Under truss lighting

Good afternoon all,

Has anyone tried to use the neopixel (or other strip lights) as lighting under a truss? The truss' are 8' above floor level, 31' long. I don't think that the neopixel could be used as a primary source of light at that distance, but what about supplemental lighting?

there are 13 truss' in the room, spaced 8 feet apart, its one of those projects that seems really fun, but also that it may just be alot of research and figuring for nothing.


That will be a lot of light (31' x 13 truss - depending on the distance between trusses...) More importantly it will require a bit of design to feed that length of strips with dat aand power. Probably one data stream per truss, and than wrk out the best power distribution to suit the location.

Is it showing patterns, or just simple lighting / slow changing ? Likely you can do it with a single Ardu' if the RAM is sufficient to buffer the display.

I don't think that the neopixel could be used as a primary source of light at that distance, but what about supplemental lighting?

My "gut" says no, but I suppose if you have enough of them...

I did some rough estimates/calculations and I'm going to say it takes about 1200 LEDs to give you the equivalent of one 75W halogen floodlight. That could be off by a factor of 2 or more but it's a start... And that's assuming all of the LEDs are on at once.

...I'm not sure how to interpret the mcd brightness for an RGB LED. I averaged the midrange of the 3 colors. That may be pessimistic.... Maybe they sum (rather than average) to get a white equivalent And the mcd to lumens conversion (which I found online) asks for an angle. I assumed 90 degrees and that might also be pessimistic.


..I've got a sound-activated lighting effect that uses (only) 48 regular red "high brightness" LEDs. I consider that a "special effect". My "primary effect" that's intended to "light up the dance floor" uses 8 100W colored incandescent floods.

I am not sure of the light level or pattern. Lughting is an engineering field all to itself. Reflector diffuser stc Many car lights are CAN bus Google track lights You can put lights in soup or coffee cans for direction If you just want dots of lights on an otherwise dark area then neo pixels can bring ligh to the truss

WS2812B strips (which is what Adafruit calls "neopixels") come with up to 144 LEDs per meter. Then the LEDs are pretty much placed against one another.

Your 31' truss would hold strips of almost 10 meters so some 1,400 LEDs. That's a single strip on a single truss. Times 13 trusses that's a lot of light. If not enough, just double them up.

Your hardest problem may be the power supply, as they run at just 5V and take up to 50 mA each, you'd have to be able to supply some 70A to each truss. Note that you have to connect your power wire to the strip every ~50 LEDs. I see a clear difference in brightness on a strip when using 80 LEDs vs. 40 LEDs, when powering from one end. Those strips just can't carry that much current by themselves.

Thanks all, I have been looking at the 12v version of these lights as well. Looking at the power requirements, I may be looking at using these as supplemental lights. More of a mood light depending on the function going on.