Hardware for Light Installation

Hi everyone,

I’m currently working on a Touchdesigner Project and wanted to enhance it with some simple lights. So far the idea is to have 2 LED stripes and control their intensity, color and light patterns. So far I watched some tutorials on it and wanted to try it out.
But I’m not sure which hardware to buy. Do I need anything apart from the LEDs and some DMX Output? So far I found this output on ENTTEC under products > controls > USB > Open DMX USB and wonder if it’s a good option (some can’t include links sadly)
The lights on the other hand I don’t really know what to look for. Any recommendations are appreciated. Especially if not to expensive and if they look like neon tubes :stuck_out_tongue:
As you can read I’m still very lost in the matter. So any help would be great.

This is what you’re looking for: PixLite 4 Mk2 | Pixel Controller | Advatek Lighting

As for LED strips look for WS2812 or WS2813. You can find them on amazon or alibaba/aliexpress if you’re willing to wait a while for shipping. This store in particular is a pretty good resource: Ray wu's store - Amazing prodcuts with exclusive discounts on AliExpress 

To get them to look like a neon tube just search for LED Diffusion. There are a ton of products out there. Ray Wu has some: round 360 view - Shop Cheap round 360 view from China round 360 view Suppliers at Ray wu's store on Aliexpress.com

The LED Diffusion is exactly what I searched for
Thanks for the tip!

The PixLite 4 Mk2 I’m not so sure about
Unfortunately it’s way to expensive for me
Are you certain this one won’t do the trick: OPEN DMX USB: the perfect low cost for DMX control | ENTTEC
or this one: Installation-grade DMX to SPI pixel converter for LED control | ENTTEC

As far as I understand it the more expensive one can control more lights right?
But I only need this one or two led Stripes and that’s it
also the Din pixie supports WS2812 which you mentioned

Oh yeah the DIN Pixie is pretty neat. I wasn’t aware of that product. So in that case you would still need to output DMX into it so you would need both the DIN Pixie and the Open DMX Usb or USB DMX Pro and a 5pin dmx to RJ45 adapter: Amazon.com

One thing to note is that a single DMX line is 512 channels so the max number of pixels you can individually control would be 170. Artnet is a better way to go if you’re looking to control more than that. As well, it’s nice not to be locked into having a device directly connected to your computer via USB.

This product supports artnet and kind of combines both of those units. Might be worth considering: LED pixel controller - our NextGen of DIN-rail data converter | ENTTEC

One thing that’s nice about the PixLites is that they have 5A fuses built into the outputs of the board. Something you should definitely consider adding if you go with the DIN Pixie.

Meanwell power supplies are the correct choice for powering your LED strips. There are plenty of other brands available on amazon/aliexpress but you will need something to power the strips with.

This will help you calculate how much power you’ll need: Pixel Light Power Calculator

Did a little more research on the DIN Pixie and it does seem like it’s possible to just use the USB for control of the outputs but I’m not so sure if it’s supported by TouchDesigner yet. Anyone out there that can confirm?

as far as I’ve seen it, it should be possible to plug the DIN Pixie straight into the usb of my computer
Here speaks someone about Enttec, but not about specifically about the DIN Pixie

I also wrote an email to the costumer service on Enttec to find out more.
Hope I will hear back from them soon

What exactly are 5A Fuses?

Do you have a specific recommandation regarding the power supplies?

This was one of the first LED stripes recommended on Amazon with WS2812
You think that will do?

A fuse is just used to make sure you don’t blow anything up if your strip gets shorted or draws too much power. e.g. if you shorted out the power lines on the strip accidentally. Take a look at the Pixlite schematic.

To choose the correct power supply you’ll need to calculate your potential load using a tool like the one I posted above but something like this might be appropriate: https://www.amazon.com/Single-Output-Efficiency-Power-Supply/dp/B01DM24C9C/ref=pd_lpo_2?pd_rd_i=B01DM24C9C&psc=1

Yeah that strip you linked to uses the WS2812B chipset so that would be fine. The biggest difference between brands and distributors is just price.

Just got a reply from the costumer service:

“If you are looking for the easiest solution, I would recommend you OCTO as you can use an RJ45 cable from your switch to the unit and you can find it easy on the network with our tools (NMU)”

Guess I have to decide if I want to pay more money for the OCTO or go the more risky road with the DIN Pixie

Either way this conversation was of great help to me
Thanks a lot!

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got another reply that both items can’t be delivered at the moment
Apparently basically all shops have same issue at the moment.
Hence I let this topic open in the hope that somebody can give any other device recommendations along the line of the DIN Pixi.
Unfortunately the Octo Mk2 is not affordable for me at the moment.

Well, you could always go Teensy or ESP32.

https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/
https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/td_libs_Ethernet.html

A bit more complicated than just buying a controller like a pixlite but you’ll definitely save some money and learn a cool new skill :slight_smile:

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Just found this I believe I will try it out:

Seems a cheap solution and should do the trick.

You might be disappointed by how slowly the Philips hue stuff responds to commands as well as how expensive the actual LEDs are, at least compared to some cheap WS2812 or 2815 LEDs you can usually get next-day on Amazon. Also as Matt W linked above, the PJRC Teensy + Octo WS2811 Adapter is only $30 total and will allow you up to 8 LED strips that can easily run 300 pixels (5m of 60led/m) or longer.

It’s a pretty good solder job for beginners, especially if you get the teensy with the pins already attached, and then the code to get it to run from a Serial USB output via TouchDesigner is very simple and available in multiple places here on the forum. The only downside is that it’s USB and not ethernet, but also it’s only $30 and all parts are in stock on the PJRC website.

Thanks for the reply
I will try around a bit and see for myself which works best :slight_smile: