Really Big Bulbs (RBBs)

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Really Big Bulbs

What are Really Big Bulbs?   They are really big plastic bulbs in the shape of traditional C9 Christmas light bulbs.  They were sold by a number of different retailers in 2018, 2019 and 2020.  Depending on where you bought them, they came in two formats; electrical with one incandescent C7 bulb inside, and battery powered with two LED bulbs inside.  

 

We bought ours at Home Depot and, because we wanted to convert them to RGB pixels so we could control them, we bought only the white colored ones.

Element Details

How We Converted Them

Converting the RBBs to RGB

A lot of folks bought these to convert them so you'll be able to find lots of conversations in the forums about how best to light them.  I've seen where folks have installed a single bullet node, five bullet nodes, and some bought specialty nodes from China specifically for the task.  It all comes down to how much light you want to have in your RBB and whether you want to be able to flicker your RBB (which would require multiple controllable pixels).  We tried some of the different options that we already owned and chose the one shown at the right.  Flickering wasn't required and three RGBs seemed to be an acceptable brightness.  It was an added plus that the square node shown happened to fit perfectly into the RBB's plastic housing.

Pixel - Triple

Our Choice

Four RBBs Connected

We had the requirement of being able to use each RBB separately or to connect them together as part of a continuous string for sequencing and controlling.  To meet this requirement, we configured each RBB with an input and output pigtail.  We used a five foot xConnect extension that we cut in half.  The final product results in the ability to connect multiple RBBs with about 4.5 feet spacing.  The diagram to the left shows four RBBs connected together.

Our Bulb Diagram

How we Wired the RBB

The diagram at the right shows how we wired the RBB to meet our requirements.   Please observe the following in the diagram:

  • The input/output pigtails (halves of the original xConnect 5' extension) have three wires.  We define the wires as follows:

    • Red = Positive

    • Black = Negative

    • Green = Data

  • We used a short piece of a 4 wire extension  to enable us to handle power into and data into and out of the pixel.  We used the wires as:

    • Red = Positive

    • Black = Negative

    • Yellow = Data IN (to the pixel)

    • Green = Data OUT (to the next pixel)

  • The 3 RGB square node.  We used the center hole to attach the node to the RBB housing.

  • The Power (Pos/Neg) are passed straight through to the next pixel as well as being diverted to the current pixel.  

RBB Wiring Diagram

How We Display Them

Since the RBBs were designed with a hook for hanging, we hang ours from Shepherd's Crooks.  We've seen other folks 3D printing ground stakes that allow them to display theirs in a bulb facing upward manner.

Want more information?

If you'd like more information, or have questions, about how we converted our RBBs, use the Contact Us page and we'll be happy to help.

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