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weigh2fast4u@yahoo.com

normal number of visitors for first year?

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this was my first year. with 32 channels. 6000 lights..... what is the normal car visitors that come for the first year? 

we partnered up with fostering foster animal rescue and set a donation box and banner out.... i have gotten my wife to put several videos on facebook. and i have been running the show every day since december 12th......

the total cars we have had to stop is around 30..... we are located in a town thats about 20 minutes from two heavily populated towns. the majority of the ones that come only sit for about 5-10 minutes.... basically 2 songs. 

its been a let down having over 1500 dollars and soooooo much time in it.... i am sure i have sounded like a broken record asking people to share it on facebook. and we have had a fair amount of views and shares. 

I really enjoy this hobby. the feedback i have gotten has been fantastic from the people that have came. 

its a bummer looking on the camera and only seeing one car stop for 5 minutes or less in a night..... i have 9 songs. the show is about 30 minutes. 

should i throw in the towel. and not take all this crazy time and money for next year? of just throw another 1500-2000 dollars in it next year. and hope for more donations and support next year? 

is it really worth it? people drive a long ways to see Christmas lights. do i cut it off since christmas is over? or keep running it until new years? 

is this normal for the first year? how do you keep spending the money and time on it when little support comes? 

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figured out how to change the size on microsoft word.... channels are 

the roof, blue line behind the icicles, icicles, door, each snowflake, each column, the yard sign ( off to the left), the snowman,  the tree star and the two christmas trees then of course 16 channels on the tree.

delete pic.jpg

Edited by weigh2fast4u@yahoo.com
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First of all, the upload storage space on this forum is really small.  Almost universally what we all do is upload the photos or videos to some website and just post a link.  For example, this photo is actually on my web server:

Front_of_House_2018-12-03.jpg

As for the number of cars, that depends massively on your location, how you publicize it, and a few other variables.  Over time, the number will increase.

I'm a little curious how you know the total count and duration.  Are you out front every hour of every night?  I do go out front almost every evening for a while, but I'm not there all the time.  I do have video cameras, but not worth my effort to go over the videos.

 

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THUMBS UP FOR THE WYZE CAM! haha i actually have my WYZE CAM set out looking at the road and set to trigger it when a car rides up, i can scroll through the triggers and see when a car rides up and how long they stay. 

Edited by weigh2fast4u@yahoo.com
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37 minutes ago, weigh2fast4u@yahoo.com said:

THUMBS UP FOR THE WYZE CAM!

I love them.  I now have 19 of them.  I get too many cars passing by to effective.y use the event mode of recording.

 

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1 hour ago, weigh2fast4u@yahoo.com said:

this was my first year. with 32 channels. 6000 lights..... what is the normal car visitors that come for the first year? 

we partnered up with fostering foster animal rescue and set a donation box and banner out.... i have gotten my wife to put several videos on facebook. and i have been running the show every day since december 12th......

the total cars we have had to stop is around 30..... we are located in a town thats about 20 minutes from two heavily populated towns. the majority of the ones that come only sit for about 5-10 minutes.... basically 2 songs. 

its been a let down having over 1500 dollars and soooooo much time in it.... i am sure i have sounded like a broken record asking people to share it on facebook. and we have had a fair amount of views and shares. 

I really enjoy this hobby. the feedback i have gotten has been fantastic from the people that have came. 

its a bummer looking on the camera and only seeing one car stop for 5 minutes or less in a night..... i have 9 songs. the show is about 30 minutes. 

should i throw in the towel. and not take all this crazy time and money for next year? of just throw another 1500-2000 dollars in it next year. and hope for more donations and support next year? 

is it really worth it? people drive a long ways to see Christmas lights. do i cut it off since christmas is over? or keep running it until new years? 

is this normal for the first year? how do you keep spending the money and time on it when little support comes? 

When I did my first display back in 2005, donations and traffic were the furthest thing from my mind. For me it was never about how much money I could raise for a charity, how much food I could collect or how many cars came by. Truth be told it was the fact that I could do it that inspired me. That quickly changed as I saw the looks on kids faces when they saw the lights. Honestly, that became one of the reasons I did the display.

Favorite story. Christmas Eve, year 1 or 2. I'm standing outside across the street from my house, traffic is light, few cars are out. A car approaches and stops to watch the lights. I see a girl, quite young, maybe 4-6 years old, get out of the car and put something in my mailbox. It was the sweetest hand written Thank You card, complete with the backward "R" that kids seems to use a lot.

After year 3, I would hoping for slow nights. There were some years I paid the local PD to sit in front of the house, just to help keep things a bit calm. (Or at least force people to have a second thought before doing something stupid.)

Run the lights as long as you want. When you get tired of them for the year, shut them off and take them down. Try and take satisfaction in knowing that people who saw the display enjoyed it.

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Don't count cars, don't count anything, not even the number of lights in my display.  None of that is important, what's important is that your neighbors and their children enjoy it.  And that YOU, yourself enjoy doing it, whether or not you get any traffic.   I'm glad I don't get any traffic, parking is already a nightmare just for the residents that park on the street, adding more cars would just fuel frustration in my neighborhood.

So I don't really advertise my display, I do here, but ask for a PM if anyone wants to come and check it out.

Sometimes I leave my display up until Jan 6 {3 Kings Day}, and other times, depending on my mood, may take it down as early as the day after Christmas.   It's whenever you feel it's time to shut it down and take it down.

It's all a matter of preference for each person that does this.

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I have been building my display for a number of years.  Currently it is still a static display.  I am hoping to take the LOR plunge for next year.

I have always done my display because I love to do one.  I could spend hours looking at it.  Personally if even one person drives by an gets a smile on their face, great it was a success.  I will admit that I never put much thought into other peoples enjoyment until a few years ago when we were having supper and our doorbell rang.  When I answered the door, there was a young boy around 5 who just came to say that he liked our lights.  It truly made my day.

 

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Weig2fast4u

 

I'm with Orville here, but I do have a neighbor who counts cars and tells us, he really enjoys that, at least till 9 o'clock then bedtime becomes more important, any way I just keep spending the time and money because of the children and most parents. I was out last night looking at the display thinking of changes for next year and a 4 year old with her grandmother walks by and comments on the lights.

 

She is the reason for the lights, the kids hanging out the window singing to the music, walking by and watching the lights, they are the reason we do this, and I would just give it some time, people stop and comment they come by many days a week and for years and how much they enjoy the lights, keep it up and the viewers will grow each year, my wifes patients start asking about christmas lights in September and October, and then they comment for months later how they enjoyed them. She does very little decorating but takes pride in our display and street.

 

We have been doing LOR for about 5 years I think, and decorating the street for longer, and out street has become popular and sometimes too many cars, don't try to grow too quick, you don't want to have to hire a policeman to control traffic, we are just under that and hope it never comes, my neighbor says car counts this year are down a little from last year, maybe 10-20 percent, but weekends and christmas eve we still went over 500 cars before the count stopped. The counter went to bed LOL.

 

I believe weather had a lot to do with the lower counts this year, we have had more rain than normal, but maybe it could be other things I am not sure. We are going to keep our lights on till the Friday after new years, keep up the good work and build your display for yourself and the kids.

 

Keith

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I too have been doing my display for many years (my parents did lots of lights really nothing like mine now but for them and me back then it was lots). when I started I have never did it for donations (my thoughts are Christmas is for the giving and this is my way of giving). 

However I have received so much JOY over and over from Kids and parents and grand parents, that I could not make the list as it would be soooo long but here is few

1.  Email what is your address as My !00 year old Grand mother would like to see your lights again 3 years in a row

2.  A boy 5 or 6 rings the door bell and hands me a hand made Rudolph made of wood thanks for doing the lights we come by no less then twice a week.

3.  One year at tear down ( March) found $18.00 in a mail box prop.  What to do ?  their was young boy became scared of the firemen because he had a dear young friend pass away in a fire and his mind could only think that it was the fire men that made this happen. So I made arrangements  for the two of us to go to the fire hall and donate the money to them at their meeting. With a lot of persuading he was able to walk into the meeting and donate. Moral of this story was not the money but to change the young boys thoughts of firemen.

I still do not ask for donations smiles and happiness is all what is needed.         

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Don said:

When I did my first display back in 2005, donations and traffic were the furthest thing from my mind. For me it was never about how much money I could raise for a charity, how much food I could collect or how many cars came by. Truth be told it was the fact that I could do it that inspired me. That quickly changed as I saw the looks on kids faces when they saw the lights. Honestly, that became one of the reasons I did the display.

This is also true for me. Although I started in 2011. And had to take a year off in 2018. Lights back on in 2019. My first year I didnt get much response, ie traffic. how ever each year I did this more and more people came. I dont get many people where I live but word does travel fast. in 2017 my average was about 2 - 300 cars a season, I do three shows a year. The thank you's and the smiles were all worth it. I took a year off and when I came back on this year I was not getting  the response that I was use to and even thought just like you, Should I just give up? are people just into it anymore? I was just down about it all. Let me tell you a story of what just changed my mind. About three days ago I was sitting on my porch watching how many people were coming by to see the show. I sat out there for 2 hrs and had only 1 car come by. Feeling down and not wanting to see anymore I went in for a shower. When I came out, my wife came up to me and told me that I had a couple visitors come by, I just figured, ok a couple more, thats cool but it didnt lift my spirits any. What my wife didnt tell me is that she told these 2 visitors to come back the next night. Well the next night, again I was sitting on my porch counting cars and yup I counted then all on 1 hand. Well I was about to go in and all of a sudden here comes about 4 cars, 2 parked on the side of my home, 1 in front and 1 pulled into my drive. This one, 2 kids got out, age, 1 was 6 and the other was 7, these two ran up to my and gave me a big hug, said thank you to me and gave me 2 PKG's of cookies. They were all smiles. They told me that they missed me last year and was hoping that I was running my lights this year. I talked to there mom and dad and they told me that they drive quite a ways to come see my show. That there mom use to live in the park that I do and that is how they knew about my shows. This was a AWESOME KIcker to me and allowed me to remember why I started and do this show. Its not the money or donations or how much I spend on my show but in fact it is the memories that I give to the kids and to the families that come and see it. This is why I do this. These 2 kids, not knowing what they did to me saved my shows. I promised them I will keep going and that I hope to see them next year. I also requested a favor from them. I asked them for a new theme for my show next year and to come up with 2 songs each and I will make it happen. Last night they came back over and gave me there list.  So you see, its not the number of cars that come by, or how much I make in donations but in fact for the few that do come by I make memories that are priceless and last a lifetime.  Dont give up yet, it is only your first year. Give it some time, the word will get out and my bet is in a couple of years you will be asking how some of us do traffic control because of the amount of cars that come by.

 

Dennis Smith

MackLights

Toledo Ohio     

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Becareful what you wish for! I just got in from picking up trash from the sides of the road. "The diapers are always a bonus. I love mountain folk and their charitable giving." They might not have much money but the are very generous when it comes to leaving trash on the side of the roads.

With a light show also comes the azzholes. 

I do the show because I like to look at the lights, not for the other people.

I do the same basic charity as you are doing. Toys For Tots - two legged animals. Your charity might be focused towards better educated and disiplined recipients.

 

I like to watch the lights. I think we went outside three times this year only to chat with people who text us that they were in front of the house.

 

My question is, " why do the visitors to a light show always have to honk at each other?" "Can't we all just get along?"

 

 

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In my experience we get more and more cars each year.  As word gets out, more and more people come.  I usually don't count a total for the night, but I remember the first couple years there would be a handful of cars at a time outside.  This year, at times I could count up to about 20-30 cars at a time.  And other times during the same night I might see just a couple.  Oddly enough there is a Christmas Light Tour bus that goes around town and somehow we are now on the tour.  I'm not sure how often it comes by, but it only stays a couple minutes.  I've had people tell me they saw our house on the tour and had to come back on their own when they had more time to watch the whole thing.  I try and keep my shows to about 20 min or less to help keep traffic moving.  Don't fret if people don't watch the whole show, sometimes they may come back a few times and get it in chunks. When we take the kids out to see lights, we try and hit as many as we can in a night, so sometimes we don't always stay and watch an entire show, especially after sitting for about 10- 15 minutes.  From a really good movie the saying goes, "If you build it, they will come."  When word gets around about your show, you'll start to see an increase in traffic.

Edited by Little_b

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Our house is just a few blocks off a main road not too far from Houston.   But you can't see my house from even just down the road so I never had many people in the past.   As others said, I do it because I really like it.   II hand out candy canes to both young and old which has been my tradition, dating way back before light-o-rama came on the scene (to be honest, I just like to stand out there and watch the lights!).   The first year with the programmed show, I handed out just a few.  Last year was a few hundred and this year so far, I gave out about 1200 candy canes.   We have a driveway monitor that plays a tone when someone drives by and that is good on slow nights.

Facebook is a good source for referrals.  I added a Facebook page for the house last year so it made it easy to locate.  This year that really took off.  I went from about a dozen followers (family) to just over a hundred which definitely had an impact.  A number of people said, we saw this on Facebook.   The NextDoor app is also good for getting word out to your neighbors.    I also added some signs on the main street to help people find me since as I said, you wouldn't otherwise. 

My program lasts about an hour (no MIIP) and the majority stay a song or two and this year I had a few that stayed for the whole thing.  A good number that just stop a few minutes too, which annoy me a bit but you can't please everyone.     I am fine with a moderate volume.   The street is not wide but fortunately is dead end only had 10 houses so its not busy and I do my best to not disturb them too much.   This year, the max I had at any one time was 10 cars so besides handing out candy canes, I handle traffic control.    When it is slow, I also encourage them to get out and walk amongst the arches as it is quite different to sit in your car and look at lights than it is to stand in the midst of them and experience being part of the display.  

It actually crossed my mind a few times this year as to why do I do it.   The obvious because I like it and really enjoy it when other people do too (especially the kids).  It is also an art form so as with any form of art, the more people that see it the better. Memories include a cookie (a family was making cookies that day and their son said they had to bring me one), kids singing along while watching the lights, a family that cheered after each song and one family on Christmas day that said they had spent the night visiting other light shows but had saved mine for last because it was their favorite.    I also hope I inspire a few other people to get into this an enjoyable experience, but yes with an expense.   Kind of the same reason I post periodically on here, I want people to be successful and get past the bumps in the road.  So to the original poster, hang in there and keep at it.  But I also wouldn't expect a lot of donations for a few years at least. 

 

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In time, they will come. My first year was 2012. I have no idea how many cars came that year but I know it was nothing like it is now. Now I enjoy having fewer cars. Many times when I leave or come home my driveway is blocked by cars. Luckily this year I put a message on my p10 asking that people please not block driveways and it seemed to help some. 

I do the hobby because I enjoy it and so do the people. Each year I will receive a few Christmas cards in the mail from people I do not know thanking me for the display. I am also head of the shop with a cop program at my department. Many times we receive donations at the police department with notes attached thanking me for the light show.

How long you keep the display running is up to you. Remember everything in this hobby is up to you. My show kicks off every Thanksgiving and comes down the day after Christmas. I spent all day yesterday taking it down. I have done that for the past 8 years. I will continue to do it that way. 

The more I did with my display each year the more fun I had. I had heavily considered not doing my display this year but am glad I did. It's now a Christmas tradition for many people in my town.

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WOW. THANK YOU!!!!! Trying this out this year really has been fun.,... it was also a major obsession... i am 28 years old. When i was younger,  i wanted to do the lights and electronics for concerts..... haha who would have thought that i could do it with my own house....... 

my wife told me at one point,,,, that that lights seemed to take away from our time together. so next year i am going to have to work on things little by little instead of slamming everything together from september to december. 

Guys, I really do love this. my wife has been really down from others not supporting the animal rescue... but..... i dont have facebook. my wife made a facebook for me if you guys wanna check it out... i dont know if you can see it but its a like page "College Street Light Show" and Fostering Foster animal rescue posted a little video and stuff for me when i set their banner out.... 

thank you guys, I needed this..... and i am not all about the donations. i am not about publicity. i just want to make a family tradition for others and hear that kids love it.... 

the neighbors said that their daughter who is 43 watched the entire thing over and over for 4 hours///, all of their grandkids were dancing and singing. 

I have two kids myself. my daughter is almost 3 her name is Selah (Say-Lah) and Mikey who just turned 1.... I want this to be our thing every year to experience doing together.   the day we set it up and going... i sat my little boy on the lawn and watched his eyes go 100mph. kicking and screaming (in a good way). 

i dont want this to hinder our family time. i want it to be something we do together... sometimes my wife wants to get bigger and better with it... sometimes i get, this takes up too much time. so... i guess thats why i have had mixed emotions...... 

I am a machinist. and any little thing that doesnt look right, bothers the hound outta me... but my wife broker her arm on november 10th and i have been Mr Mom since then and trying to get all of this done... so i am not 100% happy with this years sequencing. but... try to find me on facebook, if you cant find it on there, look up Alyssa Harris in Bethune SC. and go from there.... if anything needs the support it needs to go on there... 

But all in all<>>>>> I LOVE THIS. the Kids LOVE IT. i makes me smile. my neighbors love it. and he is a "car counter" too... who also manages a LOWES.. WHOOT WHOOT. LOL

Thanks Guys..... Best inspiration ever... i wasnt expecting all the respsonses!!! 

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My wife will tell you right quick, "I'm a LIGHT-O-RAMA WIDOW!" 🤣🤣🤣  And I'll tell them, she isn't kidding, it's TRUE! 🤣

But she knows how long it takes me to get sequencing done, as I work on this all year long when I can.  It takes time to get this stuff as close to right as you can.  I know I ain't perfect, doubt I'll ever be while in this plane of existence.

But while I'm here I'll do the best I can with it.

My neighbors, family and friend are all amazed I even pull these displays off at all.  I've got a lot of medical conditions that make it very difficult to do things at times.  I'm also legally blind, if folks could truly see things how I see them, they'd be truly amazed at what I do with my meager display.  I'm also 55% deaf in the left ear and over 75% deaf in the right ear.   The deafness comes from working in industries that were very noisy, and we didn't have a lot of the safety laws then, not like we do now to protect your hearing.  So I paid the price for that one.

Believe me, there are times all of us have gotten disenchanted with this hobby, and thought about quitting and giving it up.  But we think about those that have seen the display, especially the children whose face lights up with smiles when they see it and sing or dance with the music.  That's what keeps many of us going with this hobby.  Then there are some like me, just too dadblasted stubborn to quit.  Oh, I've thought about lots of times, each year at set up and each year at tear down with all the work, I ask myself, "Why do I keep doing this?"   And so I keep reminding myself why I do this, not only for me, but for all those that enjoy it!

Tell your wife, welcome to the "Light-O-Rama Widows Club!"  There really isn't one, but I'm surprised one of the wive's hasn't really started one!😛🤔😮🤣

Edited by Orville
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2019 was my first time w/LOR. The majority of the year I was busy making props or sequences. My wife felt neglected also. This year it'll be better for her. In regards to traffic patterns. We live close to the beginning of a cul-de-sac w/about 38 homes in it. I would see one or two cars checking out our lights and listening to the music on their car radio. It's always nice to see someone appreciating what you've done. However, the most joy I got were from children, seniors (80 yrs.+), and myself.

If a neighbor drives by one night I want them to hear a totally different show the next night. Thanks to the help of this community I have shows 60 mins. long and longer. I play holiday songs 5 days of the week. Friday and Saturday is "Santa's Playlist, (includes all genre of music). I've gotten plenty of likes from that idea. I even asked the closest neighbors for songs which they all were happy to do. So there's a sign in the yard that tells when and what will play each night. (not every song)

For me, weather is a factor when lights go up and down. I'm in Ohio, nuf said. I took them down New Year day because weather was mild. As it turned out two neighbors came to help my wife and I, and it was a BIG help. 

So for 2020 I might go from 32ch to 48 is the plan. We'll see. And who ever sees the display hopefully will enjoy it. I know I will!

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Thanks for the reply! And at church this morning, the preacher walked up to me and asked if I would be interested in helping them set up one for the church. Said they had some money allocated for one if I could help them do one that told the Christmas story. So I was pretty happy. We are supposed to sit down this week... I’m kinda anxious to hear how much money they think they have for it... so apparently my show made a statement for the community enough for everyone at the church to agree to doing one! Haha but idk how much money they think they have for it. I told him how much I had in all of it, and he didn’t blink so, I’m anxious to see what comes of it!!!!

Edited by weigh2fast4u@yahoo.com
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On 1/19/2020 at 7:20 PM, Tman49 said:

For me, weather is a factor when lights go up and down. I'm in Ohio, nuf said. I took them down New Year day because weather was mild

Did the same here, Month to set up. 6 hrs to tare down, lol.

what part of ohio? im in Toledo

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16 hours ago, Mr Grunts said:

Did the same here, Month to set up. 6 hrs to tare down, lol.

what part of ohio? im in Toledo

I'm in Columbus. Go Bucks!

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