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Thread: More control over color changing bulbs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2022
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    Default More control over color changing bulbs

    Last year I did my first decent outdoor Christmas/Halloween light display, and wanted to see what options I had for better control over my lights. I have provided links below for the bulbs I used and the controller. It's probably best to start with what I want to accomplish, and what the current setup's limitations/drawbacks are.

    With the current set up, I am limited to choosing a single color, or from a preprogrammed group of alternation colors. For example, During Halloween I would like to alternate between Purple, Green, and Orange lights. However, there is no preprogrammed option for those colors on the remote. I believe the closest option on the remote is Green/Orange/Blue

    The second major drawback from this setup, is I can only use up to 100 bulbs per light controller. I didn't think this would be a big deal because I would just daisy chain everything together. However that does not work. I need a 100 light run with it's own controller, run down from its own cord, and cannot be connected into any other sections of lights. This means that when I do blinking lights, they are never in sync as each run of lights is its own entity.

    Ideally, I would like to have control over the color of all ~350 bulbs, control over the flashing effects, and control over which colors and the order I want to flash them in (For ex. Green to red to white for Christmas, or purple to orange to green for Halloween, or whatever other combo). I would also like to be able to do this on a single run, so one controller would change all 350 lights to whatever effect I want.

    I will also provide some pictures of the lights so you can see last years setup, and I might even have a video to see how they are not synched. I guess let me know how much further I need to dive into this hobby to accomplish what I want. Hopefully I can use the same bulbs, and sockets, and maybe its just a controller things, but not sure. I appreciate the help.

    Controller - https://www.reinders.com/products/sp...wer-supply-c9/
    Bulbs - https://www.reinders.com/products/sp...1-bit-faceted/
    Socket Wire - https://www.holidayleds.com/1000-c9-...ol-white-wire/

    IMG_2601.jpg
    IMG_3517.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: More control over color changing bulbs

    The controller is a closed device. It looks a lot like it uses an X10 (pure guess here) type interface. Question to the community: Has anyone reverse engineered the Spectrafit / Spectralight controllers? It might be interesting to create some controllers that are Driven by an ESPixelStick. That would allow you to do a bit more with it. Question to the OP: Does the controller do effects (chase / wave / rainbow etc) or does the enire string always show the same color?


    2022 - Not sure yet. At least two new songs.
    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: More control over color changing bulbs

    A little more digging answered one of my question: From the controller document "*Bulbs are not independently controllable". That means the entire string is always the same color and same intensity.


    2022 - Not sure yet. At least two new songs.
    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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: More control over color changing bulbs

    You are correct. If you want green then all bulbs are green, and then they would change over to another color and every bulb would be that color. If i remember correctly there are only flashing effects, where it would flash the same color on and off for a second, flash through colors quickly, and I cant remember the other effects.

    I believe it has 16 pre pre-programed color options, and its a shame because some of them look great and make sense. For example, there is a red white and blue sequence that would look great for July 4, Memorial Day, or Veterans Day. There are a couple Christmas ones that make sense and include red, white, and green. I would love to be able to add a purple/green, Purple/orange, and a purple/orange/green option. It would be nice if Minleon offered a way you could save your own 16 sequences.

    I don't think I will be able to do much with the timing of the flashes, but to be honest it looks kinda of cool when they aren't in sequence. I think my wife has a video on her phone I may try to post later.

    As for reverse engineering I do have an extra step down transformer, remote, and some bulbs. After looking at some of these threads I know there are some brilliant people on here who can figure out just about anything.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: More control over color changing bulbs

    I plugged in a strand and took a quick video of the effects. One is a slow change, and the other is quick change. The quick change you can cycle between the different preset colors.




  6. #6
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    Default Re: More control over color changing bulbs

    Continued digging. It looks like a 12v pair of wires goes to each bulb in parallel. That means they have some sort of data signal riding on top of the power signal and the bulbs are not addressable. If you can find a controller that takes some form of serial input then I am pretty sure they can at least be synchronized.


    2022 - Not sure yet. At least two new songs.
    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

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