New Ambient Lighting system - no knowledge

Discussion in 'Ambient Lighting System' started by The_Stig, December 3, 2015.

  1. The_Stig
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    The_Stig Retired Team Member

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    Hey guys,

    inspired by @Lightning303 I am trying to find my way to build my individual ambient lighting system. Will try to find the answers here which I need.



    Situation:
    • 46'' LED TV, directly attached to wall, distance between wall an screen approx 5cm.
    Goal:
    • Ambient Lighting from different sources (HTPC, FireTV, both via AV-Receiver) with maaaaaany LEDs (since I tried Lightpack with 30 LEDs, which were way too few)

    So, where to start?
    What do I need?
    • Raspberry Pi B+ (since I want to capture the video signal with a hdmi splitter to get Ambient Lighting from my FireTV)
    • HDMI Splitter
    • USB Video Grabber
    • LEDs
    • Power Supply
    • Arduino?!?
    • Other Cables/Connectors?
    And the current questions:
    • Do I really need a separate Arduino board? If so, why?
    • How many LEDs do I really need?
    • What LEDs do I need?
    • Do I get the Pi configured as I know nothing about linux?
    • Is there an easy was of connecting the LEDs without soldering?
    • Is it possible to use long cables and to pack the Pi and the arduino and the PSU beneath my Receiver?
    Thats it for now. Happy for every input...
     
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  3. Rick164
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    Rick164 Super User

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    Do I really need a separate Arduino board? If so, why?

    Only if you want to use WS2812 led types, these leds offer more per meter (60 to 144 p/m).
    Reason for Arduino is that these leds operate differently so you need some hardware in between the rPi, some have found experimental ways to connect it directly to the rPI but can't recommend it.

    How many LEDs do I really need?

    Depends on personal preference but would go with 60 leds per meter for new setups as you get less blobbing on the wall (easier to distinguish transitions / scenes).
    So that should be around 160 leds total if my math is right :p

    What LEDs do I need?

    APA102 seems the best right now although I haven't used them yet and also offer 60 leds p/m, they are a bit more expensive but are SPI based so no need for Arduino and are reported to be faster during low brightness.
    WS2812 if you want something cheap and is used in most setups right now, can see a few videos of those in actions in the Hyperion DIY topic.

    Do I get the Pi configured as I know nothing about linux?

    With the Hyperion guide you should be fine as it explains every step, some little experience helps like making SSH connections but we have a support topic for it if need be :)

    Is there an easy was of connecting the LEDs without soldering?

    SEDU has led "lego" blocks but are 30 leds per meter and expensive, no soldering required though.

    Is it possible to use long cables and to pack the Pi and the arduino and the PSU beneath my Receiver?

    Long data cabels I can't recommend ( > 3mtr) as you can get interference or delays (mine simply didn't work), would keep the relatively small arduino behind the television and connect it to to the rPI behind receiver via an usb cable if possible.
    Long power cabels are no problem however.
     
    Last edited: December 3, 2015
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  4. azzuro
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    azzuro Test Group

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    Hello @The_Stig and welcome in our world lol

    the best is an Shielded cable. like with can use for Telecom.
     
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  5. The_Stig
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    The_Stig Retired Team Member

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    Advantage of these WS2812 is they are brighter than the old ones and offer more LEDs per meter?
    Yes, this is what disturbed me most on my Lightpack, so I will definately go to at least 60 per meter
    Not that I want to burn money, but do I understand you right, that with these APA102 I don't need the arduino? And what means faster during low brightness?
    Quite a bit I have, WinSCP'ing and Putty'ing to my NAS I am doing sometimes...
    Guess I will go the soldering way then...can't be too hard I hope
    Its more like 1m as the AV-Receiver is placed directly under the TV. And it's really no space there behind the wall. I bought the smallest available Wall mount for my TV. Even the Lightpack was too thick to place ist behind.
    So I guess I have to try this...
     
  6. The_Stig
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    The_Stig Retired Team Member

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    Quite a few new questions:
    - Would 120 LEDs per meter be better in terms of visibility/quality? Or will I get problems with power supply and/or controling this amount of LEDs (I guess I will need around 3m total for my TV)
    - @Lightning303, you said you're planning a new system too. What are your plans currently?
    - How do I connect the LEDs to the Pi and the power supply?
     
  7. Rick164
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    Rick164 Super User

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    Brightness is the same compared the one lightpack uses (WS2801 afaik) only with the WS2812 you get more leds per meter and 1 data cable connection.

    APA102 uses SPI (2 data wire connections) which offers better communication and compatibility (SPI is more common), don't notice it myself with the WS2812 but never saw them side by side however the reviews / comparisons so far say this:

    - During low brightness movie scenes SPI (APA102 type) will work smoother / faster during color transitions.
    - Higher data rate and better compatibility.

    No Arduino is required and you connect these directly onto the rPI, it raises the cpu load a bit on it but should be fine as with the rPI 1 I ran 170 leds or so under 50% load with WS2801.


    1m should be fine so you long as you use good quality cables.

    Tried a 5m roll for Hyperion when starting out with it and worked fine so it can work with at least 300 leds.

    Connection is the same as with WS2801 leds which has an connection scheme and chapter in the Hyperion topic :) , only difference is when you make the Hyperion config you use APA102.

    For soldering make sure to use a low powered soldering iron and thin electronic tin, also when you have 3M tape (to stick it on tv) behind it don't make it too hot or the glue will dissolve.
    What also helps is to pre-tin the cable ends and led strip connections so that it's easy to solder them on, if you have a steady hand and patience it will work :)
     
    Last edited: December 4, 2015
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  8. The_Stig
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    The_Stig Retired Team Member

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    Damnit...won't work then for me :)
     
  9. The_Stig
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    The_Stig Retired Team Member

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    So the shopping list:
    - LEDs: http://de.aliexpress.com/item/1m-5m..._78_77_80,searchweb201644_0,searchweb201560_2
    - Pi: http://www.amazon.de/Raspberry-Pi-q...226002&sr=1-2&keywords=raspberry pi 2 model b
    - What elso do I need for the Pi? Is there a good starter set available on Amazon?
    - PSU: ? Do I need a separate PSU vor Pi and the LEDs? Or are they both driven from the same PSU? Which one is recommended?
    - Cables: http://de.aliexpress.com/item/120pc..._78_77_80,searchweb201644_0,searchweb201560_2
    (- USB Video Grabber: Guess I will leave the as I usually use MP for about 90% of the time in front of my TV...)
    - What have i forgotten?
     
  10. Rick164
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    Rick164 Super User

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    Would go with at least 5V / 7A like this one as that's what I used with 218 leds:

    https://www.kiwi-electronics.nl/Power-Adapter-5V-7A-DC-35-Watt-100-240-AC-EU-kabel?search=5v

    some sell regular bricks at 5V / 10A so if you can grab those would do that, can't hurt to have more juice :)
    Best to power the rPI separately.

    Just a plain rPI 2 is fine but make sure to get one with a 5V micro usb charger if you don't have one laying around, also micro SD card but it depends on the shop (some sell basic kits).

    For the corner connections would add these:

    https://www.kiwi-electronics.nl/4-weg-jst-sm-verlengkabel-1m

    Easier to handle and connect everything as you can detach / attach zones like this:

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. The_Stig
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    The_Stig Retired Team Member

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    So you're cutting the cable there and connect 2 of the 4 LEDs-pins with them? The other 2 are going to the Pi?

    So this micro usb adapter is the power supply for the Pi?

    Nice idea!
     
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