Hey all, I’ve been wanting to install permanent christmas lights for a while as I hate hanging them every year. I use several light strips around the house already (controlled by H801’s), and am confident that I could install some that would work with the whole strip being a single color at a time (traditional RGBW strip). HOWEVER - what I really want is the ability to also do “effects” to have more traditional christmas lighting (i.e. red, gold, and white chasing each other or something like that, or alternating different sections to be different colors). Does any ST-compatible led strip controller support that? Also, any recommendations for which light strips I can get that will work outdoor and support those “effects” I’m looking for? Any help is appreciated, thanks!
Watch Dr ZZs video on YouTube. You can use WLED which is compatible with smartthings though the DTH might have some bugs.
Yeah, I’m really hoping for something more simple than that if possible.
Ya, I would be surprised if there is anything else. I’ve looked around and haven’t found anything. You have to use individually addressable LEDs to do chasing and different effects. I know inovelli came out with a zwave controller that can control individually addressable LEDs, but there strip isnt outdoor rated. I would love to know if there is anything else, as I’m working towards this on my own house.
Where do you live? There’s a big difference between California and Minnesota, for example, in terms of what devices you can install permanently outdoors.
- For a super easy solution, Phillips hue has some well engineered outdoor strips in two different links, they just plug-in so you don’t have to worry about that part. But they are expensive and they don’t do chasing or separate section colors. Of course you can use the shorter strips and then make each strip a different color. You have to use them with the Hue bridge, but then they should integrate with smartthings that way.
- Sylvania also makes outdoor strips which are wet rated, but I don’t know what the operating temperature range is. Again, they should work with smartthings out of the box, but again they won’t do chasing or let you make different sections of the strip a different color.
- Finally, if you can find them, Sylvania also makes “garden spot” which will have more of a “fairy lights” effect where you can see the individual bulbs. These have been popular in the community for several years, they are just harder to find. They come with stakes so you can stick them in the ground easily. It’s fairly easy to find the expansion strips, but it’s hard to find the starter kit with the power supply and controller that you will need. The name changed over the years, so they were sold as “Osram“, “LEDVANCE“, “Sylvania smart plus“ and “Lightify” but always as “garden spots. “
Don’t believe you can integrate with ST, but to my thinking Christmas lights don’t really have to.
Trimlights have been around for a while But don’t integrate with anything else except their own app.
There’s a newer company from Canada, gemstone lights, which has been around for a couple of years now. Their system can do more effects and has an Alexa integration. So you could get some smartthings integration that way.
Gemstone lights are spaced 9 inches apart and you can individually assign colors, so you can make them look like traditional lights if you want. Or you can start getting fancy with block assignments.
Both will cost about a dollar to a dollar and a half per individual light installed, which typically comes out to about $2500. As one of my friends said, “that’s less than my hospital deductible, so I would have saved money.“ ( yes, he fell off the ladder a few years ago taking down the Christmas lights.)
Both are professionally installed systems so may not be available in all areas.
So as always, choice is good.
I agree they don’t integrate, but my take is not everything has to.
Trimlight does have the chase effects however, at least according to their website and the video on the main page.
I wasn’t familiar with gemstonelights, so thanks for sharing that!
Utah, so it’s a fairly cold winter, but not the coldest (hit 16 degrees F yesterday). And Philips Hue is definitely not in my price range unfortunately. I guess I’m okay with something that doesn’t connect to ST (other than by using a smart plug to turn it off and on), any good recommendations? I just don’t want to buy into some app-controlled light strip and then have the company disappear and leave me with no way to control it.
And $2500 is definitely not in price range, I’m thinking around $200, haha (bunch of long light strips from aliexpress along with a big power supply and a controller of some sort).
I like the look of inovelli’s new z-wave led strip controller. Their strips are way too expensive though, would it be possible to buy my own bulk individual addressable led strips to use with their controller? Do you think that would work?
Doubt it as each individual LED is addresable.
They seem to be using 12V RGBCCT addressable strips. I haven’t seen any of those in the wild. SK6812 is the closest I’ve seen with RGBW. Also their strips have 6 conductors while most addressable strips have 3 or 4. Inovelli has said that they will be releasing adapters and new firmware to be able to control standard non-addressable RGB strips at some time in the future.
Would something like this work? https://www.superlightingled.com/tm1812-dc12v-rgbcct-5in1-rgbww-series-flexible-addressable-led-strip-lights-programmable-pixel-full-color-chasing-300leds-164ft-per-reel-by-sale-p-2426.html
Probably not. Even if you found cheaper strips and got them to work, the controller is only good for 16 feet.
I’d check out DrZzs’ YouTube channel. Here is one of his:
Nice find! If those weren’t so expensive, I might buy some to play with.
But to answer your question, nope those won’t work the Inovelli controller. The strip you linked to is a 3 conductor strip with 2 added leads at the ends for power injection. As mentioned, the Inovelli uses 6 conductor addressable strips.
Sorry, don’t visit here much since making the (amazing!) move to hubitat.
I’ve actually just installed some permanent lights. I took the ‘easy’/‘cheap’ route of using 5v ws2812b (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B088FK5QBJ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1), using a nodemcu flashed with wled10. Controlled through hubitat.
That’s my indoor. Don’t have a pic of outdoor.
That’s awesome! Thanks everyone for all the great feedback, I’ll definitely be doing a WLED project using some of your suggestions next spring once it warms up. I’ll post how it turns out!