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Lonnie Utah
Citadel Fan
Utah!
Member since Jul 2012
10495 posts
 Online 

Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
I've been wanting to do this for awhile. We're taking the plunge this year.

I got my lights in from e-bay a few weeks ago and all the rest of the parts except the power supply in from Amazon this weekend. I built my NodeMCU prototype board to run WLED yesterday and was messing with it last night and this AM. So freaking awesome. There's about 80 animations, dozens of pallets and basically unlimited colors. Oh, and I can control them via Alexa, phone/table or laptop.

I put up about 1/2 the aluminum channels over the weekend, but I'm holding off doing the highest peaks of the roof until next week. Gonna rent a cherry picker to put those up since I'll have to solder the lights together and didn't want to do that 30' in the air on a ladder. I've got about $200-$300 dollars in parts (so far) and the lift rental next week will be a couple hundred more.

Never having to go up on the ladder again. Priceless.

This post was edited on 10/20 at 3:45 pm


LSUsmartass
Pittsburgh Fan
Scompton
Member since Sep 2004
81545 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
Can you post links to whet you're talking about


CAD703X
Toledo Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
67465 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
quote:

Never having to go up on the ladder again. Priceless.
i tried this with the globe type lights you see on buildings downtown. didnt end well for me except it sounds like what you're doing might actually be better than the clips i put on my gutters and cheap shitty plastic led globes that didn't make it to the second christmas.


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71
SG_Geaux
LSU Fan
Googolplex Posts
Member since Aug 2004
69840 posts
 Online 

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
I just switched all my outside lights to Philips Hue so I can make them whatever color fits the season.


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130
Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
20808 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
quote:

Can you post links to whet you're talking about

Aluminum channel with translucent cover and the LED strips that go inside them.

You also need a device to control them, and OP has chosen a NodeMCU.


LSUsmartass
Pittsburgh Fan
Scompton
Member since Sep 2004
81545 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
I'm really interested to learn more about this, are there links you recommend that goes into how to DIY this?


Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
20808 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.


LSUsmartass
Pittsburgh Fan
Scompton
Member since Sep 2004
81545 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
Wow

That is wayyyy over my head
This post was edited on 10/20 at 8:12 pm


Lonnie Utah
Citadel Fan
Utah!
Member since Jul 2012
10495 posts
 Online 

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
quote:

I like this guy's channel.



DrZzs is good too.


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Lonnie Utah
Citadel Fan
Utah!
Member since Jul 2012
10495 posts
 Online 

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
quote:

That is wayyyy over my head


If you can run a drill, screwdriver and a soldering iron, you can do this.

Since the advent of WLED, the programming is a piece of cake.

This post was edited on 10/20 at 9:00 pm


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coonass27
LSU Fan
shreveport
Member since Mar 2008
3246 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
Only concern I would have is mold/mildew building up on the clear cover of the Chanel.


Lonnie Utah
Citadel Fan
Utah!
Member since Jul 2012
10495 posts
 Online 

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
quote:

Only concern I would have is mold/mildew building up on the clear cover of the Chanel.


In the South I can see it. But I live in a desert. where we get less than 20" of rain a year.

The guy that runs the Youtube channel "The hook up" (The first link posted in this thread) lives in Fla and I don't think he's had any problems. But I do think you have a point.


mchias1
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2009
407 posts
 Online 

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
Rob just updated his christmas LED video. He discussing yellowing of the clear cover.

The Hook Up

Personally, I'd recommend led pixel strings instead of strips. They are like normal christmas lights. For me, the look of the strings is better than the strips.


Lonnie Utah
Citadel Fan
Utah!
Member since Jul 2012
10495 posts
 Online 

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
quote:

Personally, I'd recommend led pixel strings instead of strips. They are like normal christmas lights. For me, the look of the strings is better than the strips.



I agree and disagree. I think it depends on the final goal and look you are shooting for. For us, the goals of this project for us were,
1) Not having to go up a ladder every year. I'm getting older and I'm not as nimble as I used to be.
2). We wanted the lights to "disappear" when not in use. That's easier done with the strips than strings.

Because of #2, we went with the strips. But to each their own, and I totally get where you're coming from. I do like the idea of being able to replace the individual leds on the strings.

As for cost I ran the numbers for both and the difference is not more than 10% either way. For anyone thinking about doing this I'd say go with what you like.
This post was edited on 10/21 at 7:52 am


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guedeaux
USA Fan
Tardis
Member since Jan 2008
13252 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
quote:

got my lights in from e-bay a few weeks ago and all the rest of the parts except the power supply in from Amazon this weekend. I built my NodeMCU prototype board to run WLED yesterday and was messing with it last night and this AM. So freaking awesome. There's about 80 animations, dozens of pallets and basically unlimited colors. Oh, and I can control them via Alexa, phone/table or laptop.



There is a sound-reactive fork of WLED. It's pretty awesome when using an ESP32, more so than an ESP8266. You can even sync the audio-reactivity across multiple ESP32s, so you don't have to run wire for audio to each device.

LINK

What LED strips did you choose for this project? WS2812b?
This post was edited on 10/21 at 8:21 am


Lonnie Utah
Citadel Fan
Utah!
Member since Jul 2012
10495 posts
 Online 

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
quote:

What LED strips did you choose for this project? WS2812b?


Yup.

These were the cheapest I found out there.

LINK


CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
52119 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
Those aren't individually addressable. Those are 5050. My bad I'm wrong.

Rob on the hookup has a detailed video on which bulbs to choose on which project. It is worth a watch.
This post was edited on 10/21 at 8:42 pm


guedeaux
USA Fan
Tardis
Member since Jan 2008
13252 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
5050 is just the size of the LED (5.0 mm x 5.0 mm).

WS2812b are individually addressable.

WS2811 are addressable in groups of 3 LEDs.


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Lonnie Utah
Citadel Fan
Utah!
Member since Jul 2012
10495 posts
 Online 

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
quote:

Those aren't individually addressable. Those are 5050.


Yup, they are. Or at least they were yesterday when I had them hooked up to my NodeNCU and my kid was messing them with his tablet. Did they change overnight sitting in my living room?
This post was edited on 10/21 at 5:02 pm


CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
52119 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
My bad I saw 5050 and immediately thought they were the 5 pin strips. I have all my hardware to set this up. I was looking into what software I should use. Why did you use WLED over Rob's custom firmware or that other guys?


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