I've been static my whole life, so it's time to get moving.
I just can't believe what technology has been doing while I've been busy working and playing with other hobbies. I just found out LEDs can be controlled individually! Imagine my excitement. Once I learned that you can control individual pixels, I dreamed of creating whole house (or entire display) effects. And guess what? I learned that's already supported too in xLights (Nutcracker). This is incredible! After watching some videos of mini trees and small decorations changing color on command, I thought I wanted dumb RGB pixels. But with further research, it's almost no increase in cost to go full individually addressable smart pixels. Seems like an obvious choice to me, especially starting from scratch.
So I've been doing countless hours of reading and I think I'm finally getting a handle on how this stuff works. I've decided on a Falcon F16v3 controller and xLights. I want to start by doing a whole house outline. I'd like C9 pixels and I'm thinking of using the newest technology WS2818 pixels which use a 4th wire as backup data so if a pixel goes dead, it doesn't ruin the rest of the remaining string(s). It doesn't appear to cost must more than "standard" WS2811 C9s, so I'm leaning this direction. Does anyone have any experience with these? I've never done addressable pixels before so I have no idea how common it is for one to go bad and ruin the rest of the string.
Actually my biggest concern is the physical part of the project. I've never used anything other than gutter clips and for my pixels I really want nice straight lines. I've seen how QBERG uses J-channel to hang lights on the outside of the gutter. This looks very fast and efficient, but I'm wondering if I should couple that along with Holiday Coro's pixel bulb mounting strips. These look very nice and precise. The problem with using this strip *and* J-channel is that the bulbs have a "base" that takes up thickness, so the strips wouldn't seat flush against the J-channel. Then I also have to figure out how to mount something to my vertical walls and also window outlines.
And I have no idea how to mount a control board inside a weatherproof box, run wires through the box, etc. I guess that part will just start happening on its own. I have some electrical background, so I'm not afraid of soldering/splicing, I just feel pretty overwhelmed doing this whole thing myself with zero previous experience. It's a good thing I'm starting early. I didn't order anything yet. I wouldn't mind hearing a few opinions before I pull the trigger. I do realize I'll need wire and power supplies that I didn't mention, along with misc stuff like dielectric grease, pigtails, etc.
thanks in advance,