Originally Posted by RedStripe88
Looks great. Nice work.
Could you share the brand(s) and retailer(s) for the LEDs, controller and power supply.
I'm lost in the range of products and the obscene wide range of pricing. I've probably looked at 50 sites which isn't helping me to narrow to a choice.
Also a question: are you planning to control the RGB LEDs with any type of room lighting control like a GrafikEye? I ask because I'd like to be able to dim RGB LEDs with my various room scenes - hit watch movie and have the LED strip lights dim with other lighting. However, the Lutron hardware to control RGB LEDs is just insanely expensive. But, I may be trying to do too much for my lighting budget.
If you are using a room controller, could you share your plan. Thx.
Originally Posted by thejulianath20
Looks Awesome with those LEDs!!!
The link you shared for the lights goes to a radio and speaker set on Ebay, not the lights.
Can you reshare or edit the post? I would love to run one of those strands around my TV's Picture frame!
Thanks guys. I'm pretty happy so far with the results. I can't wait to get started on the trim/moulding soon. Gonna look pretty sharp when I get that all done.
So here goes with a description of my LED lighting. Please forgive my VERY long-winded response, but I figure more detail for you and anyone else reading the better. Hopefully my links work:
I used these LED strips (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
). They are high density (e.g. 300 LEDs per strip instead of 150). Since my strands are pretty close to the ceiling (~4-5 inches) I decided to go brighter so you wouldn't see spottiness of individual lights due to being so close. That and the ceiling is black so not much reflectivity. These strips draw quite a bit of power, 72W per strip at max intensity with white light (all 3 color channels full blast). I'll eventually be using the same LED strips to run along the bottom of my riser lip when I get that done. BTW these strips are waterproof. You could go with the lighter non waterproof strips. I just thought the epoxy coating over the LEDs would give them a little more protection while I was man-handling them and bending them like you're not suppose to.
I used four of the LED strands for the cove lights, 5 meters (~16 ft) each... so total of 64 feet. That sums up to about 280W. So basically no way a standard transformer will power that. I used a Meanwell 350W power supply (hidden in the front column) to power the four LED strips. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
) You want to derate the power supply to around 80% of max load typically so you aren't overheating it which can shorten its life and make it run quite hot. So my total wattage, 280W turns out to be 80% of the max load for the power supply. You don't have to be exact. I've heard the cooling fan on this thing is quite loud though. So... either I won't run the lights to bright or often to make the fan turn on, I'll swap out the factory fan in the thing for a quieter one, or I'll reposition the supply into my AV closet where I won't here it anyways.
If you try and run more than one of these strands in series you will see a voltage drop as you get to the end of the line. This is pretty common in low voltage installations, in my case using 12V. The way around this is use an in-line amplifier or you can increase your voltage to a 24V system. The amplifier not only carriers the color signal from the controller on to the next strand of lights, but gives the next strand some fresh electricity to keep all the lights more evenly lit. I used two of these: (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
). Basically I have two strands starting at the controller (at a Y-split). One starts clockwise around the room and the other goes counterclockwise. At the end of each of these first two strands I put an amplifier with a power feed running along the light tray from my 350W supply to each amp. So essentially I have 2 strands wired in series with an amp and then these two strand sets are wired in parallel.
I decided against a portable wireless controller since I figured I'd probably lose the damn thing... so decided to hardwire a wall mount controller. I have two of these. (http://www.amazon.com/Lagute-Control...ed+touch+panel
) Another vendor too (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
) One is for the cove lights and one will be for the riser lights. The color wheel allows you to pick pretty much any color. There is a brightness control. And at the bottom you can pick crazy dynamic displays if you prefer to feel like you are at a nightclub rather than a theater or you just like having seizures. I heard mixed reviews about this controller, but so far it seems pretty good to me. There are other smaller ones you can buy too.
Connectors Wires and Misc Stuff.
I actually soldered some of my connections to get better contact, but did go with some solderless connectors as well. I may end up soldering more of my connections since I've noticed a few lose contacts here and there with the solderless type of connector.
I used 18-gauge thermostat wire from home depot to run my power feeds to the amps. (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Cerrowire...002C/202206425
) Each run was just over the length of an LED strip, so ~20 feet. You wouldn't get much of a voltage drop over that distance, but wanted to use a slightly heavier gauge wire to keep the drop to a minimum.
If you end up running just one of these LED strands you could easily use a standard plug in wall transformer (probably 8-10A) and you obviously won't need the RBG amps and all the other crazy connections I've used. There are lots of variations on how to hook up low-voltage lighting using different combinations of power supplies, amps, and connections. No way is necessarily "right" but there are some suggested best ways of wiring them up to avoid overheating components, avoiding voltage drops, etc...
Hopefully this helps... err maybe confuses more? If helpful I could draw up a diagram showing my wiring for clarification. Let me know if you have any other questions. I'm happy to help.