Open Geometry Stage Design

Open Geometry

Jeremy Framstad from Grace Community Church in Fremont, Ohio brings us this cool geometric use of LED tape.

They took their design cues from Josh Feris of Praise Church in Beaumont, TX on this stage setup. Their setup was very similar.

First, they needed to figure out their layout and they did that by sketching it out, then putting it into a scaled Photoshop project. When they print it out on 11 x 17 paper, their scale was every ¼” equals 1 foot. This allowed them to know their lengths and distances for their support cabling.

They used DMX decoders for each LED strip so they could address them individually. This gave them flexibility in their lighting design. The LED backdrop could chase and each strip could be changed independently of the others. They used 360 watt power supplies for up to 6 DMX decoder per supply. Most of the power supplies had 4 or 5 decoders attached. By building them in this module format it allowed them to swap out components when one went bad.

The LED strip lighting was attached to 1×2 that had been painted black. This gave them the rigidity they needed and a way to support them. These were then zip-tied to aircraft cable that was stretched at 5-foot intervals and slid up into place. Using 18/4-thermostat wiring, they extended the LED strip wiring. That can be found at any home store.

Their budget was $1,750.

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59 responses to Open Geometry

  1. Do you have any video of the stage in action.it looks really cool in the pictures.I bet the video would really show off you work.

  2. where did you purchase the LED tape from?

  3. How happy are you with the RGBW strips? the strips ive been using make a pretty descent white. I am only curious if it would be worth looking into because the decoders are a good bit more expensive.

    • These are actually just RGB strips. The RGBW I was looking at at the time alternated RGB and W. I wanted more of a color wash. Plus when you turn the RGB all the way up it gets close to white. The main reason that we went with the individual modules was for flexablitlity in our layout and for future projects. We are going to be using those decoders for a project for Christmas and something else in February next year. I am going to be experimenting this fall with different RGBW strips so if you have any recommendations I would love to know what you use.

  4. In. The video, what kind of lights are you using to shine down on the lead singer? Thanks!

  5. Can the strip do things like chase and fades? How are those programmed in?

    • Jeremy Framstad July 21, 2015 at 8:07 am

      Mike,

      As long as each of your LED strip lighting is addressed individually, you can program a chase. This is done in your lighting console. It would be the same as programing a chase with some old par cans. The fade of the chase would also be setup in your lighting console as well.

      Jeremy

  6. Hector Alvarado August 4, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Awesome design. We are trying to do something like this at our church. Do you have pictures of the LED strips connected to the decoders? Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  7. Great Design. How did you run the lights. I am not familiar with any of this but want to try it. From the lights (Backwards): Lights wired to DMX Decoder – Power Supply Wired to the DMX Decoder…. How then are the lights controlled? Did you use a lighting board? If so, which one? How did you get the signal to the DMX Decoder? Computer? Which program? How did you come out of the computer? USB to DMX? Sorry for all the questions but I really would like to do this for an upcoming concert in the beginning of October of 2015. Thanks in advance… Joe

  8. Hey Jeremy, so I am trying to make the fixture on Jands Vista’s lighting software. Now I got the 4 channel version RGBW of the led strip. Can you possibly tell me each channels value for ex.(channel 1 intensity channel 2 red channel 3 blue channel 4 green). I can’t seem to get the encoder to talk to my program.

    • Hey Vinil,

      It should just be

      Ch.1 – Red – 0-255
      Ch.2 – Green – 0-255
      Ch.3 – Blue – 0-255

      I don’t think there is an intensity channel on those strip lights. An easy way to check is just address the DMX decoder to ch. 1. Push up fader 1-3 on your console and you should be rockin’ all three colors. If you get nothing you probably have a bad signal chain or bad DMX decoder.

  9. I am having the most trouble figuring out the wiring diagram. I have all of the supplies but I cannot figure out how to go from a 3 pin DMX cable to the decoders then to the LED strips.. any help would be appreciate. Thanks!

  10. Looks great, Is there a limit to how many ft of led strips you connect together per dmx decoder??

    We don’t need very many chanels so if I stay under my power supply limit does it matter how much is connected to the controller?

    • James,

      Yes there is a limit. Most controllers will tell you how many amps they are rated for. Each LED strip pulls a certain amperage depending on the length. Look at the specs of the dmx decoder, it should say something like 3A/Per Channel or 5A/Per Channel.

  11. Hey this is a great idea and design, I am in the middle of trying a similar idea and I was wondering what kind of wire are you using to go from the dmx decoder to the power supply?

  12. Hi, We are doing a similar design and are having a some issues with connecting of the extension cables to the LED strips.. Would love to some info on how you guys connected everything together.

    • Yes.

      I have a specific question along with Blake.
      our DMX lighting is XLR type connections. Did you just splice the initial connection from 3-pin DMX connector? and then chain the DMX decoders?

      • We used XLR 3 pin cables to run out other LED lights as well and I cut up and XLR cable and spliced them and hooked them up to the dmx decoders and just daisy chained 4 or 5 decoders together with small jumps. Only problem that occurred was when I used a regular XLR cable I wasn’t able to control the LED tape so after a lot of trouble shooting I took the XRL cable off the I used as the jumps and bought 3 pin dmx lighting cables and used them on the dmx decoders and then everything worked properly and I could control them from my lighting program just fine. So just save yourself a huge headache that I got and start with 3 pin dmx lighting cable.

      • Jeremy Framstad January 6, 2016 at 11:55 am

        Make sure you use DMX cable it is different than a XLR Mic cable. We just chopped one in half and used it.

        We also isolated those decoders on their own run. I wouldn’t suggest coming off those and back into your chain.

        Just link them together. I would also suggest, hooking them up one by one. That way if you miss wire something you don’t have to pull everything apart to find your bad connection.

    • Your Led strips should of had on both ends 4 wires RGB and power you just splice those to the extension cable matching the colors. If you cut the LED stripes and you have pieces that no longer have the wires on them you can purchase connectors that slide on the end of the LED strip that will enable it to have the 4 wires that you can splice the extension cable to

    • jeremy Framstad January 6, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      Blake,

      We used small wire nuts and 18/4 thermostat wire for RGB and 18/7 for RGBW strips. Just extend the leads off your LED strips and put them into your controller.

      Jeremy

  13. How did you control the LEDs? Did you individually address to a light board?

    How did you connect the connectors on the led strips to the thermostat wire? We are trying to build this stage design in the next couple weeks and would love to hear from you.

  14. Hello Jeremy! Hope you’re great. Love the project. I’m working in a project similar to this one, but I find that that Amazon doesn’t have in stock the necessary amount of led stripes to build the project. Could you check this ones out and tell me if they work just the same?

    I’ll appreciated a lot!!

    http://amzn.to/1Si15j5

  15. Michael Riley March 8, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Good Morning,

    Love the stage design. I am doing a similar one for my church. Question will a Stage Setter 8 Work for this?

    Thanks.

    • Yes, That will work, but you might have to address some of the DMX decoders to the same address because your Stage Setter doesn’t have that many channels. Depending on what else you are controlling with that stage setter, it is going to determine how many LED strips you are going to be able to control individually.

  16. Hi Jeremy, I have read through pretty much all the comments and tried to gather as much info as possible. I will be doing this exact same project for our church’s summer youth camp but in a smaller scale. I run Daslight DMX software and I am pretty confident that it will work.

    Questions

    1. Doesn’t daisy chaining your decoders only provide one source of signal since the decoders work like a DMX distro for conventional lights “Source4s” unless I am looking at the picture wrong. Does your Power and your 3 (RGB) signals run in one wire which is the 18/4 cable?

    2. I am mainly here to get help in supplying the right amount of power and not ruining anything. The guy in this video uses basic wall power supplies. What would you suggest I use (high amp/watt rate PSUs**like yours OR a lot of small wall PSU). Again I am planning on doing the same design just have the scale.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=merrLRN8Jts

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=merrLRN8Jts
    3. What is the advantages/disadvantages of using pre built dmx decoders and the decoders that you’re using, besides the fact that you have to splice DMX cables in yours. Video attached shows the decoders I want to get.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=merrLRN8Jts

    Thank you Jeremy. You’re awesome for posting this and putting the effort in helping others here. Be Blessed.

  17. Hey Yuriy,

    They way we set up our system is each of the dmx Decoders had a different address. So Decoder 1 – channel 1-4 / Decoder 2 – channel 5-8 / Decoder 3 9-12 / and so on. This is the DMX cable or control cable. The Decoder translates the DMX control to a power voltage. So if you tell your dmx console to output 50 percent on channel 1, the dmx decoder sends 50 percent to the Red LED lights on Strip 1. If you were to send 50% on DMX channel 6 from your console, the second DMX decoder would send 50% power to the Green LED lights on Strip 2. (Assuming you are using 4 channel decoders and RGBW LED Strips. That power is sent out of the decoder via the 18/4 or 18/5 cable. One wire for Power, and then a cable for each color.

    For Power supples, just make sure you do the math. You can individually power each strip if you want, but if you are using a DMX decoder that has multiple LED strip light connections, those individual wall power supplies won’t work for you.

    Good Luck!

  18. Is there a installation video anywhere?

  19. Hey Jeremy!

    I know its been a while since you guys have had this stage set up. I was wondering if you still have all the material that you used for the set up? We have a limited budget and are planning on shifting to a similar design for this upcoming year in our youth room. Would you guys be willing to sell it? Is it still functional? We are a church in Dayton, OH.

    • Jacob,

      We have this set all broken down and we use the components and pieces on other stages and venues at our campuses. Next time you are up in Northwest Ohio stop in a say hello. I’d love to show you our church and hear about yours.

  20. Jeremy
    Love the design and am getting ready to do a similar design myself. My question is if the LED strips were already black to to blend into the framing?
    Thanks
    David

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