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Everything posted by LightsWithSoul

  1. I turn on Thanksgiving night. That's when the neighbors are throwing parties and have family/friends over so there will be plenty of people that want to see the display. One more 10 hour setup day ahead of me and then I'll be in test mode (A.K.A. "Why the heck isn't this pixel string working" mode).
  2. My first night of "lights on" is Thanksgiving. I figure it would be nice for all the neighbors to be able to bring their friends and family by to watch the display. I am just finishing up building the last element of the display which should be done by Saturday. I will begin installation on Sunday and work through Thanksgiving Day to be ready for that evening. I would not say I am behind schedule, however I am pushing myself to do a little bit more work these last few days than I had intended. Loving every second of it!
  3. I use these in my display: https://www.lowes.com/pd/LightShow-61-Count-Shooting-Star-Multicolor-Icicle-LED-Plug-In-Christmas-Icicle-Lights/999915179 They work well, seem pretty durable and the textured plastic icicle cover gives it a real sparkle effect that looks quite nice. Avoid the cheap listings for "meteor shower" lights on Amazon and Ebay. Many of them are known to be very dangerous due to extremely cheap and downright unsafe construction methods. If you're curious here's a great video on those cheap lights:
  4. Man... Caniac it sounds like you're putting on 2 different kinds of shows in your yard LOL.
  5. All of my sequences since I started (last year) have been original. Buying or using shared sequences will yield a thousand shows that all look identical. I am also noticing that most pixel displays I have seen use the standard effects and while that may be viable here or there, watching a 5 minute song programmed with nothing but default PE effects gets a little boring at least to me. This year I have a new show element that consists of 44 4ft tall firesticks each with 50 pixels. The idea is to create a "forest" of leaping light. Now if I had just sat down and loaded in someone else's sequence I wouldn't be taking advantage of the opportunity for unique effects/phrasing that those props allow. One major component that is missing from a lot of displays I watch is phrasing. A song has a natural flow. When you sit down in the music studio you don't think of every instrument as a different component. All of it flows together to create a cohesive sound. When you piece out every individual instrument in a song you end up with something that may objectively match the song, but that doesn't have the soul of the song. That soul/passion is what makes a piece of music sound good to us. One more note I have to add is on song choice. I probably have a different take on this than most, but song choice to me is the atmosphere that you set with a display. This year I set out to produce a very stirring and evocative performance and as such I have chosen opera pieces such as "O Mio Babbino Caro" and Placido Domingo's "O Holy Night." There is no way that preset patterns or shared sequences can capture the majesty and emotion of these compositions. There is a level of grace and depth that you can't just flash lights on and off to. I completely understand that some have time constraints or are not too musically minded, but if there is any way at all that you can create custom sequences the rewards are bountiful and there's a real sense of accomplishment knowing that you've created art rather than just flashing lights.
  6. Here's a great video on making spt extension cords. All the cords in use in my display are made using this method. It is completely safe and affordable.
  7. As I was outside just hanging a couple sets of purple Halloween lights in the trees I had several cars and families walking by tell me how much they loved my Christmas display last year and how much they're looking forward to bringing the rest of their family by this year. It's so cool to me that people took the time to stop and tell me how much they appreciated my display. It gets me amped up (pun intended) to show them something even better this year. Is the hype in your neighborhood building for your upcoming display yet?
  8. - At this point in the game I may make 2018 the first year you attempt an LOR setup. There's quite a bit of software and hardware to figure out and you can save some money on the lights and controllers during sales after Christmas. - Speaking of sales, as Jim mentioned there is a "spring mad grab sale" around April and the cost savings on controllers is pretty substantial. I have purchased all of my items during sales and have saved a lot of money (which I of course immediately spent on more controllers haha) - When it comes down to what lights to purchase, there's a few different answers depending on what you want... - If you want to go the incandescent light route places like Lowe's and Home Depot will meet all your needs very cheaply. A 100 count mini light set is about $2.50 at either place. Incandescents will offer a warm "classic" Christmas feel but of course will draw substantially more power than LEDs. If you plan to purchase LEDs there is quite a large quality gap between purchasing lights at the aforementioned Lowe's and Home Depot and the various online suppliers that many of the forum members use. Buying at the big box stores will yield initially cheaper prices however the life span of the lights and the color consistency/brightness of the strands will be inconsistent at best. The vast majority of "big box" lights are also half-wave rectified, which results in a very evident flickering which can make them a little bit harder to look at. Most big box lights will however work fine with LOR. Purchasing from a high quality online supplier will reap better color consistency and substantially brighter light strands that tend to last a bit longer due to higher quality construction that prevents water from entering the sockets. They are also full-wave rectified which eliminates the flickering issue. I personally use all full-wave lights in my display and it really stands out against all of my neighbor's lights that they purchased at the store. The online vendors typically run sales around or just after Christmas time. Expect to pay (even factoring in sale prices) about twice as much for the higher quality LED strings vs the big box stuff. - Running your show on a computer gives you more options on building shows, scheduling times and organizing files. It's a much easier way to run a show -in my opinion- assuming that you have an available Windows PC.
  9. Just received my items today. I bought some 16 channel controllers and rs485 adapters. Ordered the first day of the sale and used the tryforfree promo. That's pretty darn quick!
  10. Sorry to hear that Jaynee. Best of luck to him finding a new one!
  11. So I just looked at the LOR website and sure enough there's a big sale banner there and a price sheet. What do you all plan to get at the sale? I'm going to grab 3 residential 16 channel controllers, some spt wire and 3 more high speed rs485 adapters.
  12. Hey guys. Just edited some more videos of my first display last year and wanted to post them. Guess I'm a little late to the party but better late than never!
  13. I'll throw my hat in to the ring with the young guys. I'm 20. Started last year and am wondering why I didn't start earlier! I personally can't stand the obsession with mobile devices. Don't get me wrong, I love the capability of them and I do own a smartphone and a tablet, but I don't like to spend a lot of time on things that don't give me an end product. That's what I love about sequencing. When you're done you have something to show for it.
  14. Hi msbling. I used to live in Hawaii Kai in Kaimala Marina and just moved about a year and a half ago. Are you in the neighborhood across the street from Kaimala Marina? I remember driving through there and seeing one LOR display. I can't think of another one in Hawaii Kai so I'm just curious if that was yours.
  15. My items are estimated to arrive on the 20th. Pretty darn good if you ask me. I have to say, possibly the most satisfying thing about ordering from LOR is the absolute confidence that if there is something wrong with an item I know it will be corrected/fixed. That makes ordering large volumes of pixels a much less stressful experience.
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