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Even cheaper DMX lighting $20 per light

posted Jul 01, 2013 21:59:41 by BrianKruise
Thanks to @JoshuaHarris for showing us the basics, but I've improved an even cheaper solution:

-----------------CONTROL & POWER------------------------------------------
1x 12v power supply - $16.99
(select pre-attached AC plug box) - $1.00

1x Cat 5 cable to splice power into - $1.19

1x PC Based DMX Module Address Programmer Cable & Software - $25.95
Total for control / power: 38.08

1x 3 Way Female CAT5 Splitter - $1.99

1x Dumb / Basic 3 Channel RGB DMX Controller - CAT5 Input + Bare Lead Output - $12.99
(Don't choose any extra paid options)

5x Dumb / Basic Square RGB LED Waterproof Module - 12v -
Total for lights: $16.42

The nice thing is, you want more nodes attached, the power supply will power about 10 of these 5 unit strings so all you have to do is order the three items above listed under ----LIGHTS---- and attach them and they'll light up no problem. Each time you want another light strand you're out $16.42

Instructions for POWER:
Cut one end of the single cat 5 line off. Strip the pairs down and separate them. You'll want about 2 inches of shielded wire, and about 1/4th inch unshielded showing.

Take the orange pair and snip them off, they aren't used for power.

Group all 3 of the the solid colored wires together and twist the bare ends tightly.

Put a single sleeve of heat-shrink around all 3 solid colored wires and slide it past where you will be Soldering.

Solder them to the black end of the power supply's bare wire, then after letting cool, move the heat shrink over the connection and heat with a heat gun.

Do the same process now with the three striped wires on the red side.

You may want to electrical tape the entire connection to be sure it stays safe.


Instructions for the light "node"

You should have a 5 block strand of square LED blocks. You will be adhering them to the sides and top of the Ethernet DMX controller.

The lights come with adhesive on their bottoms so peel off the protective label

Starting in the middle on the top, and work your way on one side, then over to the other all 5 should fit fairly evenly like a rectangle with feet. See photo for reference.

Solder the connections to the 4 wires coming out of the back of the DMX controller, all the colors match except white goes to yellow.

If your light strand had the 4 colored wires coming off BOTH sides, pick which ever is easier to work with the soldering, and snip the others away on the other side.

Each unit isn't all that big, but they put out a lot of light and you can have about 10 of them so each station could have their own if you wanted.


You should now be able to pug everything into the 3 way splitter, and the USB connection into your computer. If the drivers auto-load Artemis will simply start using your lights when it's running.

[Last edited Jul 01, 2013 22:13:57]
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3 replies
MarkBell said Jul 01, 2013 22:21:49
Hey, that's pretty neat! How bright is this node? It's obviously designed for an area effect, while the floodlight versions are somewhat more directional. I've been thinking of getting brighter lights than the ones in the floodlights (currently 10x of these next to each other), but I don't want to buy a bunch of lights that aren't any brighter :P
BrianKruise said Jul 01, 2013 23:14:29
They are fairly bright, you can definitely see them in good room lighting. but in my experience their there to set a mood, kind of like the lights on the enterprise they entire bridge isn't red, but the mood lights are. The nice thing is for you and me, if you already have the floodlight and power adapter you can just buy the lights and you're done. When I get them mounted in the garage I'll post some pics.
chrismdp said Jul 08, 2013 20:00:06
Nice... has anyone had any success with buying the components for a similar rig in the UK?
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