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PlanetChristmas Magazine September 2014

September 2014  |  PlanetChristmas  79 actually use less electricity. This is because even more lights aren’t on at the same time or they are doing something else more frequently. We all know that the electric bill is something that can be dreaded when January comes so using less is always a big thing. Another advantage is less need for extension cords. By changing my display two years ago to adapt for some simple RGB lighting, I dropped about a third of all my wiring that I had used previously. In talking with some who have made a larger conversion than me, they have seen over half of their needs for extension cords diminish. If you have a large display (my own never got above 128 channels before switching to RGB), you know firsthand how hard it can be to deal with all of the extension cords. Disadvantages of Pixels The biggest drawback to pixels is the fact that they look physically different than other light-ing. They have come out with covers that look like C7’s and C9’s, which helps, but for the traditionalists, this still doesn’t make amends. Pixels are usually brighter and just have a dif-ferent design than your regular lights. Another disadvantage is how much time it can take to sequence or program pixels. For those who know how long it takes to sequence or pro-gram regular channels, this could be a night-mare. For every channel that is setup, there are three channels for RGB: one for Red, one for Green, one for Blue, so it adds up quickly when putting things together. If I put a line of eight mini trees together and had 50 pixels on each tree, that would be 150 channels just on one tree. Multiply that by eight, and well, it’s a lot. Thankfully there are programs out there than can make it easier to sequence these. Smart or Dumb Strings A thing that I have been asked about a num-ber of times is what makes a smart string a smart string and not a dumb string. A smart string is setup so that each individual bulb can change independently of other bulbs any color depend-ing on the instructions. So, this means that on A dumb string is just like a smart string except that it cannot change every single bulb any color a string of 50 you can have 50 different colors going at one time. Or you can group them into smaller groups to make it easier if you want. The Light-O-Rama Cosmic Color Ribbon is a smart string (or in this case a smart ribbon). A dumb string is just like a smart string except that it cannot change every single bulb any color. The entire string will change any color, but the whole string will be the same color. This string takes three channels but only for the entire string, not like the smart string where it takes three channels per bulb. Trials and Tribulations When I first got into working with RGB lighting and pixels, I had a general idea of what they could do but not a working understand-ing. As time progressed I have been able to see what they are capable of doing through cli-ents of mine and also talking to many on the forums. The videos that people have come out with showcasing their displays that use pixels are outstanding. Many things that are being Smart pixel tree, 3 different pictures


PlanetChristmas Magazine September 2014
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