Cool White LED Light Strips
I have two questions:
1) How many cool white LED strips can be strung together using a 5v 1amp USB brick for power?
2) What is the max cable length limits be for these strips (i.e. max length of wire from USB power source to the last LED strip in a string of strips)?
I ask because I am looking for an alternate way to light a Docking Bay 327 MOC base. I purchased this MOC with a lights but they are a pain to install and do not put out enough light.
Hi, thanks for your question. We've tested 100 strips connected in two "strings" to a single power input, so you should be able to scale to quite a large installation using that single power supply.
There isn't really a maximum length of wire that you have to worry about. The main issue is that lights toward the end of a long "string" may become dim, so the workaround is to use multiple power "feeds" as outlined in this document. Given how the docking bay is set up, you'd probably want one "feed" for each column along the wall, with a main "feeder" wire and breakout adapters running either along the top or along the bottom of the columns.
Hopefully this makes sense-- please let us know if you have any additional questions. And we'd love to see photos of how you install the light strips into that MOC, and of course final photos!
Thank you Rob. This Moc is by Cyberlogic. Definitely built differently than the one you played with a few years back. One thing I figured out today is that no matter what lights I want to use under the base to light up the white "Landing Arrows" there is nothing is bright enough to light up white LEGOs. I am however considering the cool white strips to go around (inside the white LEGOs) of the opening of the Docking Bay and possibly the columns.
I have attached a PNG file that shows what the finished product should look like.
Hi. we've actually created a lighting kit for the docking bay-- not yet on our site, but we make them on an ad-hoc basis. There has been extensive discussion on this forum about it, so you might want to check that out. If you're interested in a price quote, please send us an e-mail to our support(at)brickstuff.com address and we'll provide this.
We are also working on a setup for the docking bay opening, so you won't need to worry about individual strips. Here's a photo from last year showing the WIP:
We searched for a long time to find lights that looked the most realistic. Last year we were unable to source the strip because of the global semiconductor shortage, but making an upgraded kit is still on our roadmap for this year.
As for the white lights in the columns along the side of the bay, like you we realized that nothing will shine through white LEGO pieces. We've seen where some others have used clear pieces, but this creates a harsh light that doesn't look movie-accurate. We've put this part of the project on hold, and will likely not be including it in our official kit when it releases later this year. In the future, if we do find a lighting technology that looks realistic, we would offer it as an add-on.
So, hopefully all of this helps in your project. Take a look at the kit we've already created via the link above, and if you need one now, let us know. If you can wait ~6 months, you could take advantage of our upgraded kit, which will have the white strip shown above as well as sounds and remote control. You will also be able to install the lights post-build, underneath the black floor tiles of the docking bay.
The docking bay is an incredible model, and we're excited to be taking the time to "do it right" for fans.
Wow! I was not aware of the work you folks have done on this! I'm not too concerned about sounds for the Bay right now, just the light. As I stated previously I am working on a different version of the Docking Bay 327 build but I think I can make the light kit you referenced work on mine. I am curious though as to what you did to light up the sides of the columns?
It would be awesome if the current kit you make on an ad hoc basis could be remote controlled now. It would also be cool if the new lighting for the docking bay opening could be sold separately as an individual upgrade once you have developed it.
I will send an email to support for a price quote. And one more thing, I am working on my build to use the following piece on the floor for each light. Will the pico LEDs work without modification?
Roy Brewer Thanks for the reply-- yes the current kit (without sound) does have remote control. We could certainly look to have the strip be an add-on.
As to whether Pico LEDs can fit inside the brick you mentioned, yes, absolutely. In fact, if you can use off-the-shelf Picos, that will reduce the cost of the kit, as we typically have to make it using drilled-out jumper plates.
As for what we used to try lighting the sides of the columns, we tried just about everything we could think of (as I'm sure you did as well). In the end nothing looked good. Hoping to have something someday to share, but for now we just have lots of failed experiments.