LED room lighting.

SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US
So I recently got back into 3D animation and design and have been quite bored in between lengthy renders and decided to take a stab at home lighting and automation as a filler hobby for my rediscovered... other... hobby. I have started to add LED lighting to random pieces of furniture with some parts a buddy gave me last fall. It's all quite simple stuff as it is now but I plan to keep adding gear to allow for DMX control over WiFi so the lighting can be adjusted from a phone, iPad or even when not at home.

So here is the really simple pinout for the control and power on the LED strips. These connect from a 12v dimmer module for power and control. It also has an IR receiver for a little remote.
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Here are the LEDs working after soldering the wires. You can also see the remote.
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Here is my coffee table with all the glass removed to install the LED strip. You can also see the little dimmer module there.
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This is what to table looks like all lit up pre cleaning.
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And here is the room all lit up. I used the same process on the cabinet with the frosted glass on the right.
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Once I have some spare cash floating around I will start to implement a better control system and I'll keep updating this. Might be a while though.
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Comments

  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    Cool project. Your house now looks like a spaceship!
  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! TX
    So Awesome. I love it.

    -Digi
  • This is really cool. I want to do this with my liquor curio and eventually my kitchen cupboards and pantry. Keep posting as you do more projects please.
  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US
    Lighting that liquor curio would be an awesome little project. Maybe I'll build one myself and light it!
  • JokkeJokke Bergen, Norway
    Where are the strippers?
    ardichokeoni_delsRahnalH102
  • LincLinc Bard Detroit
    Y'know, that can turn into a decent career path. I heard from @primesuspect that the person who does the exterior lights for the MotorCity Casino is a high-paying full time gig, and our contractor Andy has had jobs rigging interior lighting schemes.
  • Can you recommend some good places to buy supplies from? I think I want to do that curio next weekend.
  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US
    edited February 2013
    Where are the strippers?
    That came later. They didn't agree to photographs though so I guess it didn't happen.

    Y'know, that can turn into a decent career path. I heard from @primesuspect that the person who does the exterior lights for the MotorCity Casino is a high-paying full time gig, and our contractor Andy has had jobs rigging interior lighting schemes.

    I thought about making up some business cards and doing some projects for some friends I have locally, but it's just a matter of actually doing it.
    Can you recommend some good places to buy supplies from? I think I want to do that curio next weekend.
    http://www.aliexpress.com/category/390501/led-lighting.html
    Here is where all my stuff comes from. The shipping is outrageous but the parts are all from China, which seems like a bad thing but it is the same stuff you get from higher priced websites all a way lower cost with slightly higher shipping. The selection is huge. Send me a pic of your curio and I can help you get the parts you need.
  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi

    Here is where all my stuff comes from. The shipping is outrageous but the parts are all from China, which seems like a bad thing but it is the same stuff you get from higher priced websites all a way lower cost with slightly higher shipping. The selection is huge. Send me a pic of your curio and I can help you get the parts you need.
    No link? :)

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US

    Here is where all my stuff comes from. The shipping is outrageous but the parts are all from China, which seems like a bad thing but it is the same stuff you get from higher priced websites all a way lower cost with slightly higher shipping. The selection is huge. Send me a pic of your curio and I can help you get the parts you need.
    No link? :)

    Thank you, Sir. Added the link in an edit.
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)>
    This is a thing I would like to do. I'd like to know more about the power/control units before I start dropping anything on this stuff, though. Also, this control over wifi sounds intriguing. I already use some indoor/outdoor LED rope lighting for various stuff around the place, but I've been wanting to expand and improve for a while. Any suggestions on reading material/hardware/etc? I glanced around that site for a few minutes, but it looks like I'll need to have a better idea of what I'm looking for and what I want to do before I can make any real discerning choices.

    Also, related
  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US
    I'm not really sure where a good source of information would be. The essential parts are a 12v DC power source, the LED strips and a dimmer module. The dimmer is where you get your intensity of light output across red green and blue colors. For 1 or 2 meters of RGB color mixing I don't think it would cost you any more than 60 to 70 USD.

    I have a back ground in theatrical lighting so the route I am going to take with the actual control portion of things is through something known as DMX. DMX is a relatively easy thing to learn and a basic understanding of signal flow is really the only thing needed to get you started on this stuff. There are one or two open source theatrical lighting consoles (like chamsysusa.com/magicq)that can be run on Windows, Linus and OSX. I am planning to get an USB to DMX adapter to start with before I venture down the road with WiFi and ArtNET stuff.

    I'm absolutely sure you could also integrate a lighting system with Crestron products or many other home automation systems, but their gear is pretty steep in price.
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)>
    edited March 2013
    The registration for getting that software was a little annoying, but considering it's free I'm not gonna complain. Gonna play around with it a bit later to see what all it entails. I do automation for a living, so I'm pretty confident; I just don't know anything about lighting hardware.
    So far, what I understand is that with the software you control the output of a dimmer like this through a USB interface like this. That would work for a strip like this. But what about all the colour and pattern control on a strip like this? I guess that would require a more complex dimmer? Or maybe the controller it's hooked into is the only thing that can do it, and it'd either have to just happen to be DMX compatible or I just can't use it?
    Hopefully I'll have a chance to tool around with the software a bit this weekend just to see what it's like.

    --edit--

    I just spoke with a buddy of mine here at work, and he says he's glanced at it a bit. He mentioned something called the Zigby (sp?) protocol, and that he's seen stuff for controlling these sorts of things with a Raspberry Pi. If I can find information on it, I think I might have found a purpose for my currently-collecting-dust RPi :D

    --edit--

    I was also thinking, and it seems to me like if one simply unwired one of those colour-changer-thinger USB strips from the controller and rewired it onto a protocol-compatible controller, there shouldn't be any issues assuming it can output the required current. Of course, I'm sure the strip could be purchased without the controller to begin with, but it couldn't hurt to have it sitting around. Also, it seems that with one of those controllers (I'm talking about the cheapish IR-controlled multi-coloured USB light controllers whose remotes you seem to see everywhere now) you could wire in other similar multi-coloured LED strips (question: how does one make sure to find these sorts of LED strips? Is it just a three-rail thing with R, G, and B on separate rails?) and control them with it pretty easily. In fact, expanding on that, it shouldn't even be that difficult to amp the output to control significantly more than the controller(dimmer, not controller, right?) was originally connected to...

    Maybe I'll hold off on the expensive adapters and remote control software and just hack one of these IR controlled dimmers...

    ----wow, that's some serious stream-of-consciousness posting there...
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)>
    Alright, so he found and sent me the Raspberry Pi thing he mentioned.

    http://www.adamhaile.net/projects/raspberrypi-led-strip-control/

    It uses a library and scripts written in python for LPD8806 addressable LED strips. I think I'll give this a shot. If it seems to work pretty well (the demo video on his site is kinda cool) I might dig into it harder. I've already found some cool resources.
  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US
    edited March 2013
    So the the basic one color strip only requires 12v power pretty often. Most of these strips are not designed for anything other than on off operation. The RGB ones offer a little more control and require I dimmer to allow color mixing. The second strip you linked two looks like a it does color mixing as well as some pattern stuff. The control of these products is pretty limited until you get into the DMX world and pretty much any of these strips can be modded to work with DMX with the right dimmer system.
    @midga (question: how does one make sure to find these sorts of LED strips? Is it just a three-rail thing with R, G, and B on separate rails?)
    That kinda what it is. The only why I understand it is to relate it to something that works pretty much the same way.

    So I guess I will go into a little detail about DMX as I am sure these dimmers operate in a similar manner. Each fixture require a specific amount of DMX channels on that DMX universe (one universe equals 512 channels). Say fixture A uses 4 channels, 1 for red, 2 for green, 3 for blue and 4 for overall intensity. Each channel can accept a range of intensity value from 0 to 255. So to make a blue light, channel 3 on that DMX universe would be at 255 as well a the overall intensity channel 4. Raising or lowering different intensities on channels 1 through 3 will allow you to mix the colors and channel 4 controls how bright they are. This can be used on fixtures and dimmers with as many or as little DMX channels as they come with. So the dimmer I am looking at for myself controls 8 RGB LED strips requiring a total of 24 channels of DMX.

    So I imagine that these cheapo dimmers use something similar to that to control the color of light on the LED strip, I just don't know what it is. I do imagine there are ways to use over controllers on them but I am not sure that they are. I have about 4 feet on the LED strip I got so I might play around a bit and see if I can make it work with something other than the dimmers I got with them.

    I wonder if there is lighting console software I could get for RPi so I wouldn't have to run this system off my server? When I get home from work I'll check out more of the links you posted. I think the more the two of us combine our knowledge on this type of project, the cooler the project will become.
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)>
    Cool. I've been reading more about this LPD8806 chip, and it seems pretty simple. Unfortunately, the only official documentation is in Chinese, but it looks like most of the hard work figuring it out has already been done. I dunno how it would integrate with DMX since I don't know how DMX handles things like this. But that's a later question. First, I need to get my RPi booted, figure out the breadboarding for this, and learn Python. And maybe learn Chinese.

    We will be the winners at lights.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI
    Step 1: Learn breadboarding for LPD8806
    Step 2: Learn Python
    Step 3: Learn Chinese
    Step 4: ?
    Step 5: Profit!
    oni_dels
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)>
  • Creeperbane2Creeperbane2 Victorian Scoundrel Indianapolis, IN
    .....Do Want
  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US
    Actually, it looks like it's going to be much easier than that.
    I read over that and was a little puzzled by the need for 10 amps but then I realized that he was running the lights a 5v instead of 12v.

    I also stumbled across This which looks like another viable option for the pi, just uses a little more hardware.

  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)>
    I like that. It uses cheaper lights and a USB port instead of the I2C. Still has the expensive DMX adapter, but that's really a one-time thing. I'm curious, though, if the $16 trial MagicQ adapter actually turns off the lights after 5 hours, or if it just stops controlling. If the latter, it wouldn't really be that bad...just replug it when you want to change your room's ambiance.
  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US
    I'm curious, though, if the $16 trial MagicQ adapter actually turns off the lights after 5 hours, or if it just stops controlling. If the latter, it wouldn't really be that bad...just replug it when you want to change your room's ambiance.
    I have a buddy that might be able to shed some light on that, pardon the pun. I'll ask him next time he is on my TS server. In other news I just ordered my RaspberryPi! I'm going to keep looking for a USB to DMX adapter and then start amassing all the wire and dimmers I need.
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)>
    Sweetsauce.
  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US
    So just a little update. I got my Raspi today and have been toying with it a little. I found a really cool project called Open Lighting Architecture and decided to take that route. I still don't have a USB to DMX dongle but I may order one in the next few days and use it with a DMX enabled LED par I have for my DJing rig. I'm still not sure if this is the best way to do this but in theory I can control any DMX device via a web browser on this network. Attached picture shows the interface running in chrome via my Raspberry PI.

    image
    primesuspectmidga
  • CyrixInsteadCyrixInstead Stoke-on-Trent, England
    One word: sexy. I love it, although it does make your room look like a lap-dancing club somewhat. That's not necessarily a bad thing ;)
  • oni_delsoni_dels Drunk French Canadian Montréal, Québec.
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)>
    Nice @Sonorous. You just using base Raspbian?
  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US
    @midga I used raspbian-git-02032012 image from here. I'm not sure but as far as I can tell it offers no GUI. I did everything via SSH. The command startx returns a bash. I might just be a moron though.
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)>
    Sonorous
  • LincLinc Bard Detroit
    edited June 2013
    For those who want the awesome without the DIY: Phillips Hue. I want this in the basement so bad, but I'd need like 10 bulbs. Prohibitive. :(
    midga
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