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Newbie needs Help! LOTS OF HELP!


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Hi there! 


I just purchased my Series 16 Starter package with the mini director. Sooooo, what's next? I'm looking to just do a small simple light show, nothing crazy hard since it's my first time with LOR.  I'm even considering just using  a ready to go sequence to start….In the past I had a Mr. Christmas Light Box that had worked for me in the past, but I want something that I can play the music I want.  


I normally use the standard box lights (like the icicle ones).  Can I still use those?  For each plug connector (I believe I have 16) in the controller, how many strings of lights can be connected together and plugged into each of those plugs in the controller?  


Do you normally plug the controller inside in a regular outlet or outside in an outlet in the garage?


I already have an FM transmitter that I am also using with my sound bar.  So I think i'm good on sound.


What if I have to use an extension cord? Can I plug the extension cord into the LOR controller box?


Also, I read to think of it as groups of 4….so how does that work when you plug in the lights to the controller since they aren't grouped in fours?


Sorry for all the questions, but I can't find those answer anywhere! I placed third in the community light show contest last year with my little box, but I want to take first this year! Again, for this year not looking to attract driving traffic since I live in a gated community anyways, so I don't need continuous shows.  Just a few simple sequences to run once a night and then to use to NAIL THAT CONTEST!! 


Please help!! Thanks in advance for the help! Oh and I'm in Southern California, so not too worried about weather issues.  Just not looking to set my house on fire….LOL!


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Ok...16 channel starter package. You've got a lot of work to do in a short amount of time. Not sure I can answer all the questions at once but lets get started. First off, the 16 channel controllers, usually 15 amp ones will give you like 7 amps or close on each of two groups, channels 1-8 and 9-16. If you are running LEDs, then you can connect lots to each but if you are running incandescents, only a one or two per circuit, if that.


For outside lights, its always best or safest to connect to a GFCI protected outlet. The FM transmitter you have, needs to have enough range to get to the street for about a block or so. Test with your own car. Using extension cords to power the controller is fine and we all have to use extension cords to connect the controller output cords to the locations of the strings. As for groups of 4, no clue. The controllers have two groups of 8.


This is not a plug and play hobby. Sequencing is the most time consuming thing to accomplish but the rewards are great when your family and friends see what you've created. Yes, people sell sequences and some will give them away freely but either way, you still have to configure the channel assignments to match your controller. Learn how to use the visualizer...its your friend. Welcome to our addiction!

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Let me try to answer your questions in the order you put them up. 


Your first question is yes you can use the icicle lights.  As to the second part of the question, the controller can only handle 30 amps of lights. Divide that over 16 and it's just under 2 amps per channel.  Use this information wisely.


Second Question: If you want to run cords out of the house, then plug it inside.  If you want the controller outside, plug the controller into an outside outlet. 


Third Question:  Just like any power tool if you have to plug it in, then you probably will use an extension cord.  Yes you will plug the controller into an extension cord if you don't have it right next to an outlet.  Then that means you'll have extension cords going to the lights in the yard and on the house.  Extension Cords are going to be your friend.  Get used to them.


Fourth Question: songs are usually in 4/4 time.  This means it's easier to use 4 channels to do one thing.  4 mini tree, 8 mini trees (4x2). You don't group in fours, you use 4 channels.  Or you can make everything one channel and have 16 different things. Up to you.


Observation:  If you are truly trying to just do this to win a light competition, only run every now and then, you are in the wrong hobby.  Good luck.

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Thanks for the help! We live in a super smal Gated community so we don't get tons of car traffic for me to go super big and run it frequently. I've been obsessed with LOR videos so I figured I would step it up this year, but being a newbie I need to start small since I'm learning and it seems super technical. I absolutly want to win first place this year and I know I can with LOR!! This contest is a huge deal in our small community!! Thanks again for all the clarifications!! I'm near San Diego about 45 minutes north!

Knowing how I am....it will become an obsession and I'm sure next year I'll go bigger!! Just have to get used to it first this year!!

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My Dad lives in Poway. My mom in SD near the Sports arena. I use to live up in Rancho Cucamonga. Sister in Riverside and another next door to Perris.

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First thing, design your light layout on paper, try have a picture facing your house as your guests will see it that you can draw on. start drawing in all your lights that you plan to use, then take those lights and divide them into your 16 channels. Once you are done and happy, then do the same thing in Visualizer. Then start sequencing or send a copy of the image and the Viz file (*.Lee ) to me and song choice and I can get you started  with at lest one sequence to your configuration.


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30 amps is correct, BUT most residental houses are not wired to supply 30 amps to a single line.  Your stuck at 15 or 20 amps at best.


The controller cards that I have both allow 2 plugs to be plugged in.  So you would need to run a wire from each plug to DIFFERENT plugs on DIFFERENT circuits at your house.


However,  I was running a LOT of lights last year on 1 16ch controller and 1 plug, and i was at about 16 amps, and the breaker did not trip.


Plug in your stuff see if it trips, or get a 'Kill-o-watt' and measure your use at 100% on.



*Check the range of your FM transmitter, it may not be as good as you think it may be.


*At your (our) level you should NEVER PAY for sequences.  There are WAY too many free ones that can be easily modified to fit your show. 

Its also not too hard to program 16ch for a song if you did it yourself.

If you want I'll send you mine from last year  (16ch +RGB tree)

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