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Thread: Strip leds or pixel strings?

  1. #1
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    Default Strip leds or pixel strings?

    Hi all, I'm building some arches this year, would you recommend using led strips or pixel strings. I have ws2811 pixel strings but I haven't used strips yet as not sure if they would give the same amount of light? Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Strip leds or pixel strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Theashfords View Post
    Hi all, I'm building some arches this year, would you recommend using led strips or pixel strings. I have ws2811 pixel strings but I haven't used strips yet as not sure if they would give the same amount of light? Thanks
    Strips will put out plenty of light. It's more a function of how you want to attach the pixels to your arches. If you are going to have the pixels inside the arch tubing, then I think strips are the way to go. If you are attaching on the outside, then bullet pixels or nodes are the way to go. Strips are more vulnerable to damage and weather and do well when inside a protecting tube.
    Ed
    Happily retired

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Strip leds or pixel strings?

    I tried both. Bullet pixels make "hotspots" of light inside the tube. (Basically you can see each point of light inside the tube.)
    (Found the below image online to help explain bullet nodes inside arch)
    maxresdefault.jpg

    Strips however, are much nicer as they point up inside the tube making for a better diffused "lightsaber" effect.
    All in all, in my opinion, strips look better and cleaner like a solid tube of light as opposed to more defined "points" of light inside a tube.
    Here are mine with strips inside 1" pex: (I guess it really depends on the type of look you want)
    file (1).jpg
    notwlights.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Strip leds or pixel strings?

    I have had reliability issues with the WS2812 strips. I use WS2811 3:1 strips on my closed arches and then have a very nice look


    2018 - Moving and going to visit my Daughter in New Zealand. Most likely I will be dark or nearly dark, Some static stuff that is simple to put up.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Strip leds or pixel strings?

    My experience with both:

    Using strips, you have 3 LEDs that light up for each pixel instead of just one. This may look okay in your application. But it may not. I personally only use strips where I'm going to mount a diffusor tube over the strip. If you want single points of light, you are forced to using 5V 2811 strips instead of 12V.

    Pixels I find to be nearly indestructible. Strips on the other hand, I've broken by simply cussing at it.

    Strips MUST be in a silicone sleeve. Don't think the clear rubber coating will make it waterproof -- it wicks water up between the PCB and the rubber via capillary action over a few days. You have to use strips in a silicone sleeve. And while you can buy empty sleeves and put your own strips in, unless it's 2' or shorter, you'd better practice putting toothpaste back in the tube to get proficient at getting the strip into the silicone tube. I know you're going to think "oh, I don't have to have strips in the sleeve -- I can seal a strip myself." I have taken strips and encapsulated them in plastics, waxes, and immersed them in Polyurethane to fill the capillary paths. None of them last long. The only way to make strips withstand outdoors is to buy the strips with a silicone sleeve instead of the encapsulated model. Trust me, I have hundreds of pixels dead at my feet from the experiments.

    Bullet pixels however are 12V, single lights, and can be routed in any way you want, not just in the plane of the lights (the pcb makes strips less flexible for turning different than where the lights point).

    My three 15' diameter arches have black split loom ziptied to the top of the arches. And the pixels are simply pressed into the split, pointed toward the road. This means I need no diffusors or waterproofing. And as a plus, should a light go dead, I can pull out the bad pixel and replace it with ease. I've had one bad pixel over the years, and not in the arches. PS: Get a sewing thimble to make spreading the loom easier.

    Building arches with 12mm bullet pixels is easier and more reliable than with strips.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Strip leds or pixel strings?

    You guys have resurrected an old thread. and on a topic that unfortunately comes up several times a year.
    Jim Nealand
    Kennesaw, Ga

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Strip leds or pixel strings?

    Are 30 LED's per meter sufficient, or should I go with the 60 LED per meter at almost double the price?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Strip leds or pixel strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by outbreak View Post
    Are 30 LED's per meter sufficient, or should I go with the 60 LED per meter at almost double the price?
    144 led per meter !

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Strip leds or pixel strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by outbreak View Post
    Are 30 LED's per meter sufficient, or should I go with the 60 LED per meter at almost double the price?
    It depends on what you want for a look. We use 30 LEDs in groups of 3 (10 groups per meter) for all 10 arches. It does what we want. Others want a "finer" look and go with the 60. And yes, cost did play in the original decision to purchase, but as we have used them now for 5 years we have come to realize that they are just fine- for us.
    Live, Laugh, Love.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Strip leds or pixel strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by angus40 View Post
    144 led per meter !
    I'll need to re-mortgage the house for those!

  11. Likes angus40 liked this post
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