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Getting Started


jeepers128
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I have used ICAN lights in the past and want to move in the direction a light show. I have no idea where to start? What to buy so I don't waste money. This year don't think I have enough money for a controller. I've been looking at the Echosmart LED bulbs at home depot, but I want to get opinions on where should I start so I don't cost my self more money in the future.

Thanks for the help!

Cliff

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Buy your LED light strings after Christmas when usually everything drops to %50 off normal prices. I bought a lot of LEDs from Target and BigLots and they seem to work very nicely with or without a controller. BigLots LED strings dim very well as far as I can see but this is my first year out so I'll know more shortly. I do know that HomeDepot's "Martha" LED strings are worthless for the LOR controllers but are fine if you are just turning on to full power and off again. I would not suggest buying them. You can find deals on controllers as some people get out of the hobby from time to time and you'll find them advertised here in the forums.

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I was able to get started with no lights and went LED from the get go. LED are not as cheap as Icans. But It will be hard to have to use more than two different circuits (outlets on different circuit breakers) Where as many have had to put in sub panels with 8 - 10 or more circuit breakers. Remember Icans are more apt to fail due to the turning on and off the lamp. LEDs could care less if you turn them on and off. Now there are some LEDs out there like the Martha Stuart that HD cares that do not fade properly, stay clear of this brand. You can say that your display is GREEN energy while Icans are anything but GREEN. AS they say, "Cry once, or cry often".

Good luck

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I've not run into any others that won't dim yet other than the "Martha" light strings from HD. Again, I'm a newbie this year but my cheapest light sets were from BigLots and they dim just fine as do the ones from Target.

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Shopko is a great place to get some led strings. The bulbs are sealed and should last a real long time. The bulbs are spaced a little further apart, so you won't need as many strings to cover an element. You do have to watch for their sales, best to buy when they are around $12. Last year there wasn't any left for after Christmas sales. Also colors can vary between vendors, so decide what you like and try to stick with it. Also decide which white you want, there's warm, cool and pure white. If you're playing more traditional music, warm white would be the better choice. If you play more of TSO, then cool white might be better.

The best thing for you in my opinion from reading your post is don't buy any controllers just yet. You can download the software and start playing with it. Download the user manuals and explore this forum for a while. There is quite a learning curve and this is not a plug and play hobby. For now, start collecting your lights and read, read and read some more.

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