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Could someone or some ones please write a FAQ about RGB LED lighting?

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  • Could someone or some ones please write a FAQ about RGB LED lighting?

    It's just about every week or so that someone posts a question about LED RGB lighting and I can't keep up. I don't know where to begin. If some folks would be so kind as to either dump some knowledge that I can amalgamate into a FAQ or if someone could write one themselves is would greatly aid the community!
    Originally posted by rprade
    There is no rhyme or reason to the anarchy a defective Z-Wave device can cause

  • #2
    Originally posted by S-F View Post
    It's just about every week or so that someone posts a question about LED RGB lighting and I can't keep up. I don't know where to begin. If some folks would be so kind as to either dump some knowledge that I can amalgamate into a FAQ or if someone could write one themselves is would greatly aid the community!
    I keep looking for answers. There's normal LED Strips, and then there's the Addressable LED Strips. I want to go with the addressable ones.
    I've found a company that seems to have all the pieces, and I'm currently corresponding to figure out if I can use this system with HS through JSON or something. They're in Bulgaria, so corresponding is like sending messages to Mars with the sleep schedule delays. His last question was: "why do you wish to control via JSON or MQTT". But there's a neat little dinrail controller. Uses MMX/DMX512 natively.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tome10 View Post
      I keep looking for answers. There's normal LED Strips, and then there's the Addressable LED Strips. I want to go with the addressable ones.
      I've found a company that seems to have all the pieces, and I'm currently corresponding to figure out if I can use this system with HS through JSON or something. They're in Bulgaria, so corresponding is like sending messages to Mars with the sleep schedule delays. His last question was: "why do you wish to control via JSON or MQTT". But there's a neat little dinrail controller. Uses MMX/DMX512 natively.

      Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
      For addressable strips with Homeseer integration, have a look at the Hyperion server and the Hyperion plugin: https://forums.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=166816

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      • #4
        I'll have a look Spud. I kept seeing Hyperion, but I didn't know what it was.
        To finish my last post, here's the company i've been corresponding with. They have Programming Software, Din Rail Controllers. If this system will operate with HS in some way is what I'm still trying to figure out. I know DMX512 is a serial protocol. I know there's something called Art-Net that is an Ethernet protocol which carries DMX512. I'm not sure about the MMX Protocol.
        There's apparently a few programming software's out there that I have no idea which to choose, but the one from this company seems on the simple side, and the others I've seen were more about stage lighting programs.

        So the question now.. 1) What's Hyperion, and can it speak DMX512, or Art-Net, and or is this DMX Stuff the wrong pathway to go down, and what's Hyperion?


        I'm not sure about the second led strip when he said 30 leds per 3m. Genius math puts that at 10 leds per meter. That doesn't sound very enticing. It could be a Lost in Translation datapacket but I'd have to go with the pro anyways.
        "5 meter of Pro LEDs 42/m costs 170 EUR + VAT.
        5 meter of Digital LED strip 30 3M costs 85 EUR + VAT."

        Din Rail Controller $200 on ebay.
        https://ledstripstudio.com/spi-led-controller/

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        • #5
          I can see that a couple of those devices you link to mention MMX but to be honest I'm not sure it is that popular as I can't find anything about it and perhaps something custom to them, DMX has/is considered the industry standard but even that is getting old now. ArtNet just makes DMX work over a IP network rather than having to run cable everywhere.

          The unit you link to does look quite nice but I wonder if you are unsure then before you make an investment whether or not looking at some free solutions might be worthwhile. You can build ArtNet nodes using ESP8266 modules, I built one that uses this firmware which you can also use to control LED pixels - https://github.com/mtongnz/ESP8266_ArtNetNode_v2 - you could have a node working for very little money indeed.

          I then used FreeStyler (which has some form of LED sequencing albeit I am not sure on it's capabilities) and if you search this message board I posted a script that can fire off FreeStyler scenes from HomeSeer.
          My Plugins:

          Pushover 3P | DoorBird 3P | Current Cost 3P | Velleman K8055 3P | LAMetric 3P | Garadget 3P | Hive 3P |
          Yeelight 3P | Nanoleaf 3P

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          • #6
            MMX is Led Strip Studio's proprietary Protocol.

            The last correspondence with the company was that the node only speaks DMX, and I don’t see how to get control of that controller.
            So back to the drawing board. I just haven’t gotten into Arduinos yet, I don’t know about sketches. I really liked the idea of that programming software where you can take a pic of something. And draw your leds and program the sequencing. So, I guess I either find a Zwave or (Wi-Fi that supports MQTT, or JSON) to DMX controller. Or I get busy with Arduinos.
            Last edited by tome10; May 1st, 2018, 11:59 PM.

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            • #7
              I’m working on a project to install HS controllable led strip lighting in living room shelving… 36’ of led strip. This is 99% white-only use so fancy capabilities are not important. I do however want RGB (preferably RGBW) so I can get the white I want. I decided to review the more professional “smart” lighting systems with HS support before going with generic solutions that I have used previously. I couldn’t find any very comprehensive comparisons in HS forum or elsewhere online so took me (too much) time to do my own (uncomprehensive) comparison. Thought I’d post… might be helpful to someone for a few months before it is totally obsolete. Costs are from Amazon unless indicate otherwise.
              For my project, comparative costs came to: Hue $512, LIFX $437, Yeelight $264, Generic $89

              At this point, think I will go with the generic solution as I think I won't use the much better cell phone app/hub features of the smart systems, or the better tuning/flow capabilities of the HS plugins. For this project, it's pretty much find and set the right white color, then integrate on/off/intensity into my HS schedules. Maybe some color for holidays or grandkid entertainment but doubt WAF constraint will seriously constrain that.

              Thanks to Automated for thread: https://forums.homeseer.com/forum/ho...all-discussion

              Xiaomi Yeelight
              “Aurora” YLDD04YL 2m starter strip $40 (prior version YLDD01YL was not extendable)
              YLOT01YL Extension 1m $23; 10m max length per controller
              No hub; control by single button switch (included) and by Phone App
              Wifi comm; Yeelight phone app; Alexa, Goggle Asst; Domoticz; Mijia;
              RGB (no W)
              Not addressable (full length same color/brightness)
              110v input; DC24v output; 48 5050 RGB LEDs 40mm (1.6”) interval; 16mil color
              Color Temperature or Wavelength: Cold white: 6000 - 6500k, warm white: 3000 - 3500k, red: 760 - 622nm, orange: 622 - 597nm, yellow: 597 - 577nm, green: 577 - 492nm, blue: 450 - 435nm, purple: 435 - 390nm
              Can cut every 3 LEDS ~5”. Can extend from cut section. Max length of extension?
              10 Max number of controllers with phone app
              Homeseer: Yeelight Plugin – free (in beta)
              Some reviews indicate colors are off (red is pink if not dimmed; blues are light) and “white” light not possible (?) with new model.
              Total cost my project: $264

              LIFX Z
              Starter strip 2m $90; Extension 1m $30; (4) 1m Extension pack $97; (max 10m per controller)
              No hub required.
              Wifi communication.
              Addressable within 1m strip by 8 “zones” (but not to individual LED) so can do chase effects, dif colors within same strip, etc.
              Has white LEDs in addition to RGB LEDs, so can use white only or blend with RGB LEDs
              Due to electrical and control complexity of addressing 8 zones per strip, cannot cut strip length except for last strip (between 5” zones), and can insert ONE (only) 1m or 10cm Lifx-proprietary jump connector between 1m LED strips (out of stock)
              Homeseer: Ultralighting 3 plugin $40
              Problems: undependable wifi connectivity and very limited ability to bridge strips between unused areas like behind microwave or up/down to next shelf.
              Many reviewers complain of devices dropping wifi connection. Some reviewers have found that for more than “a few” strips they need to join separate strip controllers to multiple separate subnets negating the use of HS3 as separate SSIDs not supported by Ultralighting3 (Ultrajones has not experienced this problem with his LifxZ strips or bulbs).
              Total cost for my project: $437

              Phillips HUE
              Hub/Bridge $48; 2m Starter strip $72; 1m extension $30
              Zigbee communications; phone app
              RGB (no W)
              Not addressable (full length same color/brightness)
              Can cut and insert jumper strips at any “cut” mark within any strip.
              Homeseer: Jowihue plugin $40 and Conbee USB stick $40 and deCONZ software (free)
              Advantages: Zigbee avoids wifi traffic/connection problems; most reliable system; plenty of non-proprietary connectors available to make strip installation easier/better.
              Disadvantages: 1) Cost, 2) with no W LEDS not as much control to produce desirable white light… Phillips compensates for this by producing more muted RGB colors (brilliant colors not available) that, together, produce a more desirable white light.
              Total cost from my project: $512

              Generic RGBW
              Zwave Communication
              Fibaro (12tot, 6/cir) $70 or Qubino (13tot, 8/cir) $49 RGBW Controller
              36’ 3x RGBW (LED QTY's: 216 pcs x SMD 5050, 216 pcs x SMD 2835), 24v 30amp pwr sup incl’d $40 Costco (DSI) <need to confirm #LEDs, lumens… may be insufficient>
              (throw away incl’d IR or RF controller or wire in?)
              Use Homeseer native Zwave control
              Advantages: Cost; Zwave avoids wifi traffic/connections problems
              Disadvantages: Homeseer poor color picker and phone app (not significant for my project)
              Total cost for project: $89

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              • #8
                Thanks for the details, Jayhawk...following this close. I'd like to include some home-powered (not battery!) and HS controllable LED strips in book and display shelving when we build. As others have said just trying to find where to start is almost overwhelming and everyone says their solution is the best. :-)

                Well have book shelves in the living room and play area (different floors) that would mostly be white but some color options for holidays or parties could be fun, and it would be great if they were dimmable. And then downstairs will have some display shelves with various film & geek items (statues, figures, props, models, etc.). I would love to have the ability to have some of these leverage RGB ( or preferably RGBW ) to give appropriate "mood" to the lighting and tie the control in to the scenes for movie times, game time, etc.

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                • #9
                  I have completed my led strip projects (living room display shelving and kitchen counter/above counter (ceiling indirect) and toekick) mentioned in my post #7 of this thread and am very pleased with the results. I schedule HS events to run these in dim, medium and bright modes depending on outdoor lighting and other room light settings. Provides great ambiance… wife loves it. Eventually I plan to change the color temperatures during the day according to the circadian rhythms. The systems have been installed and working well for a month now. Thought I’d document here:

                  If cost was no object, I probably would have gone with Hue. For 80 feet of strip, cost became an object… I saved a LOT versus Hue.
                  Since the Living Room is open to the Kitchen, I want to be able to synchronize all the lighting to have the same color at the various settings, so went with the same LED strips and controllers throughout. All the purchases were made in November-December 2018.

                  LED Strips: LEDENET RGBWW LED Strip 4 Colors in 1 SMD 5050 RGB & Warm White Flex Fairy String Light 5M 300LEDs 24 Volt Tape Lighting (RGBWW Non-Waterproof) Amazon $29.99. Advantages of this strip: 1) 4in1 LEDs avoid separate white and color leds which avoids color shadows on objects that are near the strips… a condition that I have in the display shelving. 2) Could cut the strips every 4” to reduce waste. 3) 24v to allow longer runs. 4) I could have used tunable white only, but RGBW was less cost and gives me unlimited “tuning” ability (and a little color fun at times). All six of the 5 meter spools I purchased had no defects.

                  Controllers: Qubino Z-Wave Plus RGBW Controller ZMNHWD3 for 12-24V LED Strips and Light Bulbs, Amazon $48.95. Advantages: cost less than Fibaro $69.99. I had to purchase one more of these than I had planned… a separate one for the toe-kick strip was required because different dim levels were required to match the levels of the counter and above-counter strips. One thing I don’t like about these controllers is that dimming is jerky… not a smooth dim/brighten. From what I understand, the same is true of Fibaro.

                  Power Supplies: Living Room (9M and 3M in parallel) MEAN WELL LRS-350-24 Switching Power Supply 350W 24V 14.6A Constant Current; Amazon $36.99. Kitchen (3M, 7M, 7M in parallel) ABI 24V 500W Power Supply Indoor Outdoor LED Driver Rainproof Weatherproof 21A by ABI; Amazon $34.95. I installed these in the crawl space below the two rooms so the fan noise was not a problem.

                  Wiring: Between power supply and controllers 16Ga. Between controllers and strips: ALEKO LM15030FT 5 Core Electrical Wire Cable Conductor for Gate Openers Accessories 30 Feet Black – Amazon $22.98 – has (2) 16Ga and (3) 18Ga wires… I used the 16Ga for + and White, and the 18Ga for RGB. Between strip sections (soldered): RGBSIGHT 40FT 18 Gauge RGBW LED Strip Extension Cable 18AWG 5pin 5 Color Stand Wire for RGBW RGBWW LED Ribbon Lamp Tape Lighting (40 Feet per Spool) – Amazon $23.99

                  Adhesive: The strips came with what seemed to be good 3M adhesive tape but from what I read I did not trust it would last. I purchased 3M VHB Tape RP32 0.5 in width x 5 yd length (1 Roll) by 3M – Amazon $4.30 and recommend it.

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