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Thread: Arches with LED Strings

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    Rebuilding for 2017 :-) kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Arches with LED Strings

    I am doing some planning for possible LED Arches next year. How many LED lights (at what spacing) do you wind for each arch channel? And how many channels per arch ?

    I am looking at Paul's discount list...
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Moving to Xlights for 2017 !

    Falcon - 2 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 256 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

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    Registered User IATCUYB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arches with LED Strings

    Somewhere over on PC there was/is a spreedsheet that helped with determining this.

    Maybe someone here can bring that over from PC and show it here.

  3. #3
    Trying to behave here-NOT John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arches with LED Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by kidcole View Post
    I am doing some planning for possible LED Arches next year. How many LED lights (at what spacing) do you wind for each arch channel? And how many channels per arch ?

    I am looking at Paul's discount list...
    Denny,

    Like most display items, a lot is personal preference. The most common is to use strings of 100 lights per channel. The spacing depends on the length of the light strings.

    Walmart 100 ct strings are approx 24-25 feet long and generally wind about 17 inches on 3/4 PVC pipe. Paul's 100 ct M6 LEDs are about 33 ft long and would wind about 22-24 inches on 3/4 inch pipe.

    One inch PVC would be different, as also would be 1 1/2" pipe.

    How many channels? Well how many do you want? How long is your arch? Some use 5, 7, or 8 channels on a 10 ft arch. 14-16 on a 20 foot arch.

    It all just depends on you and what you want..there are not any rules or standards.

    I decided what I wanted my arches to look like, and then just built them to MY specs. I really didn't care how anyone else made theirs. Mine are individual segments. Not on a continous lenght of pipe. Then I can insert red and blue segments along with the white for patrioit holidays or orange and purple for the halloween display.

    Some years I connect 7 segements, or 8 or nine. Just depending what I want for that particular year.

    Make YOUR display your own, not a clone of anyone else's, is the only rule I go by. Steal an idea or concept, then modify to suit you.
    John (The Mascot)
    www.tennholidays.com

    480 LOR Channels + 2 CCR + 8 Mighty Minis + 10 Rainbow Floods+ 1 vdrive and vflood, Lynx Express and over 40,000 LEDs

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    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arches with LED Strings

    Denny -
    Suggestion, if you have the spare incadescent lights. Build one now, call it development work. Figure out what you like to looks of, keeping in mind the specs of the LED strings, and make your choices that way. Figure out if you want to go multicolor, such as red/white/blue for the patriotic holidays. Add green for Christmas/St. Patrick's day.

    Keep in mind Al's advice of 8 channels on two pieces of PVC, so you can split in the middle for storage reasons. I was thinking 7 channels myself until he mentioned that; mine will probably now be 8 because of that. I need to take my own advice there, and start some development work. Last year got away from me, waiting until set-up time to figure out how to do some things.

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    Rebuilding for 2017 :-) kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arches with LED Strings

    Some great ideas guys. I mostly wanted to get some ideas of how many lights will fill out how far on the PVC pipe. I also like the large electrical conduit that I used for the Mega-Tree outer ring. This is the gray stuff (approx 1" outer diameter). It bends nicely and is really strong after it's bent.

    I was also curious of even number vs odd number channels. I think I will go with 8 for each 10'. And breaking into segments sounds nice too.

    I have noticed that some like to put the wires inside the pipe and some put them outside the pipe. I guess if I make shorter customer sections for changing colors, then I will have to keep the wires outside, or switch to some really small profile connectors so the wires can be easily pushed through the pipes with connectors on. I like the idea of building a prototype. But if I'm going to take advantage of Paul's deal at the end of January, then I probably won't have time.
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Moving to Xlights for 2017 !

    Falcon - 2 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 256 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arches with LED Strings

    Hi Denny,

    As I may have mentioned, having the ability to store the thing is a huge portion of the design consideration. I used gray PVC electrical conduit with bell and hubs. Had I to do it over, I would place a small saw cut into one end to allow the pipe to pull free from the hub easier. I found that it worked out nicely to have 2 100 each strings for each channel. Some sections were a little longer than other but that was due to the wrapping of the strings around the pipe. I think I used 3/4 or 1" PVC 10' sections. If I remember correctly it was 3/4". I put SPT connectors onto the SPT wire instead of cutting off the light string ends which allows you to replace a bad strand easily Believe me, Walter and I had to replace a bad strand and it was much easier unplugging it that unsoldering it.

    After the strings are on you can't see the wires because the lights cover the wires, but the wire being on the outside of the pipe causes the section at the ends to be a little off in its length due to the wires adding radius to the pipe. I went with the wire outside because I wondered if the pipe was flexed during cold weather would the hole from that was drilled into the pipe do structural damage to the pipe and cause it to break. I couldn't prove it either way so I went with the wires outside. I used rebar driven into the ground as a means to hold the arch up. It did fine without guy wires. A real consideration for putting the wires inside is that will you have space for rebar inside the pipe along with the wires.

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    God Bless America victory402's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arches with LED Strings

    Denny,

    What are your thoughts on using a CCR for your arches?

    Vic
    RED MOUNTAIN LIGHTS

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    Rebuilding for 2017 :-) kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arches with LED Strings

    I am contemplating a CCR, but we really like the conventional Arches. Also I would want at least 3 CCRs to make a triple arch if I was to go that route. Because I sit on a corner lot, I am considering a triple arch on each side, but sharing controllers so one side mirrors the other. Just thinking about that for now.

    My current plan for 2010 is already up to 81 new channels and 61 amps of power needed. I really like the star that Mel made from the CCR. So I might do that one and then add 4 to 6 more channels of lights (stars) inside it and outside it .. for a focal-point on the top center of my roof. I am also considering a bigger American flag made from lights on coroplast, so that could supplant the CCR or move it to a new location.

    New plan also wants almost 2000 new feet of wire, but I am going to put controllers on the roof to save a ton of wire. I probably only need one new 1000' spool of SPT2. I wonder if Al can find us another deal for 6cents a foot like last year !
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Moving to Xlights for 2017 !

    Falcon - 2 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 256 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

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    Registered User mschell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arches with LED Strings

    I realize that I'm somewhat late to this post, but here goes anyway...

    I don't like having my arches be 20 ft long or 8 ft tall. I have 9 arches that sit near the edge of my property near the road. They are 10 ft pieces of 3/4 Sch 40 PVC, and are bent so that they take up 8 linear ft between ends on the ground. I have only 5 "segments" per arch, which right now are 100 ct mini incandescents. As Al or someone mentioned, the 100 ct minis are usually about 24 ft long, and take up 20-24 inches when wrapped. The thing about arches is that it's not necessary to be perfect when wrapping, cause it just all blends together.

    Because the pipe is only 10' long, it fits well under my upper deck from some hangers that I put there. 10' is a manageable length that stores well. It won't fit in my shed, but it will fit on the side of a building or even on a garage wall or hung from the ceiling above the garage door.

    5 segments per arch also make it easier to use with controllers - I get 3 arches per 16 channel controller with a channel left over.

    If I was doing a "fire stick", VU Meter, or just a pole with segments, I'd probably consider using 8 channels.

    The shorter arches don't block out other items in the yard, but still provide a "border" near the road. Last year I have them almost on the edge of the street, this year they were set back about 3-4 ' off the road.

    Note that I don't live on a city street with curbs. Our street is just wide enough for 2 cars to pass, and there's just grass up to the end of the asphalt.

    I'll probably keep the arches as incandescent mini's for awhile. I'm converting more of my wireframes to LED, or rope light during off season, mostly because the lights that are on there have been there for 5-6 years and are failing at a much greater rate....

    Mark
    Mark

    New location - new display. Looking forward to 2015 season!

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