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Thread: Uh Oh...I feel a new hobby coming on...

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Uh Oh...I feel a new hobby coming on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwinter View Post
    I'm intrigued by your statement.

    Are you claiming that AC LEDs "look better" than low-voltage (5v or 12v) LEDs? Or are you attributing the "looking better" to the controller (SSR versus smart-pixels)?

    What exactly does an AC LED mega-tree have, that a smart-pixel LED mega-tree can't replicate?

    Or is this simply a variation of the "vinyl-versus-CD" argument?
    I'll add my opinion to this... Most people who go full-pixel-overload also end up losing all sense of taste and style
    * Just because you CAN make every pixel change and do something doesn't mean you SHOULD.
    * Just because you CAN use ~16777216 colors on each pixel doesn't mean you SHOULD.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Uh Oh...I feel a new hobby coming on...

    Quote Originally Posted by jchuchla View Post
    Generally it's randomness vs order. while a pixel tree can be designed to look like a regular string, and a regular string can be trained into a neat order, that's not typically how it goes. Most people who do pixels do them in razor sharp lines with neat strips to hold them perfectly spaced in a row all facing exactly the same direction. Most AC strings are left with the bulbs loose and pointing whichever way they end up. It's a very different look. Both have their beauty, but they're definitely different.
    So it basically IS the "vinyl-versus-CD" comparison: the "warm hiss" that people love in vinyl is basically the "warm randomness" of lights slightly askew.

    But in all actuality, this is all in the USER (having nothing to do with AC LED v smart LED): if I so wanted, I could put up my smart LEDs in a non-precise fashion.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Uh Oh...I feel a new hobby coming on...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLost View Post
    I'll add my opinion to this... Most people who go full-pixel-overload also end up losing all sense of taste and style
    * Just because you CAN make every pixel change and do something doesn't mean you SHOULD.
    * Just because you CAN use ~16777216 colors on each pixel doesn't mean you SHOULD.
    I 100% agree there! However, that is simply "user-error"--don't blame that on the choice of LEDs!

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Uh Oh...I feel a new hobby coming on...

    Im still curious about this original statement:

    My LED AC string mega tree has a look to it that a pixel tree will never replicate.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Uh Oh...I feel a new hobby coming on...

    I agree with Jon's statement. The randomness of strings of AC lights is hard to duplicate with pixels. Sometimes you just don't need, or desire, a straight string of points of light. There is a perceived "warm" vs "cold" look as well. Most of this perception comes from the straight lines and perfectly spaced pixels. Also, pixels tend to be larger than AC LEDs. 8mm LEDs in a 12mm package just don't look the same as 2, 3 or 4mm LEDs or even incans.

    It comes down to the look that you, the person doing it, desires. For me, though I have taken on large-scale pixel based displays - I still love the look of the AC lights (both incan and LED). A drive around the neighborhood confirms this.

    Now the real trick is to combine them both, something I hope to master before too much longer. At least I hope that it is possible.


    To answer the OP's initial ideas and thoughts, take a look at which one you want to do and that will lead you to products you will need. A good number of us got our start watching a specific AC based show, doing things we had never thought of before. This will lead you down a path that can be fun, rewarding, and expensive - no matter which direction you go.
    Last edited by algerdes; 12-07-2017 at 04:15 PM.
    "Never Give Up. Never Surrender!"
    Capt Tagert - Galaxy Quest.
    Al Gerdes - Christmas Lighting Nut!

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Uh Oh...I feel a new hobby coming on...

    My shows have only been LEDs so far with no pixels yet. I do want to bring pixels into the mix but I do love the look of traditional lighting more than the somewhat sterile look of pixels made up in purely straight lines.
    Yep, vinyl versus CD!
    But look at all the options and see what appeals to you is best for you!
    You can see videos of LEDs on my site from my last shows.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Uh Oh...I feel a new hobby coming on...

    But this is ALL how you choose to mount whatever bulb you choose--nothing to do with pixels vs AC LEDs.

    Unless I'm missing something, there's nothing you can do with an AC LED that you can't do with a pixel LED (especially when you're looking at C7/C9 pixel bulbs).

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Uh Oh...I feel a new hobby coming on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwinter View Post
    But this is ALL how you choose to mount whatever bulb you choose--nothing to do with pixels vs AC LEDs.

    Unless I'm missing something, there's nothing you can do with an AC LED that you can't do with a pixel LED (especially when you're looking at C7/C9 pixel bulbs).
    Except that most pixels pretty much require the external support if you expect any longevity out of them. If you took a 50 pixel string and just stretched it between a pole and a stake, you'd almost certainly be dealing with frequent problems. AC string lights handle that scenario just fine.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Uh Oh...I feel a new hobby coming on...

    1. randomness of the light elements in terms of spacing and direction the light points
    2. MUCH bigger choice in how the light is diffused with AC strings. C3,4,5,7,9 or the M* shapped leds
    3. Good luck replicating my warm white leds with a pixel. You can't do it.

    Those are the biggest differences I think.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bwinter View Post
    I'm intrigued by your statement.

    Are you claiming that AC LEDs "look better" than low-voltage (5v or 12v) LEDs? Or are you attributing the "looking better" to the controller (SSR versus smart-pixels)?

    What exactly does an AC LED mega-tree have, that a smart-pixel LED mega-tree can't replicate?

    Or is this simply a variation of the "vinyl-versus-CD" argument?

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Uh Oh...I feel a new hobby coming on...

    Quote Originally Posted by ukewarrior View Post
    1. randomness of the light elements in terms of spacing and direction the light points.
    Yeah, I think AC (LED or Incan) mega trees have strings that are generally spaced much closer, especially when the strings are doubled or tripled up. I actually like the appearance of Pixel trees but as has been alluded to, I do not often find effects or sequencing on the pixel tress that I like. But I stress most firmly - that is my opinion.

    I use AC strings, 70% LED and 30% incans. I do have 125 pixels for experimentation, but they have yet to find their way into my show. Except for the (essentially dumb) pixels on my hacked Dazzler "Midi Tree". From what little sequencing I have done for it, I can say that sequencing pixel-based props is very hard. that is, if you want it to look good.

    When I first entered this hobby 3 years ago, I decided initially that pixels were too expensive. They cost a lot less now than then, but I still think I would have started out with AC strings. But as other have already said, you need to see shows yourself (in person or on videos) to make the decision of which way you want to go. Either way - or even both! - it's still a great hobby.

    Jimboha
    Springville, Utah

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