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XLights and WLED on the same controller with MQTT

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  • Michael McSharry
    replied
    Thank You much for providing and experience-based assessment of the state of the art.

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  • ksum
    replied

    Originally posted by Michael McSharry View Post
    Is there something that could be done in mcsMQTT that would make this integration of WLED and XLights easier for the user?
    Short answer: A definite No for WLED. I would also say No for xLights due to the lack of any structure coming out of xLights Scheduler's MQTT integration.

    Long winded explanation: I believe I may not have done a good job explaining the way these applications work and especially how they work together. There are two items here:
    • WLED is a standalone LED driver/controller with built in effects, and many other options which I believe we are familiar with here.
    • xLights is a program which allows the user to generate effects on a grand scale over single or multiple controllers, at a pixel or segment as well as device (moving lighting heads, etc.) level and, if desired, in time to music. These are actual shows or Sequences. You save a sequence and can then use xLights Scheduler (a second program delivered with xLights) to play a playlist of one or more sequences. The sequence is either run on a computer where the xLights applications are stored or on a stand alone player such as Falcon Player (FPP), which seems to be the standard player. Either of these methods can also use a unit with WLED installed as one of the controllers. It also uses larger controllers such as this small Kulp controller which can handle 6400 LEDs over 8 light strings, and can also have FPP built in, meaning you no longer need your computer which runs xLights to be running. BUT when the xLights sequences are sent to the WLED controllers (via the PC or FPP) it constantly sends the information (E131 data) of which LEDs to light, the color, etc., to WLED and basically takes over control. So there is no MQTT between xLights and WLED. (I am sure this is all confusing and may require a couple re-reads.)

    Michael McSharry The last I looked, I think you have WLED covered. I may be wrong as I have not yet used HomeSeer to control my WLED units outside testing some of your initial setup. I did notice that my units did not have all the Effects, by name, listed in HomeSeer, but was able to add what I wanted. There are effects added with the upgrades, but I personally found this to a minor item. It also becomes a dependency on the version of WLED installed on the unit and does the API provide a way of getting the list by effect name and ID? So if I have 2 different version on 2 different controllers... I think you get the idea.

    As for xLights and MQTT, the only integration I am aware of is that you can manually set xLights Scheduler to receive MQTT messages and act on them to control the entire show. There is no MQTT messages between xLights and WLED, so think of these as 2 different items which are not actually related. The only communication between xLights and WLED is via E131.

    Regarding xLights Scheduler: By default the topic field for this is xSchedule/Event but you need to add the rest. That does not mean you must use this nor is there any convention I am aware of beyond this. Also, there is a large collection of commands which could be sent as an Event to xLights Scheduler. It appears to be 80 with the current release. Each of these can have 0-3 Parameters. So in my screenshot below I created an Event to use the looped playlist Command and am using MQTT to communicate that to xLights Scheduler. The MQTT message is:
    Topic: xSchedule/Event/Playlist/Looped
    Payload: (a Playlist Sequence name)
    Complete message to run playlist Test1: xSchedule/Event/Playlist/Looped/Test1
    When I set this up, I selected MQTT in the top left (it can be Serial, E131, MIDI, and more). I then filled in my Broker IP and a Name. I then selected the Command and the Parameter 1 field was made available. Other commands will also make Parameter 2 and possibly 3 available as well. I then had to add Playlist/Looped to the end of the provided Topic so that I have different MQTT Topics for the commands I want to initiate. If I used the Stop Command, there would be no parameters, so xNashuaNH13Lights Scheduler in this case is not taking a Payload and the Payload is optional in some cases.

    Note that the programmer of xLights, Keith Westley, claimed in the chats in this DrZzs livestream that "I dont use home automation at all. The only MQTT I have ever done was enough to code it into xSchedule" so you may see some items above which you may consider to be odd for MQTT messages. The linked livestream recording was DrZzs setting up MQTT and xLights Scheduler.

    Also Note that if I were using FPP to run my light show, I would have a completely different set of MQTT messages. These do seem to have a convention. But the audience for this may be limited. I know I am not at that level and anyone I know who is uses other methods to schedule the show times.

    I see 3 levels of LED lighting regarding all of this:
    1. The WLED only user who has some units around and uses what is built in.
    2. The Mid person, who has downloaded xLights and is doing a slightly stepped up display but uses either WLED or another similar controller. A laptop or desktop computer is used to control these.
    3. The Big Display which is orchestrated to sound, typically pushed over an FM transmitter, and has multiuple controllers for items such as a "Megatree" which itself is made up of hundreds or thousands of lights. All of this may be controlled from a laptop or desktop but is likely run through Falcon Player (FPP) and not using their home network for any traffic or is only using it for some limited traffic.
    Click image for larger version

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  • Michael McSharry
    replied
    Is there something that could be done in mcsMQTT that would make this integration of WLED and XLights easier for the user?

    Leave a comment:


  • ksum
    replied
    XLights can control the lights connected to the WLED unit by sending data WLED understands, but recognize you are removing control from the WLED as far as colors, effects, etc. Also, you need to go into the WLED page, or via other means, turn "On" the WLED unit for XLights to control the connected lights. If WLED is not On first, XLights will not control the LEDs. Once XLights starts controlling, WLED will have a message about the control. I do not recall how it is worded.

    You CAN use MQTT To control Sequences from a Playlist in XLights Scheduler. But there is a Process to this. You have to have one or more Sequences in the Playlist and then under the Edit menu you create Events. Then you can create MQTT Events to occur when specific messages are received.

    So MQTT Controls a Playlist from XLights Scheduler and XLights Scheduler has your Xlights Player (PC, FPP, etc) control the WLED unit.
    Click image for larger version

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  • The Profit
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael McSharry View Post
    I have no personal experience. I believe I have seen YouTube video by "The Hook Up" on this subject. It seems to me WLED has provisions for it. Do you have any experience with XLights?
    I’m sorry, I do not have any experience with it yet. I’ve just been reading and watching some YouTube videos about it and found out it can work with WLED and adds quite a few new lighting affects which is what I would like to be able to do with the holidays coming up.

    Not sure if you will have any time yourself but if there is anything I can do to assist, let me know.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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  • Michael McSharry
    replied
    I have no personal experience. I believe I have seen YouTube video by "The Hook Up" on this subject. It seems to me WLED has provisions for it. Do you have any experience with XLights?

    Leave a comment:


  • The Profit
    started a topic XLights and WLED on the same controller with MQTT

    XLights and WLED on the same controller with MQTT

    Is it possible to control WLED and XLights on the same controller with MQTT?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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