Rope lights?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by LaMarcus, Jan 29, 2003.

  1. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    Please tell me how your operate your rope lights? I thought I read on here that one guy connected them to a dimmer of some sort.

    My question is really how do you turn yours on and off? The kind I have power on and off only by the power cord being plugged in and out.

    Are there different types of rope light? I can't imagine the members here with the advance setups that include, motorized curtains, poster boxes with lights in them, and macros that control room lighting, using a primitive method of turning on and off these rope lights.

    Someone please enlighten me (no pun intended).
     
  2. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    There are a couple kinds of rope lights: the kind like you have that plug into the wall and they come on, and the expensive kind that plugs into the wall, you set the chase patterns, and they come on. And off. And on.. ad nauseum.

    What it sounds like you want to do is get some form of remotely controlled dimmer, switched outlet, or remote relay control, all of which aren't too hard to do.

    A common mistake is that dimmers must control outlets.

    I have built a lot of dimmers into boxes with a plug at one end and a socket at the other; instant dimmer without opening a wall up.

    Home Depot, sells a nice little "switch anywhere" that is a plug-in radio controlled relay that gives you a Decora(tm) wall switch that you can put anywhere, including in your pocket, it gives you remote on/off, click.

    X10 is a whole new world - actually, it isn't all that new - where you get plug-in switches, dimmers, and all sorts of other accessories, or in-wall mounting of the same. X10 does interface fairly easily with all sorts of other automation type systems, and I believe that there are some learning X10 modules - or otherwise infrared remote stuff for X10 that you can teach your main learning remote how to control your lights.

    Leo Kerr
     
  3. Jeff Engel

    Jeff Engel Stunt Coordinator

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    I used X-10 to control my rope lights. You just get an X-10 outlet and plug it into the wall. PLug the rope lights into the x-10 and presto...remote control rope lights. It works very well.
     
  4. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    All my lighting (including the rope lighting) is wired up through one dimmer wall switch for the room.

    I bought the inexpensive type rope lighting at Home Depot that has a plug at one end and one of my outlet sockets is wired up to the dimmer switch.


    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  5. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    :b
     
  6. Aaron Lock

    Aaron Lock Extra

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    It is possible to cut the plug off and wire it directly to whatever switch you want.
     
  7. Jeff Engel

    Jeff Engel Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm pretty sure I've seen more than one person cut the end off and hard wire it to the plug. If you do it correctly and don't need the plug for anything else, I don't see why it would not work.
     
  8. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Cutting the plug off will work fine. But, do not cut the rope light itself.

    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  9. Erik Farstad

    Erik Farstad Supporting Actor

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    I did just that, cut the plug off and hard wired it! Works great and you don't have that ugly/big transformer either! [​IMG]

    You can see pics at my site below...

    E
     
  10. Trace Ahlers

    Trace Ahlers Stunt Coordinator

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    I used a GE remote control switch. You plug the rope light into the device, plug the device into the wall and use a small handheld remote to turn it on. I then put a piece of velcro on the remote with another piece on the door trim going into the theater and one by my seat.
    I think I paid 25 bux for it.
    Trace
     
  11. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    Erik, your website is where I first seen it done, but I couldn't remember who's website it was on. I love the pics of your son, just too cute.

    Thanks guys all good suggestions. I don't wanna sound stupid but, when you cut the end off, what are you gonna attach it too now? I don't have a light switch open to connect it to the wires in the wall or anything. I was really looking for something external to hook up to. Me and construction don't mesh to well.

    Also, do you guys agree that the rope lights are just to damn bright? I like to watch movies so when the screen goes black...the room goes black! I can't tell the lights are on when it's not a very dark scene on, but if it's a really dark scene or if it's a fade to black or something, I see this shine coming from behind me, and I hate it. That's why I want a dimmer or somethin.
     
  12. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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  13. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    I'm with you Ron, I put duck tape over my equiptment lights. My dvd player is the only one the dimms completely off, but then it's that damn power led, gotta tape that up.[​IMG]

    I would like the rope lights to stay on, but just enuff so you wont trip or step on something. Not enuff to light up my back wall...good grief.
     
  14. Trace Ahlers

    Trace Ahlers Stunt Coordinator

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    I only use 'em to light the stairs during a pee or snack break. That's why I have the remote velcro'ed to the table.
    Trace
     
  15. David.N

    David.N Agent

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    I have a rope light that lays along the floor line behind my TV, SPeakers, and equipment. It can give a nice "glowing effect." I have the rope plugged into the AC outlet on the back of the receiver. When the receiver is ON the rope lights come on also.[​IMG]
     
  16. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    Finally got the damn dimmer for the rope lights. Come on guys be honest, when you first got the dimmer, lutron controller or what ever you have to control your lights; how long did you play with it?[​IMG]

    I honestly thought I was going to run the battery completely dead from turning it on and off, and dimming the lights. I bought mine from radio shack out of direction from home depot.
    I really went to home depot to get rope light channel, that was advice taken from Erik Farstad. HD didn't have the ropelight channel or the light controllers (they suck). But they did tell me to go to Rat shack to get the light controllers. And I'm happier than a sailor in a whore house.[​IMG] [​IMG]

    I bought 3, the transmitter and 2 dimmers all ran about $50. One is for the rope, other is for my spider lamp. I wish they were IR receivers so then I could control them with my universal remote. But their RF receivers, win some lose some.
     
  17. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    When I wired my electrical for the theater I put a switch at the door for the rope lights (installed a wall outlet up above the valance where the rope lights are installed). Another switch for the screen lights "blue bulbs" and then the main overhead lights are the only ones that are IR controlled by a Lutron Spacer from Home Depot.

    Wes
     
  18. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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    LaMarcus,

    If the Radio Shack equipment is X-10, there are IR-to-X10 transceivers that you can use. Not sure if they can control multiple channels, but I would assume so. I remember doing a lot of research on this about 2 years ago... I decided to go with Lutron/IR for the exact reason you stated-- to control with an IR remote.

    Some of the newer universal remotes can also be used with X-10.

    http://www.remotecentral.com/features/premotes.htm#x10
     
  19. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    I don't think it's X-10, but I wonder if that would work any way.
     
  20. Jeff Engel

    Jeff Engel Stunt Coordinator

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    If it's not X-10 it wont work with the X-10 IR-Rf converter, IR543. X-10 uses rf to get the signal to a 'master unit' plugged into the wall which then transmit signal via the house's power linesto the other devices. Regular rf remotes use the rf signal to actualy control the device. I'm pretty sure they make regular rf-ir converters, just not sure where at the moment. I will look around after work to see if I can find one.
     

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