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Using DC Transformers with LOR


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Hello.
I live in the UK. We have 220-230 volt AC outlets, and because of this, the majority of lights (LED lights) available use transformers to take the currant to about 12-36 volts.
From what I have read, the transformers would turn on and off, but not fade, shimmer or twinkle. I would like to know if this is true or if there is an alternative to transformers.

Also, I have some rope lights and other lights with what looks like, no transformer. I'm not sure if they have a transformer hidden away in the controller box.

And one other thing, I know I can switch the board to 230V, but will need 16+ US-UK adapters to connect the plugs to the LOR's outlets.

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I'll only address your last question. If you where to change the input voltage to the controller from 120 to 230. You note that the US connectors on the dongle are not like your UK connectors. Ya, you can get 16 converter connections. Or you can change the us connector by cutting them off and then installing 16 UK type connectors.

 

I thought that you could only turn on and off transformers. But I could be mistaken so I really do not want to comment on this.

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Couple of things.. First off.. Sorry for this.... But there is no such animal as a DC Transformer... (terminology)

 

You can indeed vary voltage to a transformer but to correctly do it you must maintain Volts/hertz ratio.  So although it is possible with a Triac dimmer, it is not recommended because of a few reasons. Most transformers like sinusoidal wave forms.  Also the freq or hertz, remains the same when you very the phase angle.  You may run into all kinds of issues. 

 

The long and the short of it is you shouldn't...

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I believe that the PWM freq. of the LOR controllers is 400 Hz, but I could be mistaken.

I think the only controllers that LOR has that use 120V or 240V are the AC controllers.  Those are phase angle controllers and would be either 50 or 60 Hz, depending on the input line freg.

I do believe the DC controllers however are PWM and are set to 400 Hz.   I don't think they will handle anything above 30VDC input.

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I live in Australia which is also 240V 50Hz supply. You can use the LOR AC controllers at this voltage with at least some of the low voltage lights with transformer packs. Most of the Australian low voltage lights include multi-function controllers which need to be disabled for use with the LOR AC controllers. While this setup works with iron core transformers and allows both switching and dimming, there can be problems with channels sticking because of the low loads. Also, many of the newer lights are now including electronic voltage reduction often with DC outputs. Disabling the controllers (supplied with these lights) requires different approaches and can be dangerous.

 

My strong recommendation is to avoid the AC controllers for those lights with power packs. Use the LOR DC controllers with an appropriate voltage DC power supply. Cut off the power pack and multi-function controller supplied with the lights and direct connect to the DC outputs on the DC LOR boards. While there is a significant learning curve in converting to the DC route, the resulting installation and control is far superior and the whole installation is safe low voltage.

 

Just my 2 cents worth.

 

PS - The DC controllers are also significantly cheaper than the AC controllers, but you do still need a DC power supply.

Edited by Geoff Harvey
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I live in Australia which is also 240V 50Hz supply. You can use the LOR AC controllers at this voltage with at least some of the low voltage lights with transformer packs. Most of the Australian low voltage lights include multi-function controllers which need to be disabled for use with the LOR AC controllers. While this setup works with iron core transformers and allows both switching and dimming, there can be problems with channels sticking because of the low loads. Also, many of the newer lights are now including electronic voltage reduction often with DC outputs. Disabling the controllers (supplied with these lights) requires different approaches and can be dangerous.

 

My strong recommendation is to avoid the AC controllers for those lights with power packs. Use the LOR DC controllers with an appropriate voltage DC power supply. Cut off the power pack and multi-function controller supplied with the lights and direct connect to the DC outputs on the DC LOR boards. While there is a significant learning curve in converting to the DC route, the resulting installation and control is far superior and the whole installation is safe low voltage.

 

Just my 2 cents worth.

 

PS - The DC controllers are also significantly cheaper than the AC controllers, but you do still need a DC power supply.

This is GOOD ADVICE! 

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These DC controllers sound like the way to go.
Do I power the cards with one power supply, which then powers all the strings of lights on that channel, or do I have one power supply connected to each set of lights? (If it's the second one, I guess I could use the provided transformer)

The DC's will also free up some channels, so hopefully I can connect my lights in the windows seperatly, instead of one channel for all the lights in each window.

 

Also, couldn't I just put the controllers on "static" or "on" instead of removing/bypassing them?

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The DC board has an input for each of the two banks.  You input DC voltage to the banks, not each channel.  You need 12V DC to power the board which can be from one of the two sets of banks or you can plug in a separate 12 V DC transformer to power the board only.

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The DC board has an input for each of the two banks.  You input DC voltage to the banks, not each channel.  You need 12V DC to power the board which can be from one of the two sets of banks or you can plug in a separate 12 V DC transformer to power the board only.

Again.. sorry to butt in.. but there is no such animal as a DC transformer.. Power supply yes!  Just trying to make sure everyone is on the same page, terminology wise, all the time.

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These DC controllers sound like the way to go.

Do I power the cards with one power supply, which then powers all the strings of lights on that channel, or do I have one power supply connected to each set of lights? (If it's the second one, I guess I could use the provided transformer)

The DC's will also free up some channels, so hopefully I can connect my lights in the windows seperatly, instead of one channel for all the lights in each window.

 

Also, couldn't I just put the controllers on "static" or "on" instead of removing/bypassing them?

I typically use 350Watt power supplies for the DC boards. One power supply will power 3-6000 LEDs and I often have 2 or more boards running from each power supply depending on load requirements, (ie one supply will power 16, 32, ... channels or strings of lights). I tus 12V supplies for most of the dumb RGB strips, but 24, 27, & 30V supplies for most of the strings of lights. The actual voltage requirements for Australian lights vary and need to be tested, but this is easily done. As mentioned above, the LOR controllers do allow different supply voltages to be connected to each half of the board. This can be handy when you only need a few channels of say 12 & 24V lights on a particular controller.

 

WRT the multifunction controllers supplied with light strings in Australia, the older ones did not have memory and turned on at a default setting where the controller cycled through each function. The newer ones with memory react too slowly for effective LOR control. If you go DC - throw them away.

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Hello from The Netherlands,

 

If the lights have a transformer than the transformer has almost always a label on it which specifies an output voltage of that specific transformer, 12v, 24v, 36 volt or something in that range.

 

This means that you can drive most of the time the lights of a dc-controler which is powered by a powersupply of your choice with the respective voltage levels you read from the transformers label. 

 

The power supply has to be of the same voltage the transformer specifies, unless you are willing to adapt the lights, but that could be risky if not done properly.

 

Never use transformers in combination with a ( 240v ) controller, it is a strict rule! The are only useful as paperweight possibly.

 

Dick de Wit

The Netherlands

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Good afternoon,

 

these seem to be without transformers or special startercables with built in electronics, thus will work ok with 240 volt controllers in my opinion.

 

To be sure, order 1 string, test, and decide later to buy more or not.

 

I myself use these kind of strings, heavily modified,  on a dc 24 volt controller, just did cut these in smaller strings suitable for the 24 volt dc. needs some measurements and calculations to do this.

 

regards

 

Dick de Wit

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