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When to start putting up lights


Plumber Plays with Lights
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Halloween 1st week October, tear them down 1st week November then start on Christmas during 1st week of November to have them ready to light by the 1st week of December. Not as young as I used to be so it takes longer. 

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I will do some prep work in October, and plan on the first lights up last weekend of October or November 1st.

Granted, a lot of my lighting is used year round for landscaping. I only have a pixel tree, 6 arches, and some GE CE bulbs to put up.

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As others mentioned....

Halloween comes first. Not as big a display but still have to wait to put up Christmas.

Halloween - Set-up day before halloween, tear down day after.

Christmas - Start setting up November 1st and just about every day up thru Thanksgiving eve.

Light em up Thanksgiving night. B)

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If your doing a Halloween display, most of the time that is a factor as to when Christmas set-up gets started.

If I didn't have a Halloween display, I would probably start mid October.

Sometimes, the weather can mess plans up and delay things so more time is always better if you can get it.

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I do a small Halloween show so that goes up two weeks before.  The last week of October I start putting Christmas lights on the roof.  Those lights are out of sight of the Halloween lights.

Last year I stayed up and had all my Halloween decorations down by midnight, Halloween night.  :o  Started putting Christmas stuff up the next day up until Thanksgiving.  Lights are on Thanksgiving night,

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I don't have a huge display so I take 1 1/2 weeks off from work early to mid November to get the bulk of things set up. I also try and do things in stages. I will work several weekends prior to my time off to get the lights on the house and in the trees/bushes. Then when I have off I get things set up on the lawn. As others have mentioned it's better to start early because you never know what may delay you.

 

Also as for length, it really depends on your situation. I will tell you most likely with this being your first show you can probably run it 20-30 minutes long and run through most if not all your songs. Some of the more well known shows get so much trafic that they can only have 3-4 songs before having to repeat to try and get people to move along. As you get a following of viewers and sequence more and more songs you'll probably want to have different songs on differeny evenings. This way you get to show all your songs and gets people to return different evenings to see/hear other songs. Somehow make it known to the public in either print publication or have the Demented Elf (Kevin) do a voiceover for you to run every show mentioning to come back to see your other show and songs. You can have one for weekday and one for weekend evenings or however you want to change it up.

 

Good luck and welcome to the addiction! :D

 

Al

Edited by Al Saunders
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I start the day after Halloween. However, this year am adding many more props and lights. Will start middle of October and set lights on house/garage/roof/poles/windows first as not to clutter up yard with props and distract from the Halloween holiday. Depends on weather. Pre-test ALL your lights prior to final location. But NEVER done earlier enough. Plan is to fire up show on 11/25.

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Halloween I start running the hardest part of putting and securing the lights in Mid to Late August as I usually {not always} run my Halloween show the entire month of October.

 

Christmas I start in November, just as soon as the last strand of Halloween lights have been removed, the Christmas lights start going up, this could be as early as November 2, but usually starts around November 5-7 for my Christmas Display.  And I usually start my Christmas Display operating on Thanksgiving night through January 1.

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Thanks to everyone. It is nice to know there are so many of y'all willing to help. I guess I will listen to y'all and my wife and wait for Nov.1 for Christmas and start mid Oct. for Halloween.

Thanks to everyone. It is nice to know there are so many of y'all willing to help. I guess I will listen to y'all and my wife and wait for Nov.1 for Christmas and start mid Oct. for Halloween.

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Like everyone else, Halloween comes down, then the next day, I start putting up Christmas. First light up is Thanksgiving night, 6Pm precisly. It takes me a week to put mine up and connect. Then I start testing each circuit individually to insure I did in fact connect everything correctly...lol, which hasn't happened yet. Seems I've always had a few slight errors. Once its all connected, I'm reviewing the show editor, making final sequence changes, fixing this or that and then will call for the grandkids to come up and get their own special show, just for them. I'll select a few songs that they like, so they can dance in the driveway and run around all excited.

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I started Light O Rama last year and put up my decorations a few days before thanksgiving, I only have 10,000 lights and that's barley anything compared to most other Light O Rama enthusiasts . I spend usually one entire day (5AM to 9PM) setting up lights on one day then I work with my extension cords. in total it only takes me two days.

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We've discussed when to start hanging the lights, but being that it's now Sept 1, I'm getting very anxious to get started..

So to feed the craving just a little, I just went to H.D. to buy some more necessary Christmas display supplies:

 

4ft pieces of rebar

flat black spray paint

6ft cable padlocks

 

You know, the basics for decorating for Christmas.

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Someone might already have suggested this, in that case I second or what ever the count is. I put lights on my ridge line of my roof. So I want to be up there only when the shingles are soft so that I dont crack them when they are cold. In St. Louis area, that means I am going to put up the ridge line lights around mid October. But wait to start doing the rest over the 3 weeks before Thanksgiving. Light on Thanksgiving night.

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I will probably start October first with my Christmas display. Up here it is starting to cool off now & it can snow just about anytime. I need to hope that when the lights go up that it is at least 38 degrees so that the wire does not freeze. Once the wires freeze & it warms a bit then the lights sag and that sucks. don't worry about decorating for Halloween.

 

I rarely ever have to Dream Of A White Christmas, heck even Halloween is White at times. Nothing like children dressed in parkas & mitts & boots on Halloween.

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Given the sheer amount of stuff I have this year I will be prepping the house in the next few weeks and start putting up first week of Oct.  I dont like the thought of wear & tear with the lights going out early but I the thought of rushing/panicking in November makes me feel nauseous.  There will have to be a lot of testing this year throughout November.

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I think the general trend is clear from the responses, but it definitely will vary some depending on the size and complexity of the display.  For the past several years, I have had 3.5 acres of property.  I definitely didn't fill it all, but spread out the best I can.  2012 was my first year with LOR, and I used 16 channels.  I then expanded to 32 channels last year.  Each year, I had the plan drawn out on construction paper, mapping where each feature was and also making a rough diagram of the wiring.  That helped a lot.  In 2012, I started setting up on Nov 1st.  Last year, I started around Oct 15th.  I took off every Friday from work, and spent a solid 6-8 hours outside each of those days.  Plus I would spend the bulk of the weekend outside.  Last year, even with all that time, the week leading up to Thanksgiving was a bit of a mad scramble.  I was literally running around my yard trying to get the finishing touches done. 

Now fast forward to 2014 and I'm currently in a rental house which is on about .3 acres. Things will be MUCH different this year.  Even if I covered every square inch of property, I don't have the room to put all the pieces I had last year.  So this year, I'm focusing more on RGB.  In 2012 and 2013 my display was all incan with some LED mixed in.  I need to buy my RGB equipment and build the features.  But the actual set up time in the yard will be much less.  I can probably do it in just a few weekends.  My plan is to set up the RGB where I want it, and the rest will kind of be done ad hoc since I don't have a ton of room.

 

In 2015, we'll be living in our new construction house...they just started pouring the basement last week...woohoo!!!!  We'll be on .6 acres.  So I still won't have the endless room I used to, but I'll have a nice size yard.  So I'll start the planning for that right after this Christmas ends.  The new house is also going to back up to woods that have some seriously tall trees.  Thinking I may rent a man lift and light those bad boys too as high as I can reach. 

 

My sequencing is a year round project.  I typically only get 2-3 hours total per week to sequence...sometimes less.  So I have to find time when I can.

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