Recent trends in mood lighting has seen the increased appearance of RGB lights. Consequently, these are being used for quickly adding a splash of colour to homes and offices. Furthermore, they are quite affordable and relatively easy to install. Sometimes known as coloured lighting, RGB uses the 3 primary colours Red Green & Blue. These primaries are used in various combinations to produce almost millions of colours over many brightness levels.
Visualchillout, specialists in LED mood lighting, can custom design and supply a range of mood lighting products (including a wide range of kits) and offer free UK delivery.
RGB lights – what type?
RGB lights come in various “flavours”. Most people have seen the coloured flashing lights that DJ’s use at parties & weddings to provide a lively ambience. On a larger scale, high power floodlights and RGB wall washers are now being used to provide architectural lighting to illuminate entire buildings and structures. Shops are starting to appear on the High street deploying RGB panels on the ceiling.
These serve to provide the optimum mood to entice in would-be customers. But these all have their own place in commercial establishments. For domestic spaces, RGB lights take the form of coloured spotlights and colour-changing LED strips. Installing these is relatively straight forward and within the scope of the enthusiast / DIY-er.
RGB lights on a strip
The feature photo at the top of the page shows how RGB lights on a strip can produce dramatic effects when used over large distances. Large installations like this require careful design and planning. This is something that Visualchillout have been undertaking for years. Chris, the founder, has a background in electronic engineering, so no job is too big or complex!
Although some RGB strips can run off mains voltage, the majority are low voltage, typically 12V or 24V DC. In order to display a variety of colours with RGB strips, an RGB controller is required. This drives the strip via 4 wires and these are for the Red LED’s, the Green LED’s, the Blue LED’s and a common wire V+. The RGB controller is the “brain” of the lighting system and requires a 12V/24V power supply (psu) – sometimes referred to as the driver. It is important to use the appropriate power supply – use a 12V psu for 12V strips and a 24V psu for 24V strips to avoid damage.
The configuration above is for a small set-up using a single 5m LED strip. Most noteworthy, these small kits are easy to assemble and relatively low cost. As a result they are becoming a must-have item in today’s high-tech world of gadgets.
These fall into 2 categories – mains voltage and low voltage. The mains voltage types are usually BC (Bayonet Connector – standard UK light fitting), ES (Edison screw) or GU10 (stubby pins shown below). Almost all of these are available with a remote control to allow setting of the colour, brightness and dynamic modes.
Low voltage versions are almost either MR16 (fine pins) or the 4-wire types that connect to an RGB controller in the same way an RGB strip does.
In conclusion, we can see that RGB lights can take on many forms, diversity is certain to increase – the sky is the limit – literally!