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brianfox

Using Pixie16 with Pixels from Ray Wu Store

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I already have a slew of LOR pixels in my display, but I am looking into adding cheaper pixels from the Ray Wu store into my display next year.

Ahead of this, I purchased some test strings to check how well they work, and test longevity.

I have a Pixie16 controller with a 500W 12V Mean Well power supply.

The strings I purchased from Ray Wu store were three different samples:

Sample1

Sample2

Sample3

Note that these are all 100 bulb strings - not 50 bulb

The specs on Ray Wu are not clear, but were all the same:

"Max Current" 50ma      "Max Power" 0.6W

As it turns out, I think those specs are Per Pixel, all 3 colors lit.

Which means one full string would be 5A and 60W!

Each Pixie16 port has a 4A fuse, and two of them blew when I went all White.  One string didn't seem to blow its fuse.

Plus, it's clear that the Power Supply can't power 16 strings simultaneously (960W)

 

Now, I compare this to the Pixie16 kit from the LOR store, which comes with 1600 pixels in the kit.

Clearly they intend for all 1600 pixels to be lit white simultaneously.

That controller comes with the same 500W Mean Well supply.

The strings included are actually strings of 50 (32 strings total).  LOR specs them as: 15W per string of 50 - or 30W for the string of 100.

Doing math: 30W @ 12VDC = 2.5A per string of 100 -- won't blow the 4A fuse.

More math: 30W x 16 ports = 480 Watts (not much breathing room for 500W supply, but doable).

I only have the 5V LOR strings so I can't test the 12V strings of 100 as I don't want to pay non sale prices for the test; I trust LOR will work.

 

There is a question here: Where did LOR find such low power pixels?  It's clear that much of the 12V pixels in the Aliexpress store are pretty high power.  Has someone been able to find low power 12V pixels?
Hoping I can find something to try; otherwise I will wait for the Summer sale and pay a premium for the LOR strings.

I didn't do this match up front because I knew lots of people used Pixels from Ray Wu.  I assumed that they use strings of 100 on their 12V controllers and this wouldn't be an issue. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I 2nd this question... I see Ray Wu stuff everywhere. and this year was my first year.... when is the summer sale? So I can be ready. And how much of a sale is it usually?

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On 12/3/2019 at 2:08 AM, brianfox said:

I already have a slew of LOR pixels in my display, but I am looking into adding cheaper pixels from the Ray Wu store into my display next year.

Ahead of this, I purchased some test strings to check how well they work, and test longevity.

I have a Pixie16 controller with a 500W 12V Mean Well power supply.

The strings I purchased from Ray Wu store were three different samples:

Sample1

Sample2

Sample3

Note that these are all 100 bulb strings - not 50 bulb

The specs on Ray Wu are not clear, but were all the same:

"Max Current" 50ma      "Max Power" 0.6W

As it turns out, I think those specs are Per Pixel, all 3 colors lit.

Which means one full string would be 5A and 60W!

Each Pixie16 port has a 4A fuse, and two of them blew when I went all White.  One string didn't seem to blow its fuse.

Plus, it's clear that the Power Supply can't power 16 strings simultaneously (960W)

 

Now, I compare this to the Pixie16 kit from the LOR store, which comes with 1600 pixels in the kit.

Clearly they intend for all 1600 pixels to be lit white simultaneously.

That controller comes with the same 500W Mean Well supply.

The strings included are actually strings of 50 (32 strings total).  LOR specs them as: 15W per string of 50 - or 30W for the string of 100.

Doing math: 30W @ 12VDC = 2.5A per string of 100 -- won't blow the 4A fuse.

More math: 30W x 16 ports = 480 Watts (not much breathing room for 500W supply, but doable).

I only have the 5V LOR strings so I can't test the 12V strings of 100 as I don't want to pay non sale prices for the test; I trust LOR will work.

 

There is a question here: Where did LOR find such low power pixels?  It's clear that much of the 12V pixels in the Aliexpress store are pretty high power.  Has someone been able to find low power 12V pixels?
Hoping I can find something to try; otherwise I will wait for the Summer sale and pay a premium for the LOR strings.

I didn't do this match up front because I knew lots of people used Pixels from Ray Wu.  I assumed that they use strings of 100 on their 12V controllers and this wouldn't be an issue.

 

Pixie 8 and pixie 16 have 2 BANKS for power. . That means you CAN use 2 supplies (1 per bank). BUT you can also power inject (remember to fuse those points as well).

If you use a supply per bank AND use the same supplies extra capacity to feed the inject points used on the SAME bank, you don't even need to worry about isolating the + sections on the string, as the supplies will not fight

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Welcome to one of the biggest disadvantage of 12V vs 5V pixels.  Most WS2811 pixels draw around 55 to 60 mA per pixel when in full white - regardless of 5V vs 12V.  That means that total wattage (and therefore how large or how many power supplies) is almost 2.5 times larger with 12V pixels.  The biggest advantage of 12V pixels is that you can generally run longer string lengths without having to use power injection.  So it kinda depends on what is important to you.  Also, if you consider needing PI to be a disadvantage - I don't.

 

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I guess another question, but I ended up running the 12V pixels I had at 50% because they were just too bright otherwise.  So this would seem to be a way to bring down the power consumption?

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Yes, pixels are bright, and when you get a lot of them, it's a lot of light!  When I originally built my 12 x 50 pixel tree, I ran them at 100%, but after the rebuild to 24 x 100, I am running at 50%.  Yes, that will reduce the overall power consumption.

 

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You can get lower  powered pixels by going with resistor pixels. This drops the draw almost in half vs. a regulator. Essentially all led bulbs run at 5v so the 12v sets need to drop down to 5v . The problems with resistors is they Work in direct proportion to the input voltage meaning as the voltage drops down the line they will apply the same resistance as they do at the start of the line dropping the input and dimming the light. This shouldn't be noticeable if you keep under the recommended 100 pixels per channel.

 

Here are some sample resistor pixels that are 2A per 100

 

I'm not an expert on this so do your own research, this is what I have interpreted from looking at the same questions you have. I also haven't ripped apart my LOR pixels to verify they use resistors, but that is my speculation, finally I haven't tested with a set of resistor pixels from Ray Wu. But I do intend to get more understanding of this and will share what I learn.

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8 hours ago, ChasinRudolph said:

You can get lower  powered pixels by going with resistor pixels. This drops the draw almost in half vs. a regulator. Essentially all led bulbs run at 5v so the 12v sets need to drop down to 5v . The problems with resistors is they Work in direct proportion to the input voltage meaning as the voltage drops down the line they will apply the same resistance as they do at the start of the line dropping the input and dimming the light. This shouldn't be noticeable if you keep under the recommended 100 pixels per channel.

 

Here are some sample resistor pixels that are 2A per 100

 

I'm not an expert on this so do your own research, this is what I have interpreted from looking at the same questions you have. I also haven't ripped apart my LOR pixels to verify they use resistors, but that is my speculation, finally I haven't tested with a set of resistor pixels from Ray Wu. But I do intend to get more understanding of this and will share what I learn.

I don't know where you got your Info, but it is really odd (and I have been an ET for 50+ years, when there were mostly RED @ 20mA and 7 segment digits)

From a Wiki

Quote

Typically, the forward voltage of an LED is between 1.8 and 3.3 volts. It varies by the color of the LED. A red LED typically drops around 1.7 to 2.0 volts, but since both voltage drop and light frequency increase with band gap, a blue LED may drop around 3 to 3.3 volts.

String current is a factor of the LED (array) arrangement. 12V strings dissipate a bit more because of the additional chip regulation

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I'm in agreement with TheDucks on that one. Using resistors instead of regulators does not seem like a very good way to drive a 5V device from a 12 volt source.  The resulting voltage will vary all over the place.

And yes, you can find pixels that have different currents, however the vast majority of the pixels that are used by lighting people are in the 18-20mA per color - or 55 - 60 mAmp for full white.  LOR has historically often used lower power LEDs in their pixel products.

 

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On 6/10/2020 at 9:24 AM, k6ccc said:

I'm in agreement with TheDucks on that one. Using resistors instead of regulators does not seem like a very good way to drive a 5V device from a 12 volt source.  The resulting voltage will vary all over the place.

And yes, you can find pixels that have different currents, however the vast majority of the pixels that are used by lighting people are in the 18-20mA per color - or 55 - 60 mAmp for full white.  LOR has historically often used lower power LEDs in their pixel products.

 

That makes a lot of sense that LOR use lower powered bulbs.

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I recently purchased 2,000 Ray Wu 12V square pixels via Amazon. They have been working fine in my testing using both Pixie 8 and Pixie 16 controllers. I use Meanwell LRS-350 12 V power supplies for Pixie 8 controllers and Meanwell RSP-500-12 12 V power supplies for Pixie 16 controllers. I did some measurements to determine the power draw of these WS2811 based pixel strings.  I inserted a ammeter in the 12 V line from the pixie controller to the pixel string to make the current measurements. Here are the result for a string of 100 pixels using various pixel curves in LOR Sequencer v5.4.2 Pro (results are in amps @12 V): 

    Pixel Curve Amps
Wu Pixel String Color 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
12V, 100 Pixel Square String #1 100 Red 0.815 0.936 1.053 1.173 1.283 1.37
100 Green 0.847 0.973 1.094 1.22 1.322 1.42
100 Blue 0.842 0.967 1.086 1.213 1.331 1.4
100 White 1.806 2.071 2.297 2.52 2.73 2.94

I tested 5 more strings are got almost identical results. With full white,  at 2.95 3A (which is not an issue for the 4 A fuse), then a 500 W power supply for a Pixie 16 can support about 14 strings of 100 pixels (2.95 A * 12 V * 14 strings =  495.6 W - Yes, I know this zero headroom). If you set the Pixel curve to 80%, then about 16 strings can be supported (2.52 A * 12 V * 14 strings =  484 W). AT 70%, then there is good headroom for 16 strings = 2.297 A * 12 V * 14 strings =  441 W

For a Pixie 8 using the 350W Meanwell power supply, full pixel curve setting is not an issue: 2.95A * 12 V * 8 strings = 283 W

 

Based on my testing the Ray Wu pixel strings draw about 3 Amps on full white for a power draw of 36 W

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2 hours ago, Kensonic said:

I recently purchased 2,000 Ray Wu 12V square pixels via Amazon.

I did not know that Ray sold through Amazon - only Alibaba.

Your measured 2.94 amps for 100 pixels at full white seems pretty low.  That is about what I would expect for 50 pixels.

 

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k6ccc,,

You caught my error, thanks! These are from Amazon, but they are from Paul Zhang  and not Ray Wu, my bad. Here is the link https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VX24WX3/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Yes, my measurement are accurate and it is for 100 pixels. I did not blow a fuse (4A) on any of the tests when illuminating all 100 pixels. I also tested my LOR pixels for comparison:

    Pixel Curve Amps Power
LOR Pixel String Color   60% 70% 80% 90% 100%  
White Wire, 12V, 100 Pixel Square String #1 100 Red       0.867 0.948 1.027  
100 Green       0.866 0.948 1.025  
100 Blue       0.863 0.944 1.022  
100 White       1.893 2.065 2.232 26.784  W
White LUX   3450 5600 6280 7180 8300  
                 
  80% Power= 22.7 Watts/100 181.6 Watts/800 363.2 Watts/1.6k
  90% Power= 24.8 Watts/100 198.4 Watts/800 396.8 Watts/1.6k
  100% Power = 26.8 Watts/100 214.4 Watts/800 428.8 Watts/1.6k

In addition, I tested the light output of a single pixel in Lux when placed direct on the sensor of my multimeter. Interestingly, the Paul Zhang pixels while consuming more power, are also brighter:

    Pixel Curve Amps Power
Zhang Pixel String Color        60%    70% 80%      90% 100%  
Green Wire, 12V, 100 Pixel Square String #1 100 Red                         0.936 1.053 1.173      1.283 1.37  
100 Green        0.973 1.094 1.22      1.322 1.42  
100 Blue        0.967 1.086 1.213      1.331 1.4  
100 White       2.071 2.297 2.52      2.73 2.94 35.28 W
White LUX   6600 7360 8690 9400

10470

 
  70% Power= 27.6 Watts/100 220.8 Watts/800 441.6 Watts/1.6k
  80% Power= 30.2 Watts/100 241.6 Watts/800 483.2 Watts/1.6k
  90% Power= 32.8 Watts/100 262.4 Watts/800 524.8 Watts/1.6k
  100% Power = 35.3 Watts/100 282.4 Watts/800 564.8 Watts/1.6k

The best match  between the LOR and Paul Zhang pixels was:

    Curve W / 100 W / 1600
Amzn Zhang 12V   7360 lumens = 70% 27.6 W 442 W
LOR 12V square     7180 lumens = 90% 24.8 W 397 W

 

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