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Thread: Roof Lighting

  1. #1
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    Default Roof Lighting

    I have been slowly moving into individually adressable xmas lights. I used to have tons of static decorations, then moved to arduino controlled strip, and last year, I graduated to a F16V3 and a 10ft mega tree (using bullet LEDs and the boscoyo mounting strips).

    I was wondering, how difficult would it be for me to light my roof? I was thinking of using LED strips, rather than bullets, both for the extra waterproofing and the beauty of not seeing any wires. I was curious if any of you have lit up the entire rooftop, and if it looks good, or if I should just do the edges?

    I have a ~60' wide, single story house, and the entire roof is angled to face the street. House is set back about 15-20 feet from the road. I live in northern CA, so it's a normal shingle roof. If I did light the whole thing, how far apart should I make each strip? With the angle, I'm really not sure what width actually makes a difference from the street. At ~$1/ft, I don't want to completely overdo it and blow my money.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Roof Lighting

    I only have my roof outlines done. The peaks and ridges. I have it done in pixabulbs in Boscoyo strip. That works well.

    In general I'd recommend avoiding LED strips. They're a maintenance nightmare.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Roof Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by kingjesse2 View Post
    I have been slowly moving into individually adressable xmas lights. I used to have tons of static decorations, then moved to arduino controlled strip, and last year, I graduated to a F16V3 and a 10ft mega tree (using bullet LEDs and the boscoyo mounting strips).

    I was wondering, how difficult would it be for me to light my roof? I was thinking of using LED strips, rather than bullets, both for the extra waterproofing and the beauty of not seeing any wires. I was curious if any of you have lit up the entire rooftop, and if it looks good, or if I should just do the edges?

    I have a ~60' wide, single story house, and the entire roof is angled to face the street. House is set back about 15-20 feet from the road. I live in northern CA, so it's a normal shingle roof. If I did light the whole thing, how far apart should I make each strip? With the angle, I'm really not sure what width actually makes a difference from the street. At ~$1/ft, I don't want to completely overdo it and blow my money.

    Thanks!

    May I suggest uploading a picture for the visual reference? I can't say for sure, but in the posts and media I've come across, rooflines under the eaves, soffits etc.. (aka at least partially sheltered) will sometimes use strip, but I haven't come across anybody talking about doing the actual roof surface with strip. Not saying it's not done, but I can't recall anyone mentioning it. Always seems to be something else like a bullet, square, module you name, but not strip

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Roof Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by kingjesse2 View Post
    I have been slowly moving into individually adressable xmas lights. I used to have tons of static decorations, then moved to arduino controlled strip, and last year, I graduated to a F16V3 and a 10ft mega tree (using bullet LEDs and the boscoyo mounting strips).

    I was wondering, how difficult would it be for me to light my roof? I was thinking of using LED strips, rather than bullets, both for the extra waterproofing and the beauty of not seeing any wires. I was curious if any of you have lit up the entire rooftop, and if it looks good, or if I should just do the edges?

    I have a ~60' wide, single story house, and the entire roof is angled to face the street. House is set back about 15-20 feet from the road. I live in northern CA, so it's a normal shingle roof. If I did light the whole thing, how far apart should I make each strip? With the angle, I'm really not sure what width actually makes a difference from the street. At ~$1/ft, I don't want to completely overdo it and blow my money.

    Thanks!
    This is my first year testing out integrating strip, albeit only in arches because they are sealed, but the opinion by Jon above is basically exactly what I've been told or read repeatedly by veterans or people with the experience to make that claim. It certainly looks great in many situations, but it's finicky

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Roof Lighting

    A couple thoughts:

    1). As others have said, many people have found that strips donít hold up well in that type of application.

    2). There is a very distinct...aesthetic difference....between houses lined with LED nodes/bulbs versus strips. Traditionally, when we think of Christmas lights on homes, we visualize all the distinct bulbs that line the roof. Strips, on the other hand, donít necessarily evoke that same imageóand it starts becoming something else. So stylistically, they are VERY differentóso just something to keep in mind.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Roof Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by XmasinVancouver View Post
    May I suggest uploading a picture for the visual reference? I can't say for sure, but in the posts and media I've come across, rooflines under the eaves, soffits etc.. (aka at least partially sheltered) will sometimes use strip, but I haven't come across anybody talking about doing the actual roof surface with strip. Not saying it's not done, but I can't recall anyone mentioning it. Always seems to be something else like a bullet, square, module you name, but not strip
    Here was my house last year. I want to keep adding more and more controlled LEDs now that I have the Falcon, and know how to use it

    IMG_0917.jpg IMG_0905.jpg IMG_0906.jpg IMG_0915.jpg

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Roof Lighting

    I built a 32' x '16' pixel matrix for my roof. I used pixel nodes and HC's Pixnets. For years I had been doing a "greeting card" picture out of regular lights and blacking out the bulbs that don't fit the picture. Then I got into pixels and figured, why not make the matrix that I could play movie clips and many pictures. Here's a link to my more recent videos. If you look at the ones from 2013 or 2014 you can see the old pictures.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG9...EmJcqCiwmYY9sg

    My roof is lined with Strips, started with dumb strips then changed them out to Smart Strips. The year I used pixabulbs everyone asked where the strips went, so the strips came back. That's why I use them. In my "Behind the Scenes" video at around the 7:06 mark, it shows how I hung them. I've had strips on my house for many years and really only had a handful of sections (of 3 lights) that had to be replaced. They are not as easy to fix as nodes, that's for sure. So keep that in mind in your decision as well.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Roof Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_b View Post
    I built a 32' x '16' pixel matrix for my roof. I used pixel nodes and HC's Pixnets. For years I had been doing a "greeting card" picture out of regular lights and blacking out the bulbs that don't fit the picture. Then I got into pixels and figured, why not make the matrix that I could play movie clips and many pictures. Here's a link to my more recent videos. If you look at the ones from 2013 or 2014 you can see the old pictures.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG9...EmJcqCiwmYY9sg

    My roof is lined with Strips, started with dumb strips then changed them out to Smart Strips. The year I used pixabulbs everyone asked where the strips went, so the strips came back. That's why I use them. In my "Behind the Scenes" video at around the 7:06 mark, it shows how I hung them. I've had strips on my house for many years and really only had a handful of sections (of 3 lights) that had to be replaced. They are not as easy to fix as nodes, that's for sure. So keep that in mind in your decision as well.
    And there you have it, I figured it was done somewhere. I think for your particular use, specifically, a large roof matrix that you want to be able to play video clips or have clear images displayed, the strip makes sense. Effects can look good even with a surprising amount of spacing between each because of the way our brains process visual information. So despite the empty spaces between pixels, it kind of fills in the blanks to make sense of what it is seeing. It sees movement like a chase effect as one wave rather than individual lights flashing. Despite the surprising distance apart nodes that our brains can still make out shapes and effects, there's no debate that the closer and more densely spaced the pixels, the better the image looks and the more accurate it is to the original. When you are dealing with video clips, especially live action (aka not animated) video and images, you need the highest fidelity possible, and that means having individually controllable pixels as close as possible, unless you are viewing from a really large distance. Because of your specific use, the strips probably work nicely because they are so densely packed. Instead of one Led maybe every 3 to 4", you can have up to 144 LED's per Meter. But if you were doing an outline, as was stated above, it's a very very different look to have strips on the roof outline vs pixel nodes/bullets or the popular "Old school c9 bulb pixels". Many many factors to consider when deciding, but even supposedly ip68 rated strips are known for failing regularly vs other form factors.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Roof Lighting

    Little_b,
    That roof matrix is cool! I have to ask, as I see snow on the ground, how do you keep the roof matrix clear in the winter?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Roof Lighting

    Thanks Little_b! Has anyone else lined their entire roof?

    How far apart would you suggest putting the rows of lights?

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