Product Guide: 6-Wide Lightbars with Integrated Effect Controller and Switch

Product Guide: 6-Wide Lightbars with Integrated Effect Controller and Switch

Warning to photosensitive users: some of the lightbar patterns use rapidly flashing lights.  People who are sensitive to flashing or pulsing lights should exercise caution when using these lightbars to select a lighting pattern that does not use rapidly flashing lights, and to avoid using the "random mode" (described below).  If using the lightbar at a convention, show, or other venue where visitors may also be photosensitive, it is advised to select a lighting pattern that does not use rapidly flashing lights, and to avoid using the "random mode".


This guide describes how to use the 6-stud-wide LED lightbar designed for use with LEGO® vehicles.  The lightbar is offered in three configurations:
  1. Blue transparent tiles with a white base
  2. Blue and red transparent tiles with a white base
  3. Orange tiles with a light bluish gray base
Each lightbar has six LED lights inside, along with a controller chip that is mounted in the center of the lightbar beneath the LEGO® grille element.  Each lightbar is pre-programmed with 14 different lighting patterns, and also has the option to switch between "random pattern" mode (where patterns are selected randomly every 10 seconds), or "manual mode" (where you can set the patterns.

Each lightbar has been carefully assembled and the pieces have been glued in place.  Be careful when installing the lightbar, or when moving a vehicle to which the lightbar is attached, to avoid knocking the tiles loose and damaging the lightbar.
Because of the way the lightbars are made, it is not possible to change the color of the tiles, the LED lights inside, or the base.

Each lightbar kit includes three parts:
  1. The lightbar itself
  2. A touch switch circuit board with self-adhesive tape attached (this is used to change the lightbar patterns)
  3. A connecting cable (for connecting to a power supply)
The photo below shows these parts, using the blue lightbar kit as an example (the parts are the same in all kits).


The lightbar has three thin wires coming out the center of one side.  As shown in the photo below, these wires are connected to the bottom of the lightbar's flexible circuit board.

These wires are positioned to minimize contact with any LEGO® studs when attaching to a vehicle.

Be careful not to pull the wires, or to mount the lightbar in a way that pulls on the wires, or the lightbar may become damaged.  If a wire becomes separated from the bottom of the lightbar, it cannot be repaired.

The three lightbar wires have a small connecting plug on the end.  This plug connects to the larger of the two plugs on the touch switch circuit board as shown in the photo below:

Connect the black 2-wire cable to the other (smaller) plug on the touch switch as shown in the photo below:

The two photos above show the bottom side of the touch switch.  The touch-sensitive part is on the top side as shown in the photo below:

There is a thin piece of double-sided tape covering the top of the switch (this tape has a red covering).  When you have determined the best place to mount the touch switch, you can peel off this red covering and mount the switch.

The adhesive is semi-permanent, so you should test the switch to make sure it can receive your "touch" presses through the thickness of LEGO® parts before attaching it permanently.  You can use ordinary transparent tape to temporarily mount the touch switch and test.

In general, the touch switch is able to receive signals from your finger through a distance of approximately one LEGO® plate or tile.  If there is more than this amount of distance between the switch and your finger, the touch switch may not receive signals when pressed.  The photos below show three examples of mounting the touch switch on a LEGO® vehicle in locations where the distance between the switch and a finger press are equal to or less than one LEGO® plate/tile in thickness.  You can use these as a guide when looking for the right place on your vehicle to attach the touch switch.

Attaching the touch switch under a LEGO® roof element.
Attaching the touch switch under a smaller LGO® roof element.

Attaching the touch switch under a thin LEGO® Technic element.
Again, if you are unsure whether the touch switch will work in a given location on your vehicle, it is best to use your own tape to temporarily attach the switch and test before attaching it permanently.


Once you have connected the lightbar to the touch switch and connected the touch switch to a power source, your lightbar will flash either once or twice, then begin running one of its 14 patterns.  Flashing once means that "manual" mode is enabled, and you can set the lightbar pattern manually.  Flashing twice means "random" mode is enabled, and the lightbar patterns will be selected at random and changed every 10 seconds.  When in "manual" mode, the lightbar will remember its last pattern setting even when power is turned off.

Note that when the lightbar is in "random" mode, you will not be able to set the pattern manually.  To do this, you will need to switch back to "manual" mode as described below.

You can change patterns and also set "random" or "manual" mode by two different types of "presses" on the touch switch:
  1. A "short press" of the touch switch (touching it for less than one second) will change the lightbar pattern.  You can touch again to cycle through all 14 patterns.
  2. A "long press" of the touch switch (more than one second) will toggle "random" mode on or off.  The lightbar will flash once when "manual" mode is active, and it will flash twice when "random" mode is active.
The lightbar stores both the last pattern you selected and the "random" mode setting (on/off) in its memory even when power is turned off.


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