I have a low voltage LED question….not really HE related but will be controlled via HA….hoping someone might be able to point me in the right direction for some information.
A couple of years ago I bought a half a dozen Sylvania Sylvania Out Door Accent RGB kits.
They are fed by a 5v supply. The light strings are 14 feet long and have 9 LED bulbs….and are expandable up to 2 strings ( 28 feet)
These are zigbee, I have connected them to the hub and they seem to work as well as any other Sylvania light strip I have.
As the length and spacing of the light string didn’t work out for what I wanted they have been sitting in my fun drawer for over 2 years and I want to see if I can re purpose a couple of them.
I was recently looking at Phillips Hue Path Way lighting and each pathway light is over 130 each. I’m pretty certain I could buy a dumb wired-pathway light for much cheaper, pull it apart and insert the wires and LED from the Sylvania kit into the housing but I don’t need 9 lights. At best I need 3.
What I don’t know is if these strips can be cut without pooching what ever circuit drives it. I know some LED strips can be cut to length…and I also believe there are other strips that cant be cut.
I didn’t pay much for these to begin with so I don’t mind experimenting…but be good to know if im wasting my time.
The kit is a Sylvania 75541 kit.
Appreciate any thoughts.
i can't speak to those strips specifically, but in general, LED strips can be shortened/expanded as needed. the main feed comes in the beginning (+5 or 12V, ground, data or RGBW/CW). These voltages/data are provided at the beginning of the strip, and the remainder of the LEDs are just in series with that. There isn't any special circuitry, just some components to ensure regulation of the next LED.
That being said, yes, you should be able to cut off extra LEDs. You would wind up using less amps from your power supply (lower electricity bill, yay). The main things to worry about with LED strips is using the correct voltage, and having enough amps to power all LEDs. The strip will only pull as much power as needed, and having a higher amp rating on the power supply won't damage anything, that's why people will often buy big power supplies and be able to cover the power draw instead of using small power supplies then having to change it down the line
If you do cut one of these strings, be sure the power supply is disconnected first or your scissors will create a short circuit that could damage the power supply.
Also, since the cut end will have exposed wires, you might want to put SuperGlue or silicone over the end to prevent moisture and oxygen from getting into the wiring. The voltage is not high enough to cause injury, but sealing the end is still a good idea.
Thanks. Part of what you said is the concern. If the bulbs were in series then removing any of them fundamentally changes the voltage across each of the remaining. I’m guessing however based on the 4 wires running the entire length that they are more than likely in parallel….in which case the voltage would be the same regardless.
I know with the strips you have to be careful
Specifically where you cut as there are different components per section. Ah well.
I got them for less than 15 bucks. Worth the experiment.
They will be cut power off and sealed with heat shrink followed by a plasti dip covering.
These have a 4 pin round connector. I bought some on Amazon so I can make specific length jumpers so will heat shrink those connectors too.
Appreciate the feedback.
nope, they are in series. there is voltage drop, but it is so small that it doesn't impact short runs. if you did a long run (5m or more), depending on the amperage you provide, you will start to notice significant changes in the LEDs the further away you get from the power source. that's when power injection (connecting the power in parallel in the middle/end of the strip) is utilized to help with the voltage drop
The bulbs are in parallel and the strips are in series.
You can connect the strips in parallel or series to the power supply but the led bulbs are always in parallel.
Edit : yes you can shorten the strip
35 dollar metal bollard path light. . Check.
New 10 dollar 3/4 inch drill. Check.
Using items from my fun drawer. Priceless.
I cut the strip. Drilled a few new holes. And installed a single light from my strip. Works perfect.
The diffuser still shows the light a little brighter at the base but not enough to bother me.
Now. Sadly this is going to cost me about 500 to buy a dozen new bollards but beats over a hundred each for the Phillips hue ones.
Ignore the mess. My golf cart is my work space.
Nicely done. We need to see a few pictures when you are done. Night with color and in the garden of course
Will do. In my mind I look at this as saving money ve spending. Will be a couple of weeks before I get the inclination to buy the other pathway lights but it’s a good and cheaper option vs buying the Phillips. And my wife gave me the approval. . Just a matter of time now. I even ordered a dozen round 4 pin pig tails from Amazon so I can re wire the strips I have so I can run as many as possible le from the power supply that came with the strip.
welcome to the LED fun. if you want some more fun, take a look into WLED
You mean like these innovelli addressable strips? I have 3 boxes in my fun drawer. Haven’t used yet
One more update.
Pulled it apart. Re wired so I could have a weather proof connector in and out to the next light.
I like the look. Only thing is it won’t connect to my system where I have it installed.
I have a pretty strong zigbee and zwave mesh in the house but nothing on this side of the house where the controller is.
I wonder. Do these sylvania zigbee modules work as repeaters? If so I can just put a spare powered module on the inside of the house to try and make it repeat.
Yes the module is also a repeater. I still have 2 and they both running strong outside for over 5 years.
Or Pixelblaze. It is already integrated with HE (driver exist).
I think the problem i had was that the controller for the path way light i installed was a) not near any other zigbee devices and b) on the outside of thick stone wall...so weak signal. luckily i have a ton of unused light strips in my fun drawer. I initialized one and put in in my garage...probably 30 feet from the hub and 15 feet form the new light i installed. It didn't work right away so i powered down the hub for a half hour...let it all power up and an hour or so later...voila!
I'm now off to home depot to buy another dozen path light bollards and get after the full retrofit!
The 1st one took me a few hours to retrofit...but now that ive done one.....i'll probably be an hour a piece for the rest.