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New Guy here...


avery255

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First timer here with several questions. Obviously everyone is busy right now setting up your displays, and the last thing you have time for is to answer questions. But if anyone has some time and advice, I would be very grateful for any of it.

I’ve been doing static lights and displays for years and have placed very well in the neighborhoods Holliday Lights Contest. I’ve always been jealous of the homes with light shows and after the Halloween YouTube viral video this year I have been doing a lot of research and have become highly motivated to expand my display. With that said, here are my questions...

1. I’d like to get a one controller starter kit this year and get familiar with everything so next year I can plan better and expand. Where is the best place to buy these kits, LOR website, wowlights.com or someplace else?

2. When it comes to powering the controller, each controller has 2 power plugs; does each plug have to be on a separate circuit? Does each controller have to be on its own circuit?

3. Software, are most of you using the advanced software or is basic good enough? Should I spend the extra few bucks on the advanced or not?

Again thanks for any advice…

And I know extension cords, extension cords, extension cords…:D

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i have my controler plug in to my back yard plug one in each plug have not had no troudle for halloween this will be my first christmas i have the advance program if you can aford it buy it i also have 4 light string superstar will not use it right now but i am playing with it right now i have 1 controller will use 9000 light leds
i have about 80 sequences for christmas i have been working on it since feb i use spf 2 cord make my one cords

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Welcome avery255!

2 You can plug both the cords into the same circuit if you are not drawing too much current. Calculate your current by adding up all the strings. Usually not a problem unless you are using old style incans.

3 Get the advanced. You can get by with less but will wonder what you are missing. You are limited on the number and unitid with the basic versions.

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Most of us use the PC kits in one of various skill levels from soldering your own to partial built to fully built kits. Get the advanced right away, best deal up front. Once you start, you'll want more very soon!
Welcome to the addiction!

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Controllers :

It just depends what you plug into the controller.
Each string of bulbs consumes power (wattage) A standard household circuit can handel up to 15Amps (1800 Watts roughly)

If you connect enough strings of lights to a controller, you COULD exceed 15 amps - IF you need to power more than 1800 Watts of lights off one controller, you would want to feed that controller from two seperate circuit breakers (not just 2 different outlets)

If you are using LED lights, you can load MANY MORE lights per controller because LED's consume far less power than tradition incadecent bulbs.

You also want to be mindfull of the rating per channel / and per bank. I dont have the manual in front of me but there is a limit to power / channel and power per bank on a controller.

There are spread sheets that can help you determin how much power your various strings will consume, but many people feel much better testing with a "Kill-a-Watt" meter. This device simply plug in between the lights and the regular outlet, and will tell you EXACTLY how much power you are consuming.

I run all my lights, and then test any chanel I tihnk may be hevaily loaded before I connect my controller. I then turn EVERY chanel on FULL, and connect the meter to the controller and make sure the power consumed is within limits of the controller.

Rough idea: I have MOSTLY LED, 48 channels, and I COULD have run my setup off 2 circuits.

Im just a guy with an opponion on the software : I would start with the basic. see how it goes, and if you really feel that you need more functionality, you can always upgrade. Some of the major differences are DMX support and controller count.

Welcome, Good luck, and keep learning, posting and playing.

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Welcome Avery.
1) At this point in the game, find out who has what in stock. I personally purchase straight from LOR, but the partners are just as good and some of them sell pre-made sequences which may be your best option for this year.
2) The PC controller has 2 fused sides so you can use 2 circuits. Being that you are going from static with lots of thing to dynamic, you will most likely be plugging many things into the same circuits so you will probably want to unless you are using all LED.
3) with the Software, it's up to you, but I'd say get the one that meets your requirements now and upgrade later.
4) you have NO idea how many more cords you will need. After having enough for last year, and picking up 5 cases throughout the year, I still had to run out and pick up 126 new ones this year.
5) IF you have blow molds and you are using florescent lights in them, you should not connect them to LOR.
6) Don't forget about the audio, you are going to need an FM transmitter or an amplifier and outdoor speakers if you want people to hear it.
7) Enjoy and have fun with them :D

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one good thing is to put you location in your profile. That way you can see who is near you as well as lor venders close to you, welcome to this crazy hobby

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Guest wbottomley

Welcome to this wonderful but crazy hobby. I usually make some people mad but I tell it the way it is. So... here we go.

If you don't have a basic understanding of computers and electricity, find another hobby. Those two things are needed to proceed forward.

This is the advice I give first then everything else is troubleshooting.

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wbottomley wrote:

Welcome to this wonderful but crazy hobby. I usually make some people mad but I tell it the way it is. So... here we go.

If you don't have a basic understanding of computers and electricity, find another hobby. Those two things are needed to proceed forward.

This is the advice I give first then everything else is troubleshooting.


I agree! I have tried explaining it all to those who have no understanding of computers or electricity. They just get this glazed over look, because it is so foreign to them. There are just too many things to go wrong, so you need some background and troubleshooting skills.
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wbottomley wrote:

Welcome to this wonderful but crazy hobby. I usually make some people mad but I tell it the way it is. So... here we go.

If you don't have a basic understanding of computers and electricity, find another hobby. Those two things are needed to proceed forward.

This is the advice I give first then everything else is troubleshooting.


Well thanks for the advice and warnings but I believe it is already to late for me. I've been wanting to do this for years and I wouldn't be serious about joining the club if I wasn't sure if I could pull it off. I defiantly have the time to troubleshoot anything I encounter.... ðŸ
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So put my order in!!! Starting off with 16 channels this year. hope i get it in time to put together a small show this year. Obviously I wont be up and running by next week but hopefully I will be able to get something going mid December....:?

In reading about making extension cords with SPT-2, I have read not to make them to long... Whats to long???

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Download the software in demo mode and learn how to use it so that when you get everything you can sequence in an hour or two!

Keyboard Shortcuts:

G- Toggle on/off
u- Fade Up
D- fade Down

Theres heaps more but that will get u started

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Greentree38 wrote:

Download the software in demo mode and learn how to use it so that when you get everything you can sequence in an hour or two!

Keyboard Shortcuts:

G- Toggle on/off
u- Fade Up
D- fade Down

Theres heaps more but that will get u started


Ya, I've got the software and I'm almost done sequencing my first song!!!
I think I'm 8 hrs in and have two thirds of a 3 minute song done....

Having a lot of fun with it though and can't wait to see how it looks for real
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gizmomkr wrote:

Controllers :

It just depends what you plug into the controller.
Each string of bulbs consumes power (wattage) A standard household circuit can handel up to 15Amps (1800 Watts roughly)

If you connect enough strings of lights to a controller, you COULD exceed 15 amps - IF you need to power more than 1800 Watts of lights off one controller, you would want to feed that controller from two seperate circuit breakers (not just 2 different outlets)

If you are using LED lights, you can load MANY MORE lights per controller because LED's consume far less power than tradition incadecent bulbs.

You also want to be mindfull of the rating per channel / and per bank. I dont have the manual in front of me but there is a limit to power / channel and power per bank on a controller.

There are spread sheets that can help you determin how much power your various strings will consume, but many people feel much better testing with a "Kill-a-Watt" meter. This device simply plug in between the lights and the regular outlet, and will tell you EXACTLY how much power you are consuming.

I run all my lights, and then test any chanel I tihnk may be hevaily loaded before I connect my controller. I then turn EVERY chanel on FULL, and connect the meter to the controller and make sure the power consumed is within limits of the controller.

Rough idea: I have MOSTLY LED, 48 channels, and I COULD have run my setup off 2 circuits.

Im just a guy with an opponion on the software : I would start with the basic. see how it goes, and if you really feel that you need more functionality, you can always upgrade. Some of the major differences are DMX support and controller count.

Welcome, Good luck, and keep learning, posting and playing.


Quick questions maybe a dumb one. Does the controllers have a heat sink in them or do you have to purchase one to install? It does not say in my manual. It just says reg heat sink (installed) . I am having the same problem not sure how many light I am able to put on one channel. I have 20,000 LED light for 1 controller do you think I should be OK? I have no idea about electricity. Thank You.
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