Addressable LEDs for Xmas. Noob Project !

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TimG
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Addressable LEDs for Xmas. Noob Project !

Post by TimG »

Well, at this time of year, my thoughts turn to Xmas lights. It's never too early, as there is a lot of thinking to do, and decisions to make, followed up with long lead times for parts.

So far, I have purchased a QuinLed dig-uno and two 10m (33ft) lengths of addressable LED strings (not strips). They have LEDs at 10cm spacing and are omni-directional, so should be fine for what I am thinking. What am I thinking ? Well basically multiple vertical columns of these LEDs in windows hanging from a spring loaded horizontal bar. I'm thinking of hanging maybe 10 vertical strips in each window at about 1m length. These are three wire WS2812B RGB LEDs (+5Vdc, Data, Gnd). As I understand it, I will have to extend the data wire from the bottom of the first column to the top of the next column, and do the same all the way to the last vertical string.

I will be using WLed, and I'm hoping to be able to create some interesting patterns, starting with a snow storm, but of course these will do colour sequencing too.

Does anybody here have any experience with these LEDs and controllers ? Is my data line going to turn to mush :?
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MikeBwca
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Re: Addressable LEDs for Xmas. Noob Project !

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TimG
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Re: Addressable LEDs for Xmas. Noob Project !

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Yes, they are all too big for me. I need very specific small sizes so will have to make my own to go into four adjacent windows.

I've moved on a level too. It is possible that my chosen WS2812B's have a fixed address rather than a next down the data line daisy chain address. Will test when I get them, but that could mean I don't need the extra data wire. How exciting :mrgreen:

What I don't know is if that breaks my plan in new and interesting ways :lol:
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Thixotropic
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Re: Addressable LEDs for Xmas. Noob Project !

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TimG wrote: Mon Oct 23, 2023 11:32 amWhat I don't know is if that breaks my plan in new and interesting ways :lol:
That's the fun part. ;)
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TimG
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Re: Addressable LEDs for Xmas. Noob Project !

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It's not fun waiting for parts :cry:

I think I will need more LED strings, but I can't be sure until I have the first set. This may be ready for Xmas 2024 :mrgreen:
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TimG
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Re: Addressable LEDs for Xmas. Noob Project !

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I'm learning about ESP32's while I wait. Where is my popcorn ?
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Re: Addressable LEDs for Xmas. Noob Project !

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I managed to get a 5 meter (16 ft+) length of addressable LED string and a couple of ESP32's. Very easy to program WLED on to them, and I laid the LEDs on the floor to make a 5 column matrix with 10 LEDs per column. You can set WLED to use a serpentine formation, so no need to cut the string yet.

Instantaneous Maximum WAF :idea: That's a first :lol:

Now I just need all of those other parts :?
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Re: Addressable LEDs for Xmas. Noob Project !

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I'm up to two ESP32's, now mounted on break out boards, and the QuinLed dig-uno. All with latest WLED software. Three addressable light controllers that can sync together.

Looks like I need more LEDs :lol:
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Re: Addressable LEDs for Xmas. Noob Project !

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Six more 10m (33ft?) LED strings ordered.

The original two 10m strings worked well together when daisy chained. No issues with fixed addressing causing them to work like independent strings. I had a 20 column 10 high matrix on the floor, and I could even read moving text on that. Circular effects like "black hole" are stunning. That is 200 Leds at 5vdc, so voltage drop along the string was visible - need to inject 5v at the other end too if using that many Leds.

All parts including fixings now ordered.

The hardest part so far was getting the correct usb driver for the QuinLed board. Latest WLed software now installed on all three ESP32's.
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Re: Addressable LEDs for Xmas. Noob Project !

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Adjacent matrices on different ESP32 outputs now working as one single larger matrix. That should sort the four upstairs windows.

Now for downstairs - still waiting for LEDs, but I think I will be ready for Xmas 8-)

Measured 100 RGB LEDs on full brightness (White = MAX power) to use 1.8 Amps @ 5vdc. That means much lower current with coloured patterns. 3A psu for 200 should be fine - limits on current can be set in WLED.
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