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  • Raspberry Pi as a digital RGB LED strip controller

    What's cool with digital LED strip (vs regular LED strip) is that you can control each LED individually. That allow some awesome light effects, like a raibow effect, or the famous "Knight Rider" effect.

    So my goal was to build one that I could control using HS. To do that I needed:
    • a Rasberry Pi
    • Raspbmc ( a XBMC distribution for the Pi)
    • Hyperion ( an Ambilight implementation for Raspbmc)
    • a HS3 plugin for Hyperion


    I have slightly modified the Raspberry pi, so that the LED strip and the Pi could be powered by the same power supply and so that everything fit in a standard Pi case. I have unsoldered the RCA video ouput ( I still got the HDMI output for video), which I have replaced with a power adapter connected to both the Pi and the strip.

    Hyperion is a very nice open source software that implements Ambilight (Ambient Lighting). Personnally I don't use the Ambilight features as this strip was not meant to go behind my TV but behind some other furniture. However I use hyoerion to control the LED strip directly, either with the android hyperion app, or with HomeSeer, and for this I have built a HS3 plugin for Hyperion (not finished yet)

    Click image for larger version

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    I'm really happy with this project because with this one tiny device I have
    1. a media player that I can control from HS with my XBMC plugin
    2. an Airplay Speaker (XBMC is airplay compatible) on which I can send HS TTS using the AirplaySpeak plugin.
    3. some cool lighting effects that I can control from HS with my new Hyperion plugin


    Anyone interested?
    Last edited by spud; March 1st, 2014, 02:02 PM.

  • #2
    Looks great Spud! Thanks for posting. I'm definitely interested. Is there a limit to the max length of digital strips this supports?

    Cheers
    Al
    HS 3.0.0.548: 1990 Devices 1172 Events
    Z-Wave 3.0.1.262: 126 Nodes on one Z-Net

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by sparkman View Post
      Looks great Spud! Thanks for posting. I'm definitely interested. Is there a limit to the max length of digital strips this supports?

      Cheers
      Al
      I don't think there is a software limit, but it is limited by the power supply you use. The strip model in the pic is a 2 meter long strip with 32 LED per meter and needs about 2Amp per meter. So, for a 5 meter long strip you would need a 5V power supply of 10 Amp

      Comment


      • #4
        Nice work Spud!
        So cost for this setup was leb strip( $30?) and pi ($40?)
        Not bad. The RFX option for the led setup was about the same if you owned a rfxcom already. But it seems you can do so much more with pi running xbmc. where did you get your led from?
        Very nice work.
        Tom
        baby steps...starting again with HS3
        HS3Pro: Z-NET & 80 Z wave Devices,
        HSTouch: 4 Joggler (Android Kitkat), 2 iPhone, 3 iPads
        Whole House Audio: 5 SqueezePlay Jogglers w Bose Speakers
        In The Works: 10 Cameras Geovision, new Adecmo/Envisalink Alarm, Arduinos
        System: XP on Fanless Mini-ITX w/ SSD

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        • #5
          Spud,

          Very interested this looks awesome can wait to see what you come up with for the plug in. I could see quite a few of these installed around my home. I hope that the plug in can support more than one PI. also can you post some detailed instructions on how you setup the Ras Pi for us not so computer literate guys

          Cheers Ken
          HSPRO,HS3PRO, BLsecurity, , MCSxap, HSTouch Android, UltraGCIR, CM15a, USBUIRT, BLUSBUIRT, WIFIRGB, BLAB8SS, BLcontrol, BLGData, BLLAN,BLOccupied, BLRadar, BLVolume, iTunesDAAP, UltraGCIR3, Airplayspeak, BLalarm, BLbackup, BLLED, BLrandom, BLReminders, BLRF, BL Speech, Hyperion, IFTTT, KINECT, XBMC, MCSprinkers PRO, PHLocation, ULtrapioneer, Ultralog, ultraweatherbug, Z,troller, GC-100, GC WIFICC, GC-WIFI SERIAL, Nitrogen logic depth camera controllers,

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          • #6
            I am curious as well if you could post a source for the LEDS. This looks really interesting
            HS3 PRO, Win10, WeatherXML, HSTouch, Pushover, UltraGCIR, Heaps of Jon00 Plugins, Just sold and about to move so very slim system.

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            • #7
              The LED strips I used are LPD8806, bought here:
              https://www.adafruit.com/products/306

              But some other ones are compatible with Hyperion, see here:
              https://github.com/tvdzwan/hyperion/wiki/hardware

              The total cost of my setup you see in the pic is:

              2 meter Led strip = 2 * $30 = $60
              Raspberry Pi = $40
              Raspberry Pi case = $10
              8 Gb SD card = $15
              USB wifi module = $15
              5V 10Amp power supply = $25

              So it is approximately $165 for the whole setup, but it could be significantly less, if you want a shorter strip, if you don't need Wifi, and if you can use a smaller power supply and SD card.

              Comment


              • #8
                If you want the LED strips to react to external information e.g. music, weather forecast, etc. then using the 'Pi is a great way to do it!

                The regular controllers are pretty cheap though so if you are not going to do that, then use one of them. You can also get what is called a data repeater or RGB amplifier - with the 'Pi as the controller, they allow you to hook up a big-time power supply to drive long lengths of LED strips and then the 'Pi is shielded from having to try to provide the current, since the 'Pi cannot handle much at all by way of current.

                If you are not driving a signal by external information, then note also that Fibaro makes a Z-Wave enabled RGB controller (12V or 24V) and they are in the process of getting these certified. When they get them certified, I will make sure they work with HS3.
                Regards,

                Rick Tinker (a.k.a. "Tink")

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rick Tinker View Post
                  If you want the LED strips to react to external information e.g. music, weather forecast, etc. then using the 'Pi is a great way to do it!

                  The regular controllers are pretty cheap though so if you are not going to do that, then use one of them. You can also get what is called a data repeater or RGB amplifier - with the 'Pi as the controller, they allow you to hook up a big-time power supply to drive long lengths of LED strips and then the 'Pi is shielded from having to try to provide the current, since the 'Pi cannot handle much at all by way of current.

                  If you are not driving a signal by external information, then note also that Fibaro makes a Z-Wave enabled RGB controller (12V or 24V) and they are in the process of getting these certified. When they get them certified, I will make sure they work with HS3.
                  yeah, but neither the Fibaro controller nor RGB regular controllers handle LED strips in which each LED is individually addressable. This is what I'm talking about in this thread.
                  You can get much cooler light effects with these new digital LED strips rather than with regular ones in which at time t every LED is the same color and same intensity.
                  I will post some videos later.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by spud View Post
                    yeah, but neither the Fibaro controller nor RGB regular controllers handle LED strips in which each LED is individually addressable. This is what I'm talking about in this thread.
                    You can get much cooler light effects with these new digital LED strips rather than with regular ones in which at time t every LED is the same color and same intensity.
                    I will post some videos later.
                    Oh most definitely. When I first saw this thread the discussion was not specific to the digital ones. The digital ones are way cool and do open up some nifty possibilities. Someday when I have some time I planned on playing with those - should be about 10 years from now is my guess...
                    Regards,

                    Rick Tinker (a.k.a. "Tink")

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yup here my intent was never to use the analog RGB controller for Red, Green and Blue LEDs but rather for LV automation of the currently install LV LED lighting that I have in place. That said I am OK right now with the speed of the on and off / dimming pieces for all white (warm white) LED's. I am though at some 12 plus zones of LV 12 VDC lighting and today it is controlled only by one UPB switch talking to multiple LED "Meanwell" power supplies each with dual outputs.

                      I would though probably go into the digital direction for "effects" RGB lighting as that is probably much faster than the analog methodology.
                      - Pete

                      Auto mator
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by spud View Post
                        What's cool with digital LED strip (vs regular LED strip) is that you can control each LED individually. That allow some awesome light effects, like a raibow effect, or the famous "Knight Rider" effect.
                        This looks very promising. Not to say; completely awesome!

                        I've looked into using Netduinos for this, but perhaps RaPi will do a better job.



                        Originally posted by Rick Tinker View Post
                        When they get them certified [...]
                        ... so... I have an uncertified Fibaro RGBW controller?

                        I really don't need more Fibaro issues at the moment. I really, really miss Group 3 associations!
                        HSPro 3.0.0.458, Z-NET with Z-wave plugin 3.0.1.190, RFXCOM + 2x RFXtrx433E, HSTouch, Squeezebox plugin, iTach IP/WF2IR & GC-100-6 with UltraGCIR, BLDenon, NetcamStudio, Jon00s Webpage builder, Harmony Hub plugin, SCSIP (with FreePBX), Arduino plugin, IFTTT, Pushalot plugin, Device History plugin.
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                        on ESXi (Fujitsu Primergy TX150 S8).
                        WinSeer (for Win10) - TextSeer - FitbitSeer - HSPI_MoskusSample

                        Are you Norwegian (or Scandinavian) and getting started with HomeSeer? Read the "HomeSeer School"!

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                        • #13
                          SPUD,

                          I just ordered the hardware to attempt this project, wondering if you would be willing to help a little I'm not a computer guy at all but am willing to give it a shot would you be willing to post some documentation on how you connected the lights to the RPi. even some diagrams would be great. I have no idea where to start making the connections

                          Also how is the plug in coming this looks very interesting

                          Much appreciated

                          Cheers Ken
                          HSPRO,HS3PRO, BLsecurity, , MCSxap, HSTouch Android, UltraGCIR, CM15a, USBUIRT, BLUSBUIRT, WIFIRGB, BLAB8SS, BLcontrol, BLGData, BLLAN,BLOccupied, BLRadar, BLVolume, iTunesDAAP, UltraGCIR3, Airplayspeak, BLalarm, BLbackup, BLLED, BLrandom, BLReminders, BLRF, BL Speech, Hyperion, IFTTT, KINECT, XBMC, MCSprinkers PRO, PHLocation, ULtrapioneer, Ultralog, ultraweatherbug, Z,troller, GC-100, GC WIFICC, GC-WIFI SERIAL, Nitrogen logic depth camera controllers,

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                          • #14
                            Ken, sure I can help

                            For the hardware part:
                            If you bought the same LEDs as I did (LPD8806), you need to connect the LED strip to the GPIO header of the Pi like explained on the first diagram of this page: https://github.com/tvdzwan/hyperion/wiki/hardware

                            If you want to use the same power supply for both the Pi and the LED strip, you have to connect your 5V power supply to 5V and GND pins of the Pi and to the 5V and GND connectors of the LED strip

                            For the software part:


                            If everything went well, you should now be able to control the strip from the Android app https://github.com/tvdzwan/hyperion/wiki/android-remote, and you should get the ambilight features everytime you play something using XBMC.
                            Let me know if you have any problem.

                            The HS3 plugin will be ready soon.

                            For users who don't want to go through all that hassle, I`m willing to sell some kits with all the hardware put together, and all the software preinstalled. If you are interested contact me by email: spud.webb.4@gmail.com

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                            • #15
                              Well Spud,

                              I'll give it a go when the parts get here also sent a message about preinstalled kits so let me know
                              .
                              looking forward to the plugin.
                              Thanks Ken
                              HSPRO,HS3PRO, BLsecurity, , MCSxap, HSTouch Android, UltraGCIR, CM15a, USBUIRT, BLUSBUIRT, WIFIRGB, BLAB8SS, BLcontrol, BLGData, BLLAN,BLOccupied, BLRadar, BLVolume, iTunesDAAP, UltraGCIR3, Airplayspeak, BLalarm, BLbackup, BLLED, BLrandom, BLReminders, BLRF, BL Speech, Hyperion, IFTTT, KINECT, XBMC, MCSprinkers PRO, PHLocation, ULtrapioneer, Ultralog, ultraweatherbug, Z,troller, GC-100, GC WIFICC, GC-WIFI SERIAL, Nitrogen logic depth camera controllers,

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