Chase controllers create effects across the channels of the controller and allow you to do all sorts of creative things with lighting. For example, a 4 channel chase controller will turn channel 1 on and then off when channel 2 comes on, channel off when channel 3 comes on, channel 3 off when channel 4 comes on, and then the sequence repeats. The same is true of 2 and 3 channel chase controllers. The speed of the chase between channels is controlled by a dial on the front of the controller.
Multifunction controllers like our 3 channel and 4 channel multifunction controllers contain 8 different effects that apply themselves across the channels. Effects include slow chase, fast chase, twinkle, shimmer, all on, slow glow, cross fade and all glow. There is no speed control dial on the multifunction controllers
Our higher end controllers from PBS lighting do have additional functionality such as the Animator controller which is programmable to be a 2, 3 or 4 channel chase controller and does not have any crosstalk They can be connected to computer controlled light controllers such as those from Light-O-Rama and the Light-O-Rama effects will be passed through to the channels on the animator controller and they have a much higher average lifespan.
Can a Chase Controller Make My Standard Lights Chase Down the string?
NOTE: No. Chase controllers do not make bulbs on standard light strings chase down the string. No controller can make standard lights chase down a string. Rather, they apply the chase or other effects across channels.
Do These Controllers Work with LED Lights?
Yes, in most cases they will work fine. There are some older LED light sets that do have issues with light controllers of any kind and will not work with any light controller. But most newer, commercial and professional grade rectified, dimmable LED lights will work fine with light controllers.
What is the Slowest/Fastest Speed I Can Get When Using the Speed Control Dial?
The speed of the on/off between a controller's output channels will be different from one controller type to the next and can be different from one unit to the next even among batches of the same controller type (due to how they are manufactured). hence, the speed/slowness you can achieve is simply defined as really slow or really fast. There is no pre defined time interval specification for the slowest or the fastest available speed settings. But in general, the slowest speed setting will be a delay between channels of about 1-3 seconds while the fastest speed setting on the control dial will be somewhere between what looks like a REALLY fast flicker to what basically look like all of the lights are always on.
Do I Need to Cover the Controller If I Use It Outdoors?
Most of our basic controllers are designed for outdoor use without the need for additional weather protection. However, if you use a weatherproof enclosure or even something as simply as a plastic bag to protect them, they will typically experience a longer lifespan. Controllers from PBS Lighting (Animator, Starburst, Music box) the manufacturer does recommend the use of a weatherproof enclosure.
Can I Plug one Controller Into an Output on Another Controller?
No. This will void the warranty and dramatically increase the potential for failure on of the secondary controller. Chase controllers are designed to host constant power. Hence, plugging one controller into another creates a situation in which the secondary controller (the one plugged into another controllers output) is being constantly turned on/off and/or having effects (like fading/dimming) at its power input source - which is expected to always be in an 'on' state.