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Using LED lights shoudl = no worry about power correct? read on


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So correct me here please (as I am brand new).

I'm planning on using all LED lights. I'm planning on no more then 3 strings of 50 leds MAX per channel and planning on doing a 128 channel setup.

With that said.... I understand you need for each controller (16 in this case) a dedicated 30 amp breaker... BUT if i'm only using 3 x 16 LED strings per controller.. then I should be able to plug in multiple controllers on the same breaker correct?

Thank-you in advance

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Lets say 1 strand of LED's =.02amp X 3 per channel X 128 channels =7.68 amps

Now that does not account for the LOR controller current draw (not sure what that is at the moment, anybody know?).

I would say running them all off 1 30 amp circuit should be fine, but thats going to be alot of extension cords, and you should calulate exactualy the current of the strands you will be using.

Bill

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Thank-you

I'm not planning on running ALL of the controllers on the same breaker, but I wanted to have someone else check my logic in saying there should be no problem running like 4 controllers off the same breaker.

So I could take a good quality extention cord out to the controller, and then use a power bar to plug 4 controllers in it? (Again assuming I'm only using about 3-5 LED 50 light sets per channel.. the controller would be 16 ch controller) ?

Thanks again in advance

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I agree with Bill,

You should be fine with what you mentioned. But keep an eye on your amperage as you expand. It's so easy to go overboard.

And keep in mind the power bar and what it can withstand (most are 15 amps).

Hope that helps,

Tom

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My show ran (is actually still running) on a single breaker. 32 channels, no LEDs, just a mix of Minis and a two strands of C7s. The numbers people quote you on total load are very conservative.

Your concern with LED strands, especially if you only have one or two strands, is that they may not draw sufficient current to shut off the Triacs 100% of the time. Some Triacs (or perhaps the Triac / optoisolator pairing) are just more sensitive to minimum current flow.

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I thought I saw a note in the LOR manual that said no LED's. I'd think that if you were doing just on/off functions, it'd work. I had guessed that the reason for the note was that some of the other functions like dimming/shimmering might not due to the on/off nature of LED's. Or is the problem due to the low power requirements? If it's low power, we can fix that! More lights!

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mysticturner wrote:

I thought I saw a note in the LOR manual that said no LED's. I'd think that if you were doing just on/off functions, it'd work. I had guessed that the reason for the note was that some of the other functions like dimming/shimmering might not due to the on/off nature of LED's. Or is the problem due to the low power requirements? If it's low power, we can fix that! More lights!



There is a note in our manuals that indicates "Incandescent Lights Only"... That is an old warning and will be corrected.

Many people are using LEDs with LOR. There was a recent thread that states that there is a dimming problem with lots of strings (over 3) on a channel. We were not aware of that the LED count made a difference and are going to look into it. But with 3 strings per channel there should be no issue with dimming.
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Thx Dan for this information,

I'm glad to have the "president" of LOR chime in..

1)So if I'm going to use more then 3 strands of LEDS I may have an issue with LOR?

2)If I'm running 100% LED's what Features of LOR will I NOT be able to use (shimmering?!? etc...)

Thank-you Dan in advance.

DetroitDr

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detroitdr wrote:

Thx Dan for this information,

I'm glad to have the "president" of LOR chime in..

1)So if I'm going to use more then 3 strands of LEDS I may have an issue with LOR?

2)If I'm running 100% LED's what Features of LOR will I NOT be able to use (shimmering?!? etc...)

Thank-you Dan in advance.

DetroitDr


1...We had a large number of customers with LEDs this year and only a few (I suspect less than 1%) of those users reported any problems. We are not sure what this number of strands issue is. I know of some people that had 10 strands on a channel with no problem BUT there seems like there were some people that have had problems with less than 10...

I put 3 strings out there as a warning because we have tested a large number of different brands of LEDs but to the best of my knowledge we only tested 3 strings connected end to end.

The revelation that the number of strings connected has affected fades for some customers is "breaking news" (I heard of it first today)... As I think back to the few other customers who reported problems it seems that it may have been a common thread but was not recognized as such. We have not had time to look into this and until we get a better understanding of this phenomenon, I will deferrer further comment. People's schedules have been amended and we plan to start looking into this Wendsday Jan. 10.

2... All features work with a full LED display. Some effects such as shimmer are much more dramatic with LEDs than they are with incandescent bulbs.
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Using 90% leds here some from Costco and some from Canadian Tire . I have no problems fading up or down shimmers or flickering. On some channels i have ten strings and others 5 0r 6 on the house I am running 20 set of multicolored icicles LEDS and have no problems with Lor.

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Thx Dan for clarrifing.

Denis, what type of Leds did you buy C6 or C7?

Also strawberry seems to be the one to get if using leds???? (for most light dispursment?)

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I was using about 24,000 new LEDs on my setup this year (see videos on my home page: http://www.lauderdalechristmas.com/)

My Megatree has 6300 LEDs on it and no problems at all, with 3 LOR controllers in the core of the tree, and 48 channels for 4 colors of 12 channels each.

One note about LEDs with fade up and fade down, they fade quicker than light bulbs and ramp up quicker than light bulbs. This also makes a great advantage of LED lights: You can synch them to faster musical beats than incandescent bulbs. This came in handy for my awesome sequence to "Star Trekkin", the spoof of Star Trek song that gets faster and faster as the song progresses.

The snowflake and "simulated snow powder" LEDs all over my roof are actually numerous strings of LEDs and over a dozen 18" LED rope light snowflakes, all split into 2 channels, no issues at all.

Just make sure you connect no more than 3 strings in series, but you can run as many 3 string sets as you want to one channel, as each string is only .03 A.

See photos on my web site for reference.

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Just in case you had any lingering worry about amperage, let me share my experience this last season. I ended up with 10,000 lights on my house, 92% of which were LED. All of it ran on three LOR controllers plugged into a single extension cord running back to my garage. Total wattage used: 1100W, or about 10amps. My most used channel had about 30 LED strands on it, and still only pulled a little more than half an amp - I could have bought controllers without heatsinks and had no problems whatsoever. In fact, as I was setting up, I was surprised to see that my usage doubled when I added 5 18-foot incandescent rope lights to my existing 4800 LED setup. Buying something like a Kill-A-Watt may be useful for you, so you can see just how much it goes up with each group of lights you set up. However, if you're going all LED, don't worry about overpowering your outlet...just your wallet :laughing:

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Dan: If I understand you comments, if I use ,say, one strand of 70 ct. LED's

I should not have any problems using LOR.

I am gradually making the change to LED but in most cases it will

be 1-2 strands per channel !!

AM I going to be OK with this??

Thanks for your help!!

Harbs (Ohio newbie)

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Oh yeah, I almost forgot until dtrammell reminded me:

All my LEDs and 5 controllers are running off 2 GFCI outlets! The 2 times that we had heavy rain and the GFCIs kept tripping, I plugged all 5 controllers into a non-GFCI outlet in the garage until the rain dried up.

All this after I spent $4000 last year on new outlets outside the house because I was at the edge of tripping all my fuses with the current draw! Now It can all run form 2 outlets when I switched to LEDs.

My Megatree with 6300 LEDs draws only 1.8 A, which is less than the 2.4A drawn by the 5 rope light gifts at the bottom.

The tree draws less power than 2 flood lights.

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Harbs wrote:

Dan: If I understand you comments, if I use ,say, one strand of 70 ct. LED's
I should not have any problems using LOR.
[snip]
Harbs (Ohio newbie)



You should have no issue with a single string or as you can see from the posts here you should not have problems with LEDs.
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  • 1 month later...

Here's what I found with using LED strings. Depending on how the plug is inserted, all four LED strings could use the same 1/2 of the AC sign wave. I made a rectifier box that plugs inline to the LED strings. This way I could "balance" them. Two strings on the positive half cycle, two on the negative half cycle. This way the triac "sees" a full AC cycle. Of course, remove the rectifier box. Some LED strings will burn out if connected to a rectifier. Some new strings have the rectifier built in along with the resistors in the beginning and ends of the string. One three channel string of LED icicle lights had two channels on 1/2 of the sign wave than the middle channel on the negative 1/2 sign wave, depending on how it was plugged in. This string made the use of an external rectifier practically useless.

I hope that this is not too confusing.

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Don wrote:

gremler wrote:
Now that does not account for the LOR controller current draw (not sure what that is at the moment, anybody know?).


1.6 Watts :cool:

Bill, I think you asked the best question of the year, or at least in my mind. Something I HAVE NOT CALCULATED this past year was the draw from the LOR Controller. Don, can you elaborate on how you got that? I guess I could plug one of mine into my Kill A Watt to completely determine.
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Douggg wrote:

Why not buy an ammeter and measure the current draw? I purchased a digital recording one on eBAY for $50. Or use a Kiil-a-watt.

I have a Fluke clamp on AC amp meter, but my controllers are packed away nice and safe for next year/season, have no desire to pull them back out just to measure something that does not affect the way I will run my display.

If you reread the entire post you will see that the question was asked how many LED's and controllers can be on 1 Circuit, I asked the question to assit in the calulations
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The LEDs strings I have draw less that 1 amp per string. For 15 amp service you could use 20-23 strings, 20 amp service, 27-30.

Due to the small gauage wire size used by LED strings it only 3 strings can be attached to each other. I think they are being acutious and get away with with 5 or 6.

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Doug:

You can probably use more than that, I'm sure your LEDs draw much less current than the 1A you mentioned. Heck, regular glass flood lamps draw 1 A.

My LED strings draw typically 3 mA. In fact all the LED items I bought this year, including the LED flood lights from Action Lighting all draw about 3 mA. In some cases, on estring of lights would not be enough to even register on my WAtt's Up meter, as 3mA is pretty close to 0, and some strings draw less than the published amount. So sometimes, it would take 2 strings to get a reading off my Watt's Up meter, and it would show 5 or 6 mA then.

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