Jump to content
Light-O-Rama Forums

My observations of 2012....


Daryl Hurd

Recommended Posts

With our show coming to an end tonight.. I just wanted to share some of my observations about what people liked\disliked about our show. Things that worked well with us and things I will try to be better at in the next year...

What people liked in our show....

That our show used alot of unique props and that our show had very few Christmas light strands in it. People thought that it was unique and were fascinated by the different shaps the same pixel could be put in. Even though our show was not the biggest or brightest, it was unique.

(We used alot of HolidayCoro stars and small enclosed stars. 98% of our show is RGB pixels.)

People really commented on our choice of music this year. It seemed that the techno versions of Amazing Grace and Wish you a Merry Christmas were our two favored songs. Wizards in Winter probaly being the 3rd most liked.

It seems that peoples taste when it comes to music and blinky flashy is something more upbeat and lively at least in our town and with our use of almost all pixels..

What we failed at...

Our show had a mix of small, medium and large RGB stars throughout the yard. When we laid out the design for this year, we put the biggest stars in front and the smallest in back.. Most people could not tell that the lights were the small stars at the distance they were at.

Next year, we will be working to swap the stars around so that the larger stars will be in the back.

We did use dumb RGB pixels in our corostars and these failed(due to water) more than we had thought they would. Next year, we are looking at getting rid of them or finding a way to completely remove water from the equation. We believe we will move more toward completely sealed pixels.

What worked well for us....

Knowing when to call it quits to add/fix that last minute thing. Our first prop we made was 2 small pixel trees but they failed. Instead of trying to fix and work around, we decided to remove it from our show and modify the songs/sequences.

Having backups of every piece of equipment. We were up and running at 100% every night of the show without worries. We merely had to swap out bad items and then repair them behind the scenes instead of trying to fix in place.

We have seen alot of threads about people wondering what the future is for LOR/ lighted animated displays and we believe that just like many other things, it is maintaining something that is unique that will draw crowds back to your display year after year.

Too many displays have the same features in their yards or are using the same lights or music. So to someone that is driving around displays in their town, they just see it as another been there done that house.

We certainly had an advantage this year of going with a star theme but each year we will have to strive hard to make sure that there is something that no other display has so that we can maintain an unique show. I believe that in working with the people of the other shows around us, we will be able to have things that they will not and make each show a crowd pleaser.

Check out some of our show at RGBStars.com for some of our videos..

Edited by Daryl Hurd
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Don Gillespie

What worked well for us....

Having backups of every piece of equipment. We were up and running at 100% every night of the show without worries. We merely had to swap out bad items and then repair them behind the scenes instead of trying to fix in place.

This is especially true if you are running arches with the sleeve method, and fire sticks, you never know when some thing is going to fail, good planning goes a long way for a successful season. Happy New Year to everyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For my show, the lights & light fixtures are mostly string based although I do use a limited number of CCRs and dumb RGB strip and modules. I chose not to go down the high channel count RGB pixel route because of the changes in programming techniques that this would necessitate. My main props include a standard mega tree + midi and minitrees, shooting stars, arches, spinners, fans and icicles.

This season has been my most successful yet - biggest crowds, biggest charity donations, and happy and friendly viewers. I have encouraged visitors to stand back in order to view the show as a whole rather than get up close when many of the synchronization effects are lost. Our Christmas is in the middle of summer - The days are hot and the nights are pleasant, My show is located on what is normally a quiet suburban street corner. There are only a limited number of possible parking spots for people to watch from their cars, and I have encouraged people to park and walk. Each evening I put out about a dozen chairs at the best vantage locations across the street on my neighbours footpaths. I have 2 sets of speakers on my fenceline and place 2 portable radios on the footpath across the street.

I found people love to chat and find out more about the display. Repeat visitors often bring their own chairs and sometimes even set up a picnic rug on the footpath and have dinner or drinks. For several of the songs, children and even adults dance on the footpath. This year I know of one engagement that occurred at my lights - I thought that special. Last year I was somewhat stunned when the crowd started applauding at the end of some sequences - WIW is fast and builds to a climax is still one of the most popular. This year during my introduction, the crowd often falls silent and sometimes applaud at the end. I find crowd numbers difficult to estimate, but for several nights just before Christmas, I estimated there were about 500 people sitting/standing on the footpaths watching at any one time. Visitors often stay for an hour or so and watch the sequence (24 mins) through more than once. The show runs as a continuous loop.

Lessons learned:

1 During the season, I did no repairs. I started with a few lights/elements not fully lit, but in most cases, viewers do not notice. The one exception was on a firework star where an RGB element was rotated. It left a dark hole, but was not reachable without dismantling so it remained dark throughout. I base my sequencing on keeping the whole show very busy, so the viewers are looking in multiple places and finding new effects all the time. There are rarely any dark spots.

2 On a number of my sequences, I use a build up in the lights intensity towards the end and often finish with large numbers of channels twinkling and the fading away. This always brings favourable comments from the viewers.

3 Adjacent to my donation box, I have a couple of interactive buttons that activate nearby strobes and other flashing lights. Kids love this interaction and I believe it improves the donations.

4 I have always run my display as a continuous loop of sequences so visitors can come and go as they please and stay as long as they like. I have never seen any benefit in having a show followed by a break.

5 There are two sayings which are relavent:

( a ) "Build it and they will come" - This certainly applies when the lights are popular or different, particularly today with the prevalence of social media (Last night I did a quick YouTube search and found 6 videos of this year's lights - I have yet to upload my versions).

( b ) "Be careful what you wish for" - This year the crowds became somewhat overwhelming at the peak times. Next year I am taking a break - NO lights at all and after that, I will decide whether I continue again in the future,

My sincere thanks go to LOR for a good, reliable system of controllers and software which ran throughout the season without a hickup.

:) :) :) Happy customer

Edited by Geoff Harvey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess as I sit here and reflect back, It was a pretty good season with no major problems. The one thing that I found out this year was with the partial conversion to led lights and redoing all of my mini trees and arches I had zero problems with gfi's tripping in the rain this season. I definately had a lot of people commenting about my display this year. The one song that everybody has commented on is the song I had Judy Pancoast redo for me. One of the other things I have been thinking about is what do I add / change for next year. With all of the presales going on now it really makes you think about next season's display so you can get stuff ordered.

Since this is my last night for the show, the reallity of taking it down is setting in. All of my cords are under 3-4" snow now and to top that off the cold snap is comming in tomorrow with highs in the 20's for the next several days. Oh well I guess that is part of the whole project!! I am sure there are others of you that have it worse than we do in Indiana.

Wayne

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like most of you I sit here and reflect on this past Halloween and Christmas, Halloween was wild and with the exception of a couple of tripped GFCI's the show went off without a hitch much to the joy and amazement of 350+ trick or treaters!! All Halloween night the most frequently asked question was "when are you gonna setup your Christmas show". From the second we plugged in the first light and/or inflatable we have had a steady flow of traffic, we didn't setup everything at once because we have day jobs and limited time but by Thanksgiving we were full swing. It has been a joy to watch, we even had folks that were from Iceland (were in town for business and heard about our show) stop by and film our show in addition to "interviewing" us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...... People really commented on our choice of music this year. It seemed that the techno versions of Amazing Grace and Wish you a Merry Christmas were our two favored songs. Wizards in Winter probaly being the 3rd most liked.

It seems that peoples taste when it comes to music and blinky flashy is something more upbeat and lively at least in our town and with our use of almost all pixels..

....... Check out some of our show at RGBStars.comfor some of our videos..

You don't have a video of We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Can you tell me who the artist of your version is?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Daryl

Very nice.

Do you have an information to share on those candy canes? Or are these to remain unique to your display ? :)

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Geoff Harvey.. My friend owns a B&B in Brisbane. I was down there this summer.. had a great time.. wish I could have seen your display.. but it wasn't the right time of year.. ;)

How come no lights next year.. if I may ask..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't have a video of We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Can you tell me who the artist of your version is?

We Wish you A Merry Christmas (Dance)

Album A Most Excellent Dance Party Christmas

Would you like the sequence?

Edited by Daryl Hurd
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Daryl

Very nice.

Do you have an information to share on those candy canes? Or are these to remain unique to your display ? :)

Steve

Luckily you are far enough away you will not be any competition so I can share 8)

These are the HolidayCoro Candy Canes.. Quite easy to setup !! David prints all the spots were you put lights and dividers on the black coro and has alot of videos of how to do these.

I cannot say how nice and easy they were. You can add quite a few rather quickly...

We did go with WS2801 pixels instead of his suggested pixels. We used the 6 led round ones from Ray Wu.

I will be buying more of these to make 16 in our display for next year...

I think they will look awesome in your yard with all your current candy canes on the fence line.

I liked your sequence for looks like xmas.. Any way I could have a copy? I could share a few I have done if you like mine...

I am looking for sequences with alot of pixels.. Although I think you have a few more than us at this point..

Edited by Daryl Hurd
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We Wish you A Merry Christmas (Dance)

Album A Most Excellent Dance Party Christmas

Would you like the sequence?

I don't have any RGB, so it would probably not do much good. But thanks for the offer!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We Wish you A Merry Christmas (Dance)

Album A Most Excellent Dance Party Christmas

Would you like the sequence?

I would especially if you have the audio or if the audio was from iTunes. Send it to chet27604@yahoo.com. thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Geoff Harvey.. My friend owns a B&B in Brisbane. I was down there this summer.. had a great time.. wish I could have seen your display.. but it wasn't the right time of year.. ;)

How come no lights next year.. if I may ask..

In 2011, my wife passed away and my life directions and priorities are changing. I have now been doing a display for 10 years, I will be 70 this year, and my lights have become more of a physical challenge each year. Consequently, I have decided to take a break this year (2013), and then to re-evaluate whether to continue doing my lights show, or something smaller, or to stop altogether.

I do so love the lights, the challenge of just getting them working, the incredible reactions of the visitors young and old, and the support I have received from the local neighbourhood. There are so many marvellous memories. Just yesterday, a local family hand delivered a laminated drawing by a 4 year old who had visited my display many times during December. Such wonderful memories.

I cannot predict my lights future - you just never know where life will take you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Geoff, Sorry to hear about your wife. I do understand about the rest as well. If I were closer, I would come do all the leg work for you.. but alas, I am a very long way away.

Your videos have been insperational to me.. You had also sent me a few sequences so I could learn some programming tricks.... I for one will miss seeing them.

God bless

Craig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • The topic was locked
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...