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Discussion Starter · #83 ·
New Lights

Here are the results of some experimentation. I managed to get 9 lights into the standard 1" bottle cap and it was actually much easier to wire than the larger fixtures (see pics) with 12 LED's inside them. Both configurations (12, and 9) yielded very nice results and improved the amount of light from the weaker colors dramatically. I also built several of the 12's in white so I could iluminate some overhead props that were just to far away to effectively light with the standard 3 bulb configuration. Overall I'm VERY Happy with the results.

I'm also making some of my lights with very small mounting plates (Wood) since many of my lights will be screwed or clamped in place and a large piece of wood just isn't necessary.



 

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Greg,

I just have to reiterate what a great design improvement this was. The flexibility in placement and where to focus the light was a big help on Halloween. As useful (and cheap) as the vampire clips were, I think I'm going to look into the RCA jacks. "Plug and play" seems to be even more of a time saver...and it looks sleek!

I like the idea of bigger groupings of bulbs to boost the power of some of the colors. Amber, as you've noted, had a lot less range than the blues and greens. I'm going to need some schooling on figuring out which resistors to buy for my build this year, though. I've looked at those online calculators and my brain melted.

Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
Rich, I can make it simple for you. If you are using groupings of 3 LED's, @ 12V, Blues, Greens, Whites, and Pinks work well with a 100ohm resistor. For Reds and Ambers I used a 360ohm resistor. You can check with Joe to make sure I'm correct. If you are uncertain you can buy the resistors with the next highest value just to be safe, but mine have been lit for 7 days now and are fine.

As for Joes connectors I too would love to try them for certain areas in my haunt. I REALLY Like his Idea. However, My haunt used 400' of landscape wire last year and that was with a very efficient layout of the wire. With 75 separate fixtures and another 100 already built, I'll have 175+ fixtures this comming year. I want to try a combination of connections in areas with higher concentrations of lights like my Hoop House and graveyard where I could have 30 lights within a 15' radius. I think his system will work fabulously in that application. I'm thinking about using one vampire connector and wire to link to his system in those areas.

As for LED groupings, Although I prefer the 12 LEDs for it's extra light output, Aligning the LED's in an effecient mannor was SO TEDIOUS that I went with a grouping of 9 for most of my new lights. I found that I could make 3 lights with 9 LED's in the time it took to do one with 12. I'll still make a few more reds, Pinks and whites in the 12 configuration but I'm dreading the process already. 9 is SOOOOO Much easier and you can fit them easily into the existing 1" bottle caps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #86 ·
Rich, The calculator says to use:


120ohm for White, blue, green and pink

390 ohm for reds and Ambers.

On a side note, I seem to have a lot of trouble with the Pink LED's
EVERY fixture I've made has had at least 1 bank of LED's go bad. I don't know if this is a product issue, or a resistor failure or what, but It has been giving me grief since I started using them about 2 weeks ago. They do have slightly different values than the whites, blues and greens but the calculator still has the resistor fall in the realm of the ones that I curently have for them (75 ohm). I have NO Idea what's going on there and I'm dissapointed because I LOVE the color. Anyone else have this issue? I should up the resistor value to at least 100 ohms and give them another try.
 

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I would try the 100 Ohm resistor (1/4 watt will be fine) you might be over-driving the pink leds with the smaller resistor. The resistors that come with the leds tend to be right on the edge of the low side of the required value. I do not have any pinks I may have to order some and see how they look. Are we going to be ordering more leds in a group buy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
Butterfly Light art.

I would try the 100 Ohm resistor (1/4 watt will be fine) you might be over-driving the pink leds with the smaller resistor. The resistors that come with the leds tend to be right on the edge of the low side of the required value. I do not have any pinks I may have to order some and see how they look. Are we going to be ordering more leds in a group buy?
Joe,

I already wired up a few more pink clusters this morning. One set was with 100ohms and the other was with 120 ohms. They've been running for 3 hours so far with no failure. The ones with 75 ohms would have shown some problems by now so I think we got that issue licked.

As far as the pink colors, I really like them although they seem to be the weakest of all of the Asia Engineer colors. My tests reveal that you'd need double the amount to get some good saturation at 4 feet. I used two Pink fixture (9 each) and aimed them at the same spot to get a similar strength to the other 9X fixtures

This picture has 7 different fixtures all contain 9 LED's (2-red, 2-amber, 1-blue, 1-green and 1-Pink). You can see the relative brightness and saturation even though the picture was taken during the daytime. The pattern kinda looks like a butterfly.


As far as a group Buy, I'd love to get ahold of KEN to make sure that we properly order our free resistors. I'm not confident that they'll ship the correct ones until We speak to him. I also wanted to e-mail georgio @ asia engineer to ask about Yellows. They don't have any listed anywhere except in a blister pack of low MCD assorted LED's.

In a related question. is there any way to use just 1 higher wattage resistor for these sets of 9? To explain, use the calculator and look at thier schematic solution. Imagine twisting all of the negative leads of the LED's together before the resistors, and then using just 1 higher wattage resistor (Same ohms?) instead of 3 in this series/paralell configuration. I would love to find an answer to this question since it would really reduce assembly time and make for a much neater array. I'm also planning a test for landscape lighting to use a few giant cluster of perhaps 45-50 white leds for possible commercial applications. Even if it can be done, I'm sure there would be a maximum # of leds in this series/paralell configuration before causing the resistor to overheat.

Anyone know the answer to this??
 

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Greg, Running leds in parallel can be done however I do not recommend it. For one it uses more power that way, you need to use a higher value resistor as well as a higher wattage resistor to absorb the voltage that would have been absorbed by the other two leds in a series circuit, and it can generate heat and shorten the life of the leds. See the links below for an explanation. You are better off with 4 groups of three leds in series (or 3 groups for nine leds) or 3 groups of four leds in series each group having its own resistor

http://www.horrorseek.com/home/halloween/wolfstone/Lighting/litlpo_PoweringLEDs.html

http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/components/led.htm
 

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hpropman, I like your idea of the RCA power connections. I have just started working with these lights and am very new to everything electronic. My question is i came across a bunch of telephone wire and jacks I was wondering if you think the wire in telephone wire is large enough to use to make quick connection units simular to your RCA jacks. Also any suggestion on best place to buy LEDS in quantities of 100 or so of different colors and resisters. also thanks for the links in your last post lots of good info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #91 ·
hpropman, I like your idea of the RCA power connections. I have just started working with these lights and am very new to everything electronic. My question is i came across a bunch of telephone wire and jacks I was wondering if you think the wire in telephone wire is large enough to use to make quick connection units simular to your RCA jacks. Also any suggestion on best place to buy LEDS in quantities of 100 or so of different colors and resisters. also thanks for the links in your last post lots of good info.
I'll let Joe (Hpropman) answer the first part. as for the second part, Joe and I got ours at http://stores.ebay.com/Asia-Engineer . Unfortunately they are on vacation for the next two weeks so you'll have to wait to order them. Also, you have specify your free resistor values depending on your application.

If your using 3 LEDS on 12V, The calculator says to use:

120ohm for White, blue, green and pink

390 ohm for reds and Ambers.

If a resistor isn't available with the exact value than use the next highest value you can find on thier site.

NOTE: Be careful about the "K ohms" when shopping for resistors. When you see a 33K ohm resistor, the "k" is short for thousand. so a 33K ohm resistor is a 33,000ohm resistor and NOT a 33 ohm resistor.

Hope that helps till Joe answers the first half.
 

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Telephone wire is (generally) 24 gauge which has a max free air amp rating of 3.5. So as long as you keep your total current per conductor below 3.5 amps & don't cram a bunch of it some place with no air flow (heat de-rates the amp rating) you'd be OK. For safety's sake, I'd stay well below 3.5 amps - maybe limit it to 2 - 2.5 max.
POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) lines are 48 volts DC. Not sure about the current, but it's not much.
 

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I have been reading through this post as well as the group make and take you guys did. As a newbie to LED spot creation, connecting the dots is a little tough. I have gone on websites posted and looked at every picture but trying to figure out what exactly is going on is not the easiest.

Is there a how to page I am missing that goes step by step through your make and take? I would like to see what size holes you drilled, where you apply the glue, what end of which LED gets soldered to the next, which side the resistor goes on and why, How to make sure you don't get them backwards, how to tell the difference in the resistor values, etc.

Asking too much? I want to be able to create these. I am just trying not to start my front yard on fire in the process :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 · (Edited)
LED lights, Complete Tutorial

Go here LED SPOTLIGHT TUTORIAL for a complete tutorial, and keep a watch on the thread. It's still "In progress" but it can help you get started.

You'll need to gather the bottle caps and that can take some time, so check out the thread and start collecting the specific bottle caps shown in Part 1.

I've been taking a ton of pics of the process, and will keep everyone updated as the tutorial get's completed.
 

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Spider climber this is the basic circuit that we used (we used 3 leds instead of four but the circuit is the same)



Here is the thread with a more information from the make and take it is a long thread but there a lot of good information in there:

http://hauntforum.com/showthread.php?t=20601

Here is a link to my photobucket album with more pictures

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v147/jmalt31/Halloween Props 3/#!cpZZ1QQtppZZ20

Here is a website about learning electronics if you read the sections on resistors and leds you will understand better.

http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/index.htm

Some tips that we found make construction easier:

Never hook a led to a power source without a resistor (you will burn it out)

Resistors do not have a polarity they can be used either way.

The leds are inserted from the back of the cap, soldered, tested and then glued in with crazy glue. After clipping the extra lead length short we sometimes coat them in hot glue to seal them. (if you have a drain hole in bottom rear your pipe this is not really needed).

In the rear cap (the cap at the bottom) of the pipe I drill a hole above the middle so that it does not hit the bolt that is holding the pipe to the ceiling wire bolt. Place the bolt through the cap so that is does not get pushed down into the pipe while you drill this hole.

The bolt that holds the pipe is drilled through the pipe and the rear cap.

Before you solder the wires to the completed led cap run the wire into the back of the pipe through the upper hole and I tie a small not in the wire so that when it is pulled back into the pipe the stripped ends of the wire are about 1/4 inch from the front end of the pipe.

Leds can only work one way (the longer lead the anode is the positive) - see the picture above.

If you hook a led up backwards you will not hurt the led it will just not light

The resistor can go on either end of the soldered led string (3 leds) the negative (cathode) end or the positive (anode) end.

when soldering the resistors to the led leads bend the leads of both into a small hook or loop and hook together before soldering (makes it so much easier) same thing when you are soldering the wires to the leads

When solder leds to other leds twist the leads together once or twice (not to tight).

If you have any oth4er questions please ask away. If you still need the how to I will try to put one together for you. We will be making these with 9 leds instead of three (3 groups of three with the resistor). The resistor value depends on the color of the leds and their specs.
 

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Go here http://hauntforum.com/showthread.php?t=25530 for a complete tutorial, and keep a watch on the thread. It's still "In progress" but it can help you get started.

You'll need to gather the bottle caps and that can take some time, so check out the thread and start collecting the specific bottle caps shown in Part 1.

I've been taking a ton of pics of the process, and will keep everyone updated as the tutorial get's completed.
Thanks Greg I forgot about that one.
 

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I do not see why not they should work fine. The wire is well within spec. Greg already answered the question about getting the leds and the resistor values.

hpropman, I like your idea of the RCA power connections. I have just started working with these lights and am very new to everything electronic. My question is i came across a bunch of telephone wire and jacks I was wondering if you think the wire in telephone wire is large enough to use to make quick connection units simular to your RCA jacks. Also any suggestion on best place to buy LEDS in quantities of 100 or so of different colors and resisters. also thanks for the links in your last post lots of good info.
 

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Thanks for the responses. I will be watching the tutorial unfold Niblique. I have to wait two weeks for Asia Engineer anyway, plus ship time for LEDs. I am excited to employee this into my haunt this coming year. I used spots this last year which were 75 to 100 watts and although they worked, they just didn't give me the glow I was looking for and many things looked dark. I plan on fixing this soon :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #100 ·
Being in the landscape business as you are, is there a certain type of wire you would suggest say the 12-2 over the 16-2 or a brand which you would steer clear of vs buying?
I opted to answer your question in this thread.

Unless you use Joe's connection system, I would recomend the 14-2 landscape wire for the main trunk wire (Main power supply wire to the individual lights) which could be up to 400' long. Landscape wire is designed to be pierced by vampire connectors since it has a certain width (and apparantly has modified sheathing). Smaller wire could be used but is difficult to get the vampire connectors to make a good connection. To be sure, the MOST expensive part of My version of an LED build is the Landscape wire. I think I got a roll of 250' of 14-2 for $65 last year and used every bit of it (X-2). The difference between our connection systems is, I can hook up 175 lights and my "main wire" cost will most likely be the same. In Joes system to add more lights you will ALWAYS need to add more RCA connectors and More wire. I'd bet I could figure out at what point the costs would balance out but I'd bet it's somewhere between 50 and 60 l.ights. His system is FANTASTIC for small yards.

For the pigtails to connect the actual lights to the trunk line, (the wires from the LED's to the main power wire [usually less than 4' long]), you can use outdoor telephone wire and separate the wires within the sheath as I will explain in the Tutorial

Joe and I will be happy to answer any question about LED's in this thread as I'm trying to keep the tutorial thread relatively unpolluted until it's completed and edited. Meanwhile. start collecting those bottle caps. BE sure to test them in a section of the 1" thinwall PVC untill you become familiar with the type of cap that will work best.
 
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