23rd November
written by Todd Harrison

Model name: Symphony of Lights

Made by: Brite Star

15 C9 type RGB LED strand

7 colors and 3 flash patterns.

Each set has 15 lights at 12 inch spacing in a 15 foot strand. You can connect 30 sets for 450 feet on a single outlet using just 8.4 watts per set.

The “symphony of lights” set was quite amazing and I really loved them. I didn’t care for the lack of weather proofing but in AZ that is not such an issue. The construction was quite horrible, built down to a price I guess. But the lights looked great and the patterns were just right, except for the random twinkle pattern which wasn’t random at all.

I liked how bright the lights were but I did get some complaints they were too bright and hurt the eyes. It would have been nice to have a dimmer option that lowered the duty cycle to reduce the brightness especially indoors were they might be in ones range of vision a lot. Or maybe better diffuser crystals with a bit of frosting would reduce that sharp bright point of LED light yet not reduce the overall intensity / glow.

The optical coupling was genius! I couldn’t test it with just one strand, but I can’t imagine a reason it wouldn’t work just fine.

I would have liked to see the control box wireless or on a longer extension so the lights could be up high and the controller still in reach. It took me a while to realize the extra wires on this set were just an extension cord for the next strand and had no electrical connection to the current strand. Many people will not know the first strand has to have both plugs connected to power in order for the downstream lights to work. Not intuitive and not in the manual.

These lights are amazing for hackers. You can get to all 15 LED RGB boards, the control board as well as the sycn module so the sky is the limit with these. The price, just after the holidays, is quite nice for this set and you could unsolder all the RGB boards and make just about anything once the protocol is reverse engineered.

Overall I give this set a thumbs up for indoor use and hackers but the verdict is still out for outdoor use.

Link: Intro review blog posting on this 3 review set

UPDATE: (Jan 7th 2014) Looks like another blogger created some code to control these lights from an Arduino! http://blog.hmpg.net/2014/01/walgreens-15-c9-multi-color-light-show.html

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