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Drclean
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I am wanting to decorate with animated lights but don't have a clue where to start. What do I need? What should I buy first, second and so on? Please start at the beginning in easy to understand language....lol

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I am wanting to decorate with animated lights but don't have a clue where to start. What do I need? What should I buy first, second and so on? Please start at the beginning in easy to understand language....lol

Thanks!

I'll use small words. And short sentences.

First of all, buy a good brand of tequila. Buy margarita mix. Buy a blender. Buy ice. Combine. Consume. Repeat as needed until you forget about lights. Breathe sigh of relief. Pass out.

Endure hangover. Rethink. Go back to blender...

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I'll use small words. And short sentences.

First of all, buy a good brand of tequila. Buy margarita mix. Buy a blender. Buy ice. Combine. Consume. Repeat as needed until you forget about lights. Breathe sigh of relief. Pass out.

Endure hangover. Rethink. Go back to blender...

LMAO!!!!   Nice!  :D :D

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I am wanting to decorate with animated lights but don't have a clue where to start. What do I need? What should I buy first, second and so on? Please start at the beginning in easy to understand language....lol

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All great suggestions! Let me add, look at some of the videos people have done of their homes. Now none are alike but it'll give you ideas of what "can" be done. Your checkbook and available time are the only issues. Your decorating ideas, the house itself, yard and so on, will dictate a lot and again, the checkbook. This is not a cheap hobby and its NOT plug and play. It takes time, thought and planning to accomplish. If you wanted to do a show, this year, you would might have to seriously limit the number of channels, purchase pre-made sequences and so on. Its late in the year already to start planning. Most of us begin in January for our Christmas shows. You'll need lights...LEDs are by far cheaper to run but more expensive to buy. There are some that won't fade so do your homework. You'll need extension cords or make them...lots of them. Most of us use SPT1 wire with vampire plugs/sockets. There are electrical safety issues to be aware of and plan for. So, start with a photo of your home and draw lights on it and what you wish to control. Decide on the music you wish to and how you will control those lights. The next big thing is already happening...RGB LEDs both smart and dumb strings/strips/pixels. That's a whole new area and its coming fast. The brief version is, dumb strips are whole strips that can be turned into any one color across the strip and can be changed color on your whim/programming. Smart strips are such as CCR's (Cosmic Color Ribbons) which each individual LED can be addressed and controlled. This provides a lot of capability as you might wish but they cost more.

 

Start simple and go from there. Read, read and read some more as there are a lot of people here with tons of knowledge. I'm still very much a newbie and this will only be my 3rd year. I'm learning all the time, People such as George, Don and so many others are a wealth of information and they offer their help or advice freely because they've been there and done that already.

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I am wanting to decorate with animated lights but don't have a clue where to start.

 

What do I need? To give your head a shake, then don't walk but run away from here as fast as you can.

 

What should I buy first, second and so on? Your partner a very nice present because you ignored my first answer.

 

Please start at the beginning in easy to understand language....lol Seriously read and read and read everything.

You will need a lot of :

                                         Time for sequencing and setting up

                                          Extension cords more than you think, start buying them now.

                                          To love listening to Christmas music all the time.

                                          Understanding partner (did you buy them that nice present yet?).

Have fun!!!!

Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sometimes I think it might be cheaper to be an alcoholic ...

 

In all seriousness, start slow and small. Even for your first year you might be perfectly happy with a Mr. Christmas setup and never get the urge to upgrade.

 

Get an idea of what you want your setup to look like in a few years and gradually build towards it. Visit yard sales for lights and extension cords. it is a way to get things on the cheap. Worry about color matching later on. It will cost more than you thought and take much more time than you thought. But enjoy it for if you can't do that then don't bother for it will only continue to be a royal PITA for years to come.

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After watching and reading (and reading and watching), I would download the LOR demo software, watch John Storms sequencing videos and try creating a basic sequence.  If you try sequencing and don't like it,  I would then urge you to follow the Margarita recipe listed above.  

 

I love doing the sequencing, however, it is very time-consuming (lunch hour, late nights, etc.).  That being said, personally, I find it very rewarding (even just seeing it in the visualizer).

 

Good luck. 

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To get started I recommend

1 or 2 - 16 Channel controllers CTB16PC  http://store.lightorama.com/ctascpa.html

LOR Advanced software (more sequencing features plus room to expand)

You will also need cat5 cable and the LOR usb adapter (I reccomend the usb485B)  But you can get the software Adapter together as a starter kit. http://store.lightorama.com/spk800.html

Lights and extension cords (Recommend Led's but Incans work just as well)

And also Time, Patients, and acceptance for going insane. 

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I started last year with 1 16 channel  unit with starter pack they may have a sale soon on for so sign up with your email. Many people have big hearts and will help you as much as they can with free seq and help set ups great people here

Edited by kbowman
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... And also Time, Patients, and acceptance for going insane.

Yes, patients are a good thing to have in addition to the controllers and lights. The more patients you have, the easier it will be to afford everything you want/need for this hobby. If you're a mental health practitioner, all the better. The patience you learn dealing with your patients will help you a great deal from going insane.

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