The modular niftylight system enables you to setup and control light-sources quickly and easily with cost effectiveness in mind. It provides everything to fulfil standard lighting tasks or to realize complex and extraordinary setups with least efforts.
A simple Example
This figure shows the most simple setup:
- Server (PC)
- Standard PC hardware or embedded system
- The server prepares brightness values for each illumination element (e.g. one LED) from the frame input and feeds it to the controller hardware.
- any frame input can be used (e.g. video-grabber / camera, audio-visualization, movie-file, scroll text, etc.)
- colorspace conversion, brightness / contrast / saturation / gamma correction etc possible
- The adapter hardware (niftylino USB-Adapter, DMX controller, 3rd-party controller) translates data & sends it to the light-sources.
- Combinations of different protocols (e.g. DMX, ArtNet, DALI, MIDI, etc.) therefore are easily possible.
- Power supply
- Most hardware uses some sort of external power-supply. For most niftylight LED-modules you can use 7-24V DC power-supplies. You may choose the kind of power-supply according to your space-requirements, thermal conditions or budget.
- LED-Modules, high-power LEDs, wall-washers, spotlights etc.
- Different lighting hardware (e.g. white-LEDs, RGB-LEDs, different LED pixel-pitches, etc.) can be combined easily.
More complex example
You can connect multiple controllers / light-source chains to a single server. Additionally you may also use multiple servers to share load or interconnect setups with different physical locations.
- Input hardware
- Motion detector detects amount of movement in a room
- Camera delivers frame-image at 25 fps
- SMS gateway converts incoming SMS to text
- Servers control everything
- niftylight USB-adapter & DMX controller
- LED-display shows post-processed camera image with nice filters according to movement inside room
- LED-scrollbar shows nice antialiased incoming SMS-messages as ticker
- Accent lights illuminate environment according to movement (e.g. fast/flashy when there's a lot of movement, dim/gloomy when there is little movement)
there is literally no limitation for your light-installation.
As creator and/or processor of the visual data for all light sources, one or more servers are used. Depending on your requirements, a dedicated embedded system (small, low power consumption, mobile, ...) can be used. Also a standard off-the-shelf PC (cost effective, high load capacity, ...) can be turned into a niftylight-server using the niftylight software suite.
All light sources are connected to the server using appropriate adapter hardware (niftylight USB-Adapter, DMX-Controller, ...) and thus receive their target-brightness from the server.
For interactive setups, input-devices can be connected to the server. It's also possible to use remote input-devices connected to other network PCs.
To accomplish all this, the server runs the niftylight software suite:
- open source (thus completly customizable)
- runtime loadable plugin-mechanism (easily intergrate custom hardware)
- configuration cross-platform GUI (local or remote via network)
The main task of the niftylight software suite is to:
- get the image-data from one or more pixel-sources
- map the data to configured light sources
- and to send the post-processed brightness-data to the hardware adapters (which can use various interface types/protocols to control connected light-sources).
To translate data and/or send it to the light-sources, some kind of adapter is needed. This can be a niftylight USB-Adapter for niftylight products or 3rd-party Adapters (e.g. for DMX Products, X10, Midi-Devices etc.)
All PC interfaces can be used for interfacing lighting devices:
- Parallel Printer Port
- Custom I/O Hardware
Depending on the hardware adapter, various physical datalinks & protocols can be used. The datalink used by niftylight hardware uses standard Cat5 ethernet-cables. Other advantages are:
- galvanic decoupling (thus complex power-supply arrangements possible)
- compatible to a wide range of lighting devices (combine different hardware)
- low-cost USB-Adapter available
There are multiple ways lighting devices are powered. For niftylight lighting devices multiple power-supply choices are possible:
- DCDC Converters (7-24V) for efficient & cost effective supply by battery or external power-supplies
- ACDC Converters (230V) for easy daisy-chain cabling
- various connectors possible (DC-Jack, cable clamps, screw-joints, ...)
Depending on what Adapter-Hardware is used, nearly every illumination device can be controlled.
- LED clusters of various resolutions, sizes, shapes and different LED types
- white LEDs (grayscale), RGB (full color) or other subpixel arrangements possible
- irregular pixel-arrangements possible due to mapping mechanism
- 1 channel devices (single LEDs or dimming)
- D/A 0-10V analog output to control custom stage hardware
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