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Klayfish

Need design ideas for 2013 - have a lot of space to work with.

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2012 was my first year with LOR, and I got a late start to boot (August), so I'm still a total newbie. My wife and I were pleased with how everything came out. We kept the static display design we used in 2011 and added 16 channels' worth of new stuff. That made things nice and simple, relatively speaking. We added 8 mini trees and 8 light trees I made myself (4' garden stake with 5 strands coming off each in a wedge shape). Not fancy, but functional and the kids loved the dancing lights. I'm still in the process of packing stuff away, and logging/counting/sorting my lights. I had never done so previously. I'm guestimating that I had somewhere around 10,000, plus another couple thousand on pre-lit artificial trees. Well, when the price of clearance lights went to 75% off after Christmas, I went hog wild. I took whatever I could get, I wasn't picky. Heck, I didn't even count how many I bought, I just grabbed cases. That obviously won't work for someone who wants an all white light display, etc..but for me I'll take whatever I can get at a steal price and I'll find a way to make it work. I'm not picky, I like them all. There was a ton of C9 LEDs on sale. I'm guessing I got about 100 boxes of multicolors (25 lights per box), 100 boxes of warm white. I also scored 75 boxes of multicolor incans. Plus a few other odds and ends assorted lights, still have to catalog them. So now...what to do with them all?

I'm fortunate enough to have a huge yard. I live in a very rural area, but my road gets a fair amount of use as country roads go....i.e. more than one car per hour. :lol: If you're on the road and looking at my property, it stretches about 400' from side to side, probably more. So space is not an issue, and visibility for traffic is great. I'm looking for something fun and relatively unique to do. Two things to keep in mind...I don't have a ton of time to build, so I can't build something fancy from scratch. Also, I'm quite a novice when it comes to building anyhow, my skills are limited.

So, anyone have ideas on what they'd do? One idea that crossed my mind is finding an old farm tractor that someone was going to scrap. Paint it, string it with lights, put a blow up Santa on it. Then get some yard cart trailers and light them up, almost like a train. Not sure that would work, but just a thought.

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Posting a picture would help us visualize your space. From what it sounds like, whatever you do should be BIG... you've got the space for it, I'm jealous.

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Yes, we're very fortunate to have it. The total property is 3.5 acres. It's a long story, but the house was actually a foreclosure the bank was dying to unload. When we found it, we were living in a rental house with a lease about to expire. As fate would have it, we found the house on Christmas Eve!!

Embarassingly enough, I can't find any daylight pictures right now, and I haven't uploaded any pictures from this year yet. But here's a link to photos from 2011, when our display was static. Hopefully, it gives some visual idea. The lights on the grass are on a hill that goes from the road. Everything from the blow ups/signs/Santa-on-ramp back to the house is flat. Pardon my crude keyboard art, but just to give an idea how it's shaped....the "XXX" is where our house is. The right side ends at a 200+ year old cemetary.

_______________________________________

XXX

_______________________________________

http://s1197.photobu...Christmas 2011/

P1020917.jpg

Edited by Klayfish

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with that frontage I would do 24 mini trees (30inch or 50inch) along that front with maybe c6's instead of mini's and then a grid behind each mini. Or instead of using one strand of light per grid use 4 in sections so that your grid can "pulse".

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The mini trees I have now are 54", and it would be easy to make a bunch more. All the lights I bought are C9s, so that's what I have to work with. I should also mention I'll have 32 channels to work with.

What do you mean by a "grid" behind each mini?

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If it was me I would throw some lights on the house peaks. I think the tractor thing would work with some spot lights. Do you have a day time photo?

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I'd love to...if I can find someone to get on a huge ladder, definitely not my thing. :lol:

I need to try to get some better daylight pictures. This is all I can find right now. The first picture is looking straight on at my house (duh). My driveway is out of the picture, but is on the left. My property extends to the right far beyond what you see in the picture, but the landscape looks the same...hill followed by flat field. The parking area I had set up is off to the left of the driveway as you go up it.

The second picture is from the road as you approach my house. You can see my garage. If the silver van were to back up about 50', that's exactly the position cars would be in when I set up the parking area. So they'd be looking across my front lawn. The property goes to the tall trees...hard to tell distances in the pictures, but the those trees are a good 400' from the house.

As you can see, there's nowhere to park on the road, so people have to come up the driveway if they want to watch for an extended time. I need to orient my display towards the parking area...this year I had it oriented to the street, which was a mistake.

House1_zps8bbc89d9.jpg

P1030169.jpg

Edited by Klayfish

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The mini trees I have now are 54", and it would be easy to make a bunch more. All the lights I bought are C9s, so that's what I have to work with. I should also mention I'll have 32 channels to work with.

What do you mean by a "grid" behind each mini?

A strand of lights that runs behind each mini up the hill, will try to find a video of what someone else did. Creative sequencing and assembly could get it done with 32 channels but you might want to add another controller or two.

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the grid is almost like the first pic you posted,except the grid would consist of 8 12 16 rows of controllable panals.I agree that would fill in your yard nicely. also you need a big mega tree to give you display some height,since you don't want to do the house

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This will help with the grid.

Now THAT is a mega-tree!!

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another idea.....you could get an rgb flood light for the tree so you could use the tree without actually having to climb it.

or you could put a controller behind the tree and add 4 to 6 sections of lights on the tree that could bounce up and down. like a firestick or and arch that was upright. then you could run strings of lights out from the tree in a wheel pattern. you could have the spokes of the wheel spin like a mega tree would. its just a mega tree but flat. that may fill up a good section of the yard.

then you would still be able to have a grid if you want in another section of the yard.

without having to climb on the roof you have the perfect house to use some flood lights. there are lots of choices out there. you could use cheap 1 color flood lights or even go with controllable rgb floods. its all in how much you want to spend and want to have to program.

i can relate to you. i have about 3 acres that i have to decorate. this was my 4th year with a controllable system (2nd year with lor) and i'm still growing and try to fill all my space. my space it pretty flat so it limits some of the things i can do. with the way your hill is you just have a big canvas.

start small and add every year. just a helpful suggestion. when your outside in the middle of the holiday season and you have a great idea for something for next year, write it on a note and put it in the top of one of your christmas boxes. that way next year when you start to open things up you'll remember your ideas. there's nothing worse then having an idea in the middle of the season and not having any money or time to get it done. lesson learned several times.

heres a look at my yard and set-up. may give you a idea or two

http://s1298.beta.photobucket.com/user/kellyjett/library/#/user/kellyjett/library/?&_suid=13577953790050038177780827537144

i've also learned that if you can spread things out then that will give your visitors lots of different things to look at. i have people visit my display several times because i add songs when i can and you know as well as i do you don't always see everything the first time you visit.

you'll see from the pics that i added a parking pad to my yard. that may be an issue for you. people will want to stay for atleast a few minutes and check everything out and that may be a problem if everyone want to hang out in your driveway.

any questions let me know. good luck and keep asking questions.

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OK I don't do heights either. This is what you do. If you are ever having any work done on your house with a person with a ladder have them put up some hook and spray paint them the color of your trim. I hang ever last one of my lights from the ground. All you need is one of those long painters poles then duck tape a barbecue for to it then you're in business.

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Thanks for all the suggestions! I'll have to check out the videos of the grids when I get home, my works' content filter blocks them. I'd certainly love to add more controllers, but I'm trying to be realistic with my budget, skills and time. I only had 16 channels for 2012 and was able to get one song sequenced. Also, free time for me is very limited. So between free time and limited skills, I think it'll be quite the challenge for me to sequence songs for 32 channels. Plus, I need to leave room in the budget for more SPT and any props I want to buy/build.

I'd definitely love to do a megatree, with the size of my yard I'd love to do a 20' one. I'll do more research into how to build one, as I'd like to try. Gotta figure out how to build the top part that holds all the strings and then the pulley system to raise/lower it. We had flood lights on the house in 2011, but didn't put them out for 2012. Think I'll get back into them for this year.

I'll have to try to get a few more pictures to help visualize. There are actually 3 trees, the one in the picture is the middle one...plus there's one in the grass area on the other side of our driveway. For parking, the ideal solution would be to pave part of our yard, but the wife is still lukewarm to the idea.
B)
As I mentioned, we did have a section of grass roped off for visitors, right behind where my minivan is. The section would have been large enough for 20 cars, though our driveway is only one car wide. The problem was the ground got real soft and the lawn got really torn up...plus people's cars probably got pretty muddy.

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good for you for knowing your limits,budgets are a very good thing in this hobby,you can drop a ton of case in a hurry if you don't set limits. you are taking the right steps in planning this early.I already have my 2013 layout pretty much set in stone.one thing I will say,once you figure out what you want stick with it it is very time consuming to change your layout mid season

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Yep, my wife and I are working on the layout for 2013 now. Expect to have it done by the end of January, and construction/sequencing will begin in February.

I think I already spent more than half my budget in post Christmas sales... :o But when I can get LEDs for $1.75 a box it was hard not to load up the shopping cart.

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I am running 90% incandescent and I think with all the controllers combined I am only pulling less than 20 amps. With that being said you can do some grouping and mirror effects using spliters. Say if you did 4 ch on house, 4 on trees, 8 mini or large Christmas trees. Than you can do a mirror effet on the right and left. With the trees you can lay out 1-8 then repeat 9-16.

In years past I had one controller then I let my neighbor through extension cords over the roof because two looks better than one.

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I'd definitely love to do a megatree, with the size of my yard I'd love to do a 20' one. I'll do more research into how to build one, as I'd like to try.
Gotta figure out how to build the top part that holds all the strings and then the pulley system to raise/lower it.

Check out Christmas Light Show .com for ideas.

Edited by 75redman

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This will help with the grid.

Ooooh, I really like this. My wife liked it too, I think a grid is in the works for 2013 for us. How tall are those 4 megatrees on the one side? How'd you make them?

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This will help with the grid.

would you be willing to share this sequence and audio? beautiful work.

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Ooooh, I really like this. My wife liked it too, I think a grid is in the works for 2013 for us. How tall are those 4 megatrees on the one side? How'd you make them?

The five tree are 11 feet tall. Steel 3/4 with flange on top and the I put a piece of 2/4 attached to the flange. I put 8 screws on the 2x4 which has 8 channels of white with 2 channels of red,green and multi. These are called super strings were you would put all four colors together and zip tie them. Hope this helps and if you need the sequence just email at big,trafficman@gmai.com

Jeff

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Now THAT is a mega-tree!!

The mega tree is 30 feet tall and has 64 super strings on it. I used a tower and installed 3 pipes in the ground in concrete. I will check for some pictures of it going up this year. There are several tall mega tree's that make mine look small. Randall Roberts display at andrewschristmas.com helped me get started over 5 years ago. The family loved his setup so I contacted him to get as close as I could to what he did. It has been a hit....

Jeff

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This would have been a great song to show everything this year. Wish I had the bucket truck when I filmed. I was 300 yards aways in the back of th truck on a 10 foot ladder. New camera that I could not find auto focus to turn off. LOL

Jeff

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I work with a ~100' wide open field on my display. I just turn it into a forest of PVC trees as a backdrop and stage scenes throughout. Note that only about a 30' swath is an LOR show, the rest is static - I put ~190 channels & 36,000 lights into that small segment, and throw up about 45,000 static lights over the rest of the display. The other segments are the dog scene, snowman & toy scene, and the boat & pond scene. Just a different thought of looking at a big open area - Static goes up much quicker than LOR stuff to cover the large area, while still getting the awesomeness of an LOR show.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=405313029547223&set=a.405311972880662.96533.149952898416572&type=3&permPage=1

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