LED Frames

Bryce from South Albany Community Church in Albany, Oregon brings us this great LED tape fixture look.

From Bryce: I patterned this idea off of “Squarely” (http://www.churchstagedesignideas.com/squarely/), combining ideas with a few other LED type designs.

This was my first time dealing with LED tape, so I was in for quite a learning experience. Reading and learning from other designs helped immensely, but there was still much to learn! I bought sheets of thin sub flooring, and had a volunteer cut it into squares (1′ 10″) and spray painted them flat black. I cut 2′ squares out of white Coroplast since I had several sheets on hand that I had ordered previously from Home Depot. I then began assembling the squares.

I bought 4 inch bolts, washers, and nuts, and after some experimenting, spaced them 2″ from each other. However, before I put them together, I had to put the LED tape to the back of the front sheet….

*Disclaimer: I ordered LED tape from Amazon (I’ll put links below), 2 strands for each square. Apparently, I got 10 strands from one “batch”, and 10 from another “batch”. I believe they might have outsourced to another company or something – bottom line being, the color temperatures were not the same. I didn’t realize this until I had them all assembled, and hung. I juggled them around and made it work, but please purchase them knowing they might different in color. It was really noticeable in the blues and purples. Unless you get them from the same “batch”, you may not get the same temp.

Back to assembling – because I would like to reuse the tape in the future, I didn’t really like the idea of glueing the tape to the board. So I used a ton of double stick tape (on the back of the LED tape and over the top), and it held well. I came up with a system for where I needed to start on each board, and stuck down 2 rolls on each square. After that, I used a connector to connect it to some extension cable I bought. After that, I connected the other end of the extension to my CAT 5E cable, using wire nuts.

As for the DMX side of things, I bought a DMX turnaround in order to connect to my system, and began wiring the DMX decoders. Looking back, I wish I would have spent the extra money and bought the RGBW, for future use. I just bought the RGB. Anyways, it took a while, but I daisy chained each DMX decoder together with DMX cable. I labeled each decoder so I could isolate one if one went bad. This is why I went this direction, rather than on of those DMX decoders that handle a lot of channels.

As far as power, I bought power regulators (Make sure you check the amp ratings and pull of your DMX decoders, as well as your LED tape. I was really surprised at how much the tape pulled), and wired them to each decoder. You’ll need to have power cable wire to plug each power supply into the wall as well.

After I got them wired up, I made sure they all still worked with our lighting system, and then hung them. I liked the diamond pattern, so I went with that. With our newly painted stage wall (it used to be tan…eh), it really popped!

Another thing, make sure to have a pair of wire strippers that can strip your CAT5 cable.

Sorry the pictures do not show the colors very well – didn’t get a ton of great pics that represent the tones. You get the idea though :-) It was quite the hassle that took way longer than I had hoped (between needing to order more of supplies, having wrong ones shipped to me, being a newbie at this, etc.), but it was for God’s glory, and I had a lot of fun piecing things together. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to test and try things out!

I bought other things along the way that I’ll use later with the LED tape, but I believe this project came in around $600.

Here is a list of supplies:

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