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Hello,

I am totaly new with Arduino and electronic in general. My background skills are Software development oriented and a fully geek spirit.

I wanted to know if my ideas are possible and then how to start, which components to choose and stuff like that.

My idea is to add some fun with LED Strips at home. I want to control the LED Strips from a mobile phone and to have the possibility to create fun lighting programs. Based on that, I read quite a lot of things and some reading retains my attention.

  • LED Strips (each LED addressable vs. non addressable)
  • Arduino boards

I also notice that sometimes other components are required and sometimes not. Not sure to well understand when. There is also the software part with the requirements of libraries depending of the LED strip chosen.

As I already mentionned, I do not know a lot about electronics/electricity (just basis). Then, I do not know what to choose and how to start.

I will really appreciate helps to start in my project.
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Topsham, Vermont USA
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Hi, You might start with the http://ArduinoInfo.Info  WIKI

There is a section on controlling power with Arduino:  http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/ArduinoPower

http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/ArduinoPower#DC    ...shows switching and then dimming a 12V lamp. LED strips from Ebay that are 12V might be good..

Mainly, get started and you will learn stuff. Some good How-To here:    http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/YourDuinoStarter

You will get friendly responses here if you ask thought-out questions...
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Regards, Terry King terry@yourduino.com  - Check great prices, devices and Arduino-related boards at http://YourDuino.com
HOW-TO: http://ArduinoInfo.Info

Seattle, WA USA
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I will really appreciate helps to start in my project.
What is the project? As I read,
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My idea is to add some fun with LED Strips at home.
That's hardly a project statement.

If the idea is to have fun. Get some LED strips and start experimenting. Don't try to do the whole project at once. Get the Arduino controlling the LED strip(s), and then think about how to connect it the phone.

I'd use an ethernet shield, so that the system could be controlled from ANY browser equipped phone.
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Thanks for the answers.

That's true, I was not so clear when I spoke about "my project". At this stage, I am more looking to find rights components to start doing something cool with LED Strips. So, I think anything should be ok. The final goal is to add some decorative lights inside my home that I can control through my mobile phone.

For sure idea like browser app to controll the LED Strips is a suitable idea for me. It is probably something that I can quite easily managed to do (more than writing a TCP app with app protocol).

What I have difficulties to start is to chose a Arduino board. There is several ones and I am not sure to clearly understand which one could be suitable for me. It's probably because I have not read enough doc around that topics.
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Seattle, WA USA
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What I have difficulties to start is to chose a Arduino board.
You make it sound like you will only buy one. I thought that at one time, too. Now I have 9 of them.
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It was not my goal. I do not know how many I will buy but for sure to start I will start small to grow slowly as my knowledge will grow.
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I do not know how many I will buy but for sure to start I will start small to grow slowly as my knowledge will grow.
I'm trying to encourage you to get started. Buy an Arduino. Any one will do to play with one LED strip.

Get an LED strip. Learn what you can do with it. Hopefully, somewhere along the way, a real project will suggest itself. At that point, you may, or may not, have exactly what you need. If not, and you aren't sure exactly what you need, we're here to help. (Or hinder, some feel).
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I will do that. I will start and play.

I am looking for LED strips and I am asking some questions to myself.

For example, I saw that: http://www.adafruit.com/products/1138

In the description of this product, they mention that it should be better to use a Arduino Mega board due to the RAM usage. So, if I understand clearly, I need the strip (that's an evidence), the Mega board (also an evidence) and some power.

That's where I am a bit loss. In the product description, it is mentioned that the strip works with a DC 5V/10amps. So that's part is quite easy because they offer also a suitable power supply through their "suggested products". But for the Arduino Mega, it is recommended to use a 7V DC. Is this mean that I need to different power supply ? It is probably really a newbie question  smiley-confuse

Just for my curiosity, if I want for example 3 x 4m of this LED strips controlled by a same Arduino board, could it be possible ? What kind of things I need to do ? I do not need a precise answer just some ways or general explanations.

Thanks in advance
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I am looking for LED strips and I am asking some questions to myself.
Are you the right person to be answering them?  smiley-cool

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So, if I understand clearly, I need the strip (that's an evidence), the Mega board (also an evidence) and some power.
AdaFruit is a good company. If they say that a Mega is a better choice, I'd trust them.

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In the product description, it is mentioned that the strip works with a DC 5V/10amps.
The picture also shows a second power supply for the Arduino.

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Just for my curiosity, if I want for example 3 x 4m of this LED strips controlled by a same Arduino board, could it be possible ?
The implication from the AdaFruit page is that each pixel takes 3 bytes of memory. So, 60 LEDs per meter times 12 meters times 3 bytes per pixel looks like about...2,160 bytes. That's just over 1/4 of the Mega's memory, and needs only 3 pins. So, yes, you should be able to handle 12 meters of LEDs.
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