Knowledge Base:  
Knowledge Base > Controller Related Information (RGB, DC and AC Based) --> Knowledge Base > Controller Related Information (RGB, DC and AC Based)
What Lighting Controller Do I Need?
Last Updated: 01/16/2019
HolidayCoro is often asked these common questions about how to select a holiday lighting controller:

  • What controller is right for my display?
  • Will XXX controller work for my display?
  • How many lights can I run from the XXX controller?
  • What controller will control this XXX?
  • What controller should I start with?
It is very common to make the assumption that when planning a display or element - start with the controller. The problem with that assumption is - it's wrong and here is why:

  • We sell a wide variety of controller types:
    • 4, 8, 16, 24, 32, 48 SPI Outputs
    • Controller Design
      • Distributed / Long Range / Differential - House outlines, arches, dispurse props
      • Centralized - Megatrees, matrix panels
    • 5 to 24 Volt pixels
    • Varying banks of output
    • Varying watts / amps per Output
    • Interfaces
      • Ethernet / E1.31
      • RS485 / E1.11
    • Smart / Dumb controller
    • Software driving the controller
    • Budget
    • Future uses
As a result, it is not possible to properly (and we try never to provide recommendations based solely on assumptions or guesses) provide a recommendation for a controller until the following information can be provided:
  • How many lights
  • The physical layout of the lights
    • For a specific element (e.g. megatree, 5v pixel nodes, 50 pixels tall by 16 vertical strands or snow flake with 100 12v pixel nodes)
    • Within the context of a group of elements (e.g. 4 arches, spaced in a single line, each arch is 12 volt 30/10 pixel strip of 50 pixels, controller in center of four arches, 1 ft gap between arches, arches are 8 feet wide)
    • The physical distance between elements connected to the same controller (4 snow flakes, one per output, snow flakes are 10ft, 20ft, 30ft and 40ft from controller location)
  • The voltage of the lights (5v, 12v)
  • Type of light (bulb, module, icicles, node, strip)
    • Sub type of light (Spacing between lights, 30/10 or 30/30 or 60/60, etc)
As you can see, the proper way to start a display design is not with a controller but with the Design, then the lights, THEN the controller. To learn more about the entire display design process, see our blog:

How helpful was this article in answering your question?

Comments / Feedback / Corrections (please, no questions):

Related Articles
 > DMX Programmer/Dongle Instructions
 > DC Controllers - Basics (Presentation)
 > Display Design (Presentation)
 > Death of the Grid (Object Oriented Sequencing or OOS)
 > Do HolidayCoro "Coro" type products come with lights?
 > How do you store coro items in the off-season?
 > Testing DMX output using your HolidayCoro DMX Programmer/Dongle (video)
 > Programming your HolidayCoro DMX Controller using your HolidayCoro Programmer/Dongle (video)
 > Why are there not exact numbers of holes for each channel / section?
 > Black or White Coro - Which is Best?
 > Using a Screen Recorder to document a PC based problem.
 > How we ship 4'x8' sheets of coro
 > What lighting controllers do your products work with?
 > Wiring Up and Programming your HolidayCoro DMX Controller (flow chart and videos)
 > Understanding DMX (presentation)
 > The Amazing World of Coro (presentation)
 > IP (Ingress Protection) Ratings
 > Customer Supplied Tools and Supplies
 > Warranty Periods and Policies for HolidayCoro Products
 > The meaning and definition of common terms and words used at
 > DIP Switch Addressing Chart
 > DMX + Power over CAT5 System Details
 > Smart / Intelligent Pixel Controllers Compatible with HolidayCoro Pixel Lights
 > Differences between Chip Protocols
 > Why HolidayCoro needs detailed information about your project
 > HolidayCoro PRE-SALE Dates, Status and Policies
 > I'm new to RGB Lighting - Where can I go for help?
 > Running Legacy RS485 Light-o-Rama Controllers and RS485 Based DMX (E1.11) and Ethernet Based (E1.31) DMX Controllers Together
 > Software Applications Supported by HolidayCoro Lighting Controllers
 > What Glue Gun Should I Use For My Coro Project?
 > Procedure for repair of a mid-span failure in pixels
 > Do HolidayCoro Controllers Work With Light-o-Rama Software
 > Pixel MegaTree "CCR" Strip Style Tree Construction Recommendations (Under Development)
 > EasyLights Controller and Cloud Support Page
 > RGB Arch Assembly Suggestions
 > What is the complete cost / What is required for a mini-light animated character?
 > The Color Of My RGB Lights Don't Match the Color on the Monitor
 > What is a Null Pixel and do I need them?
 > Wireless Networking Options for E1.31 and E1.11 Controllers
 > Why we don't list lumen ratings
 > Restoring Shape to a Waterproof Cable Male Threads or Female Nut Deformed Mis-shapen
 > Voltages and Plugs Available from HolidayCoro
 > EasyLights PIX16 Controller - Detailed Feature Listing
 > Why do HolidayCoro Pixels Turn Blue Sometimes?
 > Controller or Show Freezes
 > AlphaPix Evolution vs. HinksPix Pro
 > HinksPix Setup and Instructional Page
 > Light-o-Rama LOR CTB16PC Comparison with HolidayCoro AC Controllers
 > Stand Alone / Play on Controller Options for Holiday Displays
 > Sequencing Software Models for HolidayCoro Products
 > Are your controllers LOR Compatible?
 > MegaTree Pole, Guy Wire and Stake Construction Suggestions
 > PolyCromatic Coro Custom Printing - Customer Provided Graphics Recommendations
 > Troubleshooting: xLights Confirmation Capture