Dripping-LEDs-Stage-Design

Dripping LEDs

Duane Loux from Grace Community in Fort Smith, Arkansas brings us these dripping LED fixtures for their stage.

The LED tubes themselves where months of research and planning that all started in the middle of last year. At that time, it was just a concept Duane had rolling around in his head. This type of LED had a chip on each LED making each led (or pixel) addressable, allowing it to display video on graphic content to the LEDs as you wish. This is programmed to the controller using an included computer program. Ultimately, he would like to to push live content to the LEDs.

The construction of the LED tubes were pretty simple overall. He carefully inserted the LED strips into the tubes and adhered them to one side keeping it as straight as possible. Then he zip tied them to the pond netting backdrop. He used pond netting because of how very inexpensive it is and how large of sizes you can get it in. It also allows for very easy changes of patterns or arrangements of the LED tubes.

He preload the controller’s SD card with a dozen or so animations or still graphics that he can call up by DMX at anytime.

He purchased a FlexiWhite Projector Screen from carlofet.com who has always been a great resource for DIY projector screen projects. The size was 24.5’ x 10.5’ (2.39:1 ratio) hung with a metal frame kit he also got from carlofet.com. Once he had the screen hung, it was just a matter of setting up ProPresenter’s edge blending module to display it as one screen from the two Christie Roadie S9 projectors.

For the pin spot triangles, he built 10 triangle frames out of 1×2” wood. He attached one to each corner to create the effect. Each triangle ws on a separate dimmer to give the flexibility of different effects.

Materials:

30 American DJ Pin Spots
36 LED tubes (only 22 used in this design)
85m of WS2811 Led Strips
36 T8 tube guards 8’
T-8000 LED Controller
DMX decoder
Various connectors and wire
Pond netting for hanging the tubes in various places
Projector Screen 24.5’ x 10.5’ (2.39:1 ratio) FlexiWhite Projector Screen from Carlofet.com

Total cost for project: $1,900

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11 responses to Dripping LEDs

  1. Anymore info on the LED tape? Brand? Cost? Name of the Program? I would love some more info if it’s available. Thanks!

  2. Looks a lot like the neopixel strips from Adafruit. That weeks mean it’s likely controlled via an Arduino. Wish we had more details and code samples!

  3. They are ws2811 led strips, found just about any site, like Amazon, eBay etc. they are controlled currently with a t-8000 led controller. You are correct, you can control these with an arduino, raspberry pi, etc this was a little to much programing for me to dive into. Let me know if you have any questions about this setup.

  4. looks great
    Do you have a link for the decoder you used for this project, i like the idea of being able to pixel map the leds in the future

  5. Hello Nate,
    Sorry about the late response I just saw your post. Yes they can have either 512 or 1024 leds per port (hints the 8000 in the model number for 8192 pixels)

    I got the recommended DMX decoder that works with the controler. It’s pretty simple, just takes the 2 channels of DMX (program and speed) and converts it to commands the controller can recognize using 3 wires to the controller.

    • Thanks for the info, Duane! This is great :)

      We’ve finalized our new build, but I think I may play with these on the next go-round. It looks like a lot of fun!

  6. No problem! The end result is worth, but will say it but can be a bit of a pain along the way. i can’t stay away thought working on the next one for christmas that include matrix panels of LED video.

  7. I wanted to know how you were able to control the LED Strips with the T-8000 controller with your DMX console? Can you explain your wiring and everything you did?

    • Hello Mark,
      Yes I had the DMX decoder box trigger each program or video on the ad card on the t8000 unit. This was a simple way to do this back then, there maybe better wats nowadays.

      I simply had dmx ran into the decoder then hooked that up to the t8000. 2 dmx channels speed and video program.

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