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lightingnewb last won the day on May 16 2017

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About lightingnewb

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    Sacramento, CA
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    Website development, Cloud architecture, among other hobbies.
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  1. My controllers are in inaccessible areas of our house. When we installed our mounts, we had the lights in mind. We placed the controllers in areas where we could funnel extension cords without extra strain. Two controllers on one side of the house lead are daisy chained to two that are on the roof, which are daisy chained to where our computer and final controller are mounted in our garage. In order to tamper with the controllers, you'd have to either climb the roof or climb a fence - all avenues are video recorded 24/7.
  2. So I'm building a new prop this year for our Christmas display, some people are looking, some are talking a bit or saying hi. One person stops to ask us what we're doing. Happily, we explain what we do. She was really excited because she recently moved into a house in our neighborhood and she said she'd stop by when it's all up.
  3. lightingnewb

    Starting out

    Going back to the original post briefly to share my thoughts: 1. Controller Mounting: I'm in the camp of "whatever you're comfortable with." If you have a super secure system that allows you to have your controller by your props, so be it! If you're like me and don't trust others, I keep my controllers out of reach and out of sight. All controllers are either seen on a security camera or behind closed doors or just ridiculously out of reach. 2. LED vs Incandescent lights: LED all the way, in my opinion. I have made the mistake of using both in my show and can tell you that LEDs are not only brighter, but better to use. Most LED strings have the "constant on", even if a light goes out. There are resources I can give you outside of LOR's website that can point you to vendors we use. 3. Depending on the controller(s) you get, you might be using two. For my setup, I use about six I think, counting our show computer. Two RGB controllers, three LOR controllers. AC controllers typically use two. Be careful with wattage with GFCI outlets, too. 4. Kinda answered this in #2 but I also try to leave myself some room in next year's show to add more to the show. Each year our show has progressively gotten larger and larger. This year, we're doing something we think has never been done, but I could be wrong. (It, at the least, it hasn't been done near us.) In terms of space to use, we've pushed ourselves up against the edge of our box, but we're dropping new things in and I'm personally really excited. Think of this as you budget out your show and think about the long-term ideas. Other tips/notes: - Zip ties are your friend. After 3 years we ran out of our 1000 zip tie baggy from HD! - Label, label, label! Label both ends of your extension cords properly. (We label with the destination for that end, and label the destination itself with the matching acronym.) - Check and test everything. Before we kick off our show (we only do this once per year), we test to make sure each channel is connected properly and receiving power. - K-I-S-S: don't overthink the solution to your dilemma. Sometimes saying the problem out loud may yield the right response. Also, don't overthink a build and take a difficult path to the awesome solution. Sometimes simplicity is best. - Do it for yourself. If not for you, then who? Ignore those who give you grief for your show and celebrate the reason for the season.
  4. Not familiar with video displays but wanted to throw my two cents out to see if it may spark something for you. At this time of year I'd say it would be slaving yourself to complete this but if you're willing to try, you could... Basically, I'm thinking the second video just is the full length of your show on a loop. All of the effects are built in - fading to black when in between sequences or not in use, and lasting however long your show is. (All songs + time between songs.) Not saying this is the one hundred percent correct idea, but it would be the only other option I'd have in your case since you can't really control the additional projector in LOR. Happy hunting and I hope this sparks some innovation!
  5. Maybe a pleasant greeting and introduction to your new neighbors could incite extra help where needed? Lots of positive thinking headed your way, Orville. I wonder what the Grinch next door will think this year when we start our lights up soon. One thing that's irked me is the general lack of Christmas lights I see in my area. We used to drive just in our 10-minutes-across-town neighborhood and see plenty of nice displays of static lights. It seems that lights have dwindled over the years. (Or maybe our animated display scared everyone else )In all seriousness, it makes me sad when people give up. It's like they've lost faith in the joy of the season. I've never heard anything negative in the few years we've done this, but I do know some people nearby don't like it. Oh well, more for me to enjoy on their behalf!
  6. Y-E-S! We zip tied our bundles this year and it made installing all of our props so much easier! Anyone who's seen our videos has seen our 5 mini trees in our yard. We staggered the plugs for these five, zip tied where we could so they would be relatively close to one another still, then worked our way back to our controller, zipping every 2 feet or so. Both ends are labeled for their destination. (One end says "MT 1" for example, and the other end has the channel it plugs into.) We did this across the yard for all of our lightings, which helped us immensely when we took it all down. All we had to do was coil up each prop's / prop grouping's wire. We stored the wiring with the prop itself if we could. We further labeled each box with the context of what's in the box so that when it comes the time in a few months to deploy, we both can work parallel to one another instead of having to work to install the prop and the wiring together. HIGHLY recommend for people who have fairly static changes to their display where each prop has it's own home and new props are given a destination, much like our house.
  7. Welcome to the forums and welcome to the community! At first glance for myself when I started in 2014, this was hands-down the hardest thing to start. However, it grows on you and you fall in love with the simplicity of it all. Before you know it, Christmas will come and you'll be delighted with yourself. My first suggestion to you is to take a picture of the area that you are lighting up and come up with an idea for how you want to design your show. Factor in access and your abilities and budget, and slowly you're shaping your first show. After you've designed your show, you're going to want to either buy or make your own sequences. Given how intensely you expressed your frustration (which is valid by the way), I recommend buying sequences either from the store or from LOR partner vendors. Once you've nailed down your show, now you can shop for your materials and lighting. Since you have a single 16-channel controller, I would start by compiling what you have now before you buy anything new. Take stock of the types of lighting you have and figure out what lights can be placed where. After this, you can think about how to mount your lights and connect them to your controller. I recommend buying SPT-2 lamp cord wire and vampire plugs, you can make custom length extension cords to your controller with it. From there, it's time to build, mount, connect, and power up! Just to recap: [1] Design your light show using a picture of your house [2] Buy some 16-channel sequences [3] Purchase materials and lighting [4] Build, mount, power on. There are some in-between steps that you should be aware of, but this is for a later time. Hopefully, this clarifies for you what the next steps to take are, in your position. Let me know if you need further assistance.
  8. Welcome to the forums! Please feel free to email us or Direct / Private message on here if you need help with anything! Email: goldinglights@gmail.com
  9. "What's This?" from Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas. "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" as performed by Mariah Carey. Two new uploads! Plenty more coming soon.
  10. This year, oddly enough, is one of our busiest years. Not just personally, but in the community we've brought to our house too. This was the first year we wrote to our local newspaper who does a collection of lights across the county. The area covered is an extensive range and we're considered a part of the "outskirts" of the county. To have the number of visitors increase by this much is astonishing and humbling. Then, later tonight I was sent an email inquiring about our show and how we program it and such. It's truly an honor to enrich so many people. Anyways - I'll stop my rambling. Here's one of our songs ... I'm working on editing some of them right now to go live on our website. Thank you to every single person behind the Light o Rama staff who work hard to keep this company going, as well as everyone in this community for their support and sharing of knowledge or experiences, in the hope that they too can help someone have an even better season. Many of you have influenced me greatly or answered my random and newbie like questions - thank you for your consideration and patience. Without further ado, here's one of five songs for this year. 2017 Carol of the Bells
  11. If it isn't too late, might I request the sequence? goldinglights@gmail.com
  12. lightingnewb


    Additionally you're going to need an SD card reader and writer.
  13. Matt, if this is a YouTube video or on Facebook or the social media service you use, post on the account directly related to light show (i.e. "Light Show on Street Blvd") in the comments and simply explain the situation as you explained to us. "Each light, when on or off, symbolizes a beat of music, has inherent meaning and is a part of the story. We program the lights ourselves to turn on at each beat of the song. I recommend you visit again, tune your car radio to "(your radio station)" and watch the lights dance magically to the songs. I'm sure it will bring a smile to your face. We try so very hard to make this an enjoyable experience for our community." They may not understand the difference of your display or what makes you stand out... but give them a reason to want to come back and try again. The theme for my display is that every year is different. We add something new to the experience that will only benefit the show and make people happy. Bringing families together to celebrate the holiday and create new memories is at the core of what we do. Remind these guests that's why we do what we do.
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