Our Past Christmas Lights...
The 2007 Christmas Season
Our first attempt at anything Christmas-y was in the 2007 season. Our house looked like this:
We ended up winning 2nd place in the neighborhood's Christmas light contest. Woo hoo! This spurned us onto try new things. Thus began the path down the animated light show dark side...
The 2008 Christmas Season
We started in November 2008, with one 16 channel box. Two more 16 channel boxes were ordered, arriving on the day before Christmas. The most visible improvement was making each candy cane dance...
Technical Specs about the 2008 Light Show
48 channels of lights
Approximate light count:
|13 foot Red/Green Light Tree||1,200|
|Driveway||25 Huge C7 lights|
|Front Porch area (wreath, gift boxes, etc)||300|
|Main Lawn area||200|
Merry Christmas sign
(candy canes, lights in tree)
|Total:||2075 lights (more or less)|
Lessons Learned from 2008's season
The 2008 season made us realize a few important things:
- 2008: Get a better FM transmitter for people to listen to the music. The Whole House FM Transmitter sucks.
- 2009: Ordered Rameses FM25B transmitter...a MUCH better FM transmitter.
- 2008: Setup the lights/decorations so they will survive hurricane force winds. Winds trashed anything that was not nailed down.
- 2009: Everything will be nailed down.
- 2008: We need more LOR boxes to control more lights.
- 2009: An increase from 3 boxes to 14, 12 active, 2 spares, for total of 172 channels used.
- 2008: Convert ALL lights to LED lights (versus regular, power-hogging mini-lights).
- 2009: Most of the 18,000+ lights are newly procured LED lights, including the house spotlights
- 2008: Get things setup early. Local media coverage of local Christmas light shows starts around the first week of December, so we want to be ready for that.
- 2009: Opening day:
Friday after ThanksgivingDecember 4th. Be there.
Lessons learned since 2009:
- Be creative with PVC pipe, tape, rebar, bendable wire, electrical tape, duct tape, extension cords, cinder blocks, screws, and anything that is laying around!
- Label things. At least put R, G, B, W on extension cords/lights when you find out which is which.
- TAPE, TAPE, TAPE. Tape things together, they are much easier to move around and position when you have one big cord to drag around compared to 4 other cords.
- Print out and tape the channel layouts ON THE LOR Boxes themselves! That is a lifesaver!
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