Show Us your rope lighting - Page 8 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #211 of 239 Old 03-06-2016, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
Safe bet is put both an AC wall outlet AND a box for conduit to 'somewhere else' for control wiring. This way you're covered either way. There are such things as a 2-gang mounting box that has one side enclosed for AC wiring and the other open for low voltage. You put a double-gang faceplate over it.

A point to consider it make sure there's suitable room to hide things. My one mistake in a ceiling tray was not taking into account being able to see the outlet box from the other side of the room. Now, only I know it's there and nobody else would likely see it. But during the frenzy of planning and construction that one detail slipped my attention. The solution? I just painted the transformer stuck in the outlet to the same color as the surrounding trim!

Had I planned better I would not have powered the outlet there. I'd have pulled a conduit from the wall switch location to somewhere out of sight (in this case, the attic above) and then conduit from there to the tray. I'd have then been able to run either AC or low voltage to/from any of them. Now that the walls (exterior) are spray foam insulated I'm kind of out of luck.

As for tape suppliers, there's a lot of them. My advice, if you want consistent lighting all the across the display the purchase it as a roll of tape, NOT SECTIONS. With sections you run the chance of slight color differences between them. With one tape that's quite a lot less likely (but cheap tape can still let you down anyway).

I just watched a youtube video where the guy did a recessed outlet.


I'm a real dunce when it comes to terminology - can you explain your opening sentence more?

I wonder if I could feed the wires through the wall and have the transformers sit on the other side of the back wall.

The light rails would run alongside HVAC soffits - see the grey lines running left to right in the picture below.

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post #212 of 239 Old 03-06-2016, 01:40 PM
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I take it e* on the left/right above the seating is the intended outlet for the lighting mentioned here? I take it there's going to be some kind of soffit or other means to hide the ropes?

Recessed outlets seem like a cool idea until you realize a wall wart won't fit. I have one like that and had to use an extension. There are such things as larger recessed boxes and if you had room, yeah, that'd be great.

Yes, pulling conduit from them back to the rack's location would probably be ideal. That way you could run whatever's necessary. Just realize that this will entail splicing wires together to connect to the tape. There are plenty of kits available to make that work. Essentially you have a clamp-on fitting that goes onto the end of the tape. From there you have pigtails of wire onto which you splice your longer in-conduit wire. Snake that back to the rack (or wherever) and make the connections to the controller. Consider carefully what kind of controller you're going to use as some are RF and can go through walls vs some that are Infrared and require direct line-of-sight. One controlled via RF would certainly be less trouble than IR. Using wall-switch dimmers works, except there aren't any color-control options (at least not with a standard single-gang wall box position).

My first sentence assumed your lights were being controlled from one outlet. And that you weren't set on what kind of power/control to use for them. That being the case, putting an outlet AND a conduit serves to give you options down the road. If you put an outlet and you control it by a switch, do NOT install it with just 14/2 (two wires). Have the electrician pull 14/3 to it, leaving the red un-connected. That'd allow you, later, to potentially change from a switch-controlled light to one that required constant power. the price difference in the wire is negligible and the install labor the same.
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post #213 of 239 Old 03-06-2016, 03:18 PM
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ugh there is so much I don't understand about this! Thanks for trying to explain it to me.

I was under the impression that I would have both light rails powered from outlets at the back of the room... but then there's the power brick problem as you mention. On the one side I can probably hide that in the AV closet with no issues. On the other side I would have to figure out how to hide the power brick in the adjoining room on a shelf or box or something.

Maybe the best option is to power the strip from the AV closet and run it all the way around the front of the theater in a U shape.

As for controlling color and brightness, I was assuming that it was going to be app controlled. As I look at the options on 1000bulbs.com it looks like that's not an option at present. Seems like maybe Philips Hue would be the way to go? I feel like if that were the case everyone would be using them and I see that almost no one does?
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post #214 of 239 Old 03-06-2016, 04:08 PM
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There's no reason you have to run it in a U-shape. If that doesn't fit the plan then just run it in strips. Just pull the wires from them back to one place and put the brick/controller with them.

Color control is a mess. Smart bulbs and Hue strips is another mess. Mainly because they don't integrate well with traditional lighting wall controls. That's fodder for a WHOLE other thread.

Thus it's my advice your 'safest bet' to get you through the 'right now' situation is to run blue low voltage conduit (aka smurf tube) from the ends where the strips terminate back to the rack area.

Then you can spend some time to figure out what kind of lighting controller you're prepared to use. Even with Hue strips you could still cut the control cord going from the plug to the strips and splice it into something else. Including just using the controller with a whole other brand of LED tape. Plenty of folks have done that, ditched the Hue tape and used something else entirely.

If you run both, conduit and 14/3 you've got the best of all possible options. You can use the 14/3 now to control them with a transformed up there in the ceiling and a regular wall dimmer. You could later use a controller 'up there' that doubles as a transformer and provides color control (aka Hue strips). You'd forgo using a wall dimmer though. Or since there's also conduit you could pull whatever's necessary later to support other options.

I wouldn't run just 14/2 wired outlets controlled by a wall dimmer. That would work but you'd lose options. Since you it's being built now's a good time to future proof.
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post #215 of 239 Old 03-06-2016, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
Thus it's my advice your 'safest bet' to get you through the 'right now' situation is to run blue low voltage conduit (aka smurf tube) from the ends where the strips terminate back to the rack area.
ok so my electrician is coming on wednesday (for consult, not installation) - what do i tell him? (feeling really lost right now - sorry not trying to be difficult)
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post #216 of 239 Old 03-06-2016, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRock3x8 View Post
ok so my electrician is coming on wednesday (for consult, not installation) - what do i tell him? (feeling really lost right now - sorry not trying to be difficult)
Look, at the very least have the two locations wired with 14/3 instead of plain 14/2. This way you'll be covered for both local constant-powered AND for wall controlled dimming. But do this only because there's some scheduling crush. If you have the time then talk to him about it and what it would take to either run 3/4" plastic low voltage conduit instead or both. It'll likely cost you more, but it's likely cheaper to do it now rather than later.

Here's an important question, the ceiling above this space; how is it framed? Which way do the floor joists above run? Are they running across the seating (left/right) or perpendicular (front/back)? If they're running front/back then it'd be easier to run more wires later. If they're running left/right then NOW is the time to deal with it.

One other thing, who's doing the wiring for the speakers and their placement?

There are other folks on AVS that offer paid home theater consulting. It'd likely be worth spending some time/money to talk with them. If just to get a handle on all of this without stressing yourself out trying to learn it 'in a hurry'.

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post #217 of 239 Old 03-06-2016, 07:44 PM
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Electrician is coming out for consult not to install

Speakers and such are me.

Joists run left to right
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post #218 of 239 Old 03-07-2016, 03:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRock3x8 View Post
Electrician is coming out for consult not to install
Ok, that'll give you some time to get up to speed.

Quote:
Speakers and such are me.
And you've already planned their placement? Type/gauge of wire, etc?

Quote:
Joists run left to right
Well, then now's the time to get it right, otherwise you're not going to add anything later due to the joists being in the way.

I've learned over the years that unless you're SURE about the wire, there's no shame in installing conduit. For some of my more challenged locations (ones with joists in the way) I ran BOTH my planned wires and a 3/4" conduit. It's not money wasted when you discover later that you need the access.
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post #219 of 239 Old 03-07-2016, 03:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
And you've already planned their placement? Type/gauge of wire, etc?
can you point me in a direction to get up to speed on wiring for rope lighting?

Speakers :
CL2 12 AWG Pure Copper

placement has been discussed to death on my thread

we're starting 5.1, sometime this year we'll move to 7.2 and then eventually 7.2 with 4 side speakers.


(feeling very self conscious about taking over this thread with my build...)

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post #220 of 239 Old 03-09-2016, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
Ok, that'll give you some time to get up to speed.
Electrician knew exactly what you were talking about with 14/3 wiring and storing the transformer boxes in the AV closet. That was all I really needed to tell him and he was good with it.
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post #221 of 239 Old 03-09-2016, 11:44 AM
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Nothing fancy....used LED lights controlled by Phillips HUE under the lip of my second row platform
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post #222 of 239 Old 03-09-2016, 12:59 PM
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Nothing fancy....used LED lights controlled by Phillips HUE under the lip of my second row platform
how did you mount it to the carpet? my electrician mentioned this today...
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post #223 of 239 Old 03-09-2016, 01:15 PM
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how did you mount it to the carpet? my electrician mentioned this today...
Actually I popped them into a rope light channel that was screwed into the (wood) under-lip of the carpeted platform.

Similar to this:

http://www.amazon.com/Novelty-Lights...+light+channel

Ron

Here are the lights:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o06_s00

The ballast

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o07_s00

power adapter:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o07_s00

This combo can be controlled through the Phillips HUE transponder and software
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post #224 of 239 Old 03-09-2016, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rboster View Post
Actually I popped them into a rope light channel that was screwed into the (wood) under-lip of the carpeted platform.

Similar to this:

http://www.amazon.com/Novelty-Lights...+light+channel

Ron

Here are the lights:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o06_s00

The ballast

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o07_s00

power adapter:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o07_s00

This combo can be controlled through the Phillips HUE transponder and software
I'm going to ask some really stupid questions - what does the ballast do and where is that in your diagram?

How does HUE interface with all this stuff?

Apologies - I am just so sooo lost when it comes to rope lighting.
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post #225 of 239 Old 03-09-2016, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by JRock3x8 View Post
I'm going to ask some really stupid questions - what does the ballast do and where is that in your diagram?

How does HUE interface with all this stuff?

Apologies - I am just so sooo lost when it comes to rope lighting.
Yes, Phillips HUE interfaces with the lights/ballast. This is a cheaper option vs the HUE strip lighting.

The ballast sets btw the lights (which each wire from the light goes into a separate input on the ballast (located under a cover) and the outlet. At the other end of the ballast is where you plug in the power adapter (nothing unique...just like any power adapter you find in everyday use) which plugs into the wall.
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post #226 of 239 Old 03-10-2016, 01:52 PM
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To achieve this:


I used this kit: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013GDMIT8

The unlit stretch in the front soffit contains one of these 8' long connection cables, to connect the light strips: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009NGW4UQ

I cut the 32' light strip at the end of the first run, and attached one of these, to make the connection to the 8' connection cable: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GAC4UXA

The power adapter and controller were placed in the hollow of the crown molding tray, like this (I installed a power receptacle in the soffit wall prior to installing the crown molding light tray:
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post #227 of 239 Old 07-11-2017, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ND23 View Post
To achieve this:


I used this kit: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013GDMIT8

The unlit stretch in the front soffit contains one of these 8' long connection cables, to connect the light strips: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009NGW4UQ

I cut the 32' light strip at the end of the first run, and attached one of these, to make the connection to the 8' connection cable: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GAC4UXA

The power adapter and controller were placed in the hollow of the crown molding tray, like this (I installed a power receptacle in the soffit wall prior to installing the crown molding light tray:
Wow, ND23, this looks like just what I need to do on mine... I'm putting up cherry crown around my ceiling tray in the home theater area (60' or so), and then around the rectangular soffit adjacent to that on the other side of a beam that separates the space, there will be more crown (42' or so). Then I'd like to put up about 8' of it under the bar counter on the home theater side. Each area has it's own outlet, which will be able to control power to with my home automation system.

The crown is 9/16" x 3 7/16" and will be nailed at the bottom of the ceiling tray/soffit, and I'm still figuring out what kind of backer/nailer I need to build to support it. I did do double drywall/green glue, including under the beam, as there was an air gap on one side, so there is no wood at the bottom of the beam on one side for 1 1/8", and 1/2" on the ceiling tray side, so I will need backer for both.

Both my areas will require at least 2 and possibly three 10M LED strips, and the home theater area has the outlet roughly at the 18' mark of a roughly 60' run... so I'm trying to figure out whether I can get away with one transformer or not. and then two runs - one longer than the other. So I'll have house some stuff up in behind the crown.

How wide is the gap between the crown and the wall in your case? How deep is it? I.e. how much room needed to hold all that stuff? I assume you have an extension cord running to the outlet, the transformer, the wiring and the LED strips in there.

How did you attach backer or the crown in your case? I was at first going to cut down 2x2s to the right angle, but now I'm thinking I may make a finished piece that holds it out from the wall to create some more room behind the crown.

Any wisdom for me?
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post #228 of 239 Old 07-11-2017, 09:35 PM
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Wow, ND23, this looks like just what I need to do on mine... I'm putting up cherry crown around my ceiling tray in the home theater area (60' or so), and then around the rectangular soffit adjacent to that on the other side of a beam that separates the space, there will be more crown (42' or so). Then I'd like to put up about 8' of it under the bar counter on the home theater side. Each area has it's own outlet, which will be able to control power to with my home automation system.

The crown is 9/16" x 3 7/16" and will be nailed at the bottom of the ceiling tray/soffit, and I'm still figuring out what kind of backer/nailer I need to build to support it. I did do double drywall/green glue, including under the beam, as there was an air gap on one side, so there is no wood at the bottom of the beam on one side for 1 1/8", and 1/2" on the ceiling tray side, so I will need backer for both.

Both my areas will require at least 2 and possibly three 10M LED strips, and the home theater area has the outlet roughly at the 18' mark of a roughly 60' run... so I'm trying to figure out whether I can get away with one transformer or not. and then two runs - one longer than the other. So I'll have house some stuff up in behind the crown.

How wide is the gap between the crown and the wall in your case? How deep is it? I.e. how much room needed to hold all that stuff? I assume you have an extension cord running to the outlet, the transformer, the wiring and the LED strips in there.

How did you attach backer or the crown in your case? I was at first going to cut down 2x2s to the right angle, but now I'm thinking I may make a finished piece that holds it out from the wall to create some more room behind the crown.

Any wisdom for me?
My crown is actually FOAM crown molding, attached with nothing more than painter's caulk. It is stuck to the vertical wall of the soffit, so that the bottom edge of the molding is even with the lower ceiling.

I have an outlet in the wall right next to the transformer you see in my photo, but poor planning by me makes it so the outlet is just barely too low to get a grounded plug in there once the crown is attached. So, I had to buy and install a very short extension cord with a right-angle plug, which is inserted into the outlet. Then the transformer is plugged into that.

I'm afraid I can't recall the dimensions of the crown... got the biggest I could find in the foam product. The products just barely fit in there.

By having two of the strips plugged into one transformer, I believe it is slightly underpowered, as I can see that the final LEDs in the line are dimmer than those up near the transformer. There's even a slight color variance between the beginning and the end. Not enough for me to care though, as my cost was so low. I would say you could never have too many outlets up there in that ceiling tray.
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post #229 of 239 Old 07-30-2017, 02:28 PM
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Thanks ND23, that's good to know. I'm just getting ready to put up crown, so i'm trying to avoid having an issue hiding components up there when it's done. If you are able would you tell me how much space you have behind the crown - between it and the wall? Or maybe tell me the dimensions of the power supply/adaptor so I can be sure to have that much room back there?

I was thinking I might extend the crown away from the wall with a little more trim and this would create some extra space, but need to know how much to try for.

Thanks for your help!
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post #230 of 239 Old 10-14-2017, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_pilgrim View Post
I know in another thread some people had issues dimming LED rope light from costco, might have been hit or miss. I haven't seen any dimming issues with incandescent.
Here's mine -- it's a 60-odd foot LED color-changing strip with a remote control, tucked above the crown molding:







Controller and transformer are tucked out of sight in the adjacent mechanical room.

http://havingfunalongtheway.com/base...ater-lighting/

More details on my theater build in my sig, if interested.
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post #231 of 239 Old 10-31-2017, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ND23 View Post


I used this kit: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013GDMIT8

The unlit stretch in the front soffit contains one of these 8' long connection cables, to connect the light strips: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009NGW4UQ
ND23, that looks really sharp! I wanted to ask about the unlit stretch at the front. Was that a design choice made before you started the lighting, or was it the result of making things work with what you have? Just wondering if it was to improve viewing with the lights on or something. I'm debating just doing the sides as well, since I'll have a false wall at the front and may not continue the soffit across. I just don't know if it would look strange. I'll probably work it out to do that part too in the end, but it is definitely an option at this point to only light the 2 sides.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwlong View Post
Here's mine -- it's a 60-odd foot LED color-changing strip with a remote control, tucked above the crown molding:



http://havingfunalongtheway.com/base...ater-lighting/

More details on my theater build in my sig, if interested.
pwlong, that is very nicely done! Thanks for including the link to the long tape you used. It would definitely be a lot cleaner and easier to just run a single strip without amplifiers, etc. It IS a a pretty big increase in price to get that convenience though. Do you get any reduction of output or colour variance at the end of the strip?

I'm looking at a kit on Ali Express (pic attached below), which SEEMS to be of decent quality, and should meet my requirements. The only thing I'm not sure of is if the power supply would support use with a standard wall dimmer like a Lutron Diva or Maestro. Ideally I would like the controller to remember its setting and then turn back on to whatever it was when I hit the wall switch, and also to be dimmable from the wall. That way I can set a combo I like and not have to monkey around with my phone unless I feel like changing it. I just don't really know how these controllers work, and if they retain settings or not. Can anyone give me your experience with RGB controllers and wall switch use? (settings in memory, etc?)
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post #232 of 239 Old 10-31-2017, 08:35 AM
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I got my LED kit from hitlights.com.

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As I was constructing my theater, I kept thinking of the best place to store the power supply for the led's. I was working on the soffit, cutting out the holes for the 4" Lithonia recessed lights and I realized one of the holes may just be big enough to fit the power supply through. At this time, I didn't have the kit yet as it was still in transit to my house so I made a block out of MDF that represent the exact dimensions of the power supply...

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It was a perfect fit!! With my soffit dimensions, I couldn't use a standard recessed light kit so I had to resort to an ultra thin design. Here's an example of how much real estate I have left after each recessed light is installed. This is perfect because it gives me plenty of room in the soffit where the power supply and the recessed light won't be near each other.

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Once I determined the power supply would fit, I installed an outlet in the soffit..

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Installed the crown molding with corner trim and half round for the LED"s to run on. I drilled a hole just big enough for the power wire that supplies the strips to run through the MDF which the crown molding hides. The kit from hitlights comes with an RF remote so everything is able to stay in the soffit and if I ever need to access the power supply for any reason, I simply pull the recessed led out and everything is right there!!

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It may not be your job, but perhaps it's your opportunity.

MPJ's theater build: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-ded...ter-build.html

Last edited by mpjmeyer; 10-31-2017 at 08:41 AM.
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post #233 of 239 Old 10-31-2017, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OJ Bartley View Post
ND23, that looks really sharp! I wanted to ask about the unlit stretch at the front. Was that a design choice made before you started the lighting, or was it the result of making things work with what you have? Just wondering if it was to improve viewing with the lights on or something. I'm debating just doing the sides as well, since I'll have a false wall at the front and may not continue the soffit across. I just don't know if it would look strange. I'll probably work it out to do that part too in the end, but it is definitely an option at this point to only light the 2 sides.
Yes, that was done on purpose. I didn't want a light source directly in front of me, and I like the effect. Slightly different than what is usually done. And I wanted to keep my bulb count low enough to need only one small power source. So I found this item (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009NGW4UQ) to connect the right side 12' strip to the left side 12' strip. The 8' length of this extension was the perfect length for my unlit front soffit.
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post #234 of 239 Old 10-31-2017, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by OJ Bartley View Post
pwlong, that is very nicely done! Thanks for including the link to the long tape you used. It would definitely be a lot cleaner and easier to just run a single strip without amplifiers, etc. It IS a a pretty big increase in price to get that convenience though. Do you get any reduction of output or colour variance at the end of the strip?
No issues with either brightness or color variance along the length of the run -- I was partly surprised, but mostly pleased at the uniformity of the output of the strip. No, it wasn't cheap, but the trade-off for me was the ease and simplicity of installation. It probably took me ~20 minutes to set the strip into place, and that includes shlepping the ladder around the room In terms of sparing myself the hassle, I'd buy it again.

Quote:
I'm looking at a kit on Ali Express (pic attached below), which SEEMS to be of decent quality, and should meet my requirements. The only thing I'm not sure of is if the power supply would support use with a standard wall dimmer like a Lutron Diva or Maestro. Ideally I would like the controller to remember its setting and then turn back on to whatever it was when I hit the wall switch, and also to be dimmable from the wall. That way I can set a combo I like and not have to monkey around with my phone unless I feel like changing it. I just don't really know how these controllers work, and if they retain settings or not. Can anyone give me your experience with RGB controllers and wall switch use? (settings in memory, etc?)
That's one feature -- memory setting -- that I like about the LEDwholesalers.com strip I installed. Whatever setting is active when you switch off the strip is resumed when power comes back on. This includes the light-level, too. So I can set it on a slow-fade setting, across the color spectrum, but dimmed down to 50% brightness. This gets lots of oohs-and-aahs during the theater room walk-thrus with friends

For mine, I just had a wall switch wired to an outlet in my mechanical room, then plugged the LED strip's transformer into the outlet. I've got Z-Wave switches for all lighting in the basement, including the theater, so my "Movie Night" scene turns on the LED tape light. It then switches off once we start the movie.

Attached a few pictures of the mechanical room side of the LED strip hookup, the outlet its plugged into, and the switch for the soffit light (leftmost of the three).
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post #235 of 239 Old 11-01-2017, 12:02 PM
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Thanks again @pwlong , I appreciate the extra info, especially regarding the memory of your setup. In the grand scheme of things, I guess going from ~$100 to ~$200 on rope lighting isn't much of a dent on the theatre budget, and if it (a) is easier to install; and (b) works better than other options for what I need... I might have to go that route!
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post #236 of 239 Old 11-01-2017, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ND23 View Post
Yes, that was done on purpose. I didn't want a light source directly in front of me, and I like the effect. Slightly different than what is usually done. And I wanted to keep my bulb count low enough to need only one small power source. So I found this item (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009NGW4UQ) to connect the right side 12' strip to the left side 12' strip. The 8' length of this extension was the perfect length for my unlit front soffit.
oh, and thanks also ND23! It's your pictures that are making me think that lights along the length of the room only might be the way to go.
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post #237 of 239 Old 11-08-2017, 03:43 AM
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FYI Philips Hue lightstrips are on sale at BB right now for $50 - that's nearly 50% off.

https://slickdeals.net/f/10752323-ph...v2_ni_37541552
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post #238 of 239 Old 11-08-2017, 10:58 AM
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...and one looking the other way...



Standard 12v RGB LED strips, controlled individually using RAKO.
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post #239 of 239 Old 08-24-2018, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guru View Post
Here:

Blue LED light from Ebay (no one else had 50 foot runs in 12 v for less)


What colour did you go with for your channel, I have trying to pick a colour to match my wall colour

Yamaha Aventage 1060 receiver, Emotiva XPA-5 Gen3 power amp
Oppo 103 Blu Ray Player
Klipsch Reference Series PRO 180RPW, PRO-6504-L-THX centre, R-5800-W surrounds
Niles CM7 in-wall height speakers, SVS PB2000 subwoofer
[B]Sony 65inch smart TV
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