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Author Topic: Question about L.E.D strip lights and the Arduino?  (Read 2585 times)
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I just got a 5m strip of l.e.ds in today, my question is Im going to be outlining a triangle 16x16x16 there are three l.e.ds every two inches so would one Arduino be able to control these l.e.ds? If so does anyone have any advice on how I could power it? It seems you plug the strip into the power supply so Im kind of lost there

I'll be using two 16x16x16 triangles so if the Arduino can control one side, can it control both? I want to be able to flash, strobe, knight rider etc etc. Also does anyone know of anyway I could control this with a remote?

Thanks alot guys
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Do you just want them all to turn on and off together?  Tell us a little more about what you want to do.
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Oooops sorry lost my train of thought while at work  smiley-grin

I would like for both triangles to be in sync together (light up as well as do different commands together). I was going to attempt this with individual l.e.ds but it seems the "ribbon strip lights" would be a little more plug and play than the individuals.

Thanks again
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Hi
It's possible, just depends on the amount of control you want. Most LED strips that I've seen split into 5cm, 3 LED strips as you've said. Each 5cm/3LED strip can be powered individually, but each LED can't unless you hack the strip apart.
Are you planning on using 16 strips of 3-LEDs for each side?
Do you want to control the whole triangle, a side or each 5cm strip?
I'm using 2 TLC5940s to control 32 x 30cm LED strips, each 5cm strip is 20ma, so 120ma for mine, per channel. The TLC can do this just fine.
If you want exactly the same on both triangles (if using 16 x 5cm Strips controlled individually) I'd use 3 TLC5940 running 2 strips per channel, the same one from each triangle.
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A way to control the LED strips is to connect all their +12s together to a +12V source,  and use a ULN2003ULN2803 as a high voltage/current buffer to control their grounds from Arduino pins.
If you need more outputs, then use a TPIC6B595 shift register to combine a shift register and ULN2803 function together.
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Hi
It's possible, just depends on the amount of control you want. Most LED strips that I've seen split into 5cm, 3 LED strips as you've said. Each 5cm/3LED strip can be powered individually, but each LED can't unless you hack the strip apart.
Are you planning on using 16 strips of 3-LEDs for each side?
Do you want to control the whole triangle, a side or each 5cm strip?
I'm using 2 TLC5940s to control 32 x 30cm LED strips, each 5cm strip is 20ma, so 120ma for mine, per channel. The TLC can do this just fine.
If you want exactly the same on both triangles (if using 16 x 5cm Strips controlled individually) I'd use 3 TLC5940 running 2 strips per channel, the same one from each triangle.

I plan on using what would be 8 strips that are connected for one side of the triangle, 3 l.e.ds per strip, which would make the 16 inches. I would like to control the entire triangle as a whole and would like to control both triangles, so that when I turn the power on both light up, command the lights to flash then both triangles do and are completely in sync.
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A way to control the LED strips is to connect all their +12s together to a +12V source,  and use a ULN2003ULN2803 as a high voltage/current buffer to control their grounds from Arduino pins.
If you need more outputs, then use a TPIC6B595 shift register to combine a shift register and ULN2803 function together.

I appreciate the response, but I should have noted that I know very little about any of this  smiley-lol
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Okay, this is what I am talking about.
I would use 3 'channels' like this, then  you can play a little with the display.


* LED_Strip_drive.jpg (55.43 KB, 960x720 - viewed 51 times.)
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Okay, this is what I am talking about.
I would use 3 'channels' like this, then  you can play a little with the display.

Great! Thanks a lot for that I appreciate it!

One more question if you don't mind. Could the second triangle be wired to the "ULN board" as well? Or would the second triangle need this same set up of its own?

Thanks again!
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So you just want the triangles to flash? Not knight-rider etc?
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Yes, just use 3 more outputs wired up thru the ULN2003.
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So you just want the triangles to flash? Not knight-rider etc?

I want them to flash, knight rider, strobe, everything
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Yes, just use 3 more outputs wired up thru the ULN2003.

Awesome! Thank you so much for your help! Could I pick up a universal remote or something to that degree and program it to the lights?
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How would it knight-rider if you're not having individual connections?
Your options are:-
A) Control the entire triangle, all on, all off etc.
B) Control each side of the triangle
C) Control each section of the LED Strip
This can easily be replicated for both triangles by just connecting the VCC or GNDs together, depending on which method you use.

IMO, and after much research, the TLC option is much easier for the kind of setup in C) , though a little more expensive (unless you get free samples). 2 TLCs give you 32 outputs, you only need 24. As they provide PWM it's much easier to get a knight-rider effect, there are even examples built into the library to do it.
Set the resistor to 40ma, provide 12v to the strips and hook the grounds into the TLCs.
Note: You will need to separate the grounds of the LED strips and solder on some wires to connect to the TLC.
You could also use a universal remote, the IR library is very good. I managed to get 4 relays controlled for a universal remote set to Sony codes, so can't see why you couldn't cycle through some preset animations.
http://www.arcfn.com/2009/08/multi-protocol-infrared-remote-library.html
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How would it knight-rider if you're not having individual connections?
Your options are:-
A) Control the entire triangle, all on, all off etc.
B) Control each side of the triangle
C) Control each section of the LED Strip
This can easily be replicated for both triangles by just connecting the VCC or GNDs together, depending on which method you use.

IMO, and after much research, the TLC option is much easier for the kind of setup in C) , though a little more expensive (unless you get free samples). 2 TLCs give you 32 outputs, you only need 24. As they provide PWM it's much easier to get a knight-rider effect, there are even examples built into the library to do it.
Set the resistor to 40ma, provide 12v to the strips and hook the grounds into the TLCs.
Note: You will need to separate the grounds of the LED strips and solder on some wires to connect to the TLC.
You could also use a universal remote, the IR library is very good. I managed to get 4 relays controlled for a universal remote set to Sony codes, so can't see why you couldn't cycle through some preset animations.
http://www.arcfn.com/2009/08/multi-protocol-infrared-remote-library.html

Ohhh I see what you are saying, I just youtubed led strip arduino knight rider and they showed some videos. Now that I think about it, none of the strips were cut they were still one strip.

I got a 5m RBG strip with a controller and power supply. I can plug it right into the wall and use the remote to change colors, make it flash, and a few more commands
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