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guedeaux
USA Fan
Tardis
Member since Jan 2008
13251 posts

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

Why did you use WLED over Rob's custom firmware or that other guys?



If Rob is "The Hook Up" guy, he now recommends WLED over his own firmware.


CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
52115 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
Gotcha. That's the only part that was hanging me up. Is it bad I ordered about 15 node mcu's and esp32's from china so I don't have to wait just incase I find more projects.


guedeaux
USA Fan
Tardis
Member since Jan 2008
13251 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
WLED is awesome. I have it in my computer and behind a couple of TVs. It syncs with damn near every protocol, including E1.31.

quote:

Is it bad I ordered about 15 node mcu's and esp32's from china so I don't have to wait just incase I find more projects.


That's smarter than me. I pay extra from amazon on a per project basis due to lack of proper planning, like you wisely have done here.


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Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
20780 posts

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

Is it bad I ordered about 15 node mcu's and esp32's from china so I don't have to wait just incase I find more projects.
Nope, I try to keep a few on standby. They're so cheap, why not?


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Lonnie Utah
Citadel Fan
Utah!
Member since Jul 2012
10440 posts

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

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.


WLED is awesome. Within 5 mins of downloading the WLED bin file I had it flashed to the nodemcu, 2 mins after that, my kid was tryin out all the animations on his tablet. The customization features on it are endless for a project of this size/scale. Just on a lark, we added and tested a 2nd string of lights and had them working in under 1 min.


Lonnie Utah
Citadel Fan
Utah!
Member since Jul 2012
10440 posts

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

Is it bad I ordered about 15 node mcu's and esp32's from china so I don't have to wait just incase I find more projects.


I need to order a handful more along with various and a sundry Arduinos. I want to mod the remote on our Halloween smoke detector to blow smoke on a regular/random basis.



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Lonnie Utah
Citadel Fan
Utah!
Member since Jul 2012
10440 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
Here's Dr.Zz's video on installing WLED. Easy Peasy.

LINK

FWIW, I built Rob's version of the NodeMCU board with the logic level shifter. I wired it for 3 data pins incase I wanted to do multiple zones. But I didn't need to. WLED allows you to do that automatically just by assigning LED's within a certain range a specific zone. You can then assign them their own color/animation etc.

If time is not an issue, and I had to do it over, I'd likely just buy a preassembled DigUno Board from DrZ and QuinLed. I likely spent more in total parts than the Diguno board itself cost (yes, I've got lots of left over parts that I'll eventually use).

LINK /
This post was edited on 10/22 at 7:25 am


CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
52115 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
I have all the stuff for Robs proto board. DrZZs Dig-Uno seems steep for 25 bucks and it is backordered.


Lonnie Utah
Citadel Fan
Utah!
Member since Jul 2012
10440 posts

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

I have all the stuff for Robs proto board.


Took me about 30 mins to wire and solder everything up using Rob's design.



CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
52115 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
yea shouldnt take long to build a couple. I do like all the safety features the dig uno has with the fuse and polarity.

maybe once i get everything setup and figures out where i want everything i can swap on eof those out with that im using. but still 25 bucks seems steep.


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reggo75
McNeese State Fan
Iowa, LA
Member since Jan 2016
1393 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
This thread had me dive down a rabbit hole that I didn't come out of for a couple of hours.

I will definitely be working on some basic starting points this year.

Couple questions...

1. Does the Dig Uno take the place of the NodeMCU? So the programming is exactly the same in the Drzzz video?

2. Does the WLED program have a bunch of pre-programmed basic patterns or do you have to make all your own designs with colors?

3. If you do about 200' of LED strip lights on the edge of your roof would all of that work off of 1 power supply with enough amperage and channels? Or is it more efficient to use multiple power supplies for different areas to reduce wiring? How many NodeMCU's would you need for 200' of roof coverage?
This post was edited on 10/22 at 3:24 pm


Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
20780 posts

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

If you do about 200' of LED strip lights on the edge of your roof would all of that work off of 1 power supply with enough amperage and channels? Or is it more efficient to use multiple power supplies for different areas to reduce wiring?
That depends on your LED density (number of LEDs per foot/meter) and how bright you want them. But for holiday lights you don't need them that close together, so the strips with fewer lights should suffice. 200' is about 60 meters, and 30 LED/meter strips are cheap and common, so that's about 1800 LEDs. At full brightness and white they will probably draw 50mA per LED, so that's 90 amps or 450 watts at 5V.

You can probably find one to push that, but the biggest I've seen commonly available are 300 watts, so you'll need at least two. So you would put one at each end of your chain, but you will also need to inject power at various points in the middle, too. If you don't, some of your LEDs will be dim or off color.


CAD703X
Toledo Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
67416 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
i see 2 major issues (assuming you have the wiring sealed properly)

- wet southeast would mean you will likely get algae growth on the clear plastic cover

- southern exposure would yellow the plastic covers over time but i guess you could replace them eventually (think plastic car headlights)


Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
20780 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
I wonder if there's a good wax or clear coat to prevent or slow some of that.


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Lonnie Utah
Citadel Fan
Utah!
Member since Jul 2012
10440 posts

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

1. Does the Dig Uno take the place of the NodeMCU? So the programming is exactly the same in the Drzzz video?


Yes. At the root to the Dig is a nodemcu. To that Nodemcu that they've added a much of extras like fuse protection, over/undervolt protection and a logic level shifter.

quote:

2. Does the WLED program have a bunch of pre-programmed basic patterns or do you have to make all your own designs with colors?


Yes and yes. It can do both. There are two types of animations in WLED. Those with color presets, and those where the user sets the colors.

quote:

3. If you do about 200' of LED strip lights on the edge of your roof would all of that work off of 1 power supply with enough amperage and channels? Or is it more efficient to use multiple power supplies for different areas to reduce wiring? How many NodeMCU's would you need for 200' of roof coverage?


You could drive 200' of roof coverage with 1 MCU assuming you have enough power. The easiest way to do that is with multiple power supplies that share a common ground. Additionally, WLED lets you limit the current flow to your string/strips to the max amperage of your power supply. This should only really make a difference if you want to run pure white at 100% brightness. From my experience, they are plenty bright at even 50% brightness.

I have about 140' of roof that I'm going to light. I calculated that I needed 360 watts at 5v (80 amps) worth of power supply. Since my originally install was going to be 100% external, I went with a 300W/60Amp 5v IP65 "waterproof" power supply, knowing I wouldn't be able to go 100% full white. I've since decided to move it into my garage (because I was worried about voltage drop from the far end of the circuit to the full 140' using 18 gauge wire. (I did the calcs and it didn't look good). Putting it in the garage allows me to have a 80' run and a 70' run. I just hope the data signal will transmit that far with the 5v logic level shifter. I plan on beta testing this weekend. Worst case scenario, is I run my data line in reverse.
This post was edited on 10/22 at 5:20 pm


reggo75
McNeese State Fan
Iowa, LA
Member since Jan 2016
1393 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
Thanks for the responses Lonnie Utah

I just went through 2 hurricanes and my under carport lighting was destroyed. Might do some testing with strips down my carport instead of traditional lights. I could run them as white and later incorporate them into my holiday lighting with some color and patterns.

I have the ability to put several power supplies in the eaves of my home because I installed receptacles for Christmas lights when I built the house. Just need to figure out the best place to put everything.

I feel like I'm in the same boat as you... I get on the house every year and I am getting older and not as nimble as I used to be. This permanent solution would be great and a HUGE step up on my lights. I would definitely have the best house in my neighborhood. I could run some red/white/blue sequences for July 4th too. Lots of possibilities.


Lonnie Utah
Citadel Fan
Utah!
Member since Jul 2012
10440 posts

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

I could run them as white and later incorporate them into my holiday lighting with some color and patterns.


If you're going to do this, don't skimp on your power supplies. Also, it's usually hard to find, but each strip/strand has a luminance value rating. Get the highest you can find. You might also consider RGBW leds. More expensive and more power hungry, but the white lights look better.

Also when I brought the box to house everything in the garage, I intentionally bought an oversized project box incase I wanted to up size the power supply at a later date.

WLED has the ability to skip over leds in the string. You can light only ever 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc LED as the case may be. You can also group LED's together to make 2,3,4,etc LED's work as one. As I said above, the possibilities are basically endless.

For those that are curious, our house faces almost due west (so only afternoon sun) and we have one eve where these are going that faces north.
This post was edited on 10/23 at 8:44 am


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CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
52115 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
Well looking at the dig uno, it takes a wemos d1 mini not a node mcu. They are basically the same thing just a different form factor.


I have WLED setup on a node mcu ready for testing. One thing I'm wondering, because I still haven't dove into WLED yet, is does it have the ability to split the light strings up by led groups. For when you have different roof lines you want to light differently. I'm sure It does. Just haven't see that setup yet.
This post was edited on 10/23 at 9:20 am


Lonnie Utah
Citadel Fan
Utah!
Member since Jul 2012
10440 posts

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

One thing I'm wondering, because I still haven't dove into WLED yet, is does it have the ability to split the light strings up by led groups. For when you have different roof lines you want to light differently. I'm sure It does. Just haven't see that setup yet.


Yes. It's pretty easy too. If you have your lights wired in series, then you simply call out the # of the leds that you want to be their own group. For example, LEDs 1-287 are group 1, 288-309 Group 2, 310-500 Group 3 etc. If you wire them in parallel, the they all get the same effect (for numbers 1....X). You can set custom effects for each group.

This post was edited on 10/23 at 9:25 am


CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
52115 posts

re: Permanently installed LED "Christmas" lights.
Good deal


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