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Topic: Best Digital Strip for custom project! (Read 2270 times) previous topic - next topic

lampy

Hi all, first post here. Trying to build some rgb lighting fixtures for use at gigs.
Looking for any help and advice about products to use mainly the digital rgb led strip.
Basically it is an upright standing frosted perspex tube that will have digital rgb led strip glued at the back on the inside. I have attached a drawing to give a representation, these need to be super bright as they may be used in daylight occasionally, there will be 2 strips together at the back to add to the brightness. As the tubes are 1.7m tall then the 2 strip adds to 3.4m.
So really, if anyone has suggestions or recommendations for rgb digital strip it would help me out, searching this on the internet is a total minefield of information.

My requirements are that it -
1. Needs to be digital strip so that i can do things like chases
2. Would be great if it could mimic a strobe effect i.e fast response.
3. It is super bright as they may sometimes be used in daylight, minimum of 14w/m
4. Would prefer 60led/m if possible

Things i've yet to get my head around are what the differences are between the chip types ie  ws2801, ws2811, LPD8806/6803, TLS3001, TM1809/1803/1804/1812, HL1606,etc
Do they all do the same thing?

Also is the voltage important to brightness i.e 5v,12v and 24v strip?

Just a note which may alter things, i will be controlling these from a dmx lighting desk so i assume i will need to use a dmx to pwm decoder to control these!

Hope someone can point me in the right direction! Thanks

Grumpy_Mike

Quote
Things i've yet to get my head around are what the differences are between the chip types ie  ws2801, ws2811, LPD8806/6803, TLS3001, TM1809/1803/1804/1812, HL1606,etc
Do they all do the same thing?

Possibly, but they will all do it in different ways. Some will handle just on and off and others will allow you to send brightness information as well. The method of getting the data to the LEDs as well as how often you have to refresh this data will also differ.

Quote
Also is the voltage important to brightness i.e 5v,12v and 24v strip?

No if a strip is designed to work at 12V, that is what you give it. Running it at 24V will only damage it. The basic criteria you need is the brightness and you will not get a clue about this from the working voltage.

Quote
so i assume i will need to use a dmx to pwm decoder to control these!

You will need a dmx to something but that will not be a PWM signal. A PWM signal will only control the brightness of a strip where all the LEDs are doing the same thing. From what you said this is not the sort of strip you want. You want and individually addressable RGB strip capable of doing different brightness levels.

Unfortunately I do not know any I would recommend but the vast majority of strips are not what you want.

KirAsh4

There are several DMX controllers on the market that will translate the DMX signal to a PWM signal for the strip to work.  The most common one is DMX to WS2801.  Start here: http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/dmx-to-ws2801-decoder.html

joc213

#3
Dec 06, 2012, 02:03 am Last Edit: Dec 06, 2012, 02:05 am by joc213 Reason: 1
I to have also been looking for what lampy wants, though I have not been able to understand all the terms full as I have no experience with leds, so bare with me.

I have looked at many different led strips and it is hard to find, as most the strips arn't what I want as said.  I also haven't decided over strips with WS2801 ic or with LPD8806, which i think the WS2801 has quarter refresh rate but 24bit color compared to the LPD8806 at 4x refresh rate at 21bit color (i really dont know what im talking about), as I've heard the WS2801 is a more commonly used, hence easier to get information on where as the LPD8806 is less commonly used, where the only datasheet found is chinese.  If anyone can give an input between these two IC's be appreciated.

best strips i found
LPD8806 32led/m https://www.adafruit.com/products/306
WS2801 32led/m https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11272?

however I believe you can get the same strips for cheaper from places like here
LPD8806 32led/m http://gree-leds.com/productshow.asp?ArticleID=TS7X2X7VTP
WS2801 32led/m http://www.bestlightingbuy.com/ws2801-addressable-rgb-led-strip.html

though here's strips i found with more leds which id prefer
LPD8806 52led/m http://gree-leds.com/productshow.asp?ArticleID=T0PZ386YP6

idk anything about WS2811 IC if anyone has input but they are the only ones i found with 60led/m though on ebay
WS2811 60led/m http://www.ebay.com/itm/1m-60-LED-m-RGB-LED-Light-Strip-5V-WS2811-WS2801-Waterproof-Addressable-Color-/160907739909?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2576d94305


thanks,
jacque

KirAsh4

Since you're wanting DMX control, you need to first find out what the DMX controller supports before you start looking at what strip you want.  That link I posted above will lists several available on the (Chinese) market, each of which will tell you exactly which strip they support.

joc213

That makes sense, but if I'm looking for the best led strips would I not then get a dmx controller that works with the strip I want?

Anywho, lets say I want this dmx controller http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/628154731/dmx_to_ws2801_decoder_6_channels.html

This means (i believe) the strip i run would have to be either
12v or 24v
LPD6803 or WS2801
and that i would have 6 channels being how many different led strips i can control.

I do need to research a little more on different dmx controllers but is there anything you recommend or tips/advice.  Such as is a 24 channel controller more desirable then a 1 or 6 channel, hence more possibilities to mess around with.

KirAsh4

I have no recommendation nor experience other than reading those same pages you're reading.  Sorry I can't be of any more help.

lampy

Ok, so this is all slowly starting to piece together. When i started thinking about this project i thought it would
be as simple as buying some led strip which i thought would all be the same and a single box that would provide both power and data.
So, having searched through millions of companies. These guys seem pretty good -http://www.ledstripslights.net/ProductsType/Digital-LED-Strip.htm

They can make the strip to your specification ie number of leds per meter with a choice of these chips HL1606, LPD6803, LPD8806, WS2801, TLS3001, TM1803, WS2811 and DMX512 series.

They have a new strip which is ws2811--64LED/m, 20watt/meter, each LED addressable.

They can do strip that is 120led/m and have a strip that has a chip that can connect directly to a dmx controller
without the need for a decoder.

My only issue now is also choosing the chip type, i would like to be able to imitate a strobe effect so a fast refresh
rate would be important, though i also need 8 bit colour control and 256 scale dimming.

Are you guys at all familiar with rgb virtual dimmers in control software? This is what i would be using.



lampy

Also as a note, i agree that finding the right strip is the key thing. I would work the psu and decoder around this.

joc213

thanks for sharing the site, ill look into that more when i have some time for im in a hurry right now.

i have no experience with leds or dmx as im trying to start my first project and still learning as i go.  Im interested in what you find and decide on, as well as, types of projects such as how your doing them etc. as im also looking into what into what i want and need, basically get something ill enjoy using for time to come, a wide range of abilities to not be limited later down the road when im working with them, such as brightness, chase, strobe, lots of leds/m each addressable all from a good supplier.  Though i still need to learn on how i plan to do most of these functions but i find the leds themselves the important aspect along with compatibility with i guess dmx control and software if thats correct.


fungus

#10
Dec 06, 2012, 11:03 pm Last Edit: Dec 06, 2012, 11:11 pm by fungus Reason: 1

Hi all, first post here. Trying to build some rgb lighting fixtures for use at gigs.
Looking for any help and advice about products to use mainly the digital rgb led strip.
Basically it is an upright standing frosted perspex tube that will have digital rgb led strip glued at the back on the inside. I have attached a drawing to give a representation, these need to be super bright as they may be used in daylight occasionally, there will be 2 strips together at the back to add to the brightness. As the tubes are 1.7m tall then the 2 strip adds to 3.4m.
So really, if anyone has suggestions or recommendations for rgb digital strip it would help me out, searching this on the internet is a total minefield of information.

My requirements are that it -
1. Needs to be digital strip so that i can do things like chases


OK. You probably need individually addressable LEDs.


2. Would be great if it could mimic a strobe effect i.e fast response.


No problem.


3. It is super bright as they may sometimes be used in daylight, minimum of 14w/m  
4. Would prefer 60led/m if possible


About the only one I've seen that can do all that is this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/160896346789

I've got one and it's pretty damn bright. I haven't tried it in direct sunlight but I imagine it would be easily visible. Under fluorescent lights I don't put it above quarter power.


Things i've yet to get my head around are what the differences are between the chip types ie  ws2801, ws2811, LPD8806/6803, TLS3001, TM1809/1803/1804/1812, HL1606,etc
Do they all do the same thing?


Pretty much. They have different data protocols, different number of control wires, but basically the same thing.


Also is the voltage important to brightness i.e 5v,12v and 24v strip?


The voltage has nothing to do with brightness. Usually it's to do with LED grouping, at 12V the LEDs will probably be in groups of three (i.e. they're not individually addressable...)

One thing to watch out for with 5V strips is they need a beefy power supply. A full 5M strip of LEDs would need 18 amps to drive it (900 LEDs at 20mA each).


Just a note which may alter things, i will be controlling these from a dmx lighting desk so i assume i will need to use a dmx to pwm decoder to control these!

Hope someone can point me in the right direction! Thanks


I wouldn't know about connecting it to a lighting desk but contact the seller, he's really helpful and knows his stuff.
No, I don't answer questions sent in private messages (but I do accept thank-you notes...)

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