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Thread: Light Controls

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  1. Default Light Controls 
    #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Oscoda, Michigan
    Posts
    13
    I am always looking for ways to control the lights in our Haunt. We mainly use incandesant and flouresant lights. Things that we have used are: residential motion sensor lights, dimmer switches, flouresent starters, and pull-string switches. I am trying to find fairly inexpensive ways to make the lights turn on and off by themselves, blink, flicker, or anything else besides just on and off. I also have some experience building electronic circuits, so that is an option, too. Anything would help, and thank you in advance!
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mesquite, TX
    Posts
    2,788
    Talk to these guys there the best
    www.efx-tech.com/
    go to their site and check their forums there, Im sure a similar thread is on there.
    Allen H
     

  3. Default  
    #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hollywood, CA
    Posts
    8
    Thanks for the plug, Allen, but let me correct the URL:

    www.efx-tek.com

    We have an active support forum where one can find answers and solutions when using our products.

    forums.efx-tek.com
     

  4. Default Dmx 
    #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    94
    DMX kids is by far the cheapest, and most flexible way to go.
     

  5. Default  
    #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Posts
    396
    DMX is an amazing protocol, however it seriously suffers in that it's an output only protocol. Depending on your needs, it may or may not work well for you.

    DMX controlled lighting can be very inexpensive, but fixtures add up. There's a lot of DIY kits to control LED's and other lighting via DMX, which is pretty cool, too. To add input support to DMX (eg, trigger a light or cue by sensor), you will need something that can do Input into a PC (or controller), and the software to trigger your DMX cue.

    The best thing to do is to use the correct technology for the correct application. In our show, we use DMX for our front facade, and occasionally slave a few fixtures together when we don't care what they do, as long as they do something.

    If we need to respond to a trigger, we tend to use a microcontroller to listen to the sensor and then drive LED's with it.

    Sometimes we don't need to respond to a trigger, but it's super easy to do a micocontroller to create the desired effect... strobes, random flashes, fades, interesting fixture reworks... all LED/Microcontroller driven.

    The possibilities are endless, just depends on budget, skill level, and proper use of the available tech!

    -- I
    -------------------------------
    http://www.fx13studios.com
     

  6. Default lor 
    #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    303
    Light O Rama controls eveyrthing in our haunt. best thing ive found...
     

  7. Default I have to agree... 
    #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Coventry, CT
    Posts
    138
    with Sophisticated Terror

    LOR is very interesting because you get the added benefit of tightly synchronized audio with the lighting as well. Another nice feature of LOR is you can dim, flicker and shimmer the lights as opposed to just turning them on and off. Their mini MP3 player has three input triggers, so you can trigger (pushbutton, motion sensor) an event to happen.

    A PLC is always a versatile stand-alone option. I have used a PLC and LOR together in our haunt and it is amazing what you can do with that combo.

    Feel free to email me to discuss further: gravesidemanor@sbcglobal.net
    Last edited by GraveStalker; 05-06-2009 at 06:45 AM.
     

  8. Default lor 
    #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    303
    yeah...I have several of their 16 channel controllers and download the program directly to the controller and each diff channel i program to fade on and off,,,flicker...etc...that way I have one controller taking care of 16 different functions...
     

  9. Default  
    #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Coventry, CT
    Posts
    138
    Quote Originally Posted by sophisticatedterror View Post
    yeah...I have several of their 16 channel controllers and download the program directly to the controller and each diff channel i program to fade on and off,,,flicker...etc...that way I have one controller taking care of 16 different functions...
    Are you using the MP3 player (director) or standalone controller?

    If you have the MP3 director, you can connect sensors/switches to the inputs and start a new show (Sequence of events). So, as your guests enter a room -the scene looks one way then when they trigger sensor/switch it can transform the room lighting and change the audio. Pretty Slick!

    Controlling 16 Channels with up to 30A of lighting (dim, shimmer, flicker) for under $400 - how can you go wrong?

    Glad to see someone else has found this solution useful...
     

  10. Default lor 
    #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    303
    yes some of the units have the built in mp3 on board...Some of them I have directly ran into several pcs...several of our haunt scenes will always be different every group or two that goes through...that way the scenes are never the same when our repeat customers go through..
     

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