Home LED Lighting Assembly

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Bippo, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. Bippo

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post so forgive me if i am doing so in the wrong area.

    I have recently started renovating my house and the back deck is a little dark where i want to put some feature LEDs.

    Basically, i dont know if i what i want to do is possible, or even easy enough for me to do it. I will list what i want and if someone could point me in the right direction as to what i can do, what i need, and what i should know, and what i should read is great.

    I have 12 posts on my deck that i want to light from the roof down.
    I want to be able to have multiple colour LEDs on each pole.
    I want the colours to all be the same but change at a time specified by me.
    I want to be able to choose a colour to hold on for as long as i want.
    I want it to run from 12v or 24v DC power pack that i plug into my AC mains power.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Wendy

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  3. Bippo

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    Thanks for that.

    I had searched the forums for LED threads but there was more there than i thought.

    Are you suggesting that i would be better to use a different approach or a simpler request for what i am wanting?
     
  4. Wendy

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    It will be expensive in parts, but not too hard practically.

    My advise for any project like this is to draw it, to scale. Define what you want as tightly as you can, there will be fewer surprises later. Most of the folks around here will help, but you're the man on the spot.
     
  5. Bippo

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    OK. I have read everything you have given me and a lot more, and i must admit, some of that stuff is well over my head.
    I am new to electronics and just want to do something myself, just so that i can say i did it.

    How would i go about setting up one component to ensure i get ti working the way i want, then expand to 12, or whichever number i see fit first.

    I will want 5 different LED's.
    I will need a resistor for each LED
    How to get one to fade-out, while the next colour fades in?
    How do keep the LED lit for a set amount of time, with that time being the same for each LED?

    I want to buy all these things so i can do it this weekend and see how it goes, and hopefully learn and expand on my knowledge as i go.
     
  6. Wendy

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    Let's define it a bit tighter. In the world of LEDs, color matters, but I'm more interested in the sequence.

    You want one of 5 on at any one time, one fading into the other?

    Assuming this is true, how long of a duration does it stay lite? What kind of fade out time? What are the colors and their sequence?

    These questions answers will lead to others, which is what I was talking about defining what you want exactly.
     
  7. Bippo

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    Awesome, thanks for defining what i need to provide and for your patience.

    I want them to stay alight for 2 - 3 minutes. It would be good if i could easily change this value when i felt like, but for now, i am happy to set it at least at 2 mins.

    Fade our over 15 seconds.

    Sequence of colours would be - Red, Blue, White, Green, Yellow
     
  8. Bippo

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    Do i need to provide the brightness of the LED i want to use, or will that be determined by the colours i have chosen?
     
  9. Wendy

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    To some extent, they are interconnected. I've been putting some thought into this, mostly while driving (my quiet times). I don't know of any ready made circuits, but I'll draw something up that will work.

    This is similar to another project, though they don't look that much alike on the surface, in these threads by my friend Fenris...

    http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?t=26443

    http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?t=26977

    Where I'm thinking of going now is 2 ICs, a 555 and a 4017, 5 transistors, 10 resistors, a variable resistor, and 5 or 6 capacitors.

    How many LEDs total are you thinking long term (you mentioned outlining the porch)? There are a lot of options on power supplies, basically a wall wart is most likely, but we need to think in terms of maximum amps you will need. The power supply, whatever it is, should be around double that, maybe a little less, for long term reliability.

    It may be a couple of days before I get back here with a schematic.

    Another option (which I can't be too much help on, but maybe someone else will step up) is a microcontroller. Microcontrollers are cheap and actually simplier, but the other hand is the programming, it requires a person who is comfortable writing code.

    Basically I'm going to modify the circuit shown in figure 15 and figure 22 to add fade, similar to the circuit Fenris used in the threads I linked to, only using a resistor instead of a diode.
     
  10. Bippo

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    I have read both of those articles as i too thought they sounded similar and also used concept i wish to create.

    Total LEDs would be 5 LEDs x 12 posts.

    Thinking about this now, i think i would happy enough with 3 or 4 LEDs to make it easier in the bulk run, not concerned with either colours used.

    I work with a software designers who may be able to help with the programming.

    Would it be easier to build a small version consisting of only 4 LEDs controlled to ensure that it would be the desired effect?
     
  11. Wendy

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    Are you familar with protoboards? They are used to do relatively easy breadboarding to test a design.
     
  12. Bippo

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    Yes i am. Thats what i would expect i would do to test the running of the system?
     
  13. Wendy

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    To build the first one and test it out, yes. Then I would transfer it to a solder type breadboard.
     
  14. Bippo

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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  15. Wendy

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    I've seen similar for pens and other nick knacks. If it does what you want go for it! It may or not be cheaper, unless you have the bug (which I do) working with electronics can be fustrating. Me, I like the experimenting and learning, but like all the folks here I would be the first to say off the shelf is better a lot of the time.

    If you want something to match your original specs let us know, I'm not the only one here, but it seems I'm the designated driver on this project. :) I may even work on it for one of my articles, the subject does seem to come up again and again.
     
  16. Bippo

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    Oh, dont get me wrong, i wasnt able to glean from that article all the parts needed to get the items i had, i was merely asking if that would be helpful as it seemed to have the same concept i am after.
    I still want to design it using my specs if possible.
     
  17. Wendy

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    OK, here is the intermediate schematic, still a WIP. The schematic will change as I polish and finish it.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  18. Bippo

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    That already looks like a great set up, but considering i am a newbie, i may be missing the obvious.
     
  19. Wendy

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    OK, since the 555 has a max voltage of 15V I figure you'll use 12VDC. You can add more LEDs on the transistors, this is a proof of concept design. I'll build the front end to check the timer, but it should go to 4 minutes. Radio Shack carriers most of these parts, but I would order from an online store and save over half the cost. If you have any questions or want to change something in the design feel free to ask.

    I still had to calculate all the values, a pretty important step.
     
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