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Thread: 12v RGB landscaping light with fade

  1. #1

    Default 12v RGB landscaping light with fade

    Ive decided to add some colored LED's in with the landscape lighting where I work. It wasn't as straight forward as I had hoped and I ran into a problem finding a simple RGB controller, and a simple way to power everything. My plan is to run everything (including the old halogens) off my existing 600w 12v AC timer, then replace a few of my 10w halogen lights with RGB's that fade between colors gradually.

    -----------------

    Here's the final parts list now that its done.

    (12) Cree MC-E RGBW's, From Joydeal on eBay
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=...+rgb&_osacat=0

    (4) 3W 3-LED 270-Lumen Waterproof Flood Light/Projection Warm White Lamp (12V)
    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/3w-3-le...lamp-12v-47572

    28-Key RGB LED Dimmer Controller w/ Remote Control (DC12~24V)
    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/28-key-...dc12-24v-73676

    150W DC-DC 6-32V - 0.8-28V Buck Boost voltage regulator (Crucial for boosting the low voltage AC to a usable level.
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=...d=389627101043

    25A, 50V Full-Wave Bridge Rectifier
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...howFullReviews

    (4) 1000uF 35V diodes (from my bin)

    LED Controller housing: I reused an old 600W 12AC outdoor lighting box.

    Wire: (4) 50' lengths of 12G/4 braided wire from Home Depot.

    All of the parts took less than 2 weeks to get here.
    Last edited by Uzzi; 10-08-2012 at 06:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: 12v RGB landscaping light with fade

    Try typing "RGB led fade controller" on the Ebay search window. I came up with a bunch of stuff first time around....

  3. #3

    Default Re: 12v RGB landscaping light with fade

    I found that, but isn't it just for a 5050 RGB LED Light Strip? Everything Ive found is like that too.

    This one would be ideal if it works:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/White-Mini-R...item19d40ea35b

    Couldn't I just mount it on top of the housing and wire up like 3 RGB MC-E's to it, and then have a buck regulator for each channel? This is assuming I use a bridge rectifier to convert the 12v AC top DC and that the controller puts out at least 12V DC @ 6W or more.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 12v RGB landscaping light with fade

    Quote Originally Posted by Uzzi View Post
    I found that, but isn't it just for a 5050 RGB LED Light Strip? Everything Ive found is like that too.

    This one would be ideal if it works:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/White-Mini-R...item19d40ea35b

    Couldn't I just mount it on top of the housing and wire up like 3 RGB MC-E's to it, and then have a buck regulator for each channel? This is assuming I use a bridge rectifier to convert the 12v AC top DC and that the controller puts out at least 12V DC @ 6W or more.


    Let us know what you can up with
    Some of my LED projects around the house and ideas http://www.led-guy.com

    SEND E-MAIL greenled@earthlink.net

  5. #5

    Default Re: 12v RGB landscaping light with fade

    I just finished assembling it all. The biggest hurdle was the power supply which needs to convert a lot of amperage, add to that, the power supplied is at 9-11 volts AC and the LED controller needs 12+ volts DC. It all worked out though, and nothing is overheating and the lights glow and fade perfect, with no flickering. The only strangeness is that the AC power supply makes a humming sound when all colors are lit at once.

    Here's a look inside my control box. The 150W DC/DC converter is on top, 25A bridge rectifier (glued to the heatsink and capacitors on the side) in the middle, and the RGB controller is on the bottom.


    Three of the LED's. I popped off one of the lenses on each light, to get some flood light. The beams were a little too narrow with all 3 LEDs using lenses.
    Last edited by Uzzi; 09-20-2012 at 06:22 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 12v RGB landscaping light with fade

    Very cool, where did you find the RGB controller? How many amps can it handle?

    Thanks for sharing
    Some of my LED projects around the house and ideas http://www.led-guy.com

    SEND E-MAIL greenled@earthlink.net

  7. #7

    Default Re: 12v RGB landscaping light with fade

    The LED controller, is from Dealextreme and can supply up to 8 amps per channel. It seems to be pretty high quality, compared to similar products. The remote has lots of buttons, so you can switch modes and colors quickly and it remembers the last mode and speed you used, even after you cut power with a timer or switch.

    If I had to do it again, I would probably, get a DMX RGBW controller, and use all 4 channels of the MCEs. For this project the owner only wanted colored light so that's what they got. The price difference would be negligible.

    My wife promised her family one for Christmas, so I should have my hands full with RGBs.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 12v RGB landscaping light with fade

    I was looking on ebay and found these, and feel a little silly now: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw...at=0&_from=R40

    I'm pretty satisfied with the results of this project though, in terms of the final product's light intensity and simplicity of use, but anyone interested in this kind of project should probably check out this other unit if you're not a DIY fanatic. I was mostly looking for an excuse try out the MCE RGBW's; they put out an impressive amount of light when run at 700ma. The only down side was that they cost about $90 per light head to build. These eBay lights are $20, but only 300mA, so they probably don't put out as much light, but you could buy 3 of them for the price of my design.

  9. #9

    Default Re: 12v RGB landscaping light with fade

    Here's a video of 2 of the 4 lights in action. Notice how they lose color sync. I'm pretty sure it was because the wires were different lengths and guage... It must interfere with the PWM signal.

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  10. #10

    Default Re: 12v RGB landscaping light with fade

    I recently overhauled the RGB lights! I did it right this time, but still somewhat budget minded.

    They've had a few bad problems; they didn’t focus and color mix well with the generic 18mm lenses; the small round housings collected moisture to the point that they had to be drained every few months; the resistors weren't a perfect match and were making the 2nd blue LED in the arrays burn out.

    The lens problem was easy: carclo 30mm narrow/frosted lenses, the holders have legs that suspend them over the many soldering pads on the LED stars. These were cheap too.


    There are cheap rectangular LED flood lights everywhere now, so I picked up some to try out and they turned out to be perfect; lots of room for optics in front and a nice big space in back for drivers. The seals seem better, and everything bolts down tight, so they should work deter than the round one which had screw caps and bad seals. Only spent $6 a piece for them.


    I decided to switch to Buckpuck drivers instead of resistors, they supply much more reliable current, and I can easily make the lights into a 6-LED array if I want. these were a hefty investment, but cheaper than replacing all of the MCEs

    The last upgrade was Cree XML Color LEDs to replace the ones that burned out. They also use the 30mm optics.

    My next upgrade will probably be the RGB controller; the fade affect is limited and cycles too fast. I’m still looking for a good one.

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