This FAQ answers some of the more common questions asked by our customers

How does a pixel system work?

The diagram below provides a basic overview of how a pixel system works. Typically a pixel controller such as the PixLite 16 Mk2 is controlled over ethernet via a PC running E1.31 or Art-net compatible lighting software (or a lighting desk). The controller decodes DMX-over-ethernet protocol and then outputs the data to the pixels using a protocol specific to the pixel type being controlled.

Pixel System Overview

How many pixels can a PixLite 16 Plug and Play Mk2 controller control?

The Plug and Play controller provides a fast, convenient and easy way to connect and control our high quality pixel strings in commercial applications. The enclosure itself is made of UV resistant, high-impact polycarbonate and features splash- proof air venting, internal 320W power supply, waterproof RJ45 connector and 16 x 250mm waterproof pigtail connectors for connection to lights.

A single PixLite 16 Plug and Play Mk2 controller can control up to a maximum of 16 of our standard series 50 node pixel strings (800 pixel nodes) or 16 of our Pro series 100 node pixel strings (1600 nodes). It can also contorl up to 10 of either our DCDC30 or DCDC60 pixel strips. These pixel limits are primarily due to the Plug and Play unit’s internal power supply capacity, not the data output capacity.

Can the PixLite 16 Plug and Play controller control my own lights?

Yes. We sell the mating male connectors in packs of 8 with pre-tinned ends; they will enable you to use our Plug and Play controllers with other types lights if desired. Please note:  it is your responsibility to ensure that the pixel lights you wish to control are supported by the controller, and that they comply with the rated voltage and current output specifications of the controller.

Do you sell the mating female pigtails for your pixel strings separately?

Yes, we supply the female pigtails separately in packs of  8 if you prefer to put the controller board in your own enclosure.

Will cutting the connectors off the strings void the warranty?

Yes. We are unable to honor warranty claims where the original product has been tampered with or altered in any way. We also reserve the right to void warranty if the product has not been used in accordance with the instructions/specs provided in the user manual and data sheet.

What's different about your pixel strings?

Our pixel LEDs are from tightly specified LED bins, so you can expect better overall performance and consistency in terms of their color emission spectra and lumen output than other cheaper alternatives. All of our standard pixels use a 12-bit data IC and the Pro series uses a 16-bit data IC, meaning both types support true gamma correction. This means that when used with our controller, they will represent colors more accurately to the human eye (richer and deeper tones) and significantly improve the linear dimming performance.

In addition, all our pixels are tested thoroughly for at least 8 hours on each individual color before passing the QC stage.

Finally, all our strings have been specifically engineered for commercial use and feature high pressure injection molded bases, high quality screw-up, waterproof connectors and thick 18 AWG wire. This ensures voltage drop is kept to a minimum, and that all LEDs receive the correct amount of current.

What is power injection and do I need it?

Typically power injection involves “injecting” new power into a strip or string of lights. This is necessary because of voltage drop that occurs along an extended length of pixel strip or string. It can be necessary in both, but is most commonly required when using strip because of the higher pixel density. If you are using a PixLite control board, then you may need to implement some form of power injection depending on how many pixels you want to control. The PixLite 16 Mk2 can output up to 16,320 RGB pixels (1020 pixels per individual output), however the board’s total current output is limited to 64A or 32A per bank (4A per individual output).

Thus if you wanted to control 1020 pixels in a single, continuous length of pixel strip for example, it would require much more than 4A of current (and voltage would drop would also be an issue after about 100 or so LEDs), making it necessary to inject more power at extra points along the strip. How often you need to inject power along a given length of strip or string will depend on the operating voltage, wire gauge, number of pixels (pixel density) and their individual current rating.

Below is a diagram of a typical power injection setup using a PixLite 16 Mk1 controller. Note that the DC ground of all power supplies used should be connected together to provide a single common ground reference. In addition to this, the positive output from each power supply should be isolated in order to avoid differing voltage potentials occurring across multiple power supplies, which could result in damage.

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