Project advice and help

Hello there. Im new around here and very new to leds and pixelblaze in general.

I am going to attempt lighting on the eaves of my home using pixelblaze. It seems mostly straight forward. I do have a few questions on what everyone would think would be the best way to approach this.

First a few details on the house i supposse. Here are a few pictures. Very simple exterior i think. The width of the garage face is 20 feet. The remaining distance across the front is 20 feet. I would like to run leds along the eaves for now. I have power at the eave on the left side of the garage. I havent climbed up to get exact measurements yet but the eaves at the peak seem to be about 13 feet. The small piece there between garage and rest of house is about 4 feet.

So my question. Should i attempt to make this one long run? Would it be better to seperate the two sides? Either with seperate pixelblaze devices or with the output expander? (I would need help figuring out this setup.

I am going to have to make a few led splices. I would really appreciate advice on how to make these connections so they are good and waterproof as well as inconspicuous. I would really appreciate pictures of how people accomplish. I have some ideas from youtube but always like more ideas and examples.

I am thinking fiftyish feet of leds? Seems i should be able to run this off one power supply? Some help with the math on this would be appreciated.

If the recommendation is seperate runs would having thr controller / powersupply more towards the middle where that small 4 foot piece is be better?

This is the stuff im thinking i need to purchase but again im complete noob in a big rabbit hole. Ill purchase as much as i can from electromage. Just want to confirm im on the right track before i start buying things and this is the first step towards getting it done.

Im thinking i can use three of these gs8202 strings as ive seen some mention that these 12v strips are superior? If 12v is over kill Do i need to worry about voltage drops ive seen mentioned about the 5v strips? Thoughts specific to make location?

I think i need one of these buck converters.

This case well just because it looks cool.

And this power supply was noted to be durable and reliable. Is it enough to power this as a single run or would i need bigger?

Then back to the question of waterproofing. What sort of enclosures do you guys go with for this? Again how do you ensure your splices are clean and weatherproof? Pictures of all this stuff would be so much appreciated.

I live in cali. Lots of hot days in the summer. Then down to about freezing in winter on cold days. Heavy rains from time to time.

I know its a long post. Thank you if you read it all. I am really trying to show my due diligence. But the more i read the more questions i have.

So i would appreciate any and all input and any advice / tips / tricks anyone wants to share.

Thank you.

There are a lot of ways to go for a project like this, but if I were doing it (and probably will do soon), I would go with a permatrack install. The bullet style leds will do a lot better for weather proofing, and the tracks will also provide another layer of protection for the hardware.

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This definately looks cool. Seems they are low stock on the pixels for these channels.

That brings another question of reputable places to source some of this stuff. Is one of the reasons i wanted to order from electromage. Support the product and confidence in purchase.

Should i be looking at some sort of track system for the leds i posted above? Is there a preferred fastening system for the strips?

A bare LED strip will not hold up to weather well (and the coated ones will hold up better, but still not great), and I would definitely suggest going with some kind of metal housing.

For LEDs, you could order that same bullet style from ray wu, just make sure the spacing matches whatever channels you get.

Fastening depends on what you are willing to do, but you would want a water proof fastener. This spreadsheet has pretty much all of the options worth considering and the ratings for them.

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Hey @Cwwilson08!

Thanks for showing you did a lot of research before posting! Really appreciate that.

You can use any 12mm bullet / 4" spacing pixels with Permatrack. This is what I’d use (12V GS8208)

Permatrack has 2" pixel spacing and sells in 50’ packs (for 300 pixels). Since you were looking at 3 x 5m (~50’), this would likely work. My gut is that a sufficient 12V power supply would work if connected between 1/3 and 2/3 of the overall length, but you might need an additional power injection wire run if the power supply is at one end, near your Pixelblaze controller.

For 300 bullet pixels in this config, one Pixelblaze will have wonderful frame rates (about 60 FPS). With 900 GS82008’s 60/m in a single line from one end, I’d expect about 20 FPS which is about the lower limit for my tastes personally. My holiday tree runs 15 FPS and I’m the only one who can really notice :slight_smile:. Controlling it from the center with an output expander, you should expect 30 FPS, which is great. If you do go the IP67 strip route, I’d highly suggest the 30/m density - not only do I think that density is more aesthetic for house lights, you’ll get a great frame rate driving it from one end.

For splices, honestly several methods will work fine. I have unprotected Wago 221s outside here in San Francisco, and it’s been fine for 3 years in rain. It’s not really the best, most recommended method. A cheap and solid method since you know how to solder would be inline soldering (this diagram but use this “glue lined” shrink and you want to actually solder it, which isn’t clear in that page!). An option that “seems great” but some people who install thousands of these have come to have occasional problems with are the heat-gun shrink butt splices. Honestly, for the number of connections you’re considering, this also might work fine.

Yes, you’ll want a minibuck for the controller.

Thank you for the kind words on the new case :slight_smile: I think a more solid outdoor solution would be to perhaps mount the case in one of these.

For power, the LPV-100-12 is great and will power the 300-450 LED options above fine. For the 900 60/m 3 x 5m strip option, consider the LSP-160-12, ERP-200-12 for better cooling, or on a budget with some time for shipping, the Ray Wu 300W option (I’ve got 3 years outdoors on mine).

Good luck, hope this helps!

I agree, it’s a lot to figure out DIY, and these installs are a lot of planning and work. It’s totally reasonable to have Pixellights just do it for you (Pixelblaze inside, so it has all the joy of our community patterns and learning to code more). It’s more $ but they are a bargain compared to the other permanent installers / systems, which can easily reach into $3K - $5K.


I highly recommend the pro expander. It comes in a 12V version (mini buck integrated), and gives you fuse protected ports, with handy blown fuse indicator lights and everything. Even if you don’t go with the pro expander, do yourself a favor and build fuses into your system! I have some inexpensive online fuses in the shop as well.


Thank you for this link. Lots of info to sift through there.

Manybthanks for the response. Id been thinking the dense strip may be a bit obnoxious / overkill. I am rethinking this now.

The bullet lights looks nice. I contacted pixellights hoping for the easy button but alas i do not think they have installers in my area. Its tempting to buy their setup tho as it looks dead simple.

Lol yeah i figured i would need a water tight enclosure. Thank you for the link. I still think it looks cool tho.

Still trying to sort out what im going to ourchade. Any further ideas welcome.

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Hi guys. Im back with a few more basic questions.

For solutions such as permatrack or pixellight the track systems do not seem to have any real weather seal.

I can just as easily purchase some metal from the hardware store thatll suit the same purpose? Just have to drill my own holes? Lol it seems this is the case but i feel i might be over looking something obvious?

For these pixels there is a large shipping cost. As much as the stamd itself. Seems exuberant?

Also there does not seem to be many sources for 12V GS8208 pixels? Again am i overlooking the obvious?

I dont fully have a grasp on how to inject power in the middle as suggested. Help with how to wire this would be excellent. Where grounds and power need to be connected in particular.

Im fully willing to give this a go. I would need detailed help on how to wire everything. I dont fully understand how to put all the pieces together despite reading through most of the documentation. Does the output expander have the pixelblaze on board? Or is output expander + pixelblaze?

Thanks in advance for any advice. Pictures are worth a thousand words to me.

Much longer post than i expected. Seems the more i read the more questions come up.

Yes - the LEDs have the weather sealing. The track is for durable, stiff, aesthetic house mounting with well spaced gaps. There’s also flexible plastic mounting strips if you don’t need stiff/aesthetic.

Yep. I did this with metal studs. Be sure to use a step drill, it’s much better.

This is just how it works with Aliexpress giving us a unified online store for multiple Chinese manufacturers. You need to train yourself to consider the final shipped cost, and not be put off by the shenanigans.

In the US, no. That’s why we stock the strips, so people can get them shipped quickly. On Aliexpress you’ll find about 10 vendors selling various GS8208 products. The bullets are a little more niche, and they’re a new form factor for these particular chips.

No, because many people use the output expanders with other non-Pixelblaze microcontrollers.


@jeff you sir are amazing. I truly appreciate you taking the time to help someone so clueless such as myself.

I think i have a plan for moving forward. Now to start ordering stuff.

Many thanks again.

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