Saturday, 9 February 2019

Philips Lightstrip Connections


Background

In order to connect hue lightstrips up in a flexible way, with easy to dismount connectors, and a simple way of making Y connections, I've connected a BT phone extension socket to the driver box.

This means that some soldering is necessary, but once completed, it is possible to use phone extension cables and splitters.



Ingredients

  • Philips Lightstrip+ 2m (Including controller unit)
  • BT Extension Cable (6 Wire)
  • Plug Adaptor
  • Socket Adaptor
  • Mouldable Polymorphic Plastic
  • White Heat Shrink Sleeving (~1.5mm and ~14mm)

Method

Controller

  1. Cut the socket part off the extension cable, leaving a length of at least 300mm
  2. Open the controller unit box, and de-solder the 6 wires connected to the C,R,G,B,W,VCC terminals.
  3. Using the BT socket / cable, strip the wire associated with pin 1 - if in doubt, connect the plug into the socket, and buzz out the connections.
  4. Use some fine heatshrink cable on the wire, which will protect it from melting when soldering.
  5. Solder the wire to the controller board (VCC)
  6. Repeat for the other 5 wires.

Cable to Lightstrip
  1. Cut the remaining part of the extension cable (with the plug) to the desired length
  2. Strip the wire associated with pin 1
  3. Use some fine heatshrink cable on the wire, which will protect it from melting when soldering.
  4. Solder the wire to a plug-in adaptor, or directly to a length of lightstrip.
  5. Repeat for the other 5 wires

Testing

  1. Connect the BT socket and plug together, and buzz through VCC on the lightstrip to pin 1 on the controller, and make sure they are connected
  2. Buzz pin 1 to pin 2, and make sure they are not connected
  3. Repeat for the other 5 pins

Closing Up

  1. Put the lid back on the controller, making sure that the new wire is adequately supported
  2. Using some polymorphic plastic, craft a connector body over the plug adaptor or the end of the lightstrip
  3. Slide a short length of white heatshrink sleeving over the new connector body, and shrink

You can now use BT splitter sockets and extension cables for your Philips Hue light strips.

Notes

Ensure 6-wire BT cables and splitters are used.  4-wire ones will be useless.
Philips Hue Lighstrip Plus uses 24V and has 6 connections.  
Some other lighstrips (including the older Philips Hue ones) use 12V, and 4 or 5 connecitons.
Don't get them muddled up.