, even with only 48 nodes on the strand, it is still usable, so it's put in a spot where the loss of the last two bulbs aren't noticeable.

And for the record, I do not blame the original seller of these that I bought for the failures, it's just something that occurred after taking them down off my roof line.  So maybe it was just that colors time to go for whatever reason one color may cease working.  So since I won't use those bulbs now, now I just look at in this way, I now have 2 spare RGB Controllers in case one might fail with the current RGB Bullet nodes I do have.   Always got to look on the POSITIVE side of it! :)

 

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I have personally bought some of the WS2811 bullet nodes and strips off of Amazon. It's been about 50-50 for quality. Knowing this, I made sure to buy ones that had free returns as an option. The above mentioned color order is something you want to be careful of. One strip I ordered was GRB not RBG. I have switched to programming with XLights this year, their software allows for you to change the color order of the strands so this was not a problem for my setup. Not sure if LOR offers a similar feature. If you want some good quality lights, for a reasonable price, check out www.wiredwats.com. Their lights are some of the least expensive ones without buying directly from a vendor like Ray Wu or taking a chance on ones from Amazon or eBay.

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