Forums > MaxMSP

LED lights and DMX help

July 24, 2009 | 2:06 pm

It might be that the Jitter forum is a better place for this question, but I thought I’d start here.
(And if _you don’t know the answers, do you know somewhere I could find out?)

ok – I want to add some lights to a project I’ve been working on for some time.

4 LED lamps (R G B & W) that I can fade up and down (using sensors) – very simple!

As I understand it, I’m going to need:

USB or midi to DMX box (eg Lanbox, but perhaps something cheaper would do just as well for 4 lamps – any recommendations? Anyone used the little USB one from Germany?)
light fader box
lights

I’ve done this with borrowed gear using old fashioned bulb type lights, but for a number of reasons I’d prefer to use LED lamps. I’ve looked at various lights, but there’s a couple of things I’m not clear on (neither were the guys at the dj gear shop I’ve just come back from!)

1. Can LED lights actually be faded up and down? Or is it done with the number of LEDs that come on? In other words, if I plug an LED lamp into a light fader box, will it fade up and down!

2. I’ve looked at some ProLight Par Can LEDs which are about right sizewise. But no-one seems to know what the connectors are! Do these kind of lamps have separate mains and DMX; will they work with a fader box or does it all happen in the lamp via DMX; or is it all dip switches, presets, and only a mains cable?

And although I only want single primary colours in each lamp at the moment, it would be nice if I could create patterns in the lamps from Max at some point in the future. (In fact, I think I’d rather have colour patterns in the white lamp instead of plain white light)

If anyone can (ha ha) enlighten me, or point me in the right direction, I’d be really grateful.

thanks

David


July 24, 2009 | 2:58 pm

As per the BlinkM thread going on at the moment: what kind of lights do you want? If it’s not full theatre lighting, some superbright LED units might get you there:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/todbot/sets/72157605675213625/

These are microprocessor-controlled units and talk I2C, so you can drive them with the Wire library on an Arduino. (You can also hang multiple LED boards off one controller board, I believe.) Alternatively, you could go native and drive LEDs directly, using the Arduino’s PWM analogue outputs, but that would probably require some discrete electronics for power management.


July 24, 2009 | 3:40 pm

Hmm. To be honest, at this point I was looking at something a bit more "off the shelf". There again, mounting some of these in the new transparent acrylic sensor cases I built would potentially be exactly what I want, though I’d have to package the wires and boards robustly and neatly.

Are you around in london, Nick? Sounds like you know about this stuff, so it’d be good to talk if you have the time.


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