The last days I have done some testing using DMX-equipment to control the lighting and the sound on the layout, with promising result.
Earlier I have decided to use LED-strips for the layout lighting, WarmWhite bright LED-strips for the main layout lighting, a Blue LED-strip for the night-"light" and several RGB LED-strips to create the change between day and night + many other effects, like thunder and lighting. And I want to use a PC to control it and sync light and sound.
I have done some test with a RGB-driver using PC serial port and my own software, but have now started to look into use product using the DMX-protocol. DMX-equipment is widely used in Theater and show business to control lights, but the price can be a challenge. But, eBay is your friend and when searching for shops in Hong Kong and China, I have found exactly what I need, cheap RGB-controllers. Combined with many free software options, I have started to play with it. Example items on ebay: DXM > RGB LED Controller, PX24506, Type2. DMX > USB interface.
I am in the process checking different software, and at the moment the most promising is PC-Dimmer2012, which let me setup different shows, controlling light and sound. Another good solution is DMXControl, but it crash at the moment on my PC. A few other I have tested and work with my USB to DMX interface is the following: StageConsole, Freestyler, AbueLites ++. I will also test JMRI to be used with DMX.
My testsetup with the USB to DMX interface, a RGB LED-controller and a LED Strip, all controlled by PC-Dimmer.
The layout will have the following light channels(for now :-) ):
• DMX LED controller #1 12V/6A
Channel 01: 1 channel UV LED lights/black light
Channel 02: 1 channel strobe control, ligthning effect
Channel 03: 1 channel spare
• DMX LED controller #2 12V/9A
Channel 04: 1 channel layout main warm white LED strip
Channel 05: 1 channel layout main blue LED strip
Channel 06: 1 channel layout room lighting warm white LED strip
• DMX LED controller #3 12V/9A
Channel 07-09: 3 channels Backlight Group #1 between backdrop and layout - RGB LED strip
• DMX LED controller #4 12V/9A
Channel 10-12: 3 channels Backlight Group #2 between backdrop and layout - RGB LED strip
• DMX LED controller #5 12V/9A
Channel 13: 1 channel lights inside buildings
Channel 14: 1 channel backdrop window cut out lights
Channel 15: 1 channel street lights