October 26, 2021

Want to use a car’s headlights in your show? Here’s how!

Using different types of lights in your display that otherwise may not be used can add quite a bit of uniqueness to your show. One such light that you may choose to incorporate this season is a headlight.

The Headlights

The headlights that we are talking about today are easily found on Amazon. They are 12 volt flood spotlights. This means that they run off of 12 volt DC power which is the same exact power that you run your pixels on.

How To Control It

Once you have your flood light of choice hooked up to the 12 power the next step is figuring out how to control it within your show.

Relay Board

One of the easiest routes to take is to pick up a DMX circuit board from Amazon; this is called a relay board. What a relay is is an electronic component that is used to turn things on and off. To hook these up you will unpackage it and take a look at where the volt + and volt – is located. This is for a 12 volt input to power it. You will also see “k1” “k2” and “k3”. Next you will take a look at the wiring diagram included on Amazon and begin setting everything up.

Because your light can run straight off the power supply there is minimal setup. All you have to do is hook up your DMX on the proper side of the board where you will find the input, set your DMX address on the dipswitches, and then simply bring in your power on the relay. This will come directly off of the MEAN WELL. You just have to make sure that the power from the MEAN WELL is enough to power all of your intended lights.

The “k1” “k2” and “k3”

On the same terminal block where you have “k1” “k2” and “k3” labeled you will find that there are two of each. The first “k1” is the input signal and the second “k1” is the output. The power supply that goes into the terminal is simply just to power the terminal function. Then from that power supply of the terminal, it functions basically as a light switch between the power and the light.

You may find that for multiple lights this may be a little too tight so you may decide to come off of the power supply directly in that case.

Cable Glands

Cable glands are connectors that you can find on Amazon, much like everything else you may need! These specific connectors are for power. The cool thing about that is they have tiny screw terminals for three conductors. If they are not properly labeled make sure you take the time to double check yourself and ensure that you are connecting them correctly.

Closing

Once you have everything properly connected and hooked up you will be able to run the headlight easily for your display.

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