Looking for some advice, I’m bran new to PixelBlaze but I’m going to be using v3 to build some LED lighting into my future home theater.
I have a few questions, but my first is:
How long of strip lengths is typical for PixelBlaze? If I were to use 20-30m would that be possible? I’d like to do some lighting around the room, plus the star ceiling
For the star ceiling I will be using Fiber Optic bundles that are attached to an LED strip, multiple bundles allowing for different star patterns, constellations, custom twinkle effects. Does anybody have any suggestions for how to attach the fiber bundles to the led strip? Aside from attempting to glue them I don’t have any great ideas…I did try to find some “light pipes” that are large enough to attach but I didn’t have much success
I’d say use an expander for better performance with 20-30 meters… That’ll let you break it up into smaller runs. Injected power is a must too, see other discussion on the forum.
As for attaching fiber optics, hot glue will conduct light well, but you’ll still will want the bundle as close to the emitted light as possible. You might want to 3D print something that will hold/surround the led and grab the bundle and keep it aligned to the led.
Do you have to use fibre optics, as you could use individual pixel LEDs, Think addressable xmas tree lights something like this. Having been asked to install fibre optic ceilings in the past, its not a fun job. And you never have enough 3mm drill bits. Also you should not cut the fibre optic flush with the ceiling, because when you need to repaint you can’t. Having the fibre stick out by about 2cm means you just then nip about 0.5cm off the end of the fibres after you have repainted, and then there is still some left so you can repaint several times. You will need decent cutters that give you a flat profile, read that as expensive, my side cutters cost over 45 euros (that was ten years ago) but give a nice flat profile. The hot glue maybe ok in the short term but certain glue stick glues will discolour over time. Its better to hot glue from the backside so as to fix the fibre in place.
If you still want to go the fibre optic route, have a look here
Personally I would go the addressable LED Pixel route and make up some sort of LED matrix.
Have a look on ebay for fibre optics
Why not use a waterproof box and cable glands. Bundle the required amount of fibres together (making sure the dia is no greater than the size of the LED, then use a waterproof cable gland and insert the fibres into this. Drill a hole on one of the sides and insert cable gland, and secure not too tight as you will need to move the fibre bundle up or down. Now repeat as needed with the spacing equal to the LED strip spacing. Secure the led strip into the opposite side from the cable gland. Then cut some small plastic tubes length may be trial and error. Glue these over the LEDs on the strip. Now move the fibre bundle so that it fits into the tube and is just above the LED, if it touches the strip some of the fibres will not display the correct colour. Again this part is trial and error. Secure the fibre to the tube with black insulating tape or rubber self amalgamating tape or heat shrink tubing. Now secure the gland nut. Repeat until you have finished. Screw lid on Hope this makes sense, I will see if I can find some pictures for you.
This is actually a good idea and similar to something I was trying to conceptualize but couldn’t quite get it.
I did build a proof of concept panel. I used a acrylic rod as a light pipe, taped a bundle of fiber 0.75mm to one end, and taped the other end to a Philips hue strip.
I could heat shrink some fiber bundles to some acrylic rods, insert those into the cable glands(I always call them strain reliefs?), and use some sort of box like your saying. I could mount the strip just below where the rod would go to
I like the idea of the LED pixels for simplicity, however I am set on fiber for the smaller diameter stars, creating a higher sense of realism. I did buy a test bundle off Amazon, it wasn’t cost effective but I’d probably use EBay or AliExpress for the larger order
So, I’m thinking, “there has to be an easier way than fiber to do a star ceiling”, and of course, projection comes to mind, and then, “what about a small home planetarium projector?” Firing up google, there are a lot of not very functional toys, and this:
Just the tiniest, slightest hair on the expensive side, but yeah, this kinda does the job…
Regarding the LED pixel, what you could do is drill a 3mm hole all the way through the board then drill a larger hole about half of the way and fix the the LED pixel in this hole. The light will shine through the smaller hole giving the appearance of a fibre optic effect. Don’t know how well this would work its just an idea I came up with.
Yes this is brilliant! The more I research the more I realize a 3D printer housing would be a perfect match. I have no access to a 3D printer or experience designing, but even this project you shared could work for my purposes, assuming it will work with a SK9822 strip
You can order 3d printed items, but honestly with printer prices sub $200, likely you’d pay for your own printer with just this project.
Most of the fiber bundles I’m seeing on Amazon are with units, it’s got a mount to hold the bundle mechanically right in front of the light source. You could easily replicate this with LEDs and PB, but depends on the size of the bundle I suspect.
Yeah you’re not wrong. I ordered a 3D printed motor housing for some telescope stuff I was doing, cost about 50$ CAD. If I do stuff like this even a few times over the next couple years I’d of paid for my own printer.
If I had a printer I could build something really custom, and it would work into the housing/mounting design and simplify things probably.
AliExpress has lots of mixed fiber bundles, a bit cheaper than Amazon.
I did end up buying a 3D printer which was it’s own whole world of distractions.
Either way I finally got around to building my workable prototype. PixelBlaze is great and I’m loving the quality. I have a tiny bit of coding experience but nothing amazing. I would love even a little bit of direction towards creating a very subtle “twinkle” pattern with mostly white, a bit of yellow white, and small amount of light blue leds. I’ll keep playing around.
Here is the design. I’ll heat shrink and do proper wiring so I can just plug in the star panels while installing
If you’re not that deep on PB code, it might be a little hard to pull out the right parts to adapt. From your description I couldn’t tell if you want some darkness in there too. Can you draw a diagram of what a great twinkle would like over time? For example:
This is amazing thank you!! This will definitely help me learn
What I picture in my head might not be correct/possible, but I am still learning!
I plan on having 6 panels, with 1 module each. The goal being a natural color star sky, with a subtle twinkle, and the Constellations standing out. Each Module will have 5 LEDs, with the 5th LED being a constellation. The constellations will be constant color, and constant brightness. LEDs 1-4(0-3?) will have a subtle twinkle, more of a slight dim and then brighter, never all the way off. With 2xLEDs being white, 1x yellow white, and 1x blue white.
Twinkle = A slight dim, then back to full brightness, randomly, and not in sync with the other LEDs.
Module: LED 1 = White with twinkle, LED 2 = White with twinkle, LED 3 = Yellow/White with twinkle, LED 4 = Blue/White twinkle, LED 5 = Constant white