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post #31 of 52 Old 03-22-2013, 08:45 AM
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I know you are the LED lighting Jedi and are very competent in the design and construction of these systems - that's why I want to pick your brain. Since I am working from home today I will take photos and post here with comment.

I actually DO have the ability to control DMX in my lighting system with a Color Kinetics iPlayer3. Further, a Grafik Eye can be directly linked and looped through this device to communicate and trigger different events, including scenes. So I think you'll enjoy seeing some of the tech. My only last integration puzzle to solve was a more sophisticated way of controlling this one set of light strips for seamless integration with my other LED, incandescent, low voltage and other lighting loads. My lighting design is fairly complex and will be approaching 40 individual zones, some of which will be linked together through programming to form a single zone.
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post #32 of 52 Old 03-22-2013, 09:12 AM
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Wow, definitely sounds ambitious. Pics must be furnished!

If you want to get down-and-dirty-DIY, you might take a look at the TigerDMX48 available from tigerdmx dot com. It's been a few years since I looked at the design, but it is a high current solution.

The downside is an obvious lack of UL listing.

Light-o-Rama sells the CMB16D, which also is rated for a few amps and obeys DMX. I'm not sure if their stuff is listed or not.

I'll check around and see if there are any other solutions that work out of the box. All of my stuff was relatively low current (ie powering a strip of 16 RGB LEDs), which allowed for less expensive controllers and also allowed the use of cat5 for power transmission to the strips.

With the advent of the ws2801 pixel, development of controllers for relatively long RGB strings (read: high current) fell by the wayside, so there's not many out there.

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post #33 of 52 Old 03-24-2013, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMcG View Post

A few things:
- You cannot dim a transformer that is expecting a 120v input signal unless it is a MLV (Magnetic) or ELV (Electronic) Low voltage transformer. I have not seen these types of transformers packaged with strip lights. The best you can do with the Grafik Eye is to set that zone to 100% off or 100% on, essentially disabling the dimming capability for that zone. I
- From the technical specifications I have seen with LED strip lights, you cannot use an outside interface. This is not an all-inclusive statement, fyi. Use the correct amperage DC power supply for your LED strip light run lengths.
- You will have to dim the LED lights using an IR emitter running to the IR eye included with your strip lights
- This is relatively unknown, but you need a 25w minimum load on any Grafik Eye zone for the unit to recognize something is there. If you don't have 25w then you need to add other load until you reach 25w.

I would suggest that you look at LED ROPE light, not strip light. It will plug directly into high voltage and can be dimmed directly, provided you get the right type of rope light that can be dimmed. They sell a number of single-color rope lights.

Thanks Tim! That actually makes things a little simpler. I believe I am going with 3/8" soft white LED rope light from orangetreetrade.com. Just need them to restock power connectors, since I will have 3 ropes. Two will be on one GE zone, and the third will be on another. I'm a little nervous about whether they will be enough of a load to dim properly with the GE, but I will definitely test them out before drywall goes up!
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post #34 of 52 Old 03-24-2013, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Any good recommendations for where to buy good dimmable rope lighting? I was thinking of just putting it on its own dimmer switch (like a meastro or other simple option).

I'm thinking of tying it into a seperate circuit recepticle (rahter than plugging it in) tied to a single pole for control. Any thoughts? MY biggest problem would probably be sending ir signals that get picked up by other ir controled lights.

Anyone know if i can use a cat5 cable to extend the rf harmony one kit? Was thinking if i can extend one of the mini-blasters to control the lights when the remote might not be pointed directly at them?

All while keeping it simple (b/c i am).

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post #35 of 52 Old 03-25-2013, 11:53 AM
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http://www.wiedamark.com/ledropelighting.aspx

http://www.lightbulbsurplus.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=622_52_238

Personally I would look into traditional incandescent rope light because dimmable LED rope light can start to flicker at the low end of its settings. The incandescent rope light can also go much lower in absolute light output which can give you a very low "burn" vs. the LED. However, the LED lights obviously last much longer and use substantially less power.

Yes, you can use Cat5 wire to extend a mini-blaster with no problem, just keep the pairing correct / consistent when splicing the wire.
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post #36 of 52 Old 03-25-2013, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Tim View Post

Wow, definitely sounds ambitious. Pics must be furnished!

If you want to get down-and-dirty-DIY, you might take a look at the TigerDMX48 available from tigerdmx dot com. It's been a few years since I looked at the design, but it is a high current solution.

The downside is an obvious lack of UL listing.

Light-o-Rama sells the CMB16D, which also is rated for a few amps and obeys DMX. I'm not sure if their stuff is listed or not.

I'll check around and see if there are any other solutions that work out of the box. All of my stuff was relatively low current (ie powering a strip of 16 RGB LEDs), which allowed for less expensive controllers and also allowed the use of cat5 for power transmission to the strips.

With the advent of the ws2801 pixel, development of controllers for relatively long RGB strings (read: high current) fell by the wayside, so there's not many out there.

Tim

I still owe you pics. . . oops! WIll get to them later....
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post #37 of 52 Old 03-25-2013, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Schlemstar View Post

Thanks Tim! That actually makes things a little simpler. I believe I am going with 3/8" soft white LED rope light from orangetreetrade.com. Just need them to restock power connectors, since I will have 3 ropes. Two will be on one GE zone, and the third will be on another. I'm a little nervous about whether they will be enough of a load to dim properly with the GE, but I will definitely test them out before drywall goes up!

If the GEs have the same specs as the Grafik Eye you will need a 25 watt minimum load per zone for the zone to be recognized. This is information directly from Lutron themselves. I have a vintage Art Deco theater exit light (more pics in my thread) that uses a 7 watt bulb. I am going to have to extend to a second fixture "somewhere", even outside the theater with a minimum 20 watt bulb so I can properly dim the exit light when it is on a single zone.





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post #38 of 52 Old 03-25-2013, 04:46 PM
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Mr. Tim.....

Color Kinetics RGB LED system:

iPlayer3 controller




Has DMX control ports that link to the programmable power supply and . . .


...the ColorPlay Keypad for quick, local control




iPlayer links to the programmable power supply via DMX (2 port power supply shown without ColorPlay Keypad or DMX link):


DMX Control port on front of . . .


...16 port power supply for 16 individual strands of iColor Flex SL:


Offers control up to an individual light diode in any of 16.7 million colors:


Backlit white alabaster


Backlit Green


Also MR16 bulbs, five bulbs in the back are 60 degree beam angle for washing the projection screen when not in use and three 24 degree beam angle bulbs (LEDs have little focusing cones on them) to shine on the speakers behind the screen:


This will let you wash the screen in every imaginable color OR mimic traditional halogen or incandescent lighting:




More to come in another post....
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post #39 of 52 Old 03-25-2013, 04:58 PM
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For my theater door....and where I need your input....I plan to use a traditional LED light strip system that I bought on eBay. This will allow me to edge-light clear acrylic panels that have a look of depth to them when edge lit. I bought a Von Duprin EPT-10 after confirming with the company that the wiring provided would be sufficient to handle the volt, watt and amp loads of these LEDs - even if I used the full 5 meter strand. Control is relatively simplistic with an IR eye attached to the power supply. Here's some pics, including up-close shots of the power supply and DC converter.

The full system:


Power Supply


DC adapter, remote


IR target


5050 LEDs


So given the above system from Color Kinetics, the above LED lighting system specifically for my theater door and the traditional Halogen / Incandescent lights (including the exit light above) run by either one or two Grafik Eyes (depending on the number of zones I end up with) linked to a GRX-IA-232 interface.....how would you propose controlling the LED light strip if not by shooting an IR emitter at the IR target included in the system with learning the IR codes from the credit card remote into the master control system? Thanks in advance for your feedback Mr. Tim!
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post #40 of 52 Old 03-25-2013, 05:02 PM
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Insane, TMcG. Those pixels are exactly why there hasn't been any real development of DIY high-current RGB controllers. As the pricing comes down on the pixels it becomes more attractive to go with those rather than the traditional strips.

If you want to try some 3rd party pixels, try Ray Wu's store on Alibaaba.

That controller is pretty slick. I have never seen it before.

To control a single strip, I found this. You can probably find them on ebay too. Holidaycoro has been around for a while and they are DIY friendly. It handles up to 2 amps.

Tim
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post #41 of 52 Old 03-25-2013, 05:25 PM
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Thanks for the link. That little DMX controller just might do the job. I can loop out through the power supply into this final device. I'll have to do some experimenting because realistically the Color Kinetics system runs DMX "net" which is DMX over traditional twisted pair wiring and using RJ45 connectors. I am sure I can pinout the Color Kinetics connector and go straight to the bare wire leads of this controller, I just don't know if it will work or how compatible this device is. Logic says it should work, but you just never know. One thing is for sure . . . attaching a DMX interface like that to a traditional set of light strips is like having IBM's Watson do remedial math. Hopefully the strips are "intelligent" enough to reach full capability. I may give them a call and just order the thing. Heck, for $9 I can just throw it away if it doesn't work.

On a side note....I have 16 iColor Flex SL light strips, (two bundles are shown in the pictures above). Each 16 foot strip has 50 individual LEDs with either a clear or frosted dome every 4 inches. A slightly larger version of these exact same lights at 12" on center were recently used to light up the Bay Bridge in San Francisco. Given how they set up the strands, this allowed the lighting designer to create the pixels you were talking about for advanced designs.

There's plenty of video and associated content on their website, so it is worth checking out: http://thebaylights.org/ Hopefully this video embed works:
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post #42 of 52 Old 03-26-2013, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by TMcG View Post

Thanks for the link. That little DMX controller just might do the job. I can loop out through the power supply into this final device. I'll have to do some experimenting because realistically the Color Kinetics system runs DMX "net" which is DMX over traditional twisted pair wiring and using RJ45 connectors.

Holidaycoro also has one with an RJ45 connector, but as you noted, check the pinout to assure compatibility.

Tim
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post #43 of 52 Old 03-26-2013, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr.Tim View Post

Holidaycoro also has one with an RJ45 connector, but as you noted, check the pinout to assure compatibility.

Tim

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!!!!! That thing is $10, a full 10% more than the other device. Are you trying to blow my budget? LOL! biggrin.gif

Thanks for the updated link. That one looks like it would probably suit my needs better.
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post #44 of 52 Old 03-26-2013, 02:41 PM
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Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!!!!! That thing is $10, a full 10% more than the other device. Are you trying to blow my budget? LOL! biggrin.gif

Thanks for the updated link. That one looks like it would probably suit my needs better.

Well, that's why I pointed out the other one first smile.gif

Seriously, DIY christmas light guys are some of the most frugal you will meet. We always have group buys going to get stuff dirt cheap. Some poor (and very generous) bastard would order thousands of resistors, opto triacs etc.. sort them all into static bags and ship them out to 100 of us at a time. Too bad we couldn't get some of that going on here. The DIY sub guys do it.

Tim
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post #45 of 52 Old 03-26-2013, 03:00 PM
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Hmmmm. I wonder what a group by on 100 sets of Procellas would look like biggrin.gif

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!

The Plains Theater Has Begun
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post #46 of 52 Old 03-26-2013, 04:17 PM
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Hmmmm. I wonder what a group by on 100 sets of Procellas would look like biggrin.gif

I'm out...my pile 'o Procella is now complete as I just received my last pair of Procella P6 speakers this morning to round out my 9 channel system. I even updated "My Gear" below. biggrin.gif

Do you have any experience with integrating DMX, J_P_A?
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post #47 of 52 Old 03-26-2013, 04:52 PM
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I'm afraid not. My signal processing expertise does not extend to DMX. I thought DMX was a rapper from the 90's smile.gif

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!

The Plains Theater Has Begun
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post #48 of 52 Old 03-27-2013, 03:44 AM
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I'm afraid not. My signal processing expertise does not extend to DMX. I thought DMX was a rapper from the 90's smile.gif

Rapper? I though he was a cornerstone actor in the epic movie 'Fast and Furious'
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post #49 of 52 Old 04-03-2013, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quick new rope lighting question....how do you recommend wiring my rope lighting? I was going to put the rope lighting in the corwn molding and didnt know if i should run a recepticle/outlet above it in the ceiling and just plug it in or should I hardwire the lighting?

I want to control the lights via a light switch and possibly my harmony one remote.

The rope lighting should be 120v and approx. a 68ft run.

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post #50 of 52 Old 04-04-2013, 12:39 AM
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Quick new rope lighting question....how do you recommend wiring my rope lighting? I was going to put the rope lighting in the corwn molding and didnt know if i should run a recepticle/outlet above it in the ceiling and just plug it in or should I hardwire the lighting?

I want to control the lights via a light switch and possibly my harmony one remote.

The rope lighting should be 120v and approx. a 68ft run.

This is one area where I admittedly intentionally break electrical code, but I will also offer you a code-compliant solution. Lowe's, Home Depot and other retailers will typically carry a single gang recessed receptacle. So I simply install a single-gang box and use this recessed receptacle (to help hide the plug and maybe a bit of wire behind the crown) attached directly to one of the dimmers (Insteon, Lutron, etc.) or dimming zones on Grafik Eye. I will also take the extra step of putting a label on the plate or somewhere within the recess that says "DIMMED OUTLET!" FWIW for future owners.

The code-compliant way is to get a dimmable receptacle such as THIS. You will have to switch out the normal plug included with the rope light to one of Lutron's replacement plugs for dimming. The plastic "hump" between the receptacles will otherwise prevent any traditional plug from being inserted into the receptacle. This is the only code-compliant method if you want to take it that far.

One other point of note - make sure to note how many watts are drawn from your 68 feet of rope light and get a dimmer with sufficient power rating. Most dimmers are 600w so it shouldn't be an issue, but definitely something to double-check.
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post #51 of 52 Old 04-04-2013, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks TMcG, I thought it was something like you described. My biggest problem is the dimmers, still was thinking I'd go with a spacer system from Lutron and then maybe a maestro for the rope lighting as long as the signals won't be interpreted by both devices. Cheaper than a grafik eye setup.

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post #52 of 52 Old 06-03-2014, 12:49 AM
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I went with Sillite receptacles instead of the recessed ones for my rope light behind the crown:

http://www.sillites.com/newconstruction.php

but then i used a hug-a-plug to deal with the tight space.
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