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Pixels or RGB Strip?


halfmoonhr
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I'm going to outline house with either pixels or RGB Strip next year. Kind of on fence on which way to go. Ribbon would be nice but down spouts from gutters would block lighting.  Would like to get some feed back on pros & cons.

Thanks

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Hi halfmoonhr,

 

I'd say pixels strings are more forgiving on corners especially tighter ones. Even though the pixels on the strips (CCR's) tend to be closer together than pixel strings they aren't really meant to be bent and straightened back out then put back in bends the next year. Now if you plan to have the strips mounted in a straight line and not follow corners you may want to go with them.

There are pros and cons to both but it really comes down to what look are you going for. If you want a tight/bright RGB lighting and not worried about corners or bends I'd recommend the strips. If you want more "points of light" that are RGB and want to conform closer to the corners of your house I'd recommend the pixel strings.

 

I have used two CCR's for years and love them. I just started using DMX square pixel strings and they look great as well but the manufacturing is no where near as good as LOR equipment. IMHO that is. Hope this helps.

 

Later,

Al

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Ribbons work best when they are on a solid stable straight background,  Although they bend well end to end the do NOT bend well laterally (like an arch where they would face the front). The bendable (?) circuit board in the ribbons break fairly easily. They will bend latterly some but the more they bend or the more often they bend the higher the failure rate.  The advantage is  how close the pixels are to each other (it is possible to get ribbons that have as much as 144 pixels per meter.  Ribbons generally are 30 to 60 per meter and are VERY bright.  Corner connectors (snap on) do NOT work well at all.  Only real safe way to make a 90 degree turn is soldering wire connectors.

Pixel strings tend to be VERY forgiving and easy to replace a single pixel if needed. The average distance between pixels tends to be about 4" of wire.  Of course you can zip tie them any distance (less than that) or you can custom order with about any distance (I have had them made with 13" between pixels and with white only wire (for white frosted trees).

Good uses for both type but be aware of the limitations, (breaking a ribbon is a real bummer, although fixable it can require a bit of soldering and of course can NOT be done while installed.

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This is the first year for me with using CCPs.  Next year I plan on getting some of the CCBs.  Personally, I like the bulbs better because they still look like Christmas lights.

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We converted the majority of our display to RGB this year. We went with both strips and nodes. We used strips for the windows and doors to have a uniform line of lights around each.  We used the nodes for everything else for flexibility. Having worked with both, I would prefer all nodes if I had to do it again. Though the strips make a 'neat appearance,'  they are not as forgiving to work with because they don't bend to right angles and can't be cut to an exact fit; you can only cut at every third LED. Soldering strips together proved to be a nightmare even after watching "easy how to" videos on youtube. Mounting the strips to the portable frames we built for them proved to be just as challenging. One more 'con' is many have complained the strips begin to yellow in time outdoors because of the sun and UV rays. Our yard faces due south, and I've noticed mine are already beginning to turn in the short month they've been up.

Nodes are very much like standard incandescent mini lights strings and can curve, wrap, string, etc any way you like. They can also be cut to fit anywhere needed.

Hope this helps.

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Same here. Used nodes and strips this year.

 

No issues with nodes but a bunch with strips.

Strips are harder to waterproof (nodes you really don't have to) and very sensitive. Before my show even starts I already had to replace parts of the strips mainly because I didn't tape down the wires coming off the strip enough and the movement of the wire broke the strip.

 

Even though the strips seem like a good idea for long straight runs I think I will replace all with nodes for next year. For straight runs I just mount them on plastic banding.

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Each has their advantages and disadvantages.  As many have already said, the nodes are easier to put into odd shapes.  As part of my year round landscape lighting, I currently have about 140 feet of strips - a combination of dumb and smart strips.  All of that is glued to brick using silicon sealer and is obviously permanent installations.  For Christmas 2014 I have 300 CCPs in 6 arches, 600 WS2811 nodes on a pixel tree, 220 GE Color Effects bulbs (if I can get them working right), and 360 WS2811 pixels in a custom Brian Bruderer Superstar.  The 2811 pixels in the star is strips, but all the rest are individual nodes of one sort or another.  If I was going to do the star over it would likely be individual pixel nodes as well.  When I finish my landscaping project I will be adding another 140 feet of strip - again, all glued to brick.

 

So in summary, the strips are best for permanent installations in straight lines, and stings are often better for things that will be taken up and down or need to bend.

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  • 1 month later...

has anyone had experience with these nodes from Holiday Coro? I want to outline my roof, windows, yard, etc. and was planning on mounting to PVC. the wires come out the bottom so I'm curious if they will lay nice and straight if i zip tied both wire ends. I know there are others out there, but I'd like to order from David if possible. I can use the bullet nodes, but can't find a good easy way to mount them to something for easy set up.

 

http://www.holidaycoro.com/2811-8mm-Lay-Flat-Square-Pixels-p/673.htm

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I have not used those but I have many of the bullet nodes. I zip tied them to structures (ferris wheel, tomato cage mini trees etc...) with a zip tie on each side of the bullet node they stay in place and look great. I assume the square ones would work even better... I used the strips for my arches and star and plan on outlining the house this year. soldering isn't hard... if you don't do it or haven't in awhile, just grab some solder and old wire and practice... you will get the hang of it soon enough. then bends, corners etc... will be no issue for you. the strips are awesome to zip tie to PVC. but the real question is which do you prefer?!? because nodes and strips look very different. you can always buy a little of each and see which you prefer. you may find that you like one for one project and another for something else. I covered my bushes in nodes which looks awesome but I don't think they would look very good with strips :P

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I ran dumb strips around my windows under my gutters last year and was not happy. Found them too bright and neon sign-like. 

Ran 2811 square pixels this year and loved the result. Much prettier look and obviously able to do many more effects.

In both cases I attached them to 3/4 inch pvc with hot glue. Just my opinion.

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I used dumb strips to outline my windows and pixels on my gutter line.  By the end of the season I had multiple failures on each window even though the strips were mounted on pvc pipe.  No problems what so ever with my pixels.

 

Already in the process of swapping out all my strips for pixels for next year.

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Ill be the odd one....

 

Love my smart strips on the house. Have had zero problems and I had 6 windows I soldered and sealed. My pixel tree did have a controller go out.

 

Strips are bright, yes they are, but sequencing with less intensity fixes that.

Having both types, IMHO, worked out the best.

 

I will be adding more strips 2015.

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Chris, what ever way works best. Most people, like me, make frames like PVC, wood, channel metal, ect., attach the lights to the frame then frames to the house. I used PVC clips that HC sells.

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