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Thread: What kind of lights should I use??

  1. #1
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    Default What kind of lights should I use??

    Hi all, I'm new to setting up this automated lighting show. Pretty sure I understand what I'm doing, but I'm almost done programming my show and I'm not sure what lights to buy. Here is my setup:

    - Vixen 3
    - Arduino Uno R3
    - Two 8-channel solid state relays

    I only plan on using string lights, and I have to buy a ton - so I just don't want to buy the wrong ones. Any one have any tips on what kind to buy that support colors and dimming?

    Bonus points - what should I use on my controller to transmit to FM?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What kind of lights should I use??

    Usually it is the show player that controls the Audio. Many people are using the USB connected Soundblaster and taking the output from that into an FM transmitter. I use a PI as the show player, HiFiBerry DAC Plus to generate the Audio and an EDM transmitter for FM.

    Your UNO can be a lighting controller but I am not sure what it would take for it to be the show player as well.


    2021 New Tune-to sign. New 40x27 matrix at the house. Retiring the Strip based matrix. Updating some of the old window frames to the new house. Adding two new songs.
    2020 Full sized show reworked for the new location. Only adding (famous last words) 13 RBLs that I finally got converted to using pixels
    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show. Dim show (3000 pixels) had regular visits most nights.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/MartinMueller2003

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What kind of lights should I use??

    Quote Originally Posted by Pcooper114 View Post
    Hi all, I'm new to setting up this automated lighting show. Pretty sure I understand what I'm doing, but I'm almost done programming my show and I'm not sure what lights to buy. Here is my setup:

    - Vixen 3
    - Arduino Uno R3
    - Two 8-channel solid state relays

    I only plan on using string lights, and I have to buy a ton - so I just don't want to buy the wrong ones. Any one have any tips on what kind to buy that support colors and dimming?

    Bonus points - what should I use on my controller to transmit to FM?
    You are not going to get 'dimming' unless you add a zero cross detector to provide some timing information.

    For AC strings I suggest buying pretty much any LED strings from a big box store. If you want more specific colors, you may need to check a store like https://www.holiday-light-express.com/

    You said "Any one have any tips on what kind to buy that support colors......" If you mean selectable colors you are mistaken on the Arduino/SSR setup capability that you are using. Unless I am mistaken, color changing lights are DC powered LEDs. The SSRs you have are most likely for AC loads only.

    Your computer will be acting as the show controller by sending a serial data stream to the Arduino via the USB port. The computer will need to send the audio out of the headphone/speaker jack to a FM transmitter. I use a Signstek ST-05B FM transmitter - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Kevin

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What kind of lights should I use??

    Unless you are explicitly articulating how you are configuring your GPIO to accommodate 2 8-channel SSR boards, I have to assume you are just going straight 1 GPIO to 1 SSR, and the Arduino doesn't have enough GPIO for that. It's more suited for 1 8-channel; not two.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What kind of lights should I use??

    Quote Originally Posted by 1pet2_9 View Post
    Unless you are explicitly articulating how you are configuring your GPIO to accommodate 2 8-channel SSR boards, I have to assume you are just going straight 1 GPIO to 1 SSR, and the Arduino doesn't have enough GPIO for that. It's more suited for 1 8-channel; not two.
    OP mentioned a Uno. Plenty of GPIO on the uno to drive 16 channels.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What kind of lights should I use??

    Where? You've got GPIO 2 thru 13. 0 and 1 are normally tied up, unless you are doing advanced stuff. A0-5 aren't available as output. That's 12 pins, unless you get creative.

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