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Channel Switchers

-A break in the typical Q&A style-

We here at HitLights know we aren’t the only name in LEDs, and you’re a smart shopper, you’ve checked around and maybe your LED setup is a bit of a mixed bag, and that’s okay. Whether every LED product you’ve ever owned is a HitLights original or you’re just looking to learn up on some LEDs, we want to help you.

Most RGB LED Strip Lights and accessories work together pretty well, most of them understand the same “language” so to speak. Every now and then though you might pick up a strip light that just doesn’t seem to mesh right with the other LEDs you’ve come to love. Read the rest of this entry »

1. What kind of LED do you recommend for Accent Lighting?

Ah accent lighting, a classic LED application, I recommend our 3528 LED light strips, but exactly what kind of 3528…that’s right! Depends on your project. Honestly, I should rename this series “Depends on your Project,” shouldn’t I? Anyway, as for finding which 3528 is best for you, it’s as easy as figuring out what you want to accent. If you’re looking to show off traditional styles with wood and softer features, then warm white strips are gonna be your choice. Now if modern is your thing, with stone and metal, then cool white will accent perfectly. Lastly, if you need to accent a party or other high energy gathering of pals and buddies, the RGB is more in line with your needs!

2. I need a brighter light for my workbench/craft area, do you have anything really bright?

Do we have anything really bright, frankly I’m hurt that you felt the need to ask. Yeah, we’ve got bright lights, bright lights for any application you could imagine. Our very brightest option is S35 Sunrise strips, seriously, these lights are bright as can be, trust me. Now if those are a bit too much, then we have a few other options. For a workbench/craft area you probably don’t need a full sixteen feet of light. If you do, send us some pictures because that’s a workstation we’re envious of. But if you don’t have an entire hobby shop in your home, then odds are a Light Bar should be a great fit for your work bench. They’re easily mounted and provided very even, bright light.

3. Can I put your lights in my pool? If so, which ones should I use.

Not all of our lights, in fact I’m going to discourage you from plugging in any lamps in your pool. LED bulbs or not, electricity and water aren’t a fun mix. Thankfully, we’ve got waterproof LED Strip Lights that we made just for you! Want to just brighten up your pool for a night swim? Try our waterproof 3528 HD Strip Light. Now if you’re having a pool party, or a garden soiree then hook up some waterproof dreaming strips to provide just the right kind of party light! We even offer Waterproof RGB Easy-Plug Kits!

4. I don’t need to submerge my lights but they need to stand up to the weather. What’s my LED?

Ask and ye shall receive! Weatherproof strips were designed with just your thought in mind! They’re perfect for anywhere that might be more high traffic or a bit more dangerous to a normal LED Strip. These bad boys are resistant to rain, wind, dirt, mild bumps, fog, cockroaches, brooms, and more! These strips are perfect for under eave lighting, kitchen applications, bathrooms, really anywhere that could be wetter than dry, but not wet as water, if you catch my drift. Weatherproof strips come in both Cool and Warm White, and Multicolor, we’ve got a Weatherproof Strip for you!

5. I want to use LED light strips but don’t like the look of them. What should I use?

Fair enough, everyone has their own aesthetic opinions and you’re certainly entitled to yours, and we came up with a solution to your conundrum: Aluminum channels. What the channels do is hide all but the light of your strip from sight by providing a sleek and slim fit around the LED Strip Light with a white diffuser, think of it like a snappy suit your light would wear to a fancy dinner party hosted by dignitaries for high class people, just like your Strip Light.

Thanks for reading this installment of our troubleshooting series, we truly hope it has been helpful. Have a question we haven’t answered yet? contact us at cole@hitlights.com and we’ll do our best to answer it in the next installment. Please remember that our customer service staff (customerservice@hitlights.com) is happy to assist you with any and all of your concerns, questions, and suggestions. If you want to call and talk with us, well that’s just fine too – (225)-304-0408!

The Troubleshooting Series is published on Fridays, please have questions submitted by the Wednesday beforehand if you want it answered in the next installment.

1. For amplifiers, is it better to have a lot of small adapters or one big one?

As I often find myself saying in these TSS’s, it really comes down to the project. I can’t give you a hard and fast rule that you should always follow, but I can give guidelines that should steer you down the right path! Getting to your question though, the deciding factor for a lot of customers is how many outlets you’ll have available for your project. If you have a lot of wall outlets to plug into, then using a small adapter for each amplifier is probably your best option! On the other hand, if outlets are limited, a big and beefy adapter is gonna be your best bet.

2. So you could wire amplifiers to the original power source?

Sure you can! Just make sure of a few things before you run off and put your whole project together. First thing to check, your adapter will need to be able to handle ALL your lights. I know that should be a “duh” statement, but things slip people’s minds all the time, so better safe than sorry. Also, since you’ll be needing amplifiers, you’ll have to make sure that you have the wiring necessary to connect your amplifiers all the way back to your original power source. We don’t want you to get everything set up then realize your wiring is a foot short and won’t reach back to the adapter!

3. What if I have both High Density and Regular strips together?

You can follow the same rules addressed in part one, 1:1 amplifiers to High Density strips, 1:2 amplifiers to regular density strips. However, if you’re using the lights in lengths that are less than sixteen feet at a time or are alternating HD, RD, HD, etc. things can get a bit more complicated. In situations like that trial and error is more effective than a hard rule. So if you’re gonna be mixing and matching the HD and RD strips then it’s better to use amplifiers where you see your strips begin to dim so that you can fine tune your project to you!

4.  Do light bars need amps?

It may come as a surprise, but yes they do! Well, actually, you’re asking about it, so maybe it wasn’t a surprise to you…Anywho! It is a much less common concern seeing as the light bars are so much shorter than their strip light companions. However, just like the strips, they do need amplifiers, one per sixteen light bars! So remember, if you’ve got that many light bars all in the same chain, you’ll need an amplifier if you want to keep extending the light chain!

5. If I use more amps than needed will that improve quality?

I like your thinking, and in this case, you’re totally correct, more amps than needed will improve quality…a bit. It’s actually so little of an improvement you probably wouldn’t be able to tell with your human eyes. So we don’t recommend using more amps than needed. Just stick to the 1:1 HD ratio and 1:2 RD ratio and you’ll be golden.

Thanks for reading this installment of our troubleshooting series, we truly hope it has been helpful. Have a question we haven’t answered yet? contact us at cole@hitlights.com and we’ll do our best to answer it in the next installment. Please remember that our customer service staff (customerservice@hitlights.com) is happy to assist you with any and all of your concerns, questions, and suggestions. If you want to call and talk with us, well that’s just fine too – (225)-304-0408!

The Troubleshooting Series is published on Fridays, please have questions submitted by the Wednesday beforehand if you want it answered in the next installment.

1.  Why would I need an amplifier for my LED Light strips?

For simple projects, odds are you don’t need an amplifier! Here’s the thing though about LED strip lights, running a lot of them together (regular or high density) can result in some dimming along the line. What the amplifiers do is ensure consistent color, clarity, and especially brightness for your installations! For regular density strips we recommend an amplifier after every two spools (or thirty-two feet, it’s the same, we swear) as the further your lights get from their power source the more likely they are to experience dimming. Now if you’re using high density strips, you’ll need to use amplifiers more frequently, twice as frequently to be exact. For every high density strip you use after the first one, you’ll need an amplifier. So your setup would be HD strip, amp, HD strip, amp, HD strip, etc. Think of it like a big LED sandwich.

2.  How do I set them up?

Read the rest of this entry »

Round 2! A counterpart to Last Week’s TSS

 

R108 Controller 1. How do I sync an R108 remote to an R108 receiver?

Kicking things off simple and standard, great opening question. First things first, you’ll want to unplug your R108 receiver. Trust me! I know that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense right now, but hang tough, it’ll all come together shortly. Next step, plug the receiver back in. Now quick! Within five seconds of plugging the receiver in, press and hold the “Speed+” and “Speed-” brightness buttons. See, I told you it would make sense if you gave it a chance! Last step, check and make sure your LEDs flash a few times to report a successful synchronization.

2. How many R108 receivers can I synchronize together?

We’ve run the tests, double checked the numbers, fired the first set of testers, promptly rehired them, tested again, and now we can answer you. At least ten receivers can be synchronized together. However, that isn’t to say that more receivers aren’t possible. As far as we know, you could sync all the receivers in existence together if you have the patience. Sadly, that’s not something we’ve done. What does that mean for you though? It means that all the receivers you do have synchronized together can be turned on or off and dimmed or brightened together!

3. Why when I hit the power button do some receivers turns on and others turns off?

Read the rest of this entry »

R106 Controller1. How do I sync an R106 remote to an R106 receiver?

Kicking things off simple and standard, great opening question. First things first, you’ll want to unplug your R106 receiver. Trust me! I know that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense right now, but hang tough, it’ll all come together shortly. Next step, plug the receiver back in. Now quick! Within five seconds of plugging the receiver in, press and hold the “25%” and “100%” brightness buttons. See, I told you it would make sense if you gave it a chance! Last step, check and make sure your LEDs flash a few times to report a successful synchronization.

2. How many R106 receivers can I synchronize together?

We’ve run the tests, double checked the numbers, fired the first set of testers, promptly rehired them, tested again, and now we can answer you. At least ten receivers can be synchronized together. However, that isn’t to say that more receivers aren’t possible. As far as we know, you could sync all the receivers in existence together if you have the patience. Sadly, that’s not something we’ve done. What does that mean for you though? It means that all the receivers you do have synchronized together can be turned on or off and dimmed or brightened together!

3. Why when I hit the power button do some receivers turns on and others turns off?

Odds are, some lights were already turned on when the others got synchronized, it’s a common problem and happens a lot when people sync for the first time. To resolve the issue, press the power button some strips are turned on and the others are turned off. Then unplug the receivers that are turned off. Now press the power button again to turn them all off. With everything turned off, plug all the receivers back in. Finally, hit the power button and all your lights should come on together!

4. How far away can I be from my receivers?

A first down in football, sixty percent of the distance you should dig a latrine from your camp site, three stories, 4.235 Shaquille O’Neals laying end to end, what I’m trying to say here is thirty feet. Hopefully you learned at least one cool fact about thirty feet, I’m betting it was the latrine one, you could probably assume around four Shaqs would be thirty feet. Anyway, you can also use your remote through walls, as long as they aren’t made of metal, not even Shaq can work through walls, but your R106 can!

Thanks for reading this installment of our troubleshooting series, we truly hope it has been helpful. Have a question we haven’t answered yet? contact us at cole@hitlights.com and we’ll do our best to answer it in the next installment. Please remember that our customer service staff (customerservice@hitlights.com) is happy to assist you with any and all of your concerns, questions, and suggestions. If you want to call and talk with us, well that’s just fine too – (225)-304-0408!

The Troubleshooting Series is published on Fridays, please have questions submitted by the Wednesday beforehand if you want it answered in the next installment.

1. Are all of your light bulbs dimmable?

I can’t say they all are because that would be a lie, and I’m sure you’d rather hear the truth. However, most of our bulbs are dimmable, so rejoice! I could break down the list of dimmable vs. non dimmable here, but every bulb listed on our website will point out whether that bulb is or is not dimmable. So if there’s a bulb you like, give its page a check, odds are it’ll be dimmable! I wish all of our bulbs were dimmable, but making LEDs compatible with AC dimmers is a difficult, and expensive, endeavor. This is because LEDs require special components to dim their light evenly when hooked up to AC dimmers. Now while most of our bulbs are dimmable they may not work with all dimmers and fixtures. If you find that to be the case after receiving your order, contact us! We’ll be happy to work things out with you!

Leviton's website has a page just for LED-compatible dimmers!

Leviton’s website has a page just for LED-compatible dimmers!

2. What kind of dimmers are best to use with dimmable bulbs?

Best is always going to vary from project to project, but two popular dimmer brands are Lutron and Leviton. These brands are compatible with most, but not all, dimmable LED bulbs so picking one of them should work for you! As for dimmers in general though, LED bulbs tend to have a few issues with digital dimmers and some early model incandescent dimmers, so if possible try and avoid them. The good news is that most LED bulbs will work with the popular dimmers that are being sold right now. Like I mention above though, if your HitLights bulbs don’t work with your dimmers, send them back in seven days for a full refund and we’ll work out the problem together!

The remote control for color-changing LED light bulbs can control the brightness!

The remote control for color-changing LED light bulbs can control the brightness!

3. Can I dim bulbs with a remote? or an App?

Yes! Kind of! While our LED bulbs don’t off super sci-fi space tech integration with smart phone/tablet apps yet, we’re pretty sure that not too far down the road that’ll be a pretty standard feature. However, all of our color changing LED bulbs do use a remote control for dimming! So there’s that kind of I mentioned a couple sentences back. For now, instances of wireless dimming are few and sort of far between, but science is on it, and science won’t let you down.

4. Do dimmable bulbs last longer?

Dimmable bulbs in general don’t tend last too much longer than their non-dimming counterparts. While it is true that the dimmable bulbs are built with more expensive components, they have the same ball park lifespan as our regular bulbs, around fifty thousand hours. So while the dimmable bulbs last about as long as non-dimmable bulbs, they still last an incredibly long time.

5. How dim can a dimmable LED bulb get?

Led Bulbs can get so dim…wait, I don’t think that’s a reference anyone will get anymore. Anyway, Dimmable LED bulbs don’t exactly slide comfortably up and down the zero to one hundred percent scale. Dimmable LED bulbs can only dim down to around twenty-five or thirty percent brightness, any lower and most simply shut off. So unfortunately  your LEDs won’t dim down to just a glowing ember, but twenty-five percent is still pretty darn dim if I do say so myself.

Thanks for reading this installment of our troubleshooting series, we truly hope it has been helpful. Have a question we haven’t answered yet? contact us at cole@hitlights.com and we’ll do our best to answer it in the next installment. Please remember that our customer service staff (customerservice@hitlights.com) is happy to assist you with any and all of your concerns, questions, and suggestions. If you want to call and talk with us, well that’s just fine too – (225)-304-0408!

The Troubleshooting Series is published on Fridays, please have questions submitted by the Wednesday beforehand if you want it answered in the next installment.

http://gfycat.com/ConcreteEvenCirriped

1. What do I need to set up a hard wire adapter?

Before you even get the necessary supplies together we need to cover safety. I know, I know, you’ve heard this all before. That’s great that you know how to be safe, but like the adage goes, better safe than sorry. Whenever you’re working with wires always make sure that no power is flowing through them. While yes, DC power is much safe and can be carefully handled, it never hurts to be extra cautious. Now that we’ve gone over safety yet again, let’s talk about what you’ll need to hard wire a power adapter. The list is pretty short actually, so no need to fret! You’ll need an adapter (obviously!) of any size (sixty watts, one hundred and fifty watts, three hundred and fifty watts, all fine!) In addition to your adapter get yourself an AC cable, two or three pronged will do (I suggest three, as they are safer.) A pack of male DC plugs (strip to male plug adapters) will round out the list.

2. How do I hook up my AC power on my adapter? ground

First thing’s first, get the brown wire on your AC cable. You’re gonna want to connect this to the L (live) port on your adapter. The next step is very similar, almost the same honestly. Take the blue wire on your AC cable and connect it to the N (neutral) port of your adapter. Now if you’re using the three pronged cable like I suggested, there’s one more wire you need to deal with, the striped wire. Hook this last wire up to the ground port, easily identified by the grounding symbol seen to the left. If you happen to be hard wiring a weatherproof adapter, then this whole step is as easy as matching the wire colors up!

3. How do I hook up my DC power on my adapter?

These steps are very simple, practically the same as hooking up the AC power to your adapter. Take the red wire from your DC plug (a strip to male plug adapter) and connect it to one of the V+ ports on your adapter. Then connect the black wire on your DC plug to a V- port on your adapter. Super easy, and if you’re using a weatherproof adapter it’s once again even easier. Just like with hooking up AC power, just match the colors for a weatherproof adapter!

4. My adapter is setup correctly, but my lights won’t come on. What’s happening?  Meanwell 350W Adapter Front

I’m sorry to hear that, have you tried politely asking it to work? If that doesn’t work we can try to actually trouble shoot your issue. If you’re using one of our one hundred and fifty or three hundred and fifty watt adapters then the solution could be pretty simple. These adapters come with a switch that toggles the power between two hundred and thirty or one hundred and fifteen volts. The former option is not at all common in the US and probably won’t provide you any power, so just flip that switch over to one fifteen and the green light that indicates power flow should come on! If that doesn’t work, contact our customer support at customerservice@hitlights.com or (225)-304-0408 and we’ll be happy to help you!

5. I want to use a hard wire adapter outdoors, what are my options?

Weatherproof and waterproof adapters are always options to consider. Our sixty and one ninety-two watt adapter models are also fine for outdoor use as well, though you’ll want to heat shrink the AC and DC plug connections beforehand.MEANWELL Waterproof Power Transformer Adapter (Bare Wire) Our one fifty and three fifty models aren’t designed with the great outdoors in mind, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them! If you keep them in covered areas or other protected spaces you can be okay. There’s also weatherproof wiring boxes on the market that could help you out. Just make sure whatever these adapters are powering is also designed to operated outdoors too!

Thanks for reading this installment of our troubleshooting series, we truly hope it has been helpful. Have a question we haven’t answered yet? contact us at cole@hitlights.com and we’ll do our best to answer it in the next installment. Please remember that our customer service staff (customerservice@hitlights.com) is happy to assist you with any and all of your concerns, questions, and suggestions. If you want to call and talk with us, well that’s just fine too – (225)-304-0408!

The Troubleshooting Series is published on Fridays, please have questions submitted by the Wednesday beforehand if you want it answered in the next installment.

Dreaming LED Light Strip1. What the heck is a Dreaming Strip?

You know our color changing strips? Those are pretty neat, aren’t they? They sure are, they sure are, but what if they were better? I know what you’re thinking, “That’s impossible, my color changing LEDs are the Bee’s Knees! All the fellas at the soda fountain said they were far out!” Cool it daddy o, all that’s still true, but these Dreaming strips are still much, much cooler. For starters, check out this video then tell me they aren’t top notch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST3I9SdjHww What did I tell you huh, they’re about as cool as they come. Let’s review how these strips compare to regular color changing strips in hardware, shall we? The Dreaming Strip comes in the standard 16.4 foot long spool as our other strips. Here’s where they get fancy though, with the Dreaming strips waterproof comes standard. That’s right, these strips are IP67 by default, meaning there’s no project these strips aren’t right for! In addition to the static color’s that any color changing strip has, these strips have ninety nine, that’s one less than a hundred, different animations.

2. How many can I string together?

Oh did you think I was done listing all the awesome features of the Dreaming Strip? Because I’m not. Dreaming strips have amplifiers built in, so no more worrying about how many amplifiers you need, because the answer is zero. What that means is that as long as you have sixty watts of power for each spool, you can string these bad boys together INDEFINITELY. Now that gives you a few options for power adapters, you can either plug in a sixty watt power source after every strip, which is fine for smaller projects or when you’ve got ready access to outlets. Another option is to go big and use a three hundred and fifty watt adapter for every six strips, which is great for large installations or if you’re planning to expand the project later. However, it’s serious overkill if you’re only using a couple strips, which you’re still totally free to do.

3. Can I cut these together and reconnect them?

Can you cut and reconnect the strips? Yes, technically it is totally possible to do. Should you? We here at Hitlights don’t recommend it. If you’re an electrician or electrical engineer or other professional then if you proceed with the utmost caution then you should be alright. Just always remember that we always suggest to think of safety first when working with wiring and other electrical components. Our dreaming strips are more sensitive than the other strips we offer, which is the reason why we protect them with the waterproof silicon sleeve in the first place. So please remember to treat your dreaming strips with care and caution, as while they have a lot of protection, it’s because they need it.

4. How should I mount a dreaming strip?

While mounting suggestions can change based on the specificity of different projects, we can offer a few suggestions that you are more than welcome to heed or ignore. Simple solutions that work for the majority of projects will always be Hitlights Mounting Clips or zip-ties. If you forgot about mounting when you ordered your dreaming strip, zip-ties are life saver, simple to use and the hold they offer is rock solid. If you dont have an area you can screw into for the mounting clips, or no where to wrap a zip-tie around, silicon adhesive is gonna be your next go to. Another great use of the silicon adhesive is seamless installs. That way when you’re showing off your finished project, all your LED admirers will see is the light.

5. Can I customize the animations?

What? you’ve got ninety-nine problems and they’re all of our animations? Being serious, unfortunately you can’t customize them, the animations are what they are. Really though, there are ninety-nine different animations, surely you like at the bare minimum at least eighty or ninety of the animations.

Thanks for reading this installment of our troubleshooting series, we truly hope it has been helpful. Have a question we haven’t answered yet? contact us at cole@hitlights.com and we’ll do our best to answer it in the next installment. Please remember that our customer service staff (customerservice@hitlights.com) is happy to assist you with any and all of your concerns, questions, and suggestions. If you want to call and talk with us, well that’s just fine too – (225)-304-0408!

The Troubleshooting Series is published on Fridays, please have questions submitted by the Wednesday beforehand if you want it answered in the next installment.

NBIA & LBTC

Last week, Hitlights and the other incubator companies of the Louisiana Business and Technology Center hosted a facility tour for the NBIA’s 28th International Conference on Business Incubation. But wait, what’s…

The NBIA?

The National Business Incubator Association is an international organization that help companies in the early stages of development get on their feet through educational and networking assistance. With nearly a third of the countries in the world represented in the NBIA, they describe themselves as, “the world’s leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship.”

Why Hitlights?

NBIA5839“Wait, wait, wait, why was Hitlights involved with this incubator tour? I thought you were already an established LED lighting business?” While we are a leading LED lighting supplier, Hitlights got it’s start as one of LSU’s first student incubator businesses. After completing the program, we decided to stick close to home and set up shop in the Louisiana Business and Technology Center in LSU’s Innovation Park. So far, we’ve done pretty well for ourselves in the LBTC. Upon learning that the LBTC would be hosting some of the NBIA’s International Conference, we jumped at the opportunity to take part!

The Tour

NBIA5854While the NBIA’s 28th annual conference ended on Wednesday, May 21, Hitlights and the other incubator companies in the LBTC weren’t done just yet. On Thursday, May 22, many of the conference’s attendees returned to the LBTC for a tour of the offices to further network with the successful businesses. Like a big professional open house, the LBTC businesses threw open their doors to receive the conference attendees and talk with them about the work they do. Hitlights’ Business Development Manager, Casey Self, was our liaison to the attendees and gave them an overview of how things work and how HitLights brings LED lighting solutions to everyone.

HitLights is a leading U.S. LED lighting manufacturer and distributor. Hitlights has recently gained tremendous popularity due to our products’ low energy-consumption, long lifespans and quality materials. Not only do we offer a wide variety of LED bulbs, light strips and accessories, we also offer fast and friendly customer service. Check out our LED lighting solutions at: www.hitlights.com.

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