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Light Strips and PEX tubing


bob_moody
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I read a couple of posts about inserting light strips into PEX tubing. So having a 5m roll of SMD5050 (?) dumb light strip and a need to be in Home Depot tonight, I picked up a couple of pieces. I couldnt remember if I needed 1/2 or 3/4 so I picked up a little piece of both.

Inserted the strip into the 1/2" (fits very nicely) and lit it up .. Ok.. I like the look and more importantly.. SANDRA.. likes the look.. however she wants a smart strip and arches made out of it.. which brings me to my point...

What is a good way to get the strip into the PEX and keep the lights all pointing the same way (more or less)?

Keeping in mind that the strip I am playing with is one that is coated and has the adhesive strip on the back.

I would most likely, in production, be using the smart strips from Ray Wu which as I understand, are more block like in thier encasement ... like a LOR CCR(? )

Anyone else using or experimenting with light strips and PEX?

Bob

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Yes, I have been playing with PEX quite a bit. I have 12 strings of these pixels:

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/RGB-full-LED-pixel-module-WS-2811IC-DC5V-input-50pcs-a-string-IP68/563831930.html

What I am going to end up doing is drilling the right size hole in the back side of 1" PEX so that the pixel is shining into the tube. I have been experimenting with 3/4" PEX, but I think the 1" looks better. Does a nice job of defusing the light without attenuating it too much and more important, it does not change the color. I don't have a good photo with it lit up, but here is the concept of what I am doing (this is with 3/4" PEX)

PEX%20test%201-1.jpg

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Jim,

Thanks for the reply. That looks pretty cool. I hadnt thought of using the individual pixels. I was stuck on strip.

I cant remember, but I know someone else is talking about PEX...

Would love to see a picture when you get a chance of how it lights up.

I'll try to get a shot of the testing that I have done as well..

Thanks again for the input ..

Bob

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  • 1 month later...

I have been using pex for all of my arches, and even for my straight runs. If you slide the strip in while the pex is curved, it will tend to stay straight down the pipe. I leave the tape on the back of the led strings so they don't stick to anything. For the arches above I send the lights pointing down, or to the inner side of the pipe. For the ones on ground level I point the led's upward. I've never had a problem of them twisting along the pipe. I also seal both ends with silicone just for a little more protection from weather. As for my straight runs, I secure each end of the strips with a dab of liquid nails. They will lay flat and not move. Hope this helps

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It's the white tube. They make red and blue, but they are not as transparent as the white. Also I forgot to mention that once you seal the ends of the tube it makes it water tight, I have used a couple of strips that are not waterproof and have had no problems with them. I have my fingers crossed as these strips are cheaper and they are easier to slip into the tubes. If you want to make circles, you can connect the ends with CPVC fittings. They fit the pex fine and if you use the "T" fittings it gives you a way to get the wiring out of the circle.

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Yes, I have been playing with PEX quite a bit. I have 12 strings of these pixels:

http://www.aliexpres.../563831930.html

What I am going to end up doing is drilling the right size hole in the back side of 1" PEX so that the pixel is shining into the tube. I have been experimenting with 3/4" PEX, but I think the 1" looks better. Does a nice job of defusing the light without attenuating it too much and more important, it does not change the color. I don't have a good photo with it lit up, but here is the concept of what I am doing (this is with 3/4" PEX)

PEX%20test%201-1.jpg

Jim,

Based on the size of the loop, are these pixels at 2" on center??

Does that create an even overlap of light from each pixel and avoid any dark areas?

Yes, I'd like to see some pictures or videos also

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Those were on 2 1/2" centers and did a pretty good job of filling the gaps. It looked really good. I shot some video using my cellphone (crappy camera), but never did much with that video because the camera could not handle the bright light level. However it is available at:

My intention for Christmas this year was to use 1" PEX (SharkBite from Home Depot) with the pixels mounted like the photo above. However the PEX is sold in a coil about 2 feet in diameter and despite my best efforts, I could not get it straightened out in time to use it for Christmas. Ended up ty-rapping the pixels on a 1/8" aircraft steel cable for this year. I expect to use my original plan next year.

Edited by k6ccc
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www.shannonclaus.com/CCR%20Spiral/CCRSpiral.html

Take a look at this. He used CCRs. I think it's a very cool effect. His was ziptied to the outside, but inserting the strips, would create a little bit more water resistance. I was planning on using Pixel Nodes for my arches, but now I'm thinking about a strip for the arches. It seems like a little less labor intensive to use a strip instead of drilling 200 holes and inserting the pixels in the hole.

Hmm. Always thinking aren't we?

edit:never mind. A quick look at Ray's 2811 strip is about $10 more than a string of 2811 nodes. Mind you it was a quick search, but.... I think I'll go with the nodes.

Edited by Ron Boyd
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  • 2 weeks later...

I did a quick test using strip inside of 3/4 shark bite tubing and I really like the look. This was done in the bright Home Depot lights and it's still bright so it should look very good at night. The strip I used for the test is Ray's WS2811 imbedded 5050 60/meter. The 30/meter should look almost as good but I like the brighter 60/meter. The controller can reduce the channel count to a manageable level.

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Yup, I love the way it looks! I really love how you filmed it in the store, thats awesome. The pex works perfect for arches. I will be using a lot more of it for other elements this yea as well. Should help simplify tear-down and assembly as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for all the replies. Bumping the thread, I have to ask what may be an obvious question but like the "jitterbug" it plumb evades me....

 

Assume your inserting strips (name your flavor) into the pex tubing to make the arch... how do you install the arches in the ground?

If the strip is in the tube I dont see slipping the pex over a rod in the ground..

 

I'm hoping that someone can give me some insight...

 

Bob

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Another option, if you want to use the strip LED's is to look at the one that Ray has that has the LED, resistors and controller IC all in one package. Only six connections to fail instead of 28 on a normal strip per LED. One thing to note, though, is that the ones I got were in G-R-B order. If you're using the Sandevices E68x controller, that order is supported. The model number of that strip is: RA-WS2811-30-IP68 and it works very well and is extremely bright.

 

-Gary-

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  • 5 months later...

I've been looking for ways to hang my strip lights on the roof line and I like the idea of putting the strip lights inside PEX, but has anyone had any issues with the strips over heating being contained inside the pipe?  I know when they are coiled on the spoil they get hot, but wasn't sure if they have the same problem inside the pipe.

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The only issue I have with PEX is that I could never get it to straighten out.  Always had a curve in it.  Tried heat but in testing it would revert back to "the curve" in a short while.   Works great if I wanted the 'curve' such as in arches.   For straight lines a lot of connection points might be needed to hold it down.

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Thanks for all the replies. Bumping the thread, I have to ask what may be an obvious question but like the "jitterbug" it plumb evades me....

 

Assume your inserting strips (name your flavor) into the pex tubing to make the arch... how do you install the arches in the ground?

If the strip is in the tube I dont see slipping the pex over a rod in the ground..

 

I'm hoping that someone can give me some insight...

 

Bob

What I've done is use a PVC tee at each end, and then I use a couple pieces of PVC off each tee to create legs.  I simply stake the legs and use 2 guy wires in the center of the arc to hold it upright.  If you glue your joints, the arc is still waterproof.  Works great and to store, I simply pull up the stakes, straigten out and hang in garage. 

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I read a couple of posts about inserting light strips into PEX tubing. So having a 5m roll of SMD5050 (?) dumb light strip and a need to be in Home Depot tonight, I picked up a couple of pieces. I couldnt remember if I needed 1/2 or 3/4 so I picked up a little piece of both.



Inserted the strip into the 1/2" (fits very nicely) and lit it up .. Ok.. I like the look and more importantly.. SANDRA.. likes the look.. however she wants a smart strip and arches made out of it.. which brings me to my point...

What is a good way to get the strip into the PEX and keep the lights all pointing the same way (more or less)?
Keeping in mind that the strip I am playing with is one that is coated and has the adhesive strip on the back.
I would most likely, in production, be using the smart strips from Ray Wu which as I understand, are more block like in thier encasement ... like a LOR CCR(? )

Anyone else using or experimenting with light strips and PEX?

Bob

 

 

 

I realize this is an old thread, but one way to keep the strips straight and facing the same direction in PEX is to attach the strip to the metal plumbers tape (the metal stripping that wraps around the outside of pipe or duct work to hang it from joists).  The tape comes in a roll and you can attach the LED strip to the tape and slide it inside the PEX.

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  • 5 months later...

Hello people,

I'm new to this forum as well as being new to extreme decorating :)  Please forgive my ignorance.

This will be my first year 2014...

I will be using LOR software and controllers for much of the display, but I understand many people use Ray Wu for CCR strips and CCP too.

My question is, if I buy thise CCP from Ray..which ones? (please add link) and where do you get the ends for them. I would like smart strips but have no idea how to control them without buying LOR plug and play ribbons. I've heard that San controllers are good but have no idea how you incorporate them into your LOR system.

I'm no electrician or programmer..lol..so please respond with layman terms...pleeeez.

 

Best,

Chris

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Hello people,

I'm new to this forum as well as being new to extreme decorating :)  Please forgive my ignorance.

This will be my first year 2014...

I will be using LOR software and controllers for much of the display, but I understand many people use Ray Wu for CCR strips and CCP too.

My question is, if I buy thise CCP from Ray..which ones? (please add link) and where do you get the ends for them. I would like smart strips but have no idea how to control them without buying LOR plug and play ribbons. I've heard that San controllers are good but have no idea how you incorporate them into your LOR system.

I'm no electrician or programmer..lol..so please respond with layman terms...pleeeez.

 

Best,

Chris

Chris, 

There is something called E1.31, E1.31 (also called Streaming ACN) is a protocol for sending DMX512 data over

the ACN...this is how LOR talks to your Sandevices controller.  You would have regular LOR channels, and then RGB channels in your sequence editor.  I'm at work so don't have the ability to walk you thru the process, but rest assured, its not that complicated...I thought it was going to be, so stayed away from it until last year, made the leap, and I do use Sandevice controllers, and I am very happy that I did.

As far as which ones to use from Ray, there is a whole host of choices. 5V to 12V, pixel bullets to strips, different IP ratings(look for 68 rated) which is suppose to be waterproof, but by our standards, really isn't the case, usually some extra sealing is needed if you live in a wet climate.     I was fortunate this year, live in Florida, and had 1 day of rain in 4 weeks, so had no issues this year with that.

there is another website called   www.auschristmaslighting.com   that will be a great place to look for RGB information in the forums , in the Learning Centre as they call it, there is a RGB 101 manual to look at, should be the RGB Newbie Bible, I keep a copy on my desktop of my computer, and my actual desktop!   Take a peek at that and it will really get you headed in the right direction.  I'm a finance guy, so I am not a programmer or electrician either. Heck, just learned to solder last year because of this hobby...

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