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If you were designing landscape lighting using LOR


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I am preparing to put in landscape lighting in my front yard and utilize LOR. I have several RGB dumb floods that I have made and several MR16 single color floods that I also made and  use in my xmas show.

I really dont want to use the dumb rgb's or the single colors because I am looking fora more versatile approach and still be able to use in my show. So here are my thoughts and questions.

I think pixels are the way to go here, to get the versatility that I am looking for....WS2811.

Here is my first plan. 8 pathway lights.  Buy 8 cheap solar lights and gut them. Install a WS2811 sguare pixel modules in each

Buy 4 cheap 150W halogen lights and do the same..gut them and install WS2811 rectangle pixel modules ( maybe 6 in each)

Add a Pixie 4 control board and power supply. And obvious wiring and connectors.

Each square module is rated at 47ma full white, rectangles rated at 64ma full white.

8 sq mods x 47ma = 376ma,  6 rect mods x 64ma = 384ma. The documentation on the Pixie 4 says 15 amps max for 4 ports, which is 3.75 amps per port. I think I am well within the perimeters.

Input and suggestions would be greatly appreciated,

Thanks, Richard

Almost forgot, this would be run standalone on a timer.

 

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Thats a really good price, I dont think I can hardly build a light for that price. The old halogen fixtures have gone up in price since my last build. Nice find thanks. 

Plus the 10 watts will work also at 0.833 amps each. I can put 2 each on a port and leave 2 ports for my pathway lights

 

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My next question is about the preview for this setup. I created a preview already as follows. Each floodlight (1-4) as individual props then created a group with all 4.

Same for my pathway lights (1-8), then a group.  I figured this setup would give the most interactive options. Anybody have any other ideas? Or am I on target?

Thanks

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3 hours ago, rmturner54 said:

You are correct I did not re-check the board specs. Thanks

If those are SMART, just power inject every 4.  1 port can drive 50 nodes (I think stand alone has lower limits if you want any features other than color)

I assume you want smart so you can individually control them.

I used  4" of 1/2 PVC and 4 sections of RGB ribbon glued to 0,90,180, 270. in place of a C7 socket  (poor mans alternate to rectangular modules.)  I some places, i mounted a pipe cap, then inserted the PVC unit

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Let me give you my three cents worth.  I have been running LOR controlled year round landscape lighting for almost 10 years, so I have a little experience on the subject.  There is a place for smart RGB, a place for dumb RGB and a place for single color stuff.  I am going to give you a description of everything I am doing here later in this post, but there are photos and description of a lot of it on this page on my website:  http://newburghlights.org/Landscaping.html

As I am writing this, I have six LOR controllers in use, one Falcon F16v3, and one SanDevices E1.31 pixel controllers.  The short listing of the controllers and what they are used for is as follows:

Unit ID 11 - CTB16 AC controller:  Front porch light, and three down lights in the bay window.

Unit ID 12 - CMB16 DC controller:  Three dumb RGB strips on underside of bullnose brick on porch steps.

Unit ID 13 - CMB16 DC controller:  Dumb RGB flood on east tree, RGB on address sign and column lights, White floods for flags, and a fans for the column lights.

Unit ID 14 - CMB16 DC controller:  Dumb RGB flood on two trees and RGB dumb strip on three tree rings.

Unit ID 15 - CTB08 AC controller:  White security light on wall, and show kill relay.

Unit ID 09 - InputPup:  Sun up and down detectors, and three IR light beams (will become four).

Falcon F16v3:  RGB smart strips on planter, and future walkway.

SanDevices E6804:  RGB smart strips in front of roses.

Now for the narrative.  I built two brick columns that will be at the sidewalk on either side of a walkway to the front porch.  The walkway has not been built yet, but the two columns each have a light on top that started off as a conventional column light, but were gutted and each have a RGB dumb strip that is 234 RGB LEDs worth wrapped around 2 inch ABS pipe.  Each column is a separate set of channel on one of the DC controllers.  One of the columns also has a backlit address sign that is something like six feet of RGB dumb strip for the backlight.  For normal year round, the two column lights are about a 4000K white and the address sign is full green.  For the minor holidays, they may be other colors. 

My porch steps are overhanging bullnose brick, so I put RGB dumb strip on the underside of the overhang of the brick so it would light up the step below.  This was primarily done because my Dad is partially blind and could not see the steps when we built the brick.  Normally they are a very dim white, but ramp up to a bright about 6000K white when someone approaches the steps. 

Next up is my roses.  I have 17 roses along a 65 foot long block wall.  There is brick edging in front of the roses.  On the back side of the edging (towards the roses and wall) is about 30 inches of RGB smart strip in front of each rose.  Although it is smart strip, it is grouped in the pixel controller so that each rose appears to be a single pixel.  Because the strips are lighting up the wall, there would be little to be gained by having individual control of each of the 11 pixels in front of each rose.  So although there are actually 187 pixels (each with three RGB LEDs), it is treated as 17 pixels. 

Lastly (for the RGB), I have a 30 foot long block planter adjacent to the sidewalk with a brick cap on each side.  There is RGB smart strip on the brick facing towards the center of the planter.  Although not currently used for routine year round, it is used for the minor holidays.  Once the walkway gets built from between the columns to the front porch, there will be RGB smart strip along that walkway (unless I change my mind).

For non-RGB, I have several white spotlights that illuminate the flags on my 25 foot flagpole, the front porch light, and three down lights in the bay window on the front of the house.  Lastly, there is a white light that is next to where we park our cars as a security light.

I have a "show" that does an assortment of color changes on the trees and roses. during the evening.  Also the steps are set to the low level and enabled for bright when one of two IR light beams is tripped for people approaching the steps or a magnetic switch on the screen door.  Each of those three trigger different inputs on the InputPup.   The show "starts" at 4:00 PM, but is not set to start until there is a trigger.  The trigger is a light sensor that triggers an input on the InputPup - at which time the lights come on.  The evening show runs until 10:00 PM during the week and 11:00 PM on the weekend, and then the overnight show starts.  That is just the columns, front porch, flag lights, and the security light - and the porch step lights continue with their automated ramp up as needed..  The overnight show runs until 7:00 AM - except, when the sun comes up in the morning, there is another light sensor that detects that it is getting light and triggers an input on the InputPup.  Now LOR does not have an automated way to stop a show based on a trigger so I had to do something else.  If a LOR controller looses signal from the show player for more than a few seconds, it will turn off any lights that are on.  So what I do is have one channel on the first controller on the LOR network that operates a relay that open the LOR network to the rest of the controllers.  When the sun is up trigger comes in, it activates that relay which turns off all the lights a few seconds later.  Between the two light sensors, I do not have to adjust the start and end times as the sunrise and sunset times change.

Note that the InputPup is on a separate LOR network from the rest of the controllers.   The reason for this is because you can not read inputs on an Enhanced LOR network and the rest of the controllers are on an Enhanced network because they use Intensity files from SuperStar which requires it.  Of course all of these lights are used more extensively during my Christmas show.

I am using a computer to control the show, and I have Windows commands built into various sequences so that I get notified by E-Mail when the evening show starts, when the overnight show starts, when the sun is up detector stops the show, and also when the overnight show times out at 7:00 AM.  Those events are also logged.  Additionally any time the porch steps ramp up, that is also logged.  In the 7:00 E-Mail, I get that entire log file.  Here is this morning's log file:

02/05/21  17:39:27  Evening show is starting on JUPITER. 
02/05/21  21:10:17  Steps up from front door. 
02/05/21  21:15:42  Steps up from driveway. 
02/05/21  22:26:43  Steps up from front door. 
 
02/05/21  23:00:13  Overnight show is starting on JUPITER. 
02/06/21   6:29:20  Sun's up! Overnight show is shutting down. 
02/06/21   7:00:01  Overnight show schedule concluded. 

The "on JUPITER" references which computer is running the show.  I have a dedicated show computer that gets used for Halloween and Christmas, but the rest of the year, the show is controlled by my file server (since it runs 24 x 7 x 365 anyway).  JUPITER is the name of my current file server.

Enough for now...

 

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Thanks for all the info. That is a huge amount of information to digest and comprehend. My landscape scheme is going to be way more simple. 8 pathway and 4 floods.  I picked the pixel route to be able to run color combos based on holidays etc.  Ive been using LOR for over 10yrs. Just started with pro after xxmas

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40 minutes ago, rmturner54 said:

Thanks for all the info. That is a huge amount of information to digest and comprehend. My landscape scheme is going to be way more simple. 8 pathway and 4 floods.  I picked the pixel route to be able to run color combos based on holidays etc.  Ive been using LOR for over 10yrs. Just started with pro after xxmas

Mine is almost all RGB, but a lot of it is dumb RGB.  Pixels simply does not make sense when you have 10 feet of strip wrapped around a piece of pipe to make a single "light".

 

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10 hours ago, rmturner54 said:

I totally agree with you about the pixels.  I have a spare 16chl dc board. I could use it  and double up some lights.

LOR has 'Y' cables for their DUMB RGB floods.  HC has 'Y's' for THEIR system. I will assume 🙃 that Ray Wu has similar.

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On 2/6/2021 at 7:26 PM, TheDucks said:

If those are SMART, just power inject every 4.  1 port can drive 50 nodes (I think stand alone has lower limits if you want any features other than color)

I assume you want smart so you can individually control them.

I used  4" of 1/2 PVC and 4 sections of RGB ribbon glued to 0,90,180, 270. in place of a C7 socket  (poor mans alternate to rectangular modules.)  I some places, i mounted a pipe cap, then inserted the PVC unit

 This is from the LOR help desk about standalone using a Pixie board.

A Light-O-Rama help desk staff member has replied to your request, #8558166 with the following response:

This is an old feature that only supports non-enhanced network commands. You have to make a .las sequence (animation only with S4) in order to use this.

This is from help desk also if you want all the sophistication

A Light-O-Rama help desk staff member has replied to your request, #8558166 with the following response:

Depends upon what you want to do. If you want the sophistication of motion effects and individual control of pixels, the best bet is to use a miniDirector with an SD card. That way there are no limitations. It also makes changing the effects a lot easier since you can just pop in a different SD card, and you could have three switches on the mini Director that allow you to choose 1 of 3 shows (more that one sequence in each show).

Well, I got my answer. Thats alot just to have some landscape lights with individual pixels. Gonna have to re-think this. May just go with either my spare 16 channel DC board, or buy a 24 channel board

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  • 2 weeks later...

Starting my landscape project.  I am using my spare 16 channel DC board. I will have 8 RGB lights, wired in pairs, This so I dont have to buy another board at the moment. Using the square dumb RGB modules. This will also leave me with 4 spare channels for maybe single color floods. This part I am not sure about yet. I have a ton of RayWu style 4 pin waterproof connectors that I am going to use.

I have written several squences already for different occasions and tested them in standalone mode.

My next quest is to find an suitable style pathway landscape fixture to modify.

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On 2/6/2021 at 11:41 AM, rmturner54 said:

Here is my first plan. 8 pathway lights.  Buy 8 cheap solar lights and gut them. Install a WS2811 sguare pixel modules in each

I did this using Dumb Strips at the time, but looking to switch them over to Smart strips.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pq642if2gohigby/AACs04fRN1hkbw9zbiMfS9yla?dl=0

I also leave my Dumb RGB Floods out all year pointed at the house to change for each holiday of the year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6XOno7fUNo

These are all connected to 2- CMB-24DC Boards sometimes controlled by the show computer, sometimes the sequence is downloaded to one of the boards and come on with a timer.

Edited by Little_b
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What kind of wire did h use to interconnect the ligjts. I was thinking about sprinkler wire. I know its solid core, they r not gonna b moved

28 minutes ago, Little_b said:

I did this using Dumb Strips at the time, but looking to switch them over to Smart strips.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pq642if2gohigby/AACs04fRN1hkbw9zbiMfS9yla?dl=0

I also leave my Dumb RGB Floods out all year pointed at the house to change for each holiday of the year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6XOno7fUNo

These are all connected to 2- CMB-24DC Boards sometimes controlled by the show computer, sometimes the sequence is downloaded to one of the boards and come on with a timer.

 

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1 hour ago, rmturner54 said:

What kind of wire did h use to interconnect the ligjts. I was thinking about sprinkler wire. I know its solid core, they r not gonna b moved

I would avoid sprinkler wire simply because it is solid.  Harder to work with and easier to break.  Almost all of my dumb strips are using 4 conductor speaker cable from Monoprice.com

 

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1 hour ago, rmturner54 said:

What kind of wire did h use to interconnect the ligjts. I was thinking about sprinkler wire. I know its solid core, they r not gonna b moved

 

AMPS over distance = voltage drop

Sprinkler wire is 18 Ga. Also Sprinklers usually only run 1 zone at a time, so Amps to zone is the same as Amps on the common.

So double up the common if you go this route to avoid weird color shifts.

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Just now, k6ccc said:

I would avoid sprinkler wire simply because it is solid.  Harder to work with and easier to break.  Almost all of my dumb strips are using 4 conductor speaker cable from Monoprice.com

 

Good tip. IIRC they also have 'direct burial' rated wire that resists UV

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Good tips, I already know this. Thanks. I will be using direct burial for sure. Since I dont plan on taking down and putting up landscape lights like I would for my xmas show, I have no problem w/landscape wire.

And I do use 4 cond speaker wire in my show where its warranted.  BTW I am also an Elect/Tech so everything I do I take into account wire size, amps, volt drops etc.....

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16 hours ago, rmturner54 said:

What kind of wire did h use to interconnect the ligjts. I was thinking about sprinkler wire. I know its solid core, they r not gonna b moved

Sounds like others have already answered, but I use 16/4 direct burial speaker wire.  Just make sure it's not copper clad aluminum wire.  Used that by mistake and had to replace it after a short while. 

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5 hours ago, Little_b said:

Sounds like others have already answered, but I use 16/4 direct burial speaker wire.  Just make sure it's not copper clad aluminum wire.  Used that by mistake and had to replace it after a short while. 

That was my other choice. Thanks for input. I learned my lesson many years ago on copper clad aluminum wire

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