Jump to content

Instructions permanent Christmas lights


Olly bee
 Share

Recommended Posts

Greetings forum members

I’m looking into installing permanent LED Christmas lights onto my home for this Christmas. I have no more than 100 feet to run on a simple bungalow. I’m extremely handy and I am a contractor.

I would really like the lights to be Wi-Fi controlled using an app and be able to change colours

i saw the instructional videos from trimlight and I can do this. I have the means to bend my own aluminum profiles to conseal the lights 

https://www.trimlight.com/installvideos

The information that I’m lacking is what hardware would I need.

ie. led lights / wire / controllers 

I know that I would need a power supply which would be the lrs-100-12. But that is as far as my knowledge goes

Would you guys be able to help me out by point me to the right direction? I would be forever grateful!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just looked at one of their videos: Paralleling Power Supplies (PSU) 😲😲 It takes a special supply to be paralleled (the voltage sense must match so they share).

If that is a sample of their quality of expertise...   Nothing wrong with the supply, just their application.

Next.  What do you have already? Dumb RGB (CMB24), the Port sets the whole attached strings color   (color per port). Smart RGB controls down to the node (Pixie or Piccon)

BUT you said 100'...  A Pixie 2 Package (w/2 strings of 50') with the Pixie in the middle. You just add AC power and a LORnetwork cable (back to your PC running S6)

OK , you have S6, so the WiFi App is part of that... Sorta.  Smart RGB needs an  Pro License (required for Enhanced mode)

(not an S6 expert). The app allows Shows to be controlled. So different shows would call colors/patterns

The other part of your Q:

Permanent: 1) requires UV resistant materials where exposed to direct rays. 2)weather resistant (above ground/splash zone) enclosures for equipment and wires. 3) SPARES  from the same batch. Things will fail. You have seen a painted patch 😐, LEDS color varies by batch (and they do fade a bit).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think what you are looking is is like the wifi controlled strips on amazon.  is that so?  the lights in the videos are PIXELS  or aka individually addressable LED.  are you wanting them to all be the same color at the same time or do you want them to do color patterns and such?  I guess what quality and control level you are looking for.  the Basic summary of needs would be:

Lights with wifi controller built in or not
power supply
extension cord
metal flashing/ J-metal, Plumbers tape etc

If you wanted to run it in a sequence then that is a whole other discussion.  But i think i hear you just want to have some lights you can turn on and off with your phone and not interface with a whole display.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ohh wow thank you guys for your replies 

this is all good information 

What I’m looking to do is something simple and easy in the beginning. 

so to answer some of the questions that came out. 
 

- At the moment I have nothing bought, I’m starting from scratch… I want do something a bit extra this Christmas and put something more permanent in

- I’m looking at LED pixel strings or pixel strips which ever is the simplest option. I’m not sure if one is easier to run than the other 

- Im not looking into putting on shows or having crazy animations like lights changing to music 

- I’m just looking for lights that I would be able to change the colours of the entire strip 

- and for sure be able to be connected to an app

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Strips are fragile in they do not take very much flexing.  Also, repairs (bad section, usually 3 LEDS), is for skilled users. 

Strings are easier to splice a replace bad node.

Do pay attention when buying a controller. There are Wireless (uses a remote) and there are WiFi (uses your phone+app). There are dozens on Amazon. be sure the controller and the strings are the same Kind (Dumb or Smart). If you go smart, be sure ALL strings are the same color order (RGB, BRG...) and voltage

Wireless usually needs you to point the remote at the controller (IR).

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would refer to the rest of the community for Pixels that are app connected tech.  I watched a few more videos on the site you mentioned they product they are using would work fine for what you have in mind.  That should be more than capable of some gutter/ eves, windows.  you are looking at a rather simple setup.  But if you wanted more custom configurations this may not give you that.  Yes i believe you can do it just fine with your skills.  There shouldn't be anything too difficult. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ohh wow

this is all good information guys and I really appreciate you guys taking the time to explain this to me 

I think I will go with the pixie example and instead of going with pixel strips I will go with the square pixel strings 12v…

I was thinking of getting the package that has the pixie4 Controller package with pixels 4x50 

Just out of curiosity….

1) what the length of these lights 4x50

2) do I still need to fully enclose the square pixels ? Protect it from UV damage 

3) I’m assuming that I can’t connect all 100 feet to a single plug and will need to run a parallel line… how many of these lights can I connect to a single power channel?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to assume you are referring to this package > https://store.lightorama.com/collections/cpc-packages-and-prop-kits/products/cpc-package-rooflines

Which is 8 string of 50 Pixels - running 100 Pixels on a single port of a Pixie4...  Those pixels can be spaced 4 inches apart - so 100 Pixels 4" = 400" / 12 = 33.3 Feet of run per port.... 133.3 Foot of Total Lighted Run

Edited by Jimehc
Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, Jimehc said:

I have to assume you are referring to this package > https://store.lightorama.com/collections/cpc-packages-and-prop-kits/products/cpc-package-rooflines

Which is 8 string of 50 Pixels - running 100 Pixels on a single port of a Pixie4...  Those pixels can be spaced 4 inches apart - so 100 Pixels 4" = 400" / 12 = 33.3 Feet of run per port.... 133.3 Foot of Total Lighted Run

  something about the math doesn't make sense OR 100' of lights x3 (4" apart) pixels per foot = 300 pixels therefore 3 ports needed.  however im not a pixel guy

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@ 4" spacing ( 3 Pixels per foot )

@ 3" Spacing ( 4 Pixels Per Foot)

@ 2" Spacing ( 6 Pixels Per Foot)

The package comes with 400 Pixels.... Which would be 133.3 Foot of Total Lighted Run

Edited by Jimehc
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting…

CC9923FA-367B-4276-9DBD-3B47F7D6C39A.thumb.jpeg.b70eb114c955048081fd52d84a67d919.jpegThat means I will need to run wire parallel to the square pixels to power them since my outlet is on one side… 

 

What type of wire would I need for this?

And do you really think I would need to to protect the wire and the square pixels from uv damage ?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have a distance problem (data to first pixel).  25' is what should be what is kept under. from the controller.

Common error is covering too much distance with 1 controller.  (Dumb RGB and AC did not have these issues other than voltage drop. Shorter string = less load=less drop)

With 33' strings there is no single 'good' place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahhh crap!!!

Well.. so much for that. I really thought I could make this work with some of the proposed solutions you guys offered. Didn’t know about this 25 foot limit to the controller regarding data loss. I’m surprised because this configuration would need 2-3 controllers just to run this length on my bungalow

 

Well …. gotta tell the kids Christmas is canceled this year. (Joke)

 

unless I use dumb RGBs? Is that correct ?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, Olly bee said:

Ahhh crap!!!

Well.. so much for that. I really thought I could make this work with some of the proposed solutions you guys offered. Didn’t know about this 25 foot limit to the controller regarding data loss. I’m surprised because this configuration would need 2-3 controllers just to run this length on my bungalow

 

Well …. gotta tell the kids Christmas is canceled this year. (Joke)

 

unless I use dumb RGBs? Is that correct ?

 

Put a Pixie 2 between the  Blue and Green  (set the Green as Reverse in HU so node 1 is at the far Left  end.) and another in the garage

For eze, node 1 should all be to one side, and reverse the port for the one fed from the wrong end.

💡 Use a Pixie 4 if you have the room, you can always find a use for 2 ports later (eg windows or snowflakes)

The down side is you need more than a Basic License (A pixie adds 4 ID's whether you use all ports or not)

OTOH A CMB24 (dumb RGB controller) Has 8 ports, tolerates longer runs, simply by using a bit heavier gauge wire (or stick to 50 nodes per port, less draw)

Shorter strings allows for 'those sections' of a color (you can cut Either Smart or dumb even shorter, Ribbons have cut marks. ) You can solder new wires for additional section or keep a pies for REPAIRS 👍👍

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So here is a question 

 

what about using something called an F-Amp

 

I found this video but would like to get your take on this?

 

https://youtu.be/kAEkWMiKX4g

 

Edited by Olly bee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

PhilMassey

The F Amp is a pixel without an Led. It can reconstitute the data on long runs, but does nothing for power. Another name is a null pixel, and you can use a regular pixel to do the same thing. Some controllers allow you to specify a null pixel so it doesn't light but retransmits the data.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So it sounds like if I use an F amp in one of my runs  I would be able to have 50’-0” of wire before my first square pixel starts and not suffer any data loss and pixel flickering… does that sound right to you guys?

unless I now need to worry about voltage drops over the 50 foot length 

 

I measured the home again an came up with this config which would use one f-amp

8D758E9B-DC3F-4308-9980-C6D197239D9A.jpeg

Edited by Olly bee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

added controller in different location run AC power cord into garage

 

Image105.jpg

But with your measurements @ 4" spacing that is 214 Pixels (2 strings of 107 Pixels)

preview-2022-09-21.png

And LOR states 50 foot maximum extension on a 12volt system... 

I run 2 strings of 140 (12V) Pixels @ 6" spacing along my fascia...

Edited by Jimehc
Link to comment
Share on other sites

hey @Jimehc 

thank you for your suggestion but I really can’t have a controller in that location as you illustrated… I looked into it this morning 


Ohh wow… I didnt know I could go beyond the 33’ limit of 100 pixels on a single line without encountering any performance issues. If I increase my line to 107 pixels @ 4 inch spacing one single line would be 35’-8” as you have suggested … if that is the case and this is an acceptable thing to do then it would simplify my setup quite a bit because I would only need 2 sets 

 

also if the limit is 50’-0” like you stated for an extension to the first pixel I would be within that limit because I would only need a 43’-8” extension to the second pixel set 

would I then still need an F-amp to boost the data signal on that second set which would have a 43’ 8” extension?63032937-2820-44A8-94F4-AFCA3B1CB744.thumb.jpeg.81d7461bba64390199b99541a04a4779.jpeg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well , you really would want to have the Controller centralized to the display.. Those maintaining shorter runs of cabling

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could always get the equipment that you are thinking lay it on the ground turn them on and see what happens.  Mounting the controller in between your runs somewhere would help reduce the pixel length.  You can also size up the wire from the controller to the lights to help with voltage drop across that section.  Play around with it and see.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And if you go the F-amp route, it belongs near the middle of the cable LENGTH. It regenerates the signal.

40+ Y as a Electronics Sr Technician. Maximums are numbers to avoid getting near. Those assume every part is great quality, while what we usually buy-get is 'hobby grade' to save $.

FWIW My drip line has 436 12V bullets, driven from 4 different controller (locations), 8 ports (could do with 5, but I thought I wanted to use the resolution feature of the pixies which requires strings of 50.). (Those locations also have other lighting tasks, so most of them are a Pixie4/8 and a CMB24)

Longer is not always better. Voltage drop. Waveform (the data) deteriorates causing erratic operation.

Bigger (controller port count) has limits, downsides. The big ones are great for dense-close together props like mega trees. They require Bigger/ second POWER supplies

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I have 2 different types of Wi-Fi controllers that I use with my shows that may work for your purpose.  I use ESPixelstick and a DIG-Uno.   You can connect the Pixel strands to the power supply at one end (as well as run lines for Power Injection as needed), and connect the controller at the other.   With the controller in the middle, you can eliminate the need for Null pixels.  The ESPIxelstick fits in a small piece of PVC Pipe and the DIG-Uno is small enough that I found a small enclosure (3"x2"x1.5") that can attach behind the J-Channel and doesn't stick out too bad.  They run off E1.31 network so the LOR software can talk to them.  They can also run off of a freeware software, WLED, of you want to control them via your phone.  I don't know the total number of pixels you plan to use, but in a different project I did, I believe I have about 360 pixels connect to a Dig-Uno in my longest run that run just fine, signal wise, I did add power injection at each 100 pixel mark.  If you are just trying to save $$ on a simple set up, this is a good way to go.  If you ever decide to go "big", I recommend sticking with controllers that you can connect directly to.   When effects start getting wild and fast, the WIFI controllers don't always keep up, at least in my experience.  This is why I didn't go the Wi-Fi route on the house.  I am a fan of the Pixcon16 myself, the Pixie controllers are smaller and work great if you can get them in a centralized location.

Edited by Little_b
Spelling
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...