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plasmadrive

going dark is so different...

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Wow, the fact that I am going dark really hits ya when you start taking props apart that you used to hang up and store for a year.
Today I am cutting apart my pixel window frames. These are version 2 that I made in 2015. Expected them to be used for many years.. today they will be no more..
 
Sunday I finished removing the Plasma Icicles 2.0 and they are all sold.. Those were all bought this year with intent to use them for many more years.
 
I took down the "permanent" wiring and controls for the RGB floods that were up for the last bunch of years. They came down as well.
 
The snowman orchestra I built this year was to last for many more years as well... So many ideas for them... But they will not be seen again for the public at my house.
 
It is really happening..... and I am OK with it.. That is the part that is the most surprising.. Will I miss it.. OH HELL YES!. But I will spend more time with my wife doing whatever we want during the holidays.. I guess it's time for us again. Hope she doesn't get bored with me.. :-)

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Good afternoon from The Netherlands, 

it is like sailing, as it goes well physically,  you are able to do it, but when you get to old, it is a painstaking goodby to the boat with tears in your hart. ( will happen in some time in the future to me, I assume)

sorry to hear it is final. I feel with you dearly.

but please,  have all the best moments with your wife as long as possible in good health, as from my own experience this can change only to soon.

All the best

Dick

The Netherlands

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42 minutes ago, Trickyd said:

Good afternoon from The Netherlands, 

it is like sailing, as it goes well physically,  you are able to do it, but when you get to old, it is a painstaking goodby to the boat with tears in your hart. ( will happen in some time in the future to me, I assume)

sorry to hear it is final. I feel with you dearly.

but please,  have all the best moments with your wife as long as possible in good health, as from my own experience this can change only to soon.

All the best

Dick

The Netherlands

Hi Dick,

Thanks for the kind words.. My wife was really sad when I broke the news to her. She loved it so much... but the traffic has become my worst problem.. I can still do it physically and want to mentally, but We just can't do the traffic anymore.. I have had to rely on volunteers and that is asking alot of them over and over.. so the decision is going dark..

Best to you and yours,

Craig

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Hi Craig,

I too have contemplated "going dark" the ol' knees are having a time getting on the roof and we also have a traffic issue, but I haven't pulled the trigger yet, may try to do one more year, if I can get the kids to help a little more...

Good Luck and enjoy your newly found free time..

Al  aka Pyro

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13 hours ago, Al Dube said:

Hi Craig,

I too have contemplated "going dark" the ol' knees are having a time getting on the roof and we also have a traffic issue, but I haven't pulled the trigger yet, may try to do one more year, if I can get the kids to help a little more...

Good Luck and enjoy your newly found free time..

Al  aka Pyro

Thanks!   I doubt however that I will gain too much free time.. So many people to help.. so little time to help them.. LOL

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As I'm just getting into setting up lights shows it's sad seeing all the lights go dark. I had so much joy in setting up my light show this year, and so many ideas for next year. I hope it never fades for me.

Good luck in your future endeavors! 

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T

On January 17, 2018 at 11:19 AM, plasmadrive said:

Thanks!   I doubt however that I will gain too much free time.. So many people to help.. so little time to help them.. LOL

Sorry to hear your going dark  I remember  seeing  you on the Christmas Light fight  and commenting to you it's nice to actually see who is on the forums  I myself have contemplated going dark but not because of traffic. But the age is starting to catch up  getting harder to setup and tear down. Good luck to you Dennis 

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Bummer, sorry to hear this.  Just out of curiosity, how many years did you have big light displays?  This was only our 3rd year (but 1st using LOR), but the setup and tear down took so much longer than the previous 2 yrs.  So I may decide to go dark every 3 or 4 yrs just to give myself a break.  Or if I decide not to go totally dark, I might "compromise" and setup a smaller display with only 1 or 2 light controllers.

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I will be 80 shortly and have the normal pains and weakness (probably more) of any one my age but instead of quitting or "going dark" I'm trying to figure out ways to keep my lights up permanently. Such as;

Using more ribbon lights that are more easily hidden when not used. Under my gutters in one case
burying or hiding lights which are almost invisible from the street when not used.

I don't want any flack from neighbors or my HOA about Christmas lights being left out all year but with a little ingenuity and imagination I believe that permanent lights will be easy to manage from year to year and allow me to have a light show 4 0r 5 times a year for the different seasons.

I'm currently working on a Spring/Easter show.

I would welcome suggestions on this topic of permanent lights.

This of course won't help anyone's traffic problem but I believe that traffic problems arise from creating a site that has so many attraction that it becomes a must see thing. a better site may be something that can't be seen by satellite but is more imaginative and ingenious. We old folks may not be limber anymore  but we can still be creative.

 

Edited by lkinsey
hiding age or birth date, wasnt thinking about the security risk
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1 hour ago, Speedster said:

Bummer, sorry to hear this.  Just out of curiosity, how many years did you have big light displays?  This was only our 3rd year (but 1st using LOR), but the setup and tear down took so much longer than the previous 2 yrs.  So I may decide to go dark every 3 or 4 yrs just to give myself a break.  Or if I decide not to go totally dark, I might "compromise" and setup a smaller display with only 1 or 2 light controllers.

I have been doing a larger display for 6 of the last 7 years.  I have been doing lights since the early 70s, but nothing like I have been doing of late. 

My setup starts in Sept and finishes usually about Thanksgiving.  This year since I built the Snowman Orchestra, I didn't get it done until 10min before the first showing on DEC 2nd.. ha ha..

I have all of it down now except for the strings in the very tops of the 55'-60' Christmas Trees.  I will take those down when the weather is nicer.. This year I took down even the permanent stuff that was under the eves on the house.. So I do understand about the time that it takes.. I am only 61 and have a lot of years I could still do this (I hope) but that darn traffic.. ha ha..  

My advice, that you didn't ask for, is when it is not fun or a labor of love from start to finish,, stop.. even if it's only for a year..  I did that... Not because it wasn't fun, but because I was hoping people would forget a bit and the traffic would slow.. Worked out fine for a week.. then someone told on me and opened the flood gates and here they came.. in droves the came.. over an hour wait just to watch a 7min show.... I was proud but concerned..

BTW, I too started this round of animated displays in 2011 with LOR.  (LOR didn't exist when I did my first animated displays)... I used LOR for 5 years and unfortunately the software didn't keep pace and I had to abandon LOR software.  I still used a bunch of AC controllers though.. Those are pretty good. 

Have fun with what you do and do it for the right reasons..

Craig

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I started around 2005 with 2 16 channel controllers and now have 12 including 2 led controllers.
I've faithfully re-installed my show every year since other than one year.

I agree that it has to be a labor of love but that dosen't mean that it can't be modernized and simplified to re-install.

And that means having at least some of the more complicated set-ups permanently installed.

The outdoor Christmas light industry today has no interest in promoting or building such lights as there is currently no interest in this direction.

What I would like to see is an expansion of light displays to cover the memorial times of the year such as Easter and the 4th of July and Halloween and Thanksgiving and of course Christmas.

If the lights are already there, then the only labor involved is plugging in my wee laptop

 

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Haha, with our weather, you can't leave anything out all year or it'll get beat up by the wind storms, hail storms, tornadoes, lightning, extreme heat and critters not to mention mega trees, mini trees, arches and snow flakes can be an eye sore in the middle of summer. Not a chance I could leave lights out all year. The other memorial times can stay dark as others wouldn't appreciate the lights like they do Halloween and the holidays anyways.

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We were dark in 2017.  While it was the right decision, it wasn't at all by choice.  It tortured me for 2 months looking out a window and seeing an empty yard, and then looking out at night during lighting season and seeing dark.  It wasn't until the middle of December that I came to realize it wasn't the worst thing not having to tend to everything every night.  Now when I look outside, it's a relief not seeing a display waiting to be torn down in March or April when it thaws.

For me, being dark could turn into a slippery slope.  Especially since I have no props to build this year and no songs to sequence because none of my new things got used in 2017.  Still a long time between now and September, but I can't help but notice that little voice inside that wonders...

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I can relate to what George is saying, although we did have a show this year, it really was not innovative, and just looked like prior years show.  I'm re-energized this year however, and will be re-sequencing everything, completely reworking the house outlines, adding window outlines, reworking all the bushes, adding all the snowflakes I've collected over the years.  I'm going for a "viral look".  I'm not getting any younger.

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14 hours ago, George Simmons said:

We were dark in 2017.  While it was the right decision, it wasn't at all by choice.  It tortured me for 2 months looking out a window and seeing an empty yard, and then looking out at night during lighting season and seeing dark.  It wasn't until the middle of December that I came to realize it wasn't the worst thing not having to tend to everything every night.  Now when I look outside, it's a relief not seeing a display waiting to be torn down in March or April when it thaws.

For me, being dark could turn into a slippery slope.  Especially since I have no props to build this year and no songs to sequence because none of my new things got used in 2017.  Still a long time between now and September, but I can't help but notice that little voice inside that wonders...

Wow, I didn't know were dark this last season.. I was dark in 2016 but was so happy to get it back on track with mostly new stuff in 2017.  I was a bit like you where about mid Dec I was likin the time off, but in Jan my brain was exploding with ideas for things I wanted to do... and I did miss all the kids.. Hope you come back and do it more..

 

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15 hours ago, George Simmons said:

We were dark in 2017.  While it was the right decision, it wasn't at all by choice. 

I don't want your reason for being dark!

 

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