How do I Start?
It’s easy to get started. Our system is fully expandable, so you can start with
a few sets of lights and build up your display over many years. To get started you
will need the following items:
Our basic software is free and contains all you need to create and control you own
display. The software also contains sample sequences to help you get started in
creating your own show. Feel free to download the Software
and give it a try.
A special USB cable (which costs around
£20) is required to connect your computer to the lighting controllers. One cable
will allow you to connect up-to 255 Lighting controllers to your computer. You can
start with a single controller and then add more controllers to expand your display.
To get started we strongly recommend using one of our
animation packs. These come complete with an 8 channel controller, power
supply and 8 sets of lights in your choice of colours. The only additional item
you require is the USB-RS485 cable to connect the controller to your computer.
We have a range of controllers available for different types of lights. All controllers
operate in a similar manor and can all operate together on the same system, so you
can mix and match controllers in your display. There are 3 main types of controller,
AC, DC and Pixel controllers.
DC Controllers are suitable for connecting low voltage direct current (DC) lights
which operate at between 7 and 24 volts.
Suitable lights include
- Low voltage LED light strings (i.e. low voltage fairy lights)
- Low voltage Bulbs.
- 12v or 24v RGB LED strip.
AC controllers are suitable for connecting any mains voltage 240V alternating current
- 240v Rope lights
- 240v Rope light silhouettes
- 240v LED light strings
- 240v Floodlights, Spotlights and bulbs
Note: Whilst any 240v lights can be connected to the AC controller and will
work with the controller, please note that if the connected lights contain any kind
of transformer or built-in flasher units, these often introduce unwanted delays
when operating these lights. This is because such lights often contain capacitors
which hold electrical charge and therefore delay the turning on/off of the lights.
Important Note: As these controllers use a dangerous, high voltage, extreme
care must be taken when using and wiring these controllers and connected lights.
These controllers are only recommended for those competent/qualified for working
with 240v AC. If you need assistance with wiring these controllers please contact
a qualified electrician or one of our approved installers.
Suitable for special RGB Pixel and addressable LED strips. These allow the colour
of each LED in the string/strip to be individually controlled.
Using your own lights
The cheapest way to start a display is to use any existing lights you may have.
With our AC controller you will be able to easily use your existing lights. This
is a good way to start, but there are a few complications that you should be aware
- Built-in flasher units. – Many UK Christmas lights contain a multi-function flasher
box that performs various flashing effects. These are obviously not required in
such computer controlled displays as the controller will do any flashing etc. If
any of your lights contain these flasher units, ensure that they have a static mode
which you can use, and ensure they have a memory function so that they always come
on in static mode when turned on.
- Capacitors - Many traditional UK Christmas lights use low voltage led lights and
hence contain transformers to convert from 240v to a lower DC voltage, typically
24v DC. Often such transformers contain capacitors to smooth out the current flow.
These capacitors can cause slight delays when turning on or off. Built-in flasher
boxes also often contain capacitors also cause unwanted delays. Ensure that when
you turn your lights on and off they respond instantly. If there is any small delay,
or if they fade slightly when turned on or off, then they are not ideal. Timing
is critical on light shows set to music and any delay in the lights themselves is
going to make it difficult to get exact timings.
If you have any lights that have these delays, you could possibly still use them
but you would need to remove the transformer and flasher box and connect directly
to our DC controller. This however needs some electrical knowledge.
Any Questions ?
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, we're happy to help. Either give
us give us a call or use the Contact Us