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Movnfr8t

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I'm brand new to this whole idea of decorating for Christmas.  We've seen different homes around our little town that have these cool displays.  I'm not sure where to start, what to ask or how much we can spend.  I've looked at numerous controllers and ideas.  Would like to test the waters and get this figured out.  Where would be a good place to start with any of this???

Thanks in advance!

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Start with a lot of reading on the forms.  At the top of the forum, is a link for FAQ's - ** LOOK HRE**.  Watch the video tutorials will help learn.  You can also download the play with the software - can't control the controllers without buying it however.  Ask questions.  Many people really will help, but please at least attempt to find the answer before asking.

 

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IMHO the simplest is just controlling what you have. Basic (no color changing/blink) , static plugin lights

The basic AC (PC16)  starter package gets you almost everything you need (You do need a Windows Computer, and a long CAT5 cable to reach from the computer to the controller) for 16 circuits

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Welcome.  As noted above the tutorials are a good place to start.

I wanted to add too that most who are here are busy setting their displays up.  If you don't get answers right away don't get discouraged. It's the busy time of the year.  Merry Christmas.

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If I was you I would start by asking those people with the “cool displays”. I never had that opportunity.

Welcome to the addiction, it can get out of control fast.

JR

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9 hours ago, Movnfr8t said:

I'm brand new to this whole idea of decorating for Christmas.  We've seen different homes around our little town that have these cool displays.  I'm not sure where to start, what to ask or how much we can spend.

As everybody has mentioned Forums and Tutorials. I would recommend going and talking to these local people around your town. I think you find most people who do this hobby are usually proud and eager to show off what they do and may give you the grand "behind the scenes" tour of their setup. These would be good people to get to know, being local for you and all. Just my .02.

Alan...

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I’d say the first thing to do is to figure out what you want to do with your house. And then we can help you with what you need and how to get there.

 

Honestly I think it’s too late  to start a display from scratch this year. It takes a lot of programming and planning. 

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Welcome to the fun! First,  I have to say, "+1 on everything everyone has said." Looking through the material already here is a good place to start. Second, take a picture of your house: what kinds of things do you have now or what do you do now that you'd like to improve on? Are there any things you want to do that you haven't done before? I'm helping a couple of other people on here get their feet wet for 2018, so please feel free to join my inbox party :P

Email me at goldinglights@gmail.com and I'll be glad to help you get started for 2018.

Step One, in my opinion would be to budget yourself and look at the options you have from L-O-R and start designing a display. From there I can help you find vendors that are affordable based on your budget and design.

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This is my 3rd year, and by far biggest year.  my first year I actually started about a year and a half before my first display.  go through all the forums read as much as you can, get the software learn it... you need to become an expert in it to use it properly.  For about a year, I read nearly every thread and post to gain the knowledge to make it as easy as possible.  

first you need to decide if you are going to go with traditional lights or rgb/pixels... look at videos online and find out what elements or props you want to incorporate into your show. 

then learn all you can. Don't be afraid to ask what you might think is a dumb question, we were all in your situation at one point.  One thing I have found with the countless people on this forum is that there is hardly a question that will go unanswered.  Also find people close to your house and talk with them.  People in this hobby for the most part are great.  Last year I was having an issue and posted about it, a guy messaged me to call him.  He sat on the phone with me for about 30 minutes and helped me figure it out.

Always be thinking about what you want to add the next year,  The best time to buy stuff is right after christmas, stores have huge clearance sale, also the online vendors have there presales, you can save a lot of money there too.  I have already made notes and know what I will be adding next year to the show.  Plan early and it saves a lot of money.

Most important is to have fun with it.  Depending on the size of your display it will take about a month or so to get everything out and wired up, there will be some late nights and lots of cuts and scrapes.  However, the first time you hit play on the software and the lights and music is playing, it's all worth it!  

Again welcome to the madness, I hope your family likes christmas music year round... 

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Thanks everyone!  2018 will be our year to jump in.  Really appreciate the feedback and look forward to seeing your displays!

 

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2 minutes ago, Movnfr8t said:

Thanks everyone!  2018 will be our year to jump in.  Really appreciate the feedback and look forward to seeing your displays!

 

I forgot to mention, great UN must be in the transportation industry. Gives you a chance to see a lot of displays, unless you are on rails.

JR

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