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planning for next year


docbass06
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I'm thinking about jumping into the light o rama world next year for christmas. I currently use a mixture of GE led lights and the flex tech flexible led as well as conventional net lights for my bushes. I want to start small, but what I want to know is will the LED's I already have work with the system. Should I get the standard software? What exactly is DMX? Do I need it to use my current lights? Lastly, How much power do these things pull? Is it a big drain on conventional residential systems? Sorry one more the cosmic color ribben? How hard are they to use and what software do i need for them?

thanks a bunch before I start spending some cash on this system.

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From reading your post, I would recommend NOT looking at DMX right now. You can download the software and play with it in demo mode. Download the user manuals to get familiar with the software and the hardware. Yes your current lights will work with the LOR controllers. Start shopping for your lights now for next year, watch for sales and after Christmas. Pick out a style and vendor you like and buy as much as you can afford and then some. Decide which white you want to work with, warm or cool white. Shades of color may vary by vendor as well. READ, read, read! Learn what is a snubber, how to make SPT cords, pre-sales, when are LOR sales etc...

Welcome to the addiction!

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I would start with the current lights you have (They will work) With LOR. Start little 16 channels. Down load the software now to practice sequencing.. After you learn that then I would start learning other things. In this hobby I learned 1 step at a time.On A Good note welcome to the madness.

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I would start with the current lights you have (They will work) With LOR. Start little 16 channels. Down load the software now to practice sequencing.. After you learn that then I would start learning other things. In this hobby I learned 1 step at a time.On A Good note welcome to the madness.

yeah like 16 channels is enuf......lol

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Thanks everybody, good info. BTW what's a snubber? What are vampire cords? I know I'm a super noob, but that's why I'm starting the research now.

My husband didn't know what a vampire plug was...until he started using them...he said it was the coolest invention for Christmas lights!. Keep in mind when you are buying up lights...from what I read...(I'm a newbie...been doing this since only June) don't buy Martha Stewart... I don't know...I took what I read and didn't buy any. I read they didn't fade... I was told from a credible source that I didn't need SPT2 wire only SPT1 cuz of various reason....so before you go buying the more expensive wire...see if you really need it. From what was explained... SPT2 is a heavier wire... like to 12 or something...but you can only go to 8 per channel anyway. so I talked with my husband and he concurred..we didn't need that heavy duty of wire... so we got spt 1 from www.Christmaslightshow.com which is a site I wish I found in June. But 16 channels isn't enough. I'll tell you right now. I started with 16 and once I started sequencing and getting the hang of it... I sit with earbuds on my lap top..and I listen to the music and I hear the different parts of the song... things just go popping in your head but then.... you're out of channels. I have 48 and I would have loved more! but....next year. And it's not a hobby. It will consume you. You will hear songs on the radio and find yourself trying to sequence your lights on your roof in your head. But I can tell you first hand.... during a test run of the show... a lady stopped with 3 kids in her car and 3 noses were pressed against the window. Its awesome.

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Thanks everybody, good info. BTW what's a snubber? What are vampire cords? I know I'm a super noob, but that's why I'm starting the research now.

I purposely didn't put in direct links because you need to learn to use the search tool. There are many threads that cover each topic, so the more you read the better understanding you get. We enjoy answering questions, but we can also tell who's not doing their homework.

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You'll probably want to also search full wave and half wave led lights, sealed and replaceable bulbs. They each have their advantages and disadvantages. I'll mention some of it here and others may chime in on this as well.

Full wave use the full sine wave of AC voltage. They are brighter than your average led lights. They also cost more and use more power, although, with leds, it's not much of an issue.

Half wave use only half the sine wave, big box stores sell these. Not as bright and may notice a flicker to them, this seems to be getting better lately or my eyes are getting too slow to notice. These are much cheaper and can be bought locally anywhere.

Sealed bulbs are not replaceable without doing string surgery, but generally last longer and are more expensive. Replaceable bulbs are easier to fix, but cheap strings can rust, especially if they get covered with ice. Both strings require surgery if strings get eaten by rabbits BTW. Shopko has sealed strings and so far, I really like them when the price is right.

Led strings can have issues with fading due to not enough load on the controller, that's where snubbers can help.

Edited by scubado
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Do a lot of reading. You be surprised at how many questions that can be answered that way. From the first of Nov to first of Dec. Most of us are in crunch mode and really have less time to hold hands. So, read for now and take notes. Then start asking in ernest when the crunch is over. Do download the software as mentioned. Start to work with it and finding your way around. Have fun and read..

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