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How many of you get caught watching YOUR lights


Mark h2o
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I don't know about you but when I get home and there is no one watching when the show is on, sometimes I'll park and watch because it's fun to admire your hard work and also to see if everything is working ok and look for areas to improve upon.
Well, more often than not cars roll in while this is going on and then I feel kinda' like an idiot if I pull in front of everyone, open the garage and pull in. (especially since we live at the end of a cul-de-sac)
Not sure how many of you do this but It makes me a little uncomfortable, especially when 8 or 12 cars are looking in my garage when I pull in.

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Mark h2o wrote:

I don't know about you but when I get home and there is no one watching when the show is on, sometimes I'll park and watch because it's fun to admire your hard work and also to see if everything is working ok and look for areas to improve upon.
Well, more often than not cars roll in while this is going on and then I feel kinda' like an idiot if I pull in front of everyone, open the garage and pull in. (especially since we live at the end of a cul-de-sac)
Not sure how many of you do this but It makes me a little uncomfortable, especially when 8 or 12 cars are looking in my garage when I pull in.

Anytime my wife and I come home, we sit and watch one or two songs. I always find something wrong or that I want to adjust, and go in and make a little change. On New Year's Eve I was watching "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" and thought I saw Joseph in the Nativity go on for a split second. As many times as I've watched that sequence, I had never seen that before. I went in and looked at the sequence and sure enough, there was one single cell that was on at 50% for about 1/4 second.
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Ditto that, if you don't watch you'll never see the mistakes, burned out bulbs or twisted wire from the wind, etc.
Besides, my kids always ask me to stop to watch, it's all for them anyway.

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miaskiewicz christian

I like to watch the display especially when the Snowman sings : even for me he sometimes lok as if he were alive...

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Surfing4Dough

You bet I do. If I can't watch my own house, there is a problem. Sometimes the family all goes out in the car and just pulls out to watch the show (just did this New Year's eve). I do this for myself and my family. The community just gets to benefit from it as well in my mind.
What I think is funny is that anytime I open the garage door, or they see us walk outside, some cars will immediately leave. I have had many people admit to us that they feel goofy or like a stalker sitting out in front of our house just watching. I usually say that obviously we are OK/intend for others to watch considering the radio sign ("Listen to the Lights), the voiceovers aimed at visitors, and the shear number of lights.

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I get caught trying to get pictures of videos of the display a lot.

One person this year asked me how much I was charging the homeowner to do it!!
I had to laugh at that one and when I told them that the homeowner was real cheap and didn't pay much they were a little shocked at first and said how they could understand it since things like these light shows just had to cost an arm and a leg to put up!
After I told them that it was okay; I was the homeowner, they laughed pretty hard too and we had a nice chat about things.
I like to sit out and watch the lights though. It not only helps to see things that need to be changed but why can't we enjoy the "fruits of our labors" along with others?
The display is just plain pretty to watch and at times even I get somewhat amazed at the fact that I did this.

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Mark h2o wrote:

I don't know about you but when I get home and there is no one watching when the show is on, sometimes I'll park and watch because it's fun to admire your hard work and also to see if everything is working ok and look for areas to improve upon.
Well, more often than not cars roll in while this is going on and then I feel kinda' like an idiot if I pull in front of everyone, open the garage and pull in. (especially since we live at the end of a cul-de-sac)
Not sure how many of you do this but It makes me a little uncomfortable, especially when 8 or 12 cars are looking in my garage when I pull in.


Yes, I do this.... and it makes me a little uncomfortable, too. That is why I 'leave' (drive around the block) before coming home and pulling in to the garage. :P

I had a friend from work call me on new year's day and tell me that she saw me on New Year's Eve. I asked her if it was at a local ice cream place. She said "No, pulling out of your garage, driving around the block, then pulling over and watching your lights." :) She caught me!
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LORi P wrote:

Yes, I do this.... and it makes me a little uncomfortable, too. That is why I 'leave' (drive around the block) before coming home and pulling in to the garage. :P


LOL We do this too. Most nights there aren't any spots left to park and watch, so I only get to see the show once or twice during showtimes. I usually watch a couple test shows before I let the public know its on. Feels kind of weird if I am out there during shows. I don't want to be a "stalker".
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Yes, I watch my shows and I go out at assorted times just to be sure things are working and no lights are out anywhere. Most problematic lights I have are the incandescents on the wireframe deer. Seems I'm *ALWAYS* replacing bulbs on them almost every other night.

Since I use both outdoor speakers and a transmitter, albeit the transmitter is feeding the outdoor speakers via an FM radio. The reason I do it that way, if the oudoor speakers aren't playing when I walk outside, I know immediately without having to get in the car, that either the transmitter, or the radio has stopped working for some reason.

I've had the power cord come loose a few times on my transmitter this past season(mainly due to squirrels running or pulling on cords), just unlocked the box the transmitter/DC-MP3 Showtime Director is mounted in, turned off the switch, pushed the cord back into the power brick, and turned it back on and viola, music is playing again.

Also wouldn't have caught the large failure of big box store bought LED's that failed this past season if I hadn't checked the show every night. Also why I'm buying 108 new Sealed LED Strands in assorted single colors from MitS this year. Hopefully to prevent anything like this from happening again for years to come.

But I've never had anyone drive off when I walk out, most would actually call me over to discuss how the show works, what you need to do it, and the main question are usually:

Doesn't it cost more in electric to do that?

No, actually power bill is less now than it was when I just left them on all the time.

How do you make the show?

And how much does it cost to create something like that?

The time involved in sequencing depending on your skill level also deters a few folks I've chatted with. And no I didn't tell them it would take them a 100+ hours to do a minute of music, but it does involve many hours and days to sequence a song, as well as a constant dedication to get it all done. I said once you get the hang of it, you could possibly knock out a 2 minute song in about 20-40 hours, possibly just a little longer.

Of course the answer to that last question will most often bring a look of shock at what all we spend just in the hardware and software alone to put the show on.

Many have said for those last two questions, that's way too much time for me to spend on something like that, and way too much money for my pocketbook to do that. LOL But it looks nice and we'll just enjoy your show.

I also point them to a few other shows that are in the area, as well as one guy that does an awesome static display. All within about a 5 minute or less drive from mine. (Got one right next to me, less than a minute away in the adjoining neighborhood, in a cul-de-sac, if my road wasn't a circle per se, and was able to connect to their road, we'd be less than a 15-20 second drive from each other!) And I got to chat with them one night before Christmas when we walked over to see their display. Although his isn't all animated, it's mostly static with animated trees and arches. But very nicely done. And found out they are also members here, but lurk more than take part on the forums.

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Guest Don Gillespie

Guilty as well, we love to watch our lights , it gives me ideas as to what I want to add for next years show, most of the people either honk thier horn when we pull into the garage then wait untill we come out of the garage and honk again. it is a nice feeling to know we have made other people feel happy if only for a short period of time.

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Guess I am the "weird one" here..imagine that... :P

Usually on the weekends I will be on the sidewalk watching my show and the people watching the show from when it starts (5:00pm) till it ends (10:00pm)...

So, I will see and hear each song about 4 times each night...and make changes if I see things I want to change.

I am out there to direct traffic if need be, but mostly to people watch...and wait for their reactions at certain parts of certain songs...see which ones they enjoy or in some cases on what song most people will leave...

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I was caught several times by my neighbor. Happens we often arrived home about the same time. She would see my car out front and see me and pull into her garage. My 3 yr old wanted to watch Rudolf I had as my planned answer which I never had to use.

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Rear entry garage, so no issues there, though we often have 1 or two cars parked on a side street, not in front of anyone's house, so sometimes we wind up walking past viewers, into the house. I always worry that people might leave when we walk in/out.

The one that is really odd is being in the viewing parking for the city show, and seeing something that needs attention, usually a GFCI that needs reset. I hate walking over and stepping into the display. I always worry that someone will call the police on me, or that I am making it look like just anyone can walk over and walk into the display. Maybe I should be more worried that nobody has ever called the police on me.

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My wife and I are pretty weird about this. I refuse to open the garage door anytime during the show if people are watching. If I know we are planning on leaving after the show starts, I will take the car out early and park it a few houses down the block. If we are out and come home when the show is running we try to wait for a break to get into the garage and get the door down before any more cars stop. I don't mind coming and going out the front door during the show as much as the wife does, but try not to fumble with the locks getting in the door. If we don't get a break, I will park the car a few houses away and walk to the front door.

The one really weird thing I try to insist on is that there be no interior room lights on in the front side of the house as I feel this detracts from the show. LOL
Of course two of our main bathrooms are at the front of the house. I tell the family that there is enough ambient light from the window trim to go to the bathroom by.

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Guilty as charged! So if a few cars pull up I go around the Block and pull into the garage...LOL it's just to funny. I try to make it look like I just got home from Work.....There was a time while sitting outside I noticed that most of the Arch's did not work so I knew I blew a GFCI cause we had a ton of rain the night before..I went over to the side of the garage reset the Breaker. I walked out front to see if they had recovered and had a few cars out front with their windows open and the music playing. I asked one car full if they had noticed if the Arch's were out. They said the What? LOL, Probably didn't even matter to them .

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jim6918 wrote:



The one really weird thing I try to insist on is that there be no interior room lights on in the front side of the house as I feel this detracts from the show. LOL


Funny that you mention that.
I too do not have any lights on while the display is running.
The biggest "problem" would be that one room is my kitchen so sometimes people out watching things will see the light in the fridge come on when I go get something to drink. LOL

But I like to keep the house windows dark so that people can enjoy the show and not the look of lights on in the house which does detract from the display to me.
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jim6918 wrote:
The one really weird thing I try to insist on is that there be no interior room lights on in the front side of the house as I feel this detracts from the show. LOL
Of course two of our main bathrooms are at the front of the house. I tell the family that there is enough ambient light from the window trim to go to the bathroom by.


A little black cloth over the windows does the trick for me. My wife has no problem with the multitude of shows but wants to live "normally" during the season and not have to hide out during a show. Not one person has ever noticed lights on in the house. They always comment that they thought we were out or had all lights off in the house.

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Brian Mitchell

I am often across the street leaning against my car in the neighbors driveway watching shows. If I get walkers, I will wander back over to give them candy canes. Standing outside every night lets me enjoy my creation quite a bit.

Funny story. I was searching Youtube to see if anyone had posted a video of my house and I found one that was recorded two days earlier. On watching it I noticed some lights out that I hadn't seen standing outside. I went and fixed them the next morning.

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Yep. Sure do !! Every night we make a fire in the pit and watch the traffic and show. Some of them come to the pit and discuss what they see and offer to help next year. Just a mile away a fellow gave us a 40 foot tower if we take it down. Next weekend when I have the bucket truck removing lights on the mega tree we will go get the tower.. Everyone have a GREAT NEW YEAR..

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My wife makes be drive around the block before pulling into the drive if we have been watching the lights with other there.

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I love watching our lights! :P

I start out almost every night in the driveway for the first 30-60 minutes. At first it is just to make sure there aren't any blatantly noticeable strands out or GFCI outlets tripped or fuses blown(had this twice this year due to faulty fuses in my strands). But by the end of that time I'm just sitting in the car smiling and thinking "Really? This is really *my* house? Really?". :)

I love Christmas!

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LORi P wrote:

Yes, I do this.... and it makes me a little uncomfortable, too. That is why I 'leave' (drive around the block) before coming home and pulling in to the garage. :D

I had a friend from work call me on new year's day and tell me that she saw me on New Year's Eve.  I asked her if it was at a local ice cream place.  She said "No, pulling out of your garage, driving around the block, then pulling over and watching your lights."  :)  She caught me!


LOL, ya I've done that too. My excuse is that I forgot to look at another house I wanted to see before we go in. This usually prompts the response 'really?' from my wife.

I've also waited for traffic to leave before pulling in but this becomes a problem when traffic starts to pile up towards the end of the year and anyone in the car needs to use the bathroom:shock:

It's funny the things we go through to make sure the 'audience' has a perfect viewing experience.
After doing this for a while it all seems perfectly normal now.
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amcdonald307

I watch alot the first week. But after that, it's much more fun to watch the people watching the show than the show itself, isn't it? I get the 'drive off if they see you' (live in country, people feel like they are trepassing, even though the lights are an invitation).
Between my house and garage I get a great echo and can hear people if they leave their window down or get out of the car from 200 feet away. I remain hidden from them, but I can't see the lights. I spend more time 'watching' the show from there than any other place.

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This was my first year and I only got it up and running on the 27th so I didn't notice many people stopping to watch. So I went out and watched it almost every night at least for the first round of the 3 songs I had running...and then added a 4th song for the last 2 days. I expect more visitors next year...especially since I hit 10 Walgreen's yesterday and bought about 84 boxes of LED's for $2.79 apiece. I found out they have a cash prize for lights in our neighborhood but the judging is on the 17th and I wasn't running yet. I found out from a young kid that had a lot of stuff setup in his yard and was worried about not winning when he saw my house....he was relieved when I said I didn't have it running on the 17th...lol.

I did have some kids ring the doorbell and thank us for the light show one night...that was really nice.

Gil

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James George

Our lights go on at 5:30 so they're on when I get home. Sometimes I'll drive past, turn around and go past again or turn down the road just past our driveway and drive back up that & stop & watch a bit just to get different views.

We live out in the county where there are no places to park in front of the houses, just our driveways. We were wondering how ruts would just appear overnight in our grassy ditchbank. Finally it dawned on us that folks were pulling over on the ditchbank to watch the show. We didn't mind the ruts so much after figuring that out.

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