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Incandescent vs. LEDs vs. RGB pixels. Are smart pixels worth it? Maybe not.


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I built three different versions of my animated trees display  I added an ammeter to monitor how much electricity each was consuming.  Interesting.

The setup:

4 trees, each with 150 lights

1 tree with 170 lights

... so 770 lights total.

 

Using incandescent minilights from Walmart

Total cost (including a new LOR 16 channel light controller): $291

All lights off: 5 watts of power (I assume that was for the light controller electronics)

All lights on: 234 watts of power.

 

Using LED minilights from Walmart

Total cost (including a new LOR 16 channel light controller): $349

All lights off: 5 watts of power (I assume that was for the light controller electronics)

All lights on: 29 watts of power.

 

Using LED based RGB smart pixel lights from Light-O-Rama

Total cost (including a new LOR pixel controller): $655

All lights off: 36 watts of power (I assume that was for the light controller electronics and the chip on each smart pixel)

All lights on: 430 watts of power (when all lights were 100% white).

 

I'll admit the LED based RGB smart pixels are pretty darn cool.  Any light, any color at any time, but I was more surprised by the amount of power consumed... almost twice as much as incandescents when everything is full on..

In years past I closely watched the people watching the display.  I saw the same reaction no matter what lighting technology was being used.

 

Chuck's conclusion:

Don't get carried away with all this lighting technology.  You might be feeding your own ego by having the latest (and expensive) cutting edge lighting stuff... but your viewers could care less.

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That’s some good information thanks Chuck! I agree most people that come by my display over years just want to see their kids faces light up! Mine has changed from 6 LOR with LED lights down to using just 2 LOR to control LED mini lights and blow molds. I never got into RGBs due to price but I toke a class you put on in Atlanta 2013? and they looked really cool.

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