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Enclosures for DMX spotlights


Davidt
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Hi All,

I've just finished constructing the water resistant enclosures for my new 6 x PAR64 DMX RGB spotlights. 3 are enclosed in green presents and 3 are enclosed in red presents. Each of the boxes is 450mm cubed and there is perspex light diffuser on the front of the boxes to soften the light. There is a removable back panel to allow easy connection of cables or changes to the DMX settings.

In the pix, attached there are 3 spotlights facing towards the house (all on the same DMX channels) although I will probably include a 4th spotlight at Christmas. There is 1 PAR64 RGB spotlight, on a different set of DMX channels, facing up at a bush (that is looking a bit sad at the moment), which will replace the 2 x red, 2 x yellow and 2 x green PAR 38 discrete spotlights that we used last year and also free up some LOR channels in the process. There is a 6th enclosure / spotlight left as a spare.

DMX_PAR64_Mount.jpg



DMX_Red_Presents.jpg



DMX_Green_Presents.jpg



DMX_White_House.jpg



DMX_Red_House.jpg

DMX_Blue_House.jpg



DMX_Green_House.jpg

Katie is pleased that this project is finished as she couldn't park her car in the garage for the last few days, during construction, and boy did I hear about it... I think she is going to freak out when the shipping container full of LEDs arrive in the next few weeks and the next project commences.

Cheers,

davidt - Australia

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David,

Please tell us more about the construction. I am needing to make these myself. Are the boxes made of wood? Details please :)

Brett

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G'day Brett and Kaleb,

Thanks for your comments. Brett I really like your moving light enclosure but I think my wife would kill me if I bought another DMX light for this year. I've had DMX moving lights, lasers, snow machines, etc running in our garage for about 4 years and they are great. They are permanently mounted to the ceiling, pix attached from 2004, which was all DMX.

xmas2004-wonderland.jpg

Now, back to these enclosures...

I had to make the boxes fairly weather proof as, although it will be summertime at Christmas here, we tend to get all sorts of weird weather ranging from snow to above 100 Fahrenheit and everything in between. We also tend to get very strong winds at that time of year, so I wanted to make sure things would be stable.

The other design criteria was so that:


  • there was plenty of air space around the light
  • the boxes didn't look out of place in the display (hence made to look like presents)
  • the boxes were big and heavy enough to (hopefully) dissuade anyone from wanting to remove them


The boxes are made of 12mm (1/2" chipboard) and the overall dimensions are 450mm cubed. I chose this as a sheet of chipboard was also 450mm wide and I was able to get the 5 pieces required out of a single 2.4m sheet. The frame of the box was simply made with glue and screwing the edges of the chipboard together. The only reason for the glue was to try to make a better waterproof seal at the joins.

There is a small circular hold on the side of the box (can't be seen in the pix) to allow cable entry. 99% of the adverse weather here comes from 1 direction, so the hole is on the opposite side.

At the back of the box is a half height removable panel, which allows me to plug in the DMX and power cables, change DMX settings and perform maintenance on the spotlight if necessary.

Before deciding on what type of perspex to use I had a chat with the owner of a local plastics shop and he kindly gave me some offcuts of several different types. This was definitely worth doing as each type had very different results. I ended up going with quite a thin piece, which spread the light evenly but didn't reduce it too much.

Originally I was going to simply screw the perspex to the front of the box, but the plastics guy didn't recommend this as perspex doesn't drill very well and can crack / shatter, so...

Inside the box approx 1" from the opening I added some 1" x 1/2" timber, which acts as a lip for the perspex diffuser to sit on and this is siliconed into place to hold it. There is a bead of silicone run around the edge of the diffuser, so that if the box is placed facing up then water won't get into the box. In typing this I just realised that water could collect in this section, so I'll need to made a few drain holes at the front when I've finished typing this message...

The insides of the box are painted mat black to reduce any reflections and an additional bead of silicone across all of the edges.

A friend of mine, who runs a large Christmas shop, sourced the PAR64 spots directly from China for a fraction of the price compared to those previously mentioned on the PC discussion a few months ago. I didn't particularly want expensive lights to go missing and this way I could afford a few spares if required. Most of those lights tend to only have a single mounting hole, so I drilled another couple of holes to securely mount the light to the box and so that the light wouldn't try to rotate in the box. I mounted it so that the light was approx 1/4" behind the perspex to allow for a bit of movement, bumps, etc.

After painting the boxes they were all given a couple of layers of lacquer so that the paint was protected and that they were a bit more weather proof.

To finish them off a lugging handle has been added to the top of each box.

The only thing to do, when they are put into place at Christmas, will be to raise the front of the boxes a little so that the light is focussed better on the house.

Hope this info is helpful and if you have any other questions feel free to ask.

Cheers,

davidt - Australia

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Thanks for the info, David. I have four very similar LED cans and have to come up with an enclosure plan for those, so was very interested to see what you came up with. Looks like I will be off to Home Depot for more chipboard now. :)

Isn't it awesome how vivid the colors from the led's are? I don't suppose your friend has any more of the direct from China par cans available? I have four of the American DJ P64 LED Pro's, which seem to be the same as you have. I really could use a couple/three more, but at $275 each they are a little pricey.

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  • 1 month later...
James Shelby

David,
How's it going? I am new to the LED spots and DMX so forgive the questons. I have a customer who wants to have his house to look like yours but all year around. Do I use LED spots, do I use low voltage, do I use DMX or the DC card from LOR. What would be the best way to to go abought this. I've given him a bid for landscape lighting but that's not what he wants, he wants it look like yours, changing colors and set to music. Any ideas?

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G'day James,

You should get him to make an offer on my house if he wants it to look like ours ;)

I'm no expert but based on what you're asking I'd think he could get away with an MP3 Show Director (to store / play the sequences and music) plugged into a LOR DMX interface and then into some of the LED RGB DMX-512 spotlights.

In my case (for this year) I'm going to have the majority of the LED spots set to a common DMX channel so changing 1 changes them all, but in your clients case you could just as easily have them all on discreet DMX channels so that you could have different effects / colours / fades, etc occuring across different parts of the house. I'll probably do this next year...

Another option would be to have a stack of LED spots of Red, Green and Blue and then manually control their intensity through a LOR controller. but I think this would probably be more expensive and not an elegant solution.

Hope this helps and good luck.

davidt - Australia

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