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The results of our towns annual lighting contest came back and I didn't make it to the top 10. I'm one of three people in town that do a syncrhonized light show, everyone else is static. Winning a prize is not the main reason I put up lights, but I'd be lying if I said I'm not disappointed.

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totally understand, but I guess it boils down to - are you satisfied, happy with your lights?  If so, that is that really matters.  Don't let the voting spoil your 'fun' and enjoyment.

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I live in a smaller town and I am one of 2 animated displays.. For a long time there was a group in charge and if you were not part of a specific chruch, no matter how good your lights were, you would never win.. The city fired the lady in charge and her team a few years ago.. Now i am in charge, for the second year, and I can no longer participate because I am in charge and one of the judges.. but at least everyone gets a fair shot!. 

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Sorry to hear.

I used to compete in a lot of music contests.  If I didn't win, or if I didn't get the rating I wanted, it would be a time to regroup.  Did I put on my best performance?  Am I giving the judges what they want? 

Translating that to displays, is your display "beautiful" or simply "technically cool"?   These contests tend to be judged by people who couldn't care less about the tech behind our displays, they want to be wowed by beauty and Christmas spirit. 

Then take that knowledge to improve next year.

-Tim


I should add that "animation" should never be considered a "better" display than static.  I've seen some static displays that blow away most of the best animated displays I've ever seen, and I've seen some animated displays that are among the worst I've seen lol.

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Thanks for the comments, I appreciate the input.

 

Tim Fisher, I think you hit the nail on the head. Our lights are judged by the Senior Center and I don't think they really care about the "tech" of the display. I'm going to keep that in mind for next year.

 

BradW22, I don't know if there is any "good ole boy" going on in my town or not.....could be though as most small towns seem to have that type of thing. However, I'm glad to hear that's no longer the case in your town!

 

RJCMMASTERS, yes, you're right, I AM happy with my display and that truly is what matters.

 

Surfing4Dough, I'll try to post a video tomorrow (although I must admit I'm a bit afraid too now) :D

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I'll share my story, A few years ago a report came to take pictures and video of my house. She asked if I saw the house over on Sandshore. I told her "yes I did" and I even took my family there. She asked if I was jealous? I said jealous of what? to make a child smile? bring people out to enjoy the lights? I wasn't doing this to be popular or famous. I was doing this because my family enjoyed the hard work I did for them,  the smiles and memories was more than anyone or anything's you can imagine.

 

If your doing this for fame or glory. Than don't complain if your house didn't win. Your doing this for the wrong reason and you might need to rethink  it.

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Don't feel bad, want a big laugh, for about 3 years I used a Mr. Christmas to "animate my lights to the canned music in that thing", every year I used it I won first prize, which was a $50 HD gift card, then in 2010 I went to LOR and started doing it a bit better, thinking if they thought a Mr. Christmas was awesome, this would really blow them away.  Then they decided to "impose" a new rule, if you won the prior year, you couldn't be in the competition, of course they didn't divulge this until AFTER everyone had their lights up and on.  I kid you not!

Well that sort of bummed me out too, here I spent all this money on new hardware, software, added a whole lot more lights, animated everything to music I wanted, only to be disqualified because of the new rule in place.

 

Judging was usually the first or second week in December, TWO DAYS BEFORE the juging, the HOA and Judging group places a flyer on everyones door about "if you won 1st, 2nd or 3rd place" the previous year, your display wouldn't even be judged and you're disqualified, bteer luck next year when you can compete again.       This really ticked off a lot of the other folks that won 2nd and 3rd place because they figured they'd have a shot at 1st place, but because of the new rule, again 2 days BEFORE the contest, they were disqualified.

 

Yes, I was bummed, but I didn't allow that to keep me from ideoing and sharing what I did do my 1st year with LOR, and I did get a lot of negative feedback, but DO NOT LET NEGATIVE FEEDBACK STOP YOU!    Learn from it, I know the truth hurts and I was a bit miffed at a lot of folks telling me how bad my sequences were when I put a lot of work into all this, but now when I look back on those first year sequences {and yes, many of us have our original 1st year sequences and reflect back on them from time to time, even run them and ask ourselves, what the hell was I thinking? LOL}

 

Now in my 3rd year, I can see what I couldn't then.   Damn ARE THOSE FIRST YEAR SEQUENCE DOWNRIGHT AWFUL!!!  LOL

 

So take the criticism, learn from it, I know it's hard to hear "bad reviews" when you gave it your best, but as each year progresses, you will get better and better at this.   I had to fall back on a few 1st or 2nd year sequences this year because I just wasn't in it due to a lot of circumstances.   I'm actually embarrassed having to use them, because they are not at all what I really wanted to do, but at the time, WOW, I thought they were all just great, but tey weren't. ROFL

 

So like others, if you're in it for fame, glory or to win contests, you're doing this for "ALL" the wrong reasons. 

 

Sure it's nice when you get those things, but sometimes getting those things are worse on you than if you kept yourself in "the shadows" of others. 

 

Jusk ask CLDKevin about what happened to him, he got all this and more, which sadly got his awesome displays shut down by the HOA in his neighborhood!

 

I do it to bring smiles and enjoyment to the children in my neighborhood and the adults that also enjoy it, or any visitors I may or may not get.  

 

If I win a contest or a little recognition, okay, but not a big deal to me, and, if not, I just keep going with what I do and let others continue to enjoy the displays I create for Halloween and Christmas.

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Orville, are you sure the HOA/judges just didn't want to hurt your feelings by telling you that your previous Mr. Christmas display "sequencing" was better than your new LOR sequencing, so they came up with the new "rules" to "disqualify" you???  :P

Nope, my neighbor, he usually always won 2nd place {static}, got first place before I started using a Mr. Christmas, he thought the LOR stuff was fantrastic and far better than that Mr. Christmas wireless system I was using, and he thought for sure I'd win 1st place again with the new toys I had incorporated into my display. {no longer live in that subdivision by the way, but this WAS NOT the reason we left}.

 

So he was a bit miffed too, especially since now he was also disqualified for being a prior years 2nd place winner, and not being told until 2 days before judging was to start.  

 

3rd place winner lived on the block directly behind us, he wasn't a happy camper either when he found out {his wife took the newsletter and hid it from him}, he only found out because my neighbor and I were discussing it when he was out walking his dog, and came up and joined up in our conversation.   Not sure I would have wanted to be in his wifes place when he got back home from walking the dog! LOL

 

BTW: Even though we couldn't compete my display did get  the "#1 Honorable Mention" spot for being the most unique and amazing display in the neighborhood.   If it hadn't of been for the new rules, we would have gotten 1st place.  Crappy sequencing and all. :P  ;)  :lol:

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Orville, I can share with you all my sequence's. A few years ago. A fellow member used one of mine, and a won in a contest in Light o rama. But that wasn't my point. I got a lot of pm's about it, but didn't care. One of my sequence (that was sent to me by a member), is even used as a paid custom sequence by a seller of custom sequencer (Use advanced to find the topic). But I still stand here today, sharing my work, thru pm's and e-mails. Ask.... I even had a fallen member ( a former lor member that will not join in anymore questions) ask me for some sequence. But I still shared and will always.

 

Thou I don't comment on every post, I lurk and read comments.

 

The point bein, share your work. And your work will share back.

 

That's what puts a smile on a child's face and mine...

 

Win, lose or draw...

 

 

What is your best memory of Christmas lights?

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My wife has suggested that we contact the local small town reporters to get the word out about our display. Ya, a few times over the month our display is running, I will grouse about no cars out front. But in the long run I dont want the headaches that come with to much publicity. The kids running loose in your display. The loud radios and traffic problems. Word is spreading slowly and I am seeing more traffic. I do it mostly for our family, and any one else that takes the effort to drive a few miles out of town. I dont go out and disturb anyone while they are watching. But a few locals have stopped me and told me how they or their kids have enjoyed the show. Although I did have to go out and find out what I was seeing. Two young boys are hanging out of the window chattering up a storm. Their mother is in the front seat doing something with her cell phone. That hurt some. LOL

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Orville, I can share with you all my sequence's. A few years ago. A fellow member used one of mine, and a won in a contest in Light o rama. But that wasn't my point. I got a lot of pm's about it, but didn't care. One of my sequence (that was sent to me by a member), is even used as a paid custom sequence by a seller of custom sequencer (Use advanced to find the topic). But I still stand here today, sharing my work, thru pm's and e-mails. Ask.... I even had a fallen member ( a former lor member that will not join in anymore questions) ask me for some sequence. But I still shared and will always.

 

Thou I don't comment on every post, I lurk and read comments.

 

The point bein, share your work. And your work will share back.

 

That's what puts a smile on a child's face and mine...

 

Win, lose or draw...

 

 

What is your best memory of Christmas lights?

Thanks Evan, very nice of you to do that.  I share all my sequences too.  I'd be hard pressed or very surprised to learn someone actually used one of mine and made money selling it though.   I'm still not as good as I'd like to be, but getting there slowly. LOL

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People that go on these shows like the ABC Christmas fight are all about look at my house.  These people are not doing it for the right reasons.   Look at me, look at my display.  Who cares about your display in another state.   I see most of the displays now days cant sequence a good song.    I look at displays that are not in these shows do better.  There has been a few on here that have good sequences that don't go out of there way to enter a contest.    I would name a few on here but I have already done that in the past.   

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People that go on these shows like the ABC Christmas fight are all about look at my house.  These people are not doing it for the right reasons.   Look at me, look at my display.  Who cares about your display in another state.   I see most of the displays now days cant sequence a good song.    I look at displays that are not in these shows do better.  There has been a few on here that have good sequences that don't go out of there way to enter a contest.    I would name a few on here but I have already done that in the past.   

 

I agree with Friskybri on this one.    I don't go out of my way to join, get involved or do light contests, but if I'm entered just because I live in a neighborhood that has one, so be it, I'm sure NOT gonna refuse the prize if I just happen to be the one selected to win. LOL

 

But maybe you should list those folks again, Friskybri, after all, the new folks really have no idea who may have the best display or sequencing abilities around here. 

 

But I *DO KNOW* it isn't me! {I know I just opened myself up for another roundReady?....Set?......GO!} ROFL

 

I do my best, and that's all I or anyone can do, as long as the end user setting it all up is satisfied with what they've accomplished, you've done your mission, but you will find you will look back and say: "OMG!. Was I really that bad?"  Or "Good Grief, Did I really sequence MY display that way?" ROFLMAO

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I've read all the comments on here and appreciate the input. The reason I got into LOR is because I've always loved putting up lights, so synching them to music opened up so many more possibilities for me. This is my second year doing LOR and although my sequences are certainly not on par with many others, I'm happy with them. I still have a lot to learn, but that's part of the fun!

I did some thinking about this last night and I know what happened. I had a very successful Halloween show this year; there is no contest in our town for that, but I like putting the show together for the neighborhood kids. Well word traveled fast and I had a lot of people stop by. It was really fun to watch folks enjoy the show and see the kids dancing to the music. It seems after Halloween, I lost sight of the real reason I put lights up and I got sucked into the "fame and glory" hole with the holiday lighting contest.

 

To be perfectly honest, I'm embarrassed I even started this post, :( but the end result is it's exactly what I needed to do. Some of the comments here were a bit of tough love, but it is welcomed and just what I needed. As my dad always said, "sometimes you just gotta give someone a smack upside the head."

 

Thank you to all....

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For what it's worth, I think it's fairly normal to be disappointed for not winning a contest no matter what your "real" reason for doing it is.  You didn't come here crying that you deserved to win, you simply said you were sad that you didn't.  And I didn't see a problem with that, and I tend to be "anti-contest mentality' myself when it comes to lights.

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I forgot to post the link to one video clip from my show:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAyatKyV1Ac&feature=youtu.be

 

I went from 32channels my first year to 64 this year, plus I added some DMX. As I said, I have much to learn, but I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

 

It's a nice show that you can be proud of.  Thanks for posting it.

A few constructive suggestions:

1) Make sure your timings are dead-on.  Sometimes they're close, other times I watch them drift as the song goes on, then they suddenly sync back up again.  I don't think this is the video since it drifts.

2) There are times where you have the 2 mega trees blinking to the snare, and it's a little harsh.  If it were me I'd probably fade it out instead of the very quick blink.

Just some constructive suggestions - we can all improve.  I'm on my 11th year of sequencing and I know I certainly can. 

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It's a nice show that you can be proud of.  Thanks for posting it.

A few constructive suggestions:

1) Make sure your timings are dead-on.  Sometimes they're close, other times I watch them drift as the song goes on, then they suddenly sync back up again.  I don't think this is the video since it drifts.

2) There are times where you have the 2 mega trees blinking to the snare, and it's a little harsh.  If it were me I'd probably fade it out instead of the very quick blink.


Just some constructive suggestions - we can all improve.  I'm on my 11th year of sequencing and I know I certainly can. 

 

 

Tim.......yeah, this is a lot like golf.....it's easy to learn the basic rules, but there will always be room for improvement.  Thank you for the input!

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