Jump to content
Light-O-Rama Forums

Introduction and a few question


Knothead

Recommended Posts

Alright, I'm pretty new to the whole forum thing and totally new to the DIY light show thing so bare with me. I've been reading for a couple of months on here and quickly realized I was in over my head. While I have lots of big plans in my head, my funds are sadly not matching. That's probably a good thing as I'll be forced to crawl before I attempt a full sprint (and fall). The display to this point has consisted of luminaries lighting our drive and a metal angel on a 15' pole. I just pulled the trigger on an EDM transmitter (the audiophile one but w/o RDS). My wife is hand painting a natvity scene using the Woodcraft/U-build patterns and the simple goal for this year is a narrarated nativity scene. If funds improve I'd like to take the next step and put the nativity scene on a controller.

So, the initial questions are where would I find small dimmable led lights to place at the base of the nativity figures? If that all goes well and I happen to have time and funds left over I have some thoughts on projecting narrow beams of light. I don't want to do laser based on aircraft concerns (I'm close to the flight path) so does anyone know if there are relatively inexpensive LED spotlights? I saw a Florida light display that used search lights but they had a jaw dropping ( it had a comma) pricetag. Thanks and sorry sorry sorry for being another new guy with probably dumb questions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This will be my first ever show as well. I've got a ton of LED's from BigLots and Target when they were doing the after christmas sales and are in fact, dimmable. I bought some MarthaStuart LEDs though that are not. Most of the online stores such as CDI and so on, will state up front if they can be dimmed or not. Now let me state, just in case, I've not tested all of the different types of LEDs that I have. I could very well have some that won't work in addition to the ones I already know won't work. I think its a matter of "rectification", "Full-wave" or "Half-wave" and there are lots of more knowlegdeable people here than I who will give you the exact word on it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These Martha Stuart ones that don't work, in a dim mode, they come on about 1/2 power and full power is full light. Nothing between those levels. They are either on full, half or off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From my experience, what you'll see with non-dimmable LEDs is that the bulbs will slowly get dimmer and dimmer until they no longer light at all. That's what the polite sets do, anyway. Others have been known to catch fire. Seriously.

If you're going to use non-dimmable LEDs make sure they're not near anything flammable that you'd like to keep.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If they're dimmable sets, they'll dim smoothly and properly.

If they're not dimmable, they'll behave much the way dgrant explained above.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

correct me if I'm wrong But Knothaed is looking for LED Spot lights not strings of lights right? I haven't done any research on them yet but i have seen them at the Hardware store. also i believe some of the online light venders also carry them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, spotlights for the figures rather than strings of lights. I haven't used LED but since I'm just starting out it seems like that's the way everything is going. This nativity scene is a family tradition. My parents have had one for over 40 years. I'm trying to keep the tradition but update it a bit. They've always just plopped a couple of 100 watt flood lights on spikes in front of it and called it good. I found a guy on Ebay (he's probably on here too) who sells a narrarated nativity scene/Christmas story sequence for $1.99. That seems pretty good for someone with my skill and experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LED's use DC, 12v being the most popular and easiest to get power supplies. LED spots and floods are best controlled by the DC voltage using a LOR DC controller or a DMX controller. LED spots or floods that have a transfomer power pack and controlling the AC power is where things go wrong or just not work right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

OK thanks. Nest question. Lots of you have ordered the EDM transmitter so I overcame my initial reluctance to purchase something from a somewhat "hokie" looking website from S. Africa. I got a notice confirming my Paypal payment to Robert Tyrer but haven't heard anything else. That was on 5/8/2012. Is this normal for this company?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Knothead wrote:

OK thanks. Nest question. Lots of you have ordered the EDM transmitter so I overcame my initial reluctance to purchase something from a somewhat "hokie" looking website from S. Africa. I got a notice confirming my Paypal payment to Robert Tyrer but haven't heard anything else. That was on 5/8/2012. Is this normal for this company?


That's very consistent with my experience. You'll get your Transmitter - don't worry too much about that. I believe I received an email on the day the shipment arrived that contained a manual and PO. I've read that you can email them and they will respond to let you know when it was shipped and when you can expect it to arrive.

Hope this helps.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Don Gillespie

Knothead wrote:

OK thanks. Nest question. Lots of you have ordered the EDM transmitter so I overcame my initial reluctance to purchase something from a somewhat "hokie" looking website from S. Africa. I got a notice confirming my Paypal payment to Robert Tyrer but haven't heard anything else. That was on 5/8/2012. Is this normal for this company?

Welcome aboard glad you did a lot of reading will help you in the long run, I like you was skeptic about the web page with EDMs but when you receive it you won't be disapointed, mine took a couple of weeks to get if I remember correctly, but don't go by my memory.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

OK, all is well. It arrived unannounced yesterday. Soldering is my weakest skill (unless you count basketball) but I was able to cobble the thing together. Now for another dumb question.....I've been reading about concerns with overdriving the transmitter so I'm getting worried (yes, a common theme). I suspect I need a headphone style stereo cable that splits to two RCA style plugs. I tried a very brief test simply using audio outputs on my TV and then tuning my receiver to the station. It worked but I only left it on for a second or two because of fears of over-driving it.

I read about the red LED light in another thread but I don't know if this is overkill and frankly I'd like to avoid as much soldering as possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beware when looking at LED spot lights, many Big Box stores sell them but they ARE NOT designed for OUTSIDE usage.

And sometimes you can find outdoor led spots at the Big Box stores like Lowes or Home Depot, but they ARE NOT DIMMABLE!

I've been looking at them recently myself, since I wanted to use LED spots in certain parts of my display, fortunately the LED box does state if it is not dimmable and whether it could be used in an outdoor spotlight fixture.

Good Luck and Welcome to the madness.



EDIT: The ones I've looked at do not have an external transformer, they are 120V~AC~ bulbs, wether the internal circuitry has any type of transformer is unknown, but I'd guess if it says NOT DIMMABLE, then there is a transformer built into the LED bulb itself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...