OpenSprinkler Forums Hardware Questions Can I use old sprinkler controller to power LED Malibu lights?

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #59927

    NikNak
    Participant

    Ok, So I’m cheap & like unique ideas. I bought a WiFi irrigation controller for irrigation & now have my old functioning 6-station controller that I want to use as a programmable Malibu LED light system.
    My questions:
    1. When the system sends a signal to the solenoid, is it sending power through the duration of the irrigation cycle, or is it an on/off signal?
    2. Since LEDs require so little power to energize, how would one w/o a voltmeter look to see if 4, 5 or 6 LEDs could be powered by each “station?”

    If this works….I’m also planning on setting vacation schedule indoor lights with my neighbor’s free old controller. Ya gotta love LEDs!

    • This topic was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by NikNak.
    #59932

    NikNak
    Participant

    I did talk to one irrigation supply company. The manager with a lot of gray hair(experienced), said that the Rainbird 6-station unit converts AC to 24V & will blow the Malibu LEDs that they sell since their LEDs are 12V…

    More research coming…

    #59939

    Mike
    Participant

    I don’t know anything about the Malibu LED light system and it’s not clear to me which irrigation controller you’re trying to use. But… This sounds like a simple matter of looking at the power requirements of the LED light system and matching it to the output capabilities of the irrigation controller. Assuming you’re trying to power the lights directly from the controller, some basic questions need to be answered: What voltage is required by the lights? Sounds like 12V. Is that 12V AC or DC? What is the amperage required by the lights? Once you have those questions answered, then you can compare to the output of the irrigation controller. Is it outputting the right number of volts in either AC or DC that the lights require? Will it be able to supply the needed number of amps? You should be able to find out this information by looking at the specs for the lights and comparing to the specs for the controller.

    If the controller isn’t outputting the right voltage or can’t supply the amperage needed then you’d probably be looking at having the controller control some sort of switch which turns the LEDs on/off instead of controlling them directly.

    #60406

    Ray
    Keymaster

    I would think 24VAC may be able to power 12VDC LEDs directly: because LEDs are diodes, they will block half of the AC waves. So a 24VAC RMS voltage becomes an effective 12V after passing through the LEDs. However, I am not sure about the reverse breakdown voltage of these LEDs — it might be quite low so they can’t withstand the large negative voltage incurred by 24VAC. Another possibility is to have two of these LED strips connected in series, so the 24VAC voltage gets spread on two 12VDC LED strips and that should much better address the breakdown voltage issue.

    #60597

    NikNak
    Participant

    Update:
    I spoke with a Malibu light factory guy who’s been in customer service for years. His info made sense.

    1. Your irrigation controller usually converts to 24V & most Malibu lights are 12V.
    2. He’s seen too many fires from improper connections & systems.
    3. The 24V output from the irrigation controller “could” cause an over amperage so a 5Amp fuse or breaker is recommended.

    My Summary:
    Being cheap is no reason to try & convert this…fires are expensive.

    #62132

    HattyCurll
    Participant

    Hi…get a alligator clip mini light from ace hardware and a 9v battery. Connect one lead to the + and one to the -. Go to other end of wire and clip the light to the corresponding tags. If it lights up, alls good, if not, yer fukt. Cost: $6.00 Keep doing this to all wires.

    printed circuit board

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by HattyCurll.
    #62178

    Ray
    Keymaster

    Keep in mind we also have DC-powered OpenSprinkler, which can run on a DC power adapter with output voltage anywhere between 7.5V DC to 12V DC. This can directly drive 12V DC LED strips.

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OpenSprinkler Forums Hardware Questions Can I use old sprinkler controller to power LED Malibu lights?