color kinetics network control

Oct 20, 2009 at 5:23pm

color kinetics network control

Hi all,
I was curious if anyone had any success in talking directly to color kinetic lights via their network protocol (a flavor of UDP). Trying to avoid purchasing a handful of USB-DMX boxes for an installation.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Much thanks,

Oct 20, 2009 at 6:26pm

that is what i found at the documentation:

you have to send a raw byte DatagramPacket with a paket size of 537 bytes to your device ip on port 6038.
the ip address you can set or view with the color kinetics software.

the message has a header followed by the pannel id and its rgb values.
you can control as many pannels which fits into one single message. (max size: 537)

message example:
4, 1, 220, 74, 1, 0, 8, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 243, 0, 0, 0, 2, 0, 0, panelNum1, r, g, b, r, g, b, ….. panelNum2, r, g, b, r, g, b …..

panelNum1, panelNum2 …: id of your pannel
r, g, b: red, green, blue values the leds (number depends on your pannel type)
4, 1, 220, 74, 1, 0, 8, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 243, 0, 0, 0, 2, 0, 0: header

in max you can use java to send raw byte messages.
something like this: new DatagramPacket(buffer, packSize, servAddr, port);

or the aka.datagram external (which i have not tested)

the dmx control is very slow and uncomfortable.

good luck with your project !

Oct 20, 2009 at 6:55pm

Yeah! Thank you so much for the help here. And yes I agree DMX is a bit of a headache. I’ve been using a my little dmx-usb pro, which has actually been fine, but considering I’m controlling 10 50′ LED chains, that’s 2+ universes, more controllers, and certainly more headaches.

Just a couple followup questions:
1. is 537 the maximum packet size, or does each packet need to be 537 bytes?

2. I am assuming that in the examples below the raw datagram packet doesn’t actually contain commas, is that right? e.g. the header would actually be:
4 1 220 74 1 0 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 243 0 0 0 2 0 0

3. where do I find the panel ID number? The power/controller that I’m using for testing can control 2 LED strands. Would each of these sockets = a panel?

Thanks again for your help with this! This is fantastic!


Oct 20, 2009 at 8:46pm

1) yes the message has to be 537 bytes long
2) you have to send raw bytes. no commas.
3) you can check the id number with the color kinetics software
alternatively you can control the leds with the software and sniff the packets Smile

Nov 18, 2009 at 9:52am

Hi h_mill,
Where did you find this documentation?
I need to control 34 of the ColorKinetics strings, as each controller (2 strings of 50 modes) uses more than half of the DMX addresses in a universe that is one universe per controller.

As I will be controlling these from a computer based program it seems a big waste of money & resources changing down to DMX when the controllers have ethernet already enabled.

Thanks for any help


Oct 21, 2012 at 10:16am

Hi, I know this thread has been cold for a while but I was wondering if anyone ever got this working and if they could share a patch or java example.




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