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Oh What to do?


nam1956
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Hello all, I'm new here but eager to dive into this once I figure out what I'm jumping into. I need suggestions for what may end up being a rather large project in the end. The project is starting out as a landscape job in my yard. I am doing all of the work myself to save money and am to the stage that I need to look at lighting. My plans include water features, 2 ponds, several water falls, a bridge and fish. I first want to look at lighting for the water features, one of the waterfalls will be constructed of landscaping blocks made for steps. It will be a series (10-15)of steps dropping about 6 foot. Each kick plate (riser) will be lit so the water flows over the light. I am guessing strips would be the best for this location. But what are my options on color schemes and so on. I would like total flexibility here, possibly controlling each bulb in all of the strips separately. Not much to ask, Right?

  Sticking with the water for now I also would like to install some underwater lighting, these two ponds are connected with underground pipe and one feeds the other and then the water recycles through a filter back into the upper pond. The water flows out of a 3 inch pipe into the bottom of the lower, I want to light this opening along with a couple of underwater rock features.

   I'm thinking this is enough for now other than the fact that all of this lighting either exposed to water or underwater I will also be installing a lot of "Regular" landscaping light that I hope to include in the sequences when I build them.

 

What you think?????  

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Okay, been doin some more lookin and I'm amazed by mega trees and the light strips. Most I've seen so far look to be on a picture type frame, that is to say no visible support for each strip, they are attached at the ends only. Are they that strong? And each would be removed and stored separately.

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Hello,

This is a first year for me. I am planning 2 ponds with a stream in front of my Property. They do make the Pixel Strings (Ray WU's Store) but cost is definitely going to hit you.

I looked at the dumb strings  color changing lighting as putting pixels and controllers =$  Ray has some underwater RGB lighting. If you are going to use the pixels, even tho they say waterproof, I would enclose them into a  clear tube (home depot has them) . There are also fountain displays that add color to the water that are relatively inexpensive.

 

Start small is my advise, I did 1 Lor Controller and DMX for my first year. I did purchase the Advanced license. I was scrambling a bit before Halloween to get sequences done. Download the software, go play, and do watch the videos... they go over how the technology works and how the show can run.

 

Kip

Edited by kiplorenzo
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Each of us, creates our own megatree design and how its supported. There are kits available too. Sort of depends on what kind of tree you are going to create, such as LED's, Pixels, Cosmic Color Ribbons(CCR;s) and the type of strips/strings/pixels you are going to use. Also, straight down, spiraled and etc...all depending on what you wish to see in your display. I will say that if you use led strips, dumb or smart strips, they need to be solidly supported otherwise in the wind, they'll fail as they are nothing more than a long circuit card and too much flexing will cause a failure.

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Thanks to both of you, I was wondering what would be needed to submerge the lights. My ponds are not in yet but I am trying to get all of the pipe I need in the ground. So I can do whatever is needed at this stage and plan to pipe for the max but once starting with the lights going slow.

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I have started drawing plans for a water/light/fence project. I plan on building three panels that will be cemented in the ground at the edge of the upper pond. They will serve for privacy first of all but also house lights and a flowing water feature that will appear to feed the upper pond even though it will only be cycling water through the feature from the pond. I have the first drawings done but have not yet figured out the trick to upload the pics or post a link to photobucket. The pop up dialog box locks up on me. Any help? 

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Sounds like your using IE 11. To post a link or use the quote button, first hit F12 on your keyboard.  2nd, in the Document drop down box select 10.  3rd, minimize dialog box, do not close.  Proceed with your post.

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">http://102_4386.jpg  what it looked like this past summer

 

http://i596.photobucket.com/albums/tt50/stlcouponwizard/102_4358.jpg at the end of the summer

 

There use to be a couple natural sone walls that include rather large rocks that the devloper put in when the house was built, they crumbled over the years so I bobcatted the whole place and have started from scratch.

Edited by nam1956
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The third pic is pretty much were I am now, in the spring there will be a second wall just above the one already installed. That wall will raise nearly all of my back yard 8 foot. If you look to the right of the house in the third picture you will see that I have the hill beside the house cut out. That is were the stair step waterfall will go. I plan on lighting up the top of both of the block walls when complete, between the walls there will be a few trees with floods highlighting them. Going up the steps there will be a garden path/walkway that will stay on that level untill yo get closer to the house where there will be abother set of steps. That walk way will be light with not yet determined lighting. Both the deck already built and the next deck which will wrap around the corner of the house and overlook both the waterfall and upper pond will have finished lower levels. waterproofed and screened (4 season). The deck not yet in will have a wood burning stove on the lower level vented into a stone structure that will go up and form a wood fire place on the upper deck, both decks will be light with DC lights.

 

As you can see I have alot to do and belive it or not I have done a lot of back breaking work aleady.  With the money already invested or that will be invested the final product will be just as I (make that my wife) want. We have paid off our house so now we are planning to retire and relax in the yard.

 

Oh. I didn't mention the built in swimming pool that my dear wife expects me to dig the hole for. I'll be diggin that hole about 6' deeper than needed I'm a thinkin.

Edited by nam1956
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Max-Paul in another thread confirmed that I an a nut, well little does he know. All of the large natural rock is being stacked by hand, a lot like how they use to build pyramids way back then. I work two jobs so the work in my yard is done mostly after dark into the early morning under spot lights. The neighbors love me, which since I mentioned them they are always sneaking around my house to see what I'm doing in the back, drives me nuts. After all is done I plan on installing a security system with motion detectors/lights and sound  so when they step on my yard it triggers both light (strobes to look like camera flashes) and sound to warn them they are trespassing. Should be a lot of fun. If lucky enough to catch them on camera should be a funny video.

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Okay enough of the dreamin, been getting warm enough during the day to melt the snow so I can get out and do some planning. Sticking to my overall schedule I need to figure out what it will take to power the different elements I have planned and I'm looking for suggestions on figurin. What is the best way to go about this? I'm thinkin I need to know the length of the lighting strips used in the landscape and the total # of bulbs/strips or strings for the different water/light features which will give me an idea of the controllers needed which will lead to the placement of junction boxes and the wire needed at each. As long as I stick with the Ethernet type setup (E1.31) all I should need is a common ground, a cat5 cable (with maybe a spare) and the live power lead.......... Sound right? As long as the junction boxes are placed correctly I should be able to make short runs to all of the features from those boxes.

 

On the block retaining walls I will be installing strip lighting (not sure if dumb or smart) and I'm not sure on the power for these. I will have three sections of wall to cover, 1 is about 90', the second is about 120' and the third is about 50'. The 120' wall will need 8 15' strips and am bettin that I will need to inject additional power somewhere along those strips I would rather not place power supplies out in the middle of the back yard so what are my options. The strips will be no more than 25' away from the nearest power source and there will be pipe in the ground along the top of these walls.

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a rough idea on the water/light feature, one question though if you can make out the drawing. how should the lights be spaced on the light board. I was looking at 1" grid but that comes out to 1848 lights per panel so three of them woold be 5544 lights or 16,632 channels, a bit much I think.

 

">http://feat1detail_zps3fae5f47.jpg

Edited by nam1956
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If it were me (and it's not - I'm probably on a tighter budget than you), I would go with DMX controlled dumb RGB.  Purchase the software from LOR (S3 supports LOR and DMX), buy the ActiDongle from HC (http://www.holidaycoro.com/Enttec-Pro-Compatible-DMX-Dongle-p/53.htm) for $50, a 27 channel DMX controller (http://www.holidaycoro.com/27-Channel-DMX-Controller-for-RGB-Lights-12v-DC-p/24.htm) for $50 (gives you 9 individually controllable RGB channels), a hefty power supply (http://www.holidaycoro.com/350w-Dual-Output-Power-Supply-p/49.htm) for $40, RGB extension cable (http://www.holidaycoro.com/4-Conductor-20-AWG-Extension-Wiring-RGB-Lights-p/691.htm) for 39 cents a foot, and your water proof strips (http://www.holidaycoro.com/RGB-LED-Strip-12v-30-LEDs-per-Meter-Waterproof-p/59.htm) 16.5 feet for $37.99.

 

While 9 RGB channels may not sound like a lot, you can obviously use more than one strip on a channel...  For your layout, this seems like plenty.

 

You can also buy some of this (power supply, RGB strips, etc.) from Ray Wu, but keep in mind shipping is high and HolidayCoro will provide help and support getting you what you need.

 

Anyway, at least this is what I'm going to do for my RGB on the house...  Seems like the most affordable way to do it.

Edited by jonsimp911
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Also, LOR sells a dumb RGB setup including 8 16' RGB ribbons and a 24 channel (8 RGB channel) controller (http://store.lightorama.com/rgbstrip8pack.html) if you don't want to go DMX.  You'll still need the need a power supply, extension cables, etc., but I believe this uses the same RS485 USB dongle that comes with the LOR starter pack.  The website says weatherproof (not waterproof), so I would check with them before placing these strips underwater.

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Just so you are aware, here is a video of a dumb RGB setup on a house...

 

 

The equipment shown is the LOR package, but strips from HC will look similar.  As far as DMX vs LOR - they're just different protocols and the LOR software/equipment will handle both.  Because DMX is not proprietary to LOR, there are more vendors out there selling the equipment, so it can be a bit cheaper, but you don't have as much support.  That's why I recommended HC - they seem to support their customers while only being a few bucks more than ordering stuff from China yourself.

 

Of course, any packages ordered from LOR will have plenty of support.  LOR stand behind it products and will help you to succeed with your display (landscape or holiday).

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Well it seems that HC does not carry one part of the listed beginner kit so they cancelled my entire order. So I have been moving on to planning and playing with the software. I have picked out one Christmas song to mess with and have sequenced it half way through 3 times. In another thread Max-Paul confirmed that I am a nut, well after messing with sequencing for a few days I know who are the real nuts here, What a freakin headache. But to tell you the truth I love it and am learning a lot and almost getting comfortable with the so far acquired knowledge. I am gathering several questions though. I'm sure that in time I will run across the answers but not quite there yet in my playing. I am through the basic training videos and am currently working on mastering those. I then go to the sequencer and play with those features.

 

My first question is about the disadvantages/advantages of the DMX. The first part of my project (since I did not get any RGB equipment) is using standard string lights and 3-16 channel AC controllers. I currently have the 3 controllers built in the sequencer with a ton of lights. At least it seems like a ton of lights at this stage of my project. If I decide to put in the DMX to control the lights I mentioned before will I be starting from scratch in the sequencer? Need to cut this post short, the boss is calling me.

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