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walter
Average Member

USA
76 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2012 :  7:33:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit walter's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'm wanting to install LED ribbons (like http://amzn.com/B002QQ48TK) under, over, and inside my kitchen cabinets. I also want to be able to dim them using Insteon. Is that possible? Or am I going to have to settle for On / Off?

A lot of these strips seem to use AC power adapters such as this one: http://amzn.com/B003WJ218U . In a perfect world, they wouldn't need an outlet and instead just route directly to the Insteon dimmer. But I don't know enough about electricity or how it works to find the best solution for that. Has anyone else had experience with this?

Edited by - walter on 03/19/2012 7:34:22 PM

stusviews
Moderator

USA
11475 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2012 :  8:43:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If they're not dimmable, then a dimmer will not work. As with some other lighting (e.g., CFL), dimmable LED's always indicate if they are.

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majkman
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USA
55 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2012 :  9:17:09 PM  Show Profile  Send majkman an AOL message  Click to see majkman's MSN Messenger address  Send majkman a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I would use an ON/OFF Insteon Control, and set the dim level with something like this: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=PWM+Dimmer+for+LED+Lighting+with+12+button+Wireless+Remote+12+to+24+Volt+6+amp%2C+3317-DM+ (a PWM low voltage dimmer)
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stusviews
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USA
11475 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2012 :  10:45:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That's a great device for dimmable LEDs. You can use an Insteon relay to cut and restore power to the PWM dimmer. You'll have to look at the PWM manual to determine what level the dimmable LEDs will come back on when power is restored.

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walter
Average Member

USA
76 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2012 :  06:50:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit walter's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks guys. Originally I was planning to get this (http://amzn.com/B0040FJ27S) - I think it would be super cool to have the option of changing the LED color seasonally, or for parties. But the using a second controller to change the color or dim the lights kind of defeats the purpose of using Insteon in the first place. I'm leaning toward Stu's idea of just keeping the PWM controller on at all times, but cutting the power using an Insteon relay. The problem I'll run into is friends will unknowingly turn off the lights using the PWM control, then when I try to turn them on the "right" way, I won't be able to. I used to run into this problem with the remote control ceiling fan / light in my bedroom when I lived with my parents - my mom would turn the wall switch off instead of using the remote, and it would drive me crazy.

But after considering, I doubt the dimness or color will be something I'm constantly fiddling with. And since it's controlled by a remote, I can hide it so people won't throw a wrench into my rube goldberg machine of home automation. :) It still isn't ideal, but it's sounding like the alternative would be using some other more expensive, less flexible type of light fixture.
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ELA
Senior Member

318 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2012 :  08:13:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit ELA's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here is a power supply that could be nice, if it is not too low of a current for your application. I have no direct experience with it, just knew of its existence.

Should be able to run off of a standard Insteon dimmer directly.

http://www.meanwell.com/search/pcd-25/pcd-25-spec.pdf

Insteon Test Data ->: http://www.elavenue.com/insteon_test_data.html
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stusviews
Moderator

USA
11475 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2012 :  12:11:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Wow. It works with both leading and trailing edge dimmers. Another great product for dimmable LEDs.

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Captain542
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2012 :  11:09:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have taken the first steps to adding LED strip lighting to my Insteon system. One thing I have found is that when you connect a simple setup of LEDs to a power supply then to a dimmable lamplinc, when the power is off the lamplinc seems to send just enough energy to make the LED's flash on for a fraction of a second every 30 seconds or so. It looks like a camera flash.
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Tfitzpatri8
Administrator

USA
8606 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2012 :  11:29:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As the manuals explain, LampLincs, ApplianceLincs and OutletLincs all include a load detection feature--they run a low current through the load when turned off so they can detect if you flip the switch on the lamp or appliance itself off and back on. You can use that to turn the unit on without having to walk over to a linked controller. This test current is invisible provided you meet the minimum load requirement, 8 or 10 watts. If the load is too small, a led or cfl bulb may glow dimly or occasionally flicker.

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barnabas1969
Junior Member

USA
52 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2012 :  10:19:33 AM  Show Profile  Send barnabas1969 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I am looking into using these LED strip lights under my kitchen cabinets. It would also be cool to use them as a back light around my flat panel TV. I just ordered a set of RGB strip LED's with a power supply and this controller:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0083DFJ9I/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

It's a cool idea. When I get around to doing something in the living room (back light behind the TV, and maybe even lights under my tables), I'm planning to go with the warm white LED's (not color-changing).

I, too, would like to be able to control the dimming from my Insteon network. I don't see how it could be possible, as mentioned above, to use a triac dimmer for this purpose. These LED's are simply LED's arranged in a series-parallel configuration so that they run on 12 volts DC. The only way to dim LED's of this type is using a PWM controller.

So... I would need a PWM controller that can be controlled by Insteon commands. Is there any such animal in the Insteon world?
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Tfitzpatri8
Administrator

USA
8606 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2012 :  10:57:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You can see a list of all the currently available Insteon devices here: http://www.smarthome.com/_/INSTEON/_/23b/land.aspx

All the existing Insteon light controls are designed for use with 120 volt lamps. If you left the power hooked up to your LED controller, you could use a relay or an IOLinc to selectively connect or disconnect a lead going to the lights, but the only way existing Insteon gear could brighten or dim would be to separate the load into multiple loads so you could turn some on or off to adjust levels.

There is no Insteon gadget with as many buttons that approaches the complexity of the controller you linked.

That said, I notice the remote is IR. You may be able to use an IRLinc Transmitter to do what you want. If the IR signals are compatible, you could program your 8 favorite levels and settings into the IRLinc, then use a RemoteLinc 2 or an ISY to command the IRLinc Transmitter to send the appropriate IR signal.

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barnabas1969
Junior Member

USA
52 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2012 :  11:14:24 AM  Show Profile  Send barnabas1969 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I understand that there is no Insteon device with so many buttons. As I wrote above, the controller I bought is for the kitchen under-cabinet lights. I think I can live without Insteon control of that one (other than maybe on/off control with a relay). After I receive the stuff I bought, I'll know if the controller saves the last state when power is disconnected. This will tell me if I can use an Insteon relay to turn it on or off, or if I will need to use an EZIO or IOLinc type of device.

The question at hand, is whether or not there is a device that I can use to control PWM to a set of single-color LED's. Basically, I'd like to use single-color LED strips in my TV viewing area... and I'd like to be able to control brightness and ramp rates.

If there is no such device reasonably available, I suppose I could build my own PWM controller with an adjustable ramp rate (or maybe more than one rate) that could be triggered by an IOLinc or EZIO40.

I'm thinking along the lines of one of the 4-output EZIO40 devices. If possible, it would be really cool to use the EZIO40's four outputs as a binary code, giving me 16 possible states on a home-made PWM controller. I suppose that would probably be possible by creating 16 scenes, so that all four relays will switch to the correct state at the same time.
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Tfitzpatri8
Administrator

USA
8606 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2012 :  11:22:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The IRLinc Transmitter i mentioned seems the best solution if this or another receiver uses compatible IR signals.

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barnabas1969
Junior Member

USA
52 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2012 :  11:47:23 AM  Show Profile  Send barnabas1969 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I'm looking at the IRLinc also. However, I'll need to experiment with the controller I purchased first. I should have it in the next few days.

The main question is how to control the ramp rate with an IRLinc. The controller I bought allows me to have preset colors with the "DIY" buttons on the remote. I don't know if it also allows preset brightness... and I doubt that it will have any kind of ramp rate control.

The controller I bought is also for RGB LED's, not single-color. I suppose I could use one channel of that controller with single-color LED's, but I would still have the problem of ramp rate.

I'm looking at PWM IC's now. I don't think it would be too difficult for me to build a device that does what I want to do. It's been a long time, but I actually went to school for electronics technologies.

With the EZIO40, I should be able to turn the four output relays on/off to control it. For example, let's treat those four relays as a set of four binary 1's and 0's. Here's a possible configuration:

0000 = OFF
0001 = Ramp down to 0% duty-cycle in 10secs.
0010 = Ramp up to 50% duty-cycle in 10 secs.
0011 = Ramp up to 75% duty-cycle in 5 secs.
etc...

All this can be done with a series of logic gates (or a microprocessor), a PWM chip, and minimal supporting circuitry.

Of course, that's a lot more work than using an IRLinc, so I'll see what I can do with the controller I already purchased.
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Tfitzpatri8
Administrator

USA
8606 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2012 :  12:01:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The IRLinc would serve in place of your IR remote. If the remote or the power supply or the LED strp doesn't support brightening or dimming, neither would an IRLinc. If you can do what you want by pressing multiple buttons on your remote, or by pressing buttons, pausing, then pressing more, then the IRLinc could potentially automate the process.

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barnabas1969
Junior Member

USA
52 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2012 :  3:20:41 PM  Show Profile  Send barnabas1969 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Yes, I understand that. But... when you press and hold a remote button, the LED dimmer will continuously dim or brighten. From what I've read, the IRLinc cannot simulate a press-hold on a remote control. Also, there would be no way to control precisely how bright or dim they will be if it could simulate a press-hold. So... if the LED dimmer that I've chosen has presets for brightness (I think it does) my only hope will be for the IRLinc to send the command for preset brightness levels. However, this still doesn't allow me to control ramp rate.
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Tfitzpatri8
Administrator

USA
8606 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2012 :  4:23:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You wouldn't use a press-and-hold, you'd use successive taps that would send the "brighten" or "dim" IR codes from your existing remote, or you'd set up preset brightness levels, or you'd set up IRLinc macros that would send n repeats of an IR bright or dim command to simulate a ramp up or down.

Kitchen under cabinet lights aren't the best candidates for brightening and dimming in any case. A more typical installation would have dimmable ceiling lights and on/off controls only under cabinet lights for task lighting (zoned, if you want to get fancy). Remember, while you are busy adjusting the dimmer 'just right', your food is probably starting to burn!

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barnabas1969
Junior Member

USA
52 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2012 :  6:39:38 PM  Show Profile  Send barnabas1969 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Yes, I understand that you wouldn't want to be messing with under cabinet lighting while cooking... but, in my house, I can see my kitchen cabinets from my TV viewing area. It's not a big house... and I guess you could call it a "great room".

I'm a techie-geek, and I love my toys... but I'm divorced and my ex-wife takes a large part of my paycheck... so I don't have a large, multi-floor house like I used to have.

So, anyway... I got the LED ribbon today. It's water proof, 16.4' long, and it came with a 44-key controller and a 60 watt power supply. All for $38 on e-bay. It is more than bright enough for under-cabinet lighting.

I took some measurements using a Kill-A-Watt meter. When the power supply, controller, and LED ribbon are all plugged together and set to maximum brightness, they use:

OFF - 0.8 Watts
Red - 13.2 Watts
Blue - 7.8 Watts
Green - 8.3 Watts
White (all three colors illuminated) - 27.3 Watts

Here is what I've learned so far...

1) The Green and Blue wiring is reversed on the unit I received. I read reviews from people who had the same experience. I guess R, G, and B don't translate into Chinese very well... or there is no standard wiring for controllers and LED ribbons. I'll need to get out the soldering iron to reverse these two colors.
2) The dim and brighten buttons have 8 levels. They are not continuously variable, as I had imagined. This actually makes it easier to control from an IRLinc or similar device, but does not allow for smooth transitions from one brightness level to another.
3) The "DIY" buttons allow you to select from 48 brightness levels of each of the three colors (RGB).

What this means to me is that I can use any of the preset 20 colors (or any of the 6 "DIY" colors), at any of the 8 brightness levels by sending a maximum of 17 IR commands (1 for the color preset, 8 down to black, and up to 8 to get to my desired brightness) with the IRLinc, or a similar device.

For the "DIY" colors, there are 48^3 (110,592) possible colors. That's pretty cool, considering the low cost of the controller.

There are also RGB amplifiers available, if you need to control more than 1-2 16.4' strips of LED's from the same controller. There are even controllers that can take a music input signal, so that your LED's flash and change colors to the music. These things can be used in practically any indirect lighting situation (or direct lighting, if you have some kind of diffuser and don't mind having distinct points of light)

So... my question is... Can the IRLinc send 17 IR commands when it responds to a scene?
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barnabas1969
Junior Member

USA
52 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2012 :  6:48:21 PM  Show Profile  Send barnabas1969 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Oh... and I should mention that the LED controller remembers the last color/brightness after a power failure. So it could be used with an Insteon relay to turn it on/off at the same color/brightness that was last set.
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stusviews
Moderator

USA
11475 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2012 :  8:07:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The IR Linc Transmitter can send only one learned IR signal per scene. It is capable of 128 scenes.

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Tfitzpatri8
Administrator

USA
8606 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2012 :  8:10:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
No, that's not right. You can program a series of codes (what they call a 'macro' in the IRLinc Transmitter manual) all linked to the same Insteon controller, but you add IR codes to the 'macro' by learning them one at a time.

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stusviews
Moderator

USA
11475 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2012 :  8:15:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Any guess as to how many commands can be in an IR macro?

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MathLandia High school mathematics learning fun.
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JanK
Starting Member

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2012 :  8:19:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have installed the 12V LEDs strips in many places at home, including kitchen cabinets and behind beds (quite romantic ) and I do use INSTEON Dimmers on them. The problem you ran into is that if you power them from a "switching" power-supply you can't dim the 120V line but the 12V line using the PWM modules you were mentioning in this thread. I'm using regular (old-school heavy) "unregulated transformers" and it works extremely well... This is probably officially unsupported, but before ISTEON comes with 12V dimmer for LEDs it's the only solution.
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arw01
Junior Member

USA
50 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  09:51:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What's the latest results you guys have seen?

Getting close to pulling the trigger on the meanwell unit to drive about 50 watts in a display cabinet.

Just wondering if I will really be able to dim them out with a Insteon dimmer.
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barnabas1969
Junior Member

USA
52 Posts

Posted - 10/08/2012 :  12:15:17 PM  Show Profile  Send barnabas1969 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
The LED controller I bought only has 8 brightness levels... so there's no way to make it gradually dim or brighten. JanK mentioned using a simple transformer as a power supply instead of a smaller, switching power supply... but I would imagine that connecting a transformer to an Insteon dimmer would make the transformer hum... and would significantly shorten the life of the Insteon dimmer too. I don't think this is a good idea at all.
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Raddela
Starting Member

2 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2012 :  08:30:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by walter

I'm wanting to install LED ribbons (like http://amzn.com/B002QQ48TK) under, over, and inside my kitchen cabinets. I also want to be able to dim them using Insteon. Is that possible? Or am I going to have to settle for [url=http://www.niceledlights.com]front page[/url] On / Off?

A lot of these strips seem to use AC power adapters such as this one: http://amzn.com/B003WJ218U . In a perfect world, they wouldn't need an outlet and instead just route directly to the Insteon dimmer. But I don't know enough about electricity or how it works to find the best solution for that. Has anyone else had experience with this?



I would like to buy led lights for homes can you provide be some reliable source

Edited by - Raddela on 10/11/2012 11:05:10 PM
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jdntx
New Member

20 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2012 :  09:46:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Since nobody gave positive confirmation about whether the Meanwell device mentioned above works with the Insteon dimmers, I thought I'd post about my experience in case others want to try it.

Also, I had asked Smarthome customer service about whether these devices were officially supported. They said that they do not have an official position on it, but that they have heard from multiple people that their switches do work with transformers like this.

I got a ribbon of LEDs from Amazon for around $10 and the Meanwell PCD-25-1400A device for about $17 from another supplier. Wired them based on the picture below, and seems to work well. I can dim them to about 30% before the LEDs begin flickering.

The Meanwell transformer I got runs at 25W, so for a 3528 SMD reel where each LED is 0.08W, a 300 LED reel (around 5 meters depending on the spacing) is close to the limit. In theory, it's possible that others might work for longer runs, like the PCD-40 series: http://www.meanwell.com/search/PCD-40/PCD-40-spec.pdf if you can get one the right model that runs at 12V. I haven't tested that yet though.

Here's a picture of mine all wired up (at 30% dim) with an old extension cord wired up to the switch and plugged into the wall.


Edited by - jdntx on 10/16/2012 09:54:15 AM
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BLH
Advanced Member

4471 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2012 :  10:10:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the information on the LED driver module and the Switchlinc Dimmer.
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ELA
Senior Member

318 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2012 :  08:00:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit ELA's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Jdntx or any body else with LED strip lights & power supply Installed?

Curious for an update on how you like them and how well they worked with your Insteon switching device. Any reliability issues?

I was going to purchase the strip lights shown in this thread from Amazon
and either the power supply advertized there or the Meanwell. I did not require diming.

I decided to go with the CabLED ( OptiLED) package that included stip LEDs and a power supply. It also included an inline dimmer which I did not use. Seemed like a well built product with a good install kit. I liked the totally enclosed LED strip.

SIGNAL SUCKER ALERT!
The PGW18-24 power supply included is a major signal sucker. I have not Installed the unit yet but just performed a bench test in advance.
No appreciable noise in the Insteon band but a terrible signal sucker.
A 4.0 on my signal sucker quantifier scale:

I expect to have to Install a filter( Isolator) after the Appliancelinc I will control it with! Expecting to experience reliability issues turning it OFF again.

What a pain it is dealing with new additions to ones home when it comes to wanting to avoid signal suckers/noise generators for the Insteon Install.
A person really has no way of knowing in advance which unit to select. Hopefully the Meanwell or other power supplies are not as bad as this one. Just wanted to give a heads up on this one.

Insteon Test Data ->: http://www.elavenue.com/insteon_test_data.html
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