Maybe eventually I will post close up pictures of my first year decorations. However, as I am quickly looking to my next year, I figured I would start by seeing what is out there. The RGB flood lights I used in 2015 were simply powered by a 4 channel RGB controller. I used xLights to run the show off of my laptop. To get the signal from the computer to the controller, I opted to use the HolidayCoro ActiDongle. In hindsight, I probably should have just purchased an E1.31 pixel controller (~$100) and used the RS485 output for DMX this first year. But, I didn’t do that.
So to get started with Pixels, I ordered this kit from HolidayCoro. Although the website’s picture and description only show 3 different pixel tyles (node, module and strip), the kit surprisingly came with several more. On the page, it does list these under the “items included with this product”, but it may get confusing. To be clear, my kit came with the following pixels:
- 5 Bullet Nodes
- 5 Square Nodes
- 5 Square Modules
- 3 Brilliant Bulb
- 5 Rectangle Modules
- 1 section of 30/10 strip (I was expecting 3 sections which would have included 3 IC’s and 9 LED’s, but this was ok)
The kit also included a standard DMX controller and power supply. To use this kit, you must be able to output to DMX unless you only plan on using the preprogrammed sequences in the controller.
This kit allowed me to explore these different types of pixels and game me some ideas as to how I would use some in my display. One thing I learned is that the nodes are rather picky with voltage (expecially over-voltage). The 45 watt power supply included outputs at slightly over 12v. With only a few nodes in the line, I found that they had some random flashing. However, the support at HolidayCoro informed me that this was due to that voltage issue. After I wired all the sample products together, I found this issue went away. In a large display, I would assume this would not be a problem even if putting in slightly more than 12volts due to the volume of pixels in use.