Project Help - LED Light Strips - Changing Colors & Strobing + Music


(Chris) #1

I have recently become the owner of a ST hub and have installed a few outlets and dimmer switches, but I’d like to setup a more advanced project as a surprise gift for my son at Christmas. We are installing some shelving to display his Star Wars Legos and I’d love for him to be able to initiate a “Dark Side / Light Side” lighting and music mode through his tablet. This would entail RGB enabled lighting strips and the playing of music through our home theater system. I’m trying to do this on a budget, so no Sonos or Hue strips, plus I’d like to extend the project to put more LED strips throughout the basement for parties and such. Is there a reasonable LED controller that ST can control or plans I can follow to create one using the ST Shield? For the music, I’ve got a Windows 7 PC connected to the home theater, so I assume the ST can talk to that somehow? I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty and do some programming and/or soldering/wiring if need be, I just need a push in the right direction and some advice to get going. I am hoping to have all of this done before Christmas, so thanks in advance for the help!


(Beckwith) #2

I just posted a topic about RGB controllers:


Otherwise you need to mess with a rasberry pi or arduino.


(Chris) #3

The Zigbee controller you mentioned looks promising, but how much did it cost when it was available? Also, you mention that it will be available again soon, any idea on how soon? Thanks!


(Beckwith) #4

$78.74 plus shipping of $35.00. It was scheduled to arrive December 17, 2014 - January 15, 2015 but I got it two days ago. You can contact the developer @manu for more information on availability etc.:


(Chris) #5

Would I need multiple controllers if I wanted to have the shelf lighting I mentioned above plus additional strips in various places throughout the room or is there a way to run wiring from the controller to each of the strips (assuming I stay under the rated amps)? I’m new to LED strip lighting, so I’ve got no idea what it takes.


(Beckwith) #6

It is more of a logistic issue. Get 24v if you want to do a real long run (10 meters, 32 feet). You just can’t exceed the controller rating. Wire leads also reduce capacity. If your transformer is undersized you will notice the LEDs near the end of the run are fainter.

Other tips that may help:

It takes a little practice and a steady hand soldering the small contacts if you use RGBW. You can solder on either the top or the bottom of the strip which helps if you need to solder more than one wire to a contact. You have to cut the silicone bead off if working with waterproof strips. Don’t expect the glue to adhere in most situations.


(Chris) #7

@beckwith, I see you have posted about your dealings with the Fibaro controller as well. Can you offer a suggestion of whether I should get the Fibaro or the FLS-PP Ip you mentioned above? Based on what I’m trying to do, is there a benefit to either? It sounds like neither device is fully supported in the ST hub, but as long as I can make it do some simple color changes for the time being, I’ll be happy. I can expand functionality later down the road once it is supported. Thanks again for your advice and assistance!


(Beckwith) #8

Hard to say. Right now, FLS-PP is easiest to use as a RGB controller. Seems to be the same as a Hue bulb with the color wheel. Z-Wave color object is not officially supported yet in SmartThings. In my case, I’m looking for RGBW which neither do well yet, IMHO.

Are you also anticipating synchronizing with music? Fibaro is supposed to have this feature with their hub which I think is quite impressive if they can pull this off. For SmartThings I would suspect this would require Hub 2. Otherwise there would be too much a lag. However, most think ZigBee would be faster than Z-Wave for speed.

The FLS-PP firmware developer @manu is on the SmartThings community forum which is encouraging.


(Chris) #9

I envision doing a number of things with the LED strips and music, but I don’t necessarily require synchronized dimming and/or color switching. Short term it’s more of a scene solution, with the lights changing to a certain color, a certain brightness and music/sound effects starting up. The shelf lighting will be pretty simple like that. For the room lighting, I’d like to have some color changing and strobe effects to go with party music, but again, it doesn’t have to be synchronized (although that would be very cool). The most difficult effect I am going for is to have the lights go into a mode and the sound to play based on a score from a football team. Again, for this, the lighting portion isn’t really all that difficult, since it’s mainly just color changing and/or strobe effects triggered from IFTTT or something similar. With these scenarios in mind, can I pull it off with the Hub 1 and either of these 2 controllers? I’m definitely wanting to purchase something as soon as possible to try and accomplish this, but if you don’t think it can be done with the current hardware, then I’ll resign myself to waiting. Any idea what the cost and timeline are for Hub 2 and/or Fibaro Hub? Thanks again for the help!