Jump to content
Did you know?
  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.
ProLawn

RGB to mount permanently? Sources?? Quality?? Price??

Recommended Posts

I want to stop using my red, blue and white string icicles and permanently mount RGB lights/nodes/or strips under the eaves of my house. From what Ive seen they seem to be INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE!! And not only expensive, Im not 100% sure they would be able to be used to stay up year round. If true RGB strips are not either going to be cost effective or strong enough to stay up year round- is there an RGB strip or node that only has 3-4 usable colors(white/green/red/blue) that might be cheaper? Bottom line I want to get rid of most of my 3 string setups and use RGB, but dont know alot about them. Other than they seem to be WAY over priced. I mean if I wanted to change my Mega Tree over to RGB. It would cost me over $10,000. 96 strings with about a 4inch spacing. 96x $115 string/ribbon = $11,040. Theres got to be a better way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to stop using my red, blue and white string icicles and permanently mount RGB lights/nodes/or strips under the eaves of my house. From what Ive seen they seem to be INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE!!

Do you have some cost numbers and reference points (how many nodes, how many feet, how will you mount them, etc)?

And not only expensive, Im not 100% sure they would be able to be used to stay up year round.

And I have to wonder how well tranditional light strings will hold up after several years outside. I think like anything, you have to be willing to pay for the materials and design to meet your requirements. That said, there are many RGB solutions that wre orginally inteded to be used by the sign industry, so there is quality there if you want to pay for it.

If true RGB strips are not either going to be cost effective or strong enough to stay up year round- is there an RGB strip or node that only has 3-4 usable colors(white/green/red/blue) that might be cheaper?

Could you better describe your exact needs?

Bottom line I want to get rid of most of my 3 string setups and use RGB, but dont know alot about them.

I'd ask - how long have you spent researching all the options? Have you visited the other boards like Aussie Christmas Lights and DIYC where RGB has been discussed during most of 2010?

I mean if I wanted to change my Mega Tree over to RGB. It would cost me over $10,000. 96 strings with about a 4inch spacing. 96x $115 string/ribbon = $11,040. Theres got to be a better way.

First, comparing a full pixel based RGB mega tree (or even an straight RGB) to a standard megatree with red+green+blue+white strings is like comparing a Kia Rio to a Lexus LS11 - yea...they kind of do the same thing, just differently. There isn't anything wrong with the Kia but it just isn't a Lexus and that's why someone spends the extra $50k "for the same thing".

As Dave pointed out, I think that math may be a bit off. Let's look at a "comparison" between the two on a cost only basis.

Red/green/white/blue LED strings:

* 96 channels @ 12.87 per channel for controllers (LOR PC controller -http://www.holidaycoro.com/2010LSHWorkshop/Controller%20Cost%20Comparison.pdf) = $1,235

* 96 Strings @ $11 (full wave, not-walmart cheapes) = $1,056

* Misc power cords, etc = $50

---------

$2,341

Full color pixel controlled using pixel nodes:

* 24 strings @ (18ft / 4in spacing) 54 pixels per string x .70 x 24 = $907

* 6 TP3244 controllers (worse case) @ $40 each = $240

* Power supplies and misc other = $175

---------------

$1322

Hmm... even that suprises me. So, what if we up the string count to get a little more density to the price level of the "standard" megatree? Jump it up to 36 strings and you are still at only $1,920.

So, to say they are $11k is just not completely correct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Full color pixel controlled using pixel nodes:

* 24 strings @ (18ft / 4in spacing) 54 pixels per string x .70 x 24 = $907

* 6 TP3244 controllers (worse case) @ $40 each = $240

* Power supplies and misc other = $175

---------------

$1322

Hmm... even that suprises me. So, what if we up the string count to get a little more density to the price level of the "standard" megatree? Jump it up to 36 strings and you are still at only $1,920.

So, to say they are $11k is just not completely correct.

I "may" not completely understand your math. But this is how I interpret it. First off, if I use 24 strings with a 4in spacing. 4in x 24 strings = 96in. 96in divided by 12(in) = 8(ft). So are you saying you would connect all strings to an 8ft stick of pvc and then bend that into a circle. Not sure how to do the math but that would mean the base of your tree is only around 2+ feet accross. Second. If you use 24 strings that total $907 for just the strings, thats only $37.80 a string. I thought they were $100 or more. Unless Im looking at something different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I "may" not completely understand your math. But this is how I interpret it. First off, if I use 24 strings with a 4in spacing. 4in x 24 strings = 96in. 96in divided by 12(in) = 8(ft). So are you saying you would connect all strings to an 8ft stick of pvc and then bend that into a circle. Not sure how to do the math but that would mean the base of your tree is only around 2+ feet accross. Second. If you use 24 strings that total $907 for just the strings, thats only $37.80 a string. I thought they were $100 or more. Unless Im looking at something different.

That would be a result of the lack of details. It appears when you say "4 inch spacing" that would be at the base of the tree - no? When you said 4in spacing, I assumed it to mean 4in between nodes/bulbs. Since there are a lot of details I don't seem to catch, you can determine the cost of the strings by calculating about .65 cents per pixel node, plus power and about $10-15 per "string"...though that can be lower depending on how you lay them out.

Again, these are two completely different products with completely different abilities and should be priced based on the specific needs and budget.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I "may" not completely understand your math. But this is how I interpret it. First off, if I use 24 strings with a 4in spacing. 4in x 24 strings = 96in. 96in divided by 12(in) = 8(ft). So are you saying you would connect all strings to an 8ft stick of pvc and then bend that into a circle. Not sure how to do the math but that would mean the base of your tree is only around 2+ feet accross. Second. If you use 24 strings that total $907 for just the strings, thats only $37.80 a string. I thought they were $100 or more. Unless Im looking at something different.

I mean if I wanted to change my Mega Tree over to RGB. It would cost me over $10,000. 96 strings with about a 4inch spacing. 96x $115 string/ribbon = $11,040.

What you're stating in these two post is somewhat contradicting. For instance, I think what D was calculating for you was an example of a 96 string megatree consisting of 24 strings each of four colors (red green white blue). You didn't ask for that, but that is what he provided. I think the reason he did this is that if you want white, not just RGB, you would probably want to have a white pixel as well. NOW, I think you were referring to having 96 RGB strings, 4" spaced at the bottom of a megatree ring and that, to me, is just insane. I think I have one of the most dense megatrees I have ever seen and I have 7" space around my ring. Why would you need 4"? Most people do 8-12" at least, and some do even more which gets a bit sparse to me. What is the height of your megatree right now and what is the base diameter? How many strings of each color do you do?

I will give you an example based on my megatree... 20' tall, 12' base diameter, 60 strings each color, red + green + white. 180 strings total (24' long 70 count strings) @ $11 a string is $2000. 36 channels of LOR @ $13 a channel is $500. That's $2500.

In my opinion a fair comparison would be a setup with 60 RGB strings to mimic my 7" spacing that I currently have. By D's numbers, that would be:

Full color pixel controlled using pixel nodes:

* 60 strings @ (24ft / 4in spacing) 72 pixels per string x .70 x 60 = $3000

* 15 TP3244 controllers (worse case) @ $40 each = $600

* Power supplies and misc other = $750

$4350

I assumed that the TP3244 controller he has above are 4 strings per controller (he had six of them for 24 RGB strings).

So that is within a factor of two on the cost... and again, my tree is very dense.... if I were to bump that up to a 12" spacing, it would still look very good and would drop the cost down by 33% to $2900 which is very close to my conventional cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What you're stating in these two post is somewhat contradicting. For instance, I think what D was calculating for you was an example of a 96 string megatree consisting of 24 strings each of four colors (red green white blue). You didn't ask for that, but that is what he provided. I think the reason he did this is that if you want white, not just RGB, you would probably want to have a white pixel as well. NOW, I think you were referring to having 96 RGB strings, 4" spaced at the bottom of a megatree ring and that, to me, is just insane. I think I have one of the most dense megatrees I have ever seen and I have 7" space around my ring. Why would you need 4"? Most people do 8-12" at least, and some do even more which gets a bit sparse to me. What is the height of your megatree right now and what is the base diameter? How many strings of each color do you do?

I will give you an example based on my megatree... 20' tall, 12' base diameter, 60 strings each color, red + green + white. 180 strings total (24' long 70 count strings) @ $11 a string is $2000. 36 channels of LOR @ $13 a channel is $500. That's $2500.

In my opinion a fair comparison would be a setup with 60 RGB strings to mimic my 7" spacing that I currently have. By D's numbers, that would be:

Full color pixel controlled using pixel nodes:

* 60 strings @ (24ft / 4in spacing) 72 pixels per string x .70 x 60 = $3000

* 15 TP3244 controllers (worse case) @ $40 each = $600

* Power supplies and misc other = $750

$4350

I think we're getting off base here a little. All I wanted was a little help finding RGB strings that were durable enough to be permanently mounted on a house and that didnt cost over a hundred bucks a string. If they dont exist, fine, I will move on to other ideas. My main reason for looking, was for my house, not for a Mega Tree. I did give the Mega tree as an example, and if cost effective, wouldve done it. But my 96 string Mega tree cost me about $200, so I dont think I will use RGB for the tree if its gonna cost $2k-3k or more.

As far as the true measurements on my tree. Im not 100% sure. Its based off of R. Holdmans tree. Mine is only about 15' high because 2 out of the three colors are LED and the strings arent as long as the incandescents. Its not super tight and the spacing might be 4" or 5" or 6". To me it didnt really matter. I was just trying to mimic the same look as my existing tree, which is a 15' tree with 96 strings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ordered the RGB 5050 strips from Ray Wu. They have a silicon cover on them and appear to be water tight. This is a completely do it yourself solution, and there is a learning curve when working with them. I also ordered the waterproof DMX controllers from Ray as well. The strips have a 3M adhesive on them that is similar to that used to hold emblems and trim on automobiles. As with anything, preparation is key. I applied directly to the gutter and they are holding well through the winter. A test for me will be if they make it through the summer and do not yellow.

I made my strips ahead of time, joining strips with lengths of four conductor ribbon. You have to separate the silicon from the strip and to solder. You cannot bend it to much when it is seperated or have it bent for long, as it tends to tear. I then put a dab of clear silicon down, layed the silicon tube down and then used shrink wrap over the connection. Finally, I wrapped the ribbon in white electrical tape.

Some additional tips:

Order in the longest length you can get and cut to size. Make a cut list to ensure you are optimizing your cuts and order extra. Start with the longest cuts first and test each segment. I had some segments where one color did not work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we're getting off base here a little. All I wanted was a little help finding RGB strings that were durable enough to be permanently mounted on a house and that didnt cost over a hundred bucks a string. If they dont exist, fine, I will move on to other ideas. My main reason for looking, was for my house, not for a Mega Tree. I did give the Mega tree as an example, and if cost effective, wouldve done it. But my 96 string Mega tree cost me about $200, so I dont think I will use RGB for the tree if its gonna cost $2k-3k or more.

Fair enough. On a related note, I looked into mounting the RGB floods in my eaves this year. Even went so far as to spend ~ $800 on eight Rainbow Floods and a couple of LOR DC controllers + cabling. In the end, the eave/soffit idea worked out horribly as the color mixing from a flood source was quite poor from that close. Sure, red, green, and blue looked great! But anything else that was a mix of colors wasn't mixed properly. I think the better solution would be more numerous point sources, i.e. a string, as you're describing.

Maybe dmoore could provide some numbers for, let's say, a 55' length across the front of a house, mounted in the soffit, with 4" spacing. That would be 165 pixels if my math is correct. There wouldn't be enough light to flood the front of the house I'm guessing, but it could look pretty cool with light coming from the soffit/eave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you go to the below link and downlaod the PDF, this will give you a link to some of the different types of RGB lights on offer, these are what ive used this year and was more than happy with the performance for price.

http://forums.auschristmaslighting.com/index.php/topic,634.0.html

and goto this post to see how it all connects up

http://forums.auschristmaslighting.com/index.php/topic,647.0.html

Couldnt post the PDFs here as there seems to be a miniscule 100K limit on PDFs at PC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair enough. On a related note, I looked into mounting the RGB floods in my eaves this year. Even went so far as to spend ~ $800 on eight Rainbow Floods and a couple of LOR DC controllers + cabling. In the end, the eave/soffit idea worked out horribly as the color mixing from a flood source was quite poor from that close. Sure, red, green, and blue looked great! But anything else that was a mix of colors wasn't mixed properly. I think the better solution would be more numerous point sources, i.e. a string, as you're describing.

You are completely correct - anything with seperate leds will require some distance and usually a diffuser or reflector to get good color mixing - which is the case with the Rainbow Floods which have seperate Red, Blue and Green leds. That's the great thing about 5050 LEDs, all three colors are within 1/32" of each other, so even when you look at them up close, undiffused, they have good color mixing. Thus, anything with 5050s in them would be a great solution where you didn't want distinct RGB colors to show, only the mixed color and you could mount them within inches (I've found 2.5" to be ideal) of a diffused or reflective surface.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What you're stating in these two post is somewhat contradicting. For instance, I think what D was calculating for you was an example of a 96 string megatree consisting of 24 strings each of four colors (red green white blue). You didn't ask for that, but that is what he provided.....

It was a confusing post and I wasn't sure why the complaint about cost for the megatree was sprinkled in there explaining how expensive it is, in the same post where a complimentary solution is being sought. In the end, it's pretty hard to compare a Pixel Node based megatree with an LED tree.

A fair comparison would be a non-pixel based RGB node such as this: http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/701799/209889132-314088420/12mm-diameter-through-hole-LED-channel-letter-DC5V-input-RGB-waterproof-0-3W-120degree-beam-angle.html

It's .34 cents per node - for Red, Green and Blue in a single node. So, take the prior example of $11.50, 100-count LED strings which are .115 center per bulb or .46 cents for all Red, White, Green and Blue. So, already it's cheaper on the bulbs and you can now mix colors to make other colors (on a per-string basis) which can't be done on "super strings". Then on the controller side, all you need is a pair of Tiger 48's ($260 total) and some power supplies and you are done.

But, if you go through all that trouble, you might as well upgrade to pixel and then you are set for Christmas Lights 3.0. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, I found the pixel based 5050 strips after installing my standard RGB strips. In hind sight I wish I would have done the pixels. I could run them straight RGB for learning this year and change programs in the future. I am currently in a personal dilemma of what to do for my mini trees. I will be going rgb led, just not sure if they will be per pixel or strings. I am concerned if I will be able to wrap them in a manner that would allow me to take advantage of the individual pixels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, I found the pixel based 5050 strips after installing my standard RGB strips. In hind sight I wish I would have done the pixels. I could run them straight RGB for learning this year and change programs in the future. I am currently in a personal dilemma of what to do for my mini trees. I will be going rgb led, just not sure if they will be per pixel or strings. I am concerned if I will be able to wrap them in a manner that would allow me to take advantage of the individual pixels.

I saw a video of a 40 pixel, 18" tall minitree and I must say, I was quite impressed. He came up with lots of cool sequences within the tree - like a little sequence within a larger overall sequence. I don't think this is for the faint of heart - at 120 channels per tree (I think he had around 20 trees), the channel counts add up quick.

Edited by dmoore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was a confusing post and I wasn't sure why the complaint about cost for the megatree was sprinkled in there explaining how expensive it is, in the same post where a complimentary solution is being sought. In the end, it's pretty hard to compare a Pixel Node based megatree with an LED tree.

A fair comparison would be a non-pixel based RGB node such as this: http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/701799/209889132-314088420/12mm-diameter-through-hole-LED-channel-letter-DC5V-input-RGB-waterproof-0-3W-120degree-beam-angle.html

It's .34 cents per node - for Red, Green and Blue in a single node. So, take the prior example of $11.50, 100-count LED strings which are .115 center per bulb or .46 cents for all Red, White, Green and Blue. So, already it's cheaper on the bulbs and you can now mix colors to make other colors (on a per-string basis) which can't be done on "super strings". Then on the controller side, all you need is a pair of Tiger 48's ($260 total) and some power supplies and you are done.

But, if you go through all that trouble, you might as well upgrade to pixel and then you are set for Christmas Lights 3.0. :)

What is Christmas Lights 3.0? Haven't heard this before..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...