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Topic: 10W 900-Lumen RGB LED Flood Light hackable? (Read 7000 times) previous topic - next topic


I'm trying to put together some stage lighting, I found this:
its controlled via an IR remote. I'm thinking of cracking one open and seeing if its hackable. I want to control it with an arduino. Has anyone tried this or have a better idea? Or does anyone have any Ideas on where to start? I'm knida new to electronics. I've only made a few things with an arduino.


Nov 27, 2012, 08:48 am Last Edit: Nov 27, 2012, 08:52 am by Riva Reason: 1
It's worth getting one and trying, I think your chances of success should be high. It probably already contains some form of microcontroller to read the IR signal and convert it to PWM to drive the LEDs.
You say you want to control it via arduino, will the arduino be in the lamp and be controlled via DMX or do you have some other idea in mind?
Attached is a schematic I did for a RGB mood lamp controlled via an ATtiny85. The LED I used looks the same as yours this may give you an idea of what you may find in the lamp.
Don't PM me for help as I will ignore it.


One easy way of hacking it would be to get the arduino to produce the same IR signals as the remote. Then you have no need to break it open.


I just tried this with a 20W floodlight ... wanted to override the IR remote and control directly with Arduino PWM outputs. Unfortunately the entire electronics board is potted in epoxy. One thought is to scrap the electronics and add a small power supply and RGB driver, but this adds cost and effort. Another idea is to make the Arduino "talk" IR, which can be done using the IRRemote library and an IR LED. I've found some code snippets that look promising. THe hard part is finding the IR codes for the different floodlight functions.


THe hard part is finding the IR codes for the different floodlight functions.

No it isnot. You simply record what you get out of the IR controller and play it back through an IR LED, there is no need to "understand" it.


"Simply record"... If you have a storage scope or logic analyzer handy it would be. Somebody must have done this before and hopefully posted it somewhere.


Can you "record" it with the Arduino through a digital pin? How would the patterns be stored and retrieved to be played back?


Can you "record" it with the Arduino through a digital pin? How would the patterns be stored and retrieved to be played back?

Here is a good starting point http://learn.adafruit.com/ir-sensor
Don't PM me for help as I will ignore it.


Dec 03, 2012, 03:14 pm Last Edit: Dec 03, 2012, 03:48 pm by focalist Reason: 1
Recording and playback of the IR signals should work fine.

However, if you are doing stage lighting, you are going to need a lot more than 900 lumens.  I've been mixing custom LED lighting into my photography lighting, particularly RGB strip lighting.  It's referred to as "5050 RGB strip lighting, 60 emitters per meter".  It's a really good and cheap choice- runs via 12v, current limiting built in, PWM mixing is really nice.  Ton of vendors on ebay sell it, I've bought rolls from several vendors and it's all pretty much the same, probably is literally the same maker..I took an old Fluorescent four foot fixture and ripped out the ballast and such, then just mounted the LED strip (with the sticky back it comes with) in the trough.  24 watts of red, green, and blue each per 5 meters, 72 watts total for around twenty five to thirty dollars.. 300 SMD RGB LED's ready to go.  In addition, because the light comes from hundreds of emitters, it acts as if it were a diffuse source rather than a spot.  From any distance greater than about two feet, it acts as if it were a softbox.  I'd probably just toss a diffusion silk in front of it, if the hundreds of highlights were caught in something reflective (like a model's eye).  I use it for wash while still using typical PAR cans for spot and highlight.  The richness of the blues and purples is amazing, and since it is emission rather than blocking, it compares with a three hundred watt halogen with a gel, in terms of the brightness delivered to the subject.  In a halogen with gels, you are losing most of the light by design, it gets absorbed by the gel and turned into heat.  By instead emitting the desired spectrum rather than blocking the unwanted spectrum, efficiency is much much higher than typical floods especially in the high density colors.  I built a mixing and fading box around a ATMEGA168 and three MOSFETS, mainly just to do it, as they do come with the cheap IR control boxes that can do the same thing ;)  The strip is only a half inch wide, so if I ran them tight side be side, I could probably fit ten meters of the strip (144 watts) on the Fluorescent "shop light" type fixture I "repurposed".

What's great is the purity of the color and the lack of heat, not to mention the fact there's no bulb to break or burn out- thousands of hours operating life for LED's, and LED's don't care too much if they are dropped, unlike a halogen's quartz envelope which can explode into a thousand white hot shards if mishandled.  When a model is getting 2-3kw of halogen floods and spots dumped on them from four feet away,  anything we can do to reduce the delivered heat is going to help.  Theatrical makeup literally can melt and run under that much light!

Tip- if you do choose 12v lighting, don't waste a ton of money buying a power supply.  Recycle an old PC power supply.  Typically, there's a green "power good" line which needs to be grounded and after that, you have a high-output 12v DC switching power supply, and regulated 5v for any other needs, too.  Never toss a good P/S!
When the testing is complete there will be... cake.


It sure would be fun to have dozens of these, and multiplex them, (matrices , cubes, ferris wheel POV, ...) One would make a pretty sweet RGB flashlight too.



The LED sells for under five dollars, the three current limiting circuits cost as much as the emitter.  They are actually Nine watts supposedly, with three one watt emitters per color.

Easy peasy!
When the testing is complete there will be... cake.

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