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Thread: Newbie Pixels or Pixel Icicles

  1. #1
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    Default Newbie Pixels or Pixel Icicles

    Hey folks,

    First off, I'm brand new here. I have experience with RGB Leds, have played with panels, etc in the past on PIC microchips and Arduinos, so I'm pretty familiar with the technology. I'm tired of boring white icicle lights and troubleshooting incandescent lights. At the end of the season, I threw out all of my icicles as they were many years old and every strand had at least one section I couldn't fix. I originally came here looking for information on LED lights I could permanently install in the eves and not have to take down year after year. I'm still considering that, but have yet to find a mounting strategy that I would be happy with for my house.

    Anyways, I digress. My goal for the first year is pretty simple...I plan on outlining the horizontal surfaces of my house that I originally had icicles on with some kind of smart LED pixels. Like I said, I might try to figure out a permanent strategy for 6" spaced pixel, but I also see the cool icicle pixels offered on diyledexpress. I've seen a few videos and they look pretty cool, but I have a couple of concerns:

    1. Since they are LED pixels and hanging down, it seems that some of the pixels might not face the street? That would make them lose effectiveness I would think.

    2. With that many pixels, am I biting off more than I can chew for year one?

    I'm also planning on building a 16 strand x 50 pixel mega tree for the yard...I know that will take some time to put together, test and figure out how to sequence, but it seems like there is a ton of info out there and already built sequences for those kinds of trees.

    Anyways...any suggestions for someone in my shoes are appreciated. I'm trying to figure this out now so I can jump on the diyledexpress pre-order. I really like the fact that the strands will come with connectors on both ends, will save me a lot of time and effort for this first year!

    Thanks,
    Curtis
    aka. Piperpilot

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Newbie Pixels or Pixel Icicles

    I can't offer any advice really besides Boscoyo Studios offers strips for the icicle lights. Helps to keep them all facing the street.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Newbie Pixels or Pixel Icicles

    Can you post a picture of a section of your house where you want to put lights? I have an idea for permanent mounting but don't know if it will work with your house.

    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Newbie Pixels or Pixel Icicles

    Quote Originally Posted by piperpilot View Post
    1. Since they are LED pixels and hanging down, it seems that some of the pixels might not face the street? That would make them lose effectiveness I would think.
    No, it's not a problem.

    I used petulka77's organic icicle design (the Station Drive house). The bullets facing every which way doesn't detract from it at all.

    It looks amazing. I didn't dream of having a house that would ever look good as good as the Station Drive one, but in the end it looks even better (this stuff looks so much better in person than it does on video).

    Here is the info on how he did his icicles:
    http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...070#post306070

    There are other designs with mounted icicles at uniform spacing that would cause them to face forward though - I'm sure they look amazing as well. It's just for me with everything else I have being so uniform (Boscoyo megatree, minitrees, HDPE arches, strips) - it's nice having a bit of chaos in the display.


    Quote Originally Posted by piperpilot View Post
    2. With that many pixels, am I biting off more than I can chew for year one?
    Chew away!

    It took us a few months to plan and come up with the icicle design, power distribution, installation method etc. But now that it's done they are simpler to install than incandescent icicles. This was the last prop I changed from incandescent to pixel. I was so hesitant to lose that "pop" that you get from an incandescent bulb, but a sparkle beats a pop every day of the week.


    [Edit] Corrected my link to petulka77's icicles above.
    Last edited by deonb; 01-12-2017 at 05:40 AM.
    2016: 21500 pixels, 24 E682's. 6 A/C with 2 LOR
    2015: 7500 pixels, 11 E682's. 35 A/C with 3 LOR
    ...
    2011: 64 A/C channels with 5 LOR

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Newbie Pixels or Pixel Icicles

    I have inverted arches (I know, not icicles) that use bullet pixels and face 90 degrees away from the street (straight down). They look just as nice as the lights that face the street directly. Bullets have a very good viewing radius (much better than strips) so if you are planning to use bullet LEDs then you should be ok with a relatively random direction on the bullets.

    2017 adding 2 more candy canes, 7 Mid trees and a Halloween show. Removing most 2812 strips and replacing them with bullet pixel mounting strips. Replacing many buck converter waterproof bags with printed boxes.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Newbie Pixels or Pixel Icicles

    I have the DiyledExpress icicles mainly because I prefer the more organic/randomized look. With a bullet node, it doesn't really matter the direction unless it is pointing directly away which is unlikely. Before I put mine up, I laid them out and used a heat gun and straightened them out a bit, but otherwise I don't think you have anything to worry about.

    The fact that you are thinking about this now is certainly a positive. I don't see any reason why you couldn't accomplish everything you mentioned and more.

    My icicles:


    In action:
    https://youtu.be/47rrZ50LUAc

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Newbie Pixels or Pixel Icicles

    Thanks everyone for the replies. Great info on the icicles...that does indeed bring me closer to those. I will probably go with the premade ones from diyledexpress if I do, just for simplicity and time.

    As for the permanent mounting, I have attached some pictures. Whole house so you can see the "horizontal surfaces" I am referring to. I also attached two pictures of the front of those surfaces. I was thinking I could mount them up under the flashing pointing down so that just the bulb part of the pixel is visible or same thing, up under the facia.

    2017-01-12 15.45.13.jpg

    2017-01-12 17.07.40-1.jpg

    2017-01-12 17.07.49-1.jpg

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Newbie Pixels or Pixel Icicles

    Quote Originally Posted by piperpilot View Post
    Thanks everyone for the replies. Great info on the icicles...that does indeed bring me closer to those. I will probably go with the premade ones from diyledexpress if I do, just for simplicity and time.

    As for the permanent mounting, I have attached some pictures. Whole house so you can see the "horizontal surfaces" I am referring to. I also attached two pictures of the front of those surfaces. I was thinking I could mount them up under the flashing pointing down so that just the bulb part of the pixel is visible or same thing, up under the facia.

    I actually have that exact style of facia that you have.

    This is how I mounted my pixel icicles on it this year without (very) visibly damaging the surface:
    http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...901#post449901

    Not multi-year tested though, but so far so good.
    2016: 21500 pixels, 24 E682's. 6 A/C with 2 LOR
    2015: 7500 pixels, 11 E682's. 35 A/C with 3 LOR
    ...
    2011: 64 A/C channels with 5 LOR

  9. #9
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    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Newbie Pixels or Pixel Icicles

    This is how I have my house outline attached. I don't have a pic of them on the house up close because I already took them down because I'm having the house repainted, but they were designed to stay up year round. It's just vinyl j channel that I painted to match the material in my sofits and it just slides into the lip of the brace that holds the vent pieces. It's held in by friction and holds well.
    20170112_125405.jpg20170112_125410.jpg

    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Newbie Pixels or Pixel Icicles

    This was having two pieces boxed together but didn't end using that but instead mounted to the lip behind it. 20170112_172441.jpg

    And this is them lit up
    20170112_172717.jpg

    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk

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