Stage Designs

Drips and Drops

The guys at Northwood Church in Gulfport, MS bring us this cool LED backdrop for their stage.

They wanted to emulate an LED strip wall with individual control of each pixel. This turned out to be doable, but incredibly expensive. They thought, maybe, they would just run long strips of RGB LED’s and control each strip, but that left them very limited in their lighting options. It was also still more expensive than they originally planned for. So they did a little more research and decided that what they really wanted was a system that they could set up their LED strips and run video to. This would eliminate the need for multiple universes at the lighting console and give them the ease and functionality they wanted. But does this kind of thing even exist? The answer is yes! And it’s not as expensive as you might think.

Here is their list of items: (All LED supplies are from
30 – 50 LED strip lights (1500 total pixels)
2 – 30 amp power supplies
16 – Power T-splitters
8 – Power Extension cables
1 – Total Control Lighting (TCL) C-8
2 – RJ45 to 4 Pin TCL output cables (one comes with the total control lighting unit.)
1 – 100′ CAT5 cable (they had this already)

They attached the LED’s to a frame they built out of 2×4’s and peg-board. Each 4’x8′ frame had a total of 5 – 50 LED strips. They had 6 frames totaling 1500 pixels. The pixels were space at 2 inches (skipping one hole in the peg-board) vertically and 10 inches horizontally. They used a 1/2 inch paddle to drill out each whole so that the pixels would fit properly. They left 2 pixels hanging from the top for ease of set-up. The LED’s needed a new power supply every 100 pixels.

The guy’s at have a great PDF illustrating how to set up power with the total control lighting system.

Once everything is set up and connected properly, you’ll need a PC running any video software to control the lights (they used ProPresenter). Along with the free software by CoolNeon to send a video directly to the LED wall. The heat lamps were just work lights that you can get at Home Depot.

They plan to put them on individual faders, but for now they are linked together. They are attached to a middle bar that’s attached to the LED frame from behind. Including the PC, frame build, heat lamps and LED supplies, this design came in at under $4000.00. They also have the ability to have as many as 131,072 pixels by adding new ports and TCL units to the LED network.

Finished Product

Heat Lamp Look

LED Wall 1

LED Wall 2

LED wall 4

LED Wall 5

Build 1

Build 2

Build 3

Build 4

Build 5

Build 6

Build 7

Build 8

Build 9

Finished Product

Heat Lamp Look

Heat Lamps 1

Heat Lamps 2

LED Wall 1

LED Wall 2

LED Wall 3 (bass)

LED wall 4

LED Wall 5

Win 2 Free Copies of Created for More Wrinkles and Ruffles

6 responses to “Drips and Drops”

  1. Thomas says:


    Firstly this is a fantastic design!! I’m just wondering if I’m correct in saying that you have used the realtime play function in conjunction with pro presenter(if not how did you do it)? What sort of videos are you using to play on it?

    Thanks, Thomas

    • Hi Thomas. That is correct. We use the realtime play function in conjunction with Pro5. We have thought about that if we were to move the design to a different room we can record up to four video loops to an SD card and play them back directly from the C-8-B unit.

  2. Danny Lopez says:

    This is insainely well done. My respects.

  3. Mark Humphrey says:

    How did you control the strips from ProPresenter?? What controller did you use?

    • Hey Mark.

      The guys at Cool Neon have a mirroring software that you install on a PC. You can use any software you wish after you’ve installed it. It takes whatever you have in the selected area of the screen and mirrors it, via Ethernet, to the LED wall.

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