Led Stips from a light switch

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by DeadBeat, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. DeadBeat

    DeadBeat
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    Just a Basic question, I plan to have some LED light strips in floating ceilings one or two rooms.

    Id like these to be switched on and off via a standard wall light switch.

    Is this possible? if so, what would I need? can i put them on a dimmer?

    If not whats the next best thing?

    For example in the kitchen Id probably get a white led set that wasn't colour changing so putting it on a light switch would be more practical, perhaps on the same circuit as some under counter lights.

    I'll be adding a few circuits to the house anyway so i dont mind putting some light voltage plug sockets behind the false ceiling (I think they are a different type of plug socket for lamps etc)

    would that be an option?

    Thanks
     
  2. DeadBeat

    DeadBeat
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    Actually after doing more reading lastnight, it seems I've almost answered my own questions.

    It seems I can only use one controller easily and im happy with that, Ill probably get a wifi phone controller.

    However, would it be possible to have a master switch built into a light switch to turn on and off the inverter(s)? or could i potentially damage a controller if im constantly turning the main power on and off?
     
  3. DeadBeat

    DeadBeat
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    Also on a related note, the strips available from visual chill out, at what length can they be cut? and after you cut them can you join them up again with a connector, im going to need to go around some 90 degree bends and it would be easier if i could cut them to get them around corners
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  4. supraTTman

    supraTTman
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    LED strips are powered by a high-efficiency switched mode power supply (transformer/driver/brick in old-speak)!

    Modern switched mode supplies do not work well with a 'chopped up' mains cycle - which is how a wall mounted dimmer works. They either slice off a chunk of the leading edge of the mains cycle or a chunk of the trailing edge. Switched mode psu's don't like this.

    So using a wall mains switch is fine, a dimmer - no go. So you can use an existing wall switch to supply the mains power to one of these power supplies.

    The cut points on LED strips are every 5cm for 60 LED/m strips and every 10cm for 30 LED/m strips. The LED strips can - with care - be bent around 90 degree bends - see photo - you have to bend the strip in 3-4 places rather than in just one to avoid an sharp bend which will damage the strip.
    Edit - Where has the attachments button gone !!
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  5. DeadBeat

    DeadBeat
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    lol would you advise bending or cutting?
     
  6. supraTTman

    supraTTman
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    If you can bend through a gentle radius of 3-5 cm then OK, otherwise cut. I'm still evaluating snap-on joiners for RGB strips - I would only recommend for short (50cm or less) strips at the mo.
     
  7. supraTTman

    supraTTman
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  8. DeadBeat

    DeadBeat
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  9. DeadBeat

    DeadBeat
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    another question, ive been looking at putting 3 or 4 round pin sockets onto a lighting circuit, in the walls, so I can switch 2 or three lamps on in the room with a light switch. After some very basic research it seems the common ampage for these sockets is 5A for up to 100W lights. do you know if the transformers would be able to plug into these kind or sockets (obviously Id have to change the plugs)

    Do the controllers require separate power to the light power supplies? and would these plug into the same circuits or need the standard 13A square type plugs?

    im still only on the pre planning stages for all of this, but id like to understand how it will all work, so I know what i'm aiming for

    thanks
     
  10. supraTTman

    supraTTman
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    A power supply could be connected into one of these round-pin types though not sure about the wiring reg's view on this as, for example, these small plugs aren't large enough to hold a fuse, though most switched mode power supplies have an in-built fuse. Pretty sure you will need to wire the sockets into a 6A lighting ring not a mains ring. Best to chat to a sparky!

    Not quite sure what you are asking ref. separate power. A given socket (round pin or square pin) can be used to supply mains to a combination of lamps and power supplies provided the 5A rating is not exceeded. In practice, you won't need anything like 5A - probably 1-2A maximum - depends on total LED strip lengths and the total lamp powers you need which you have not specified. In the UK, 5A is equivalent to 1200W (Amps x Volts = Watts : 5A x 240V = 1200W).
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  11. DeadBeat

    DeadBeat
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    perfect, ill build this then. One last question, If i turn on the power for the controller and power supply via a switch, will the lights come on? or will the controller wait for an input from the remote etc?

    sorry the confusion might be this: I'm assuming the power supplies and controllers are different things? it might be that the controllers also power the led strips so a PSU (at least on a 5m or less run) would not be required?
     
  12. supraTTman

    supraTTman
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    Most controllers feature power lost memory function whereby the lighting is resumed to the same state as it was before switch-off.

    You'll need a 12V power supply which supplies 12V to the LED controller, then the LED controller drives the LED strip via 2,3 or 4 wires. Single colour strips have 2 wires, CT (Colour Temperature) strips have 3 wires, and RGB strips have 4 wires. Simples.
     
  13. Cacico

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    Hi, I have come across this forum and have a similar question that i'm hoping you may be able to answer; I want to install a 5M LED strip to a cabinet and plug it into a round pin 5 amp lighting circuit which is already fitted and easy to access. If I connect a driver to the LED strip and then into the 5amp plug socket will it power the 5M LED strip, and as the 5amp lighting circuit has a dimmer will this also dim the LED strip? Be interested to hear your thoughts.
     
  14. supraTTman

    supraTTman
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    Most modern 12V LED power supplies ('drivers' in old-speak) are high efficiency switched mode types that do not work with a dimmer in the line as these 'carve-up' the mains cycle on the leading edge or trailing edge. To dim the strip you will need to use a 12V dimmer, most of which use PWM technology which produce a variable-width 12V pulse to dim rather than reduce the voltage.
     
  15. Cacico

    Cacico
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    Thanks for your reply that's very useful to know. Looks like its a 12 v dimmer then.
     
  16. Wayne00

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    Do you need a dimmer? The controller will normally remember the last colour/brightness you had it set to so set it to how you like it for daily use, and just adjust it with the controller every once in a while to suit?

    Unless a 12v dimmer switch would literally slot in place of a normal 240v light switch? But then the 12v power supply would have to be before the switch in the circuit right otherwise you're just switching 240v still?

    I do still find this terribly confusing! I intend to do as the OP is. I currently have fluorescent tube lighting in the kitchen which I'd like to replace with RGB. In my naive head I can just splice into the power supplying the current tubes, and connect it to the 6a 12v power supply hidden inside one of the kitchen cabinets. The wall switch won't need to be touched then.

    Somehow, the more I research this over the next few weeks, I think I'll come to the conclusion it's not that simple!!!
     
  17. Wayne00

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    Also, to put what the boss is saying in laymans terms (I have to dumb it down in my head!):

    Why you can't use a conventional wall dimmer:
    The power supply NEEDS 240v to work properly, which is why you can't dim (provide less voltage) the 240v source to it as you'll just screw the power supply. However, once the power supply has already converted the voltage to 12v, then you can dim freely as the power supply has already done it's job and doesn't give two shizzles what happens once it has!
     

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