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Thread: Research, research and more research !!

  1. #1
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    Default Research, research and more research !!

    Hello Master Light Wizards !!

    I am new to the board but have been reading a few posts that are similar to what I am trying to accomplish.

    My current setup that I am looking to change is:

    - Upper House - 5 strings of 25 C9 Twinkle Bulbs (Total of 125) - would make longer when moving to LED.
    - Lower House - 4 strings of 25 C9 Twinkle Bulbs (Total of 100)
    - Garage - 2 strings of 25 C9 Twinkle Bulbs (Total of 50) - would make longer when moving to LED.
    - 2 Tree trunks - each one consists of 2 strings of 25 C9 Twinkle Bulbs (50 each - 100 Total)

    All of the C9 bulbs are 12Ē apart for the length of the strings.

    Garage View - https://photos.app.goo.gl/8N6Kouq12KX8ELLaA

    Tree View - https://photos.app.goo.gl/3QrsF5VXzNRhFGkVA

    Old Video of the house - https://photos.app.goo.gl/cjCHkrwpryMuHGoX6 - from 6 years ago. A couple of things have changed but the same setup is still there.

    If I go with 6Ē LED spacing on the strings then I would be looking at 260, 200, 140, 100 & 100 respectively.

    If I go with 3Ē LED spacing on the strings then I would be looking at 500, 400, 280, 200 & 200 respectively - would rather not if I can help it. Alot of power injection needed.

    I found out that the manufacturers are discontinuing the incandescent C9 Twinkle bulbs so I am needing to move to a LED setup. And no, the current individual C9 LED Twinkle bulbs are not bright enough to match my current C9 bulb setup, hence the reason why I am still running the incandescent bulbs. Since installing my C9 Twinkle bulbs numerous years ago after purchasing our house, it has gotten quite the following at Christmas time each year. I am NOT looking to do a light show set up here, regular C9 style look with the LEDís at Christmas time with a bit of flexibility for the rest of the year usage.

    I was originally thinking that I could program the new LEDís to twinkle like the C9s did previously but the timing of them would be the difficult part. The C9 bulbs do not have a set on and off time as you can see in the above videos. There are some bulbs that twinkle faster, and some are slower. Some also stay on OR off longer before coming on OR going off Ö all having a very random cycle to do their individual jobs. I was looking around and seeing what options are out there for a year-round setup other then the tree trunks. Then I could utilize them whenever I wanted throughout the rest of the year. I have viewed a couple of companies and what they have to offer for a year-round product, but the cost is way too high. It appears that they use a 3-LED module for their setups. And they do not have a solution for my tree trunks so I would have to figure something out for those anyhow. I do like their apps though for configuring their products. 😊 My concern with their setups is how the bulbs emit their light vs the C9ís and whether or not that they would be bright enough compared to the C9ís. My C9 strings are attached via the edge of the shingles OR hanging on the eavestroughs. The other companyís setups are mounted under the soffits of the house which does give them weather / sun protection throughout the year, but it is more of a wall wash affect for lighting purposes.

    Some of the products that I have am looking at to use on the house / garage are (these ideas are not set in stone) ..

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3231...archweb201603_

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3280...archweb201603_

    And just ran into these while doing additional research Ö either Chip3 OR Chip6 versions https://www.vividrgblighting.com/products/ & these guys Ö https://myeverlights.com/

    I have not figured out how to mount them yet as I donít know which options that I will be using but have seen the PermaTrack product already for the pixels. The Everlights are mounted differently which would give me a bulb view per say vs the wall wash affect.

    For my tree trunks, I think that I will be utilizing Mega Tree Plastic mounting strip with these guys Ö https://www.alibaba.com/product-deta...21ce6c5060ULPs The strip will allow me to keep the LED modules at a specific distance apart and not put any stress on the main wires providing power and data. This setup should be easy enough to spiral around the tree trunks and then hold in place when I need them at Christmas time. I will need to do some programming of some sort to get them to Twinkle the way that I want them to, if not via an app.

    So, I am thinking about utilizing the app that I have found to run the various strings of LEDís. I just need to find out what controllers that they allow with the app.

    The questions that I have right now are:

    1) Anyone have any other ideas on how to do this for year-round usage, newer options than above that I haven't ran into yet? My original and main aim is to replace the Twinkle C9 bulbs for Christmas operation with year-round usage second.

    2) Has anyone used any of the LED options above and compared them to the light output of the 10W C9 bulbs?

    3) How does these plastic LED items stand up over time if the sun can get to them? I know the older LED C9 strings that they had on a reel did not last very long if left up all year round.

    4) What controller option would be the best to go with for these setups if I canít use an app? I will probably have 1 WiFi, 1 Controller and 1 Power Supply per string install. I have investigated the Arduino but have also heard of the Falcon as well. I would like to go with 12V LEDís for better distance on power requirements and brightness - do not want to do Power Injecting every 16.5 ft.

    5) If I must make up my own control units, I want to be able to run them via my wired desktop computer (same network). Any suggestions on which WiFi parts to use inorder to have this control? I only have an Android phone and Ipad for wireless devices.

    Anything that I may have missed or if there are other questions, please let me know.


    And Ö yes, I am doing a lot of reading still on here and via other searches.

    Thanks,
    Dean

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Research, research and more research !!

    Offhand? PixaBulbs. Use an F4v3 to drive the house strings and nother to drive the tree (and any other yard stuff you may want to add). They have the ability to play from an SD card. You can set one up to play as master and the other as slave.

    Both xLights and Vixen have the ability to create pseudo random patterns. Create a 10 minute (or longer) sequence that randomly turns on and off the pixels (you can even get random colors). Export the sequence to the F4s and let them play. If you ever want synchronized lighting all you have to do is make a sequence and put it on the F4s.


    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/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Research, research and more research !!

    Hmmm ... over 100 views and only 1 reply.

    Thanks for the reply Martin !! I have seen those Pixabulbs before but I don't think that I will be using them. They don't appear to be as bright as my current C9's and I doubt that they would hold up to our weather if I left up for year-round use.

    Any other ideas?

    Thanks,
    Dean

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Research, research and more research !!

    Print your own C9 variant diffuser

    Here is an idea that is working for me .
    http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...hp?55557-Xlc-9

    Then purchase some bullet style pixels and a pixel controller or two .

    For the year round usage you may want to look at wireless control .
    Last edited by angus40; 02-04-2021 at 01:38 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Research, research and more research !!

    Quote Originally Posted by IzzyEddy View Post
    Hmmm ... over 100 views and only 1 reply.

    Thanks for the reply Martin !! I have seen those Pixabulbs before but I don't think that I will be using them. They don't appear to be as bright as my current C9's and I doubt that they would hold up to our weather if I left up for year-round use.

    Any other ideas?

    Thanks,
    Dean
    Pixabulbs are TWO pixels under a single diffuser. They get pretty bright. As for longevity, the color came off of my C9s within two or three seasons and that is with them up only over Christmas. The LEDs are pretty resilient. The covers tend to bet damaged by UV. As Angus40 mentioned, print some covers using a UV resistant material and you should be good to go.


    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/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Research, research and more research !!

    Okay, okay Martin ... I have had another look at these guys. Two LEDs inside the single pixel module and their site states that the wire, socket and lens are all UV protected.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Research, research and more research !!

    Hey, I would like to see the progress and how your Christmas tree is looking right now. I like this holiday a lot and finding the right ornaments for your Christmas tree can be very difficult sometimes. If you are having trouble decorating your Christmas tree and you are looking for advice on how to make it look more beautiful, I suggest you visit websites like https://www.weareecs.co.uk/social-research-insight-1 that have people discuss and give advice on different topics.
    Last edited by simonama; 06-13-2021 at 03:25 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Research, research and more research !!

    My C9's have been up year round for the last three years with no issues. They arent that bright. Only component of the display I run at 100% intensity. Everything else is 40% or less

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