News:

LATEST RELEASE:  FPP 6.1 - Download from here - https://github.com/FalconChristmas/fpp/releases/tag/6.1

+-+-

+-User

Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
 
 
 
Forgot your password?

+-Site Stats

Members
Total Members: 15486
Latest: Cousin_Eddie
New This Month: 108
New This Week: 22
New Today: 6
Stats
Total Posts: 126958
Total Topics: 15571
Most Online Today: 108
Most Online Ever: 7634
(January 21, 2020, 02:14:03 AM)
Users Online
Members: 8
Guests: 37
Total: 45

New to the Pixel light show world

Started by Marine Light Show, December 08, 2021, 03:09:25 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Marine Light Show

Greetings everyone,

Happy holidays to you all. Short story, I am a huge Christmas light guy and over the year I have amassed tens of thousands of LED lights and music controllers. This year, I know its to late this year, I decided to make the change to an pixel light show. I've been doing research for the last week or so and naturally, I now have more questions than answers. I really looking for basic do's/don'ts for a beginner set up. I'm planning to start small (house outline, small props) for my first display. I would like to buy items (controller) that I will be able to add to in coming years, as opposed to getting a "get me by" controller then upgrading. A few main question I have is 5v or 12v lights. To my understanding 12v is better for long light runs, i.e. roof outline. While 5v draws less power and is allows more control of lighting color (I could be way wrong). I think I would prefer strings vise a strip for a more usual friend system, again, I could be wrong. Any information offered is a greatly appreciated.

PkPrince78

Hello Marine,

I can't help a lot since I am also still learning and researching, but as an Electronics Technician, I can tell you that you are correct that 12V is better for longer distances and 5V is better for shorter distances. The main advantage of 12V is that is less prone to voltage drop. The longer your power line is from the power supply, the more your voltage will drop. This voltage drop is caused by the resistance of the copper wiring, so unless you have a superconductor with no resistance, you will always need to consider voltage drop. You also need a thicker gauge wire if you are doing long strands with 5V since lower voltage means higher amperage (Voltage = Current * Resistance).

I help with a show that the company I work for puts on each year, and we only use 12V now due to the large number of pixels we put on each strand.

There are some advantages to 5V though.

Refer to this video from the Virtual Christmas Summit for more information on power:

The Virtual Christmas Summit channel on Youtube also have some great learning videos for beginers.

tbone321

5 Volt pixels are less expensive and use a bit less power but the runs of pixels are much shorter before the need of power injection and if you have really long runs, the cost of the wire and connectors for all of the power injection points may put a big dent in the savings on the 5 volt ones.  I am unaware of any difference in color control between them.  The truth is, most of the 12V pixels are still 5V pixels with voltage regulation in each pixel which allows for the longer runs but also causes that increased power consumption.  As for the controllers, you really need to take a look at your display area and determine just how spread out it is going to get.  If you are planning on a large area, then you can look at a smaller controller (I know, it sounds backwards) because large displays tend to work best with multiple controllers located in different areas of your display.  If you are planning a smaller high density area, then a large multi-port controller may work better for you.  Also keep in mind that a small controller can always be used as a bench controller for testing and fixing props.  Nodes are far more flexible than strips and far far easier to repair and yes, nodes do fail every now and then.  I would take a look at the Kulp controllers to start off with.  They have many different sizes and they run FPP which makes them fairly easy to configure and they have all of the power of FPP.  The Falcon controllers are also good controllers and probably a bit more solid but are also a bit more expensive.  I have both and am happy with both types.

Poporacer

Quote from: Marine Light Show on December 08, 2021, 03:09:25 PMI really looking for basic do's/don'ts for a beginner set up.
The Lighting 101 Manual is a great resource. https://auschristmaslighting.com/

Quote from: Marine Light Show on December 08, 2021, 03:09:25 PMI would like to buy items (controller) that I will be able to add to in coming years, as opposed to getting a "get me by" controller then upgrading.
I would recommend a Falcon or Kulp controller

And what tbone321 stated is correct. The colors in 5V and 12V are exactly the same, brightness and resolution
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

Marine Light Show

Thank you all for the information, I will certainly take a look at all resources provided. I have lived on YouTube the last few days rabbit holing myself into the abyss that is this alien technology. In all seriousness this doesn't seem super difficult to grasp. It is just a lot of information all at once. I have look at the controller brands that you both mentioned and really like the falcon F16V3 and all the expansion seem easy to use and inexpensive. I'm really leaning towards a 12v system due to all of the longer runs I will have to do for the outline of my home. Then just run 5v for all of the props depending on how much power injecting I will have to do. I'm pretty decent at electrical work so I'm not worried about the building, it would just bet the additional cost required to make it worth it. As Tbone mentioned, and that I can see it can eat up the saving pretty quick it looks like. Thank you all again, and I look forward to learning more of the next few months.

PkPrince78

I would definitely recommend the Falcon controllers. I know you mentioned that you are interested in the F16V3s. Those are a great choice. We use those in our show. Just wanted to make you aware though that they have released the V4 line up now which supports more pixels than the V3 and has other great improvements. Also if you were planning to get controllers this year, you may be out of luck since they are out of stock of almost every controller. Remember to order early when they restock next year because they have limited quantities.

jnealand

One thing not mentioned is a reason to use all one type of light - 12v or 5v is to not have different types of power supplies or light strings laying around which tend to look alike.  By having one type of light a backup power supply will work for all your strings if you stick with one voltabe.  Also less likely chance of hooking the wrong light to the wrong supply.  Too me the cost difference is not great enough to warrant using both types of voltages.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Poporacer

The Falcon controllers are a great choice but the KulpLights.com controller line is equally powerful (if not a little more). In regards to running 5V and 12V, I highly recommend taking precautions to never mix the 2. I do use a mix with mostly 12V pixels but I have a few dense props that I want to take advantage of the benefits of 5V. All of my 12V pixels and controllers use Ray Wu ends and my 5V use xConnect. The reason for me using 5V wasn't so much about cost, but reducing the total number of power supplies needed
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

Marine Light Show

Quote from: PkPrince78 on December 08, 2021, 11:50:15 PMI would definitely recommend the Falcon controllers. I know you mentioned that you are interested in the F16V3s. Those are a great choice. We use those in our show. Just wanted to make you aware though that they have released the V4 line up now which supports more pixels than the V3 and has other great improvements. Also if you were planning to get controllers this year, you may be out of luck since they are out of stock of almost every controller. Remember to order early when they restock next year because they have limited quantities.


I appreciate the info. I truly have not determined what controller I'm going to go with. As mentioned below the Kulp is a good option that is a bit more capable than the falcon. I was aware of the V4, but I haven't looked into that version just yet, but will be doing so. I plan on hawking their websites once the come in stock and ordering what I need early in the year so I can learn how to program and use what I purchase. Thank you again for the information. 

Marine Light Show

Quote from: jnealand on December 09, 2021, 08:26:52 AMOne thing not mentioned is a reason to use all one type of light - 12v or 5v is to not have different types of power supplies or light strings laying around which tend to look alike.  By having one type of light a backup power supply will work for all your strings if you stick with one voltabe.  Also less likely chance of hooking the wrong light to the wrong supply.  Too me the cost difference is not great enough to warrant using both types of voltages.

I plan on using all 12V pixels unless the prop would warrant 5V. 

Marine Light Show

Quote from: Poporacer on December 09, 2021, 09:31:29 AMThe Falcon controllers are a great choice but the KulpLights.com controller line is equally powerful (if not a little more). In regards to running 5V and 12V, I highly recommend taking precautions to never mix the 2. I do use a mix with mostly 12V pixels but I have a few dense props that I want to take advantage of the benefits of 5V. All of my 12V pixels and controllers use Ray Wu ends and my 5V use xConnect. The reason for me using 5V wasn't so much about cost, but reducing the total number of power supplies needed

Changing the connectors I a great idea to prevent mixing up the lights and power supplies. 

Todd

Quote from: Poporacer on December 09, 2021, 09:31:29 AMThe Falcon controllers are a great choice but the KulpLights.com controller line is equally powerful (if not a little more). In regards to running 5V and 12V, I highly recommend taking precautions to never mix the 2. I do use a mix with mostly 12V pixels but I have a few dense props that I want to take advantage of the benefits of 5V. All of my 12V pixels and controllers use Ray Wu ends and my 5V use xConnect. The reason for me using 5V wasn't so much about cost, but reducing the total number of power supplies needed



I have a mix of both5v and 12v But I use two different style of connectors so I can't plug one into the other.
Todd L.
Kimberly, WI

Falcon F16V3,F48, Kulp 32A-B, FPP, X-Lights, LOR, Pi 3B

Support FPP

+- Recent Topics

Christmas 2022 Lights by ShadowLight8
Today at 05:54:00 PM

FPP and projector by morrydavis
Today at 05:42:57 PM

Remote Relay Control by MGHaff007
Today at 05:42:01 PM

E1.31 data not getting to WLED controller by morrydavis
Today at 05:41:06 PM

Does FPP include an operating NTP server? by breese
Today at 05:11:29 PM

Wiring Diagram for the RJ45 port for DMX by dkulp
Today at 04:52:18 PM

GPIO by darylc
Today at 04:44:02 PM

FPP Settings dropdowns not populating by Poporacer
Today at 04:07:18 PM

USB Wifi Adapter by jem5136
Today at 02:15:45 PM

FPP 6.x Matrix Issues by cmndr brain
Today at 01:41:55 PM

Powered by EzPortal
Powered by SMFPacks Menu Editor Mod