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Anyone near Seven Hills, Ohio


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  I was wondering if anyone lived near Seven Hills, Ohio to help me start with LOR. I would like to partake in the summer sale but am not familiar with what I would need to get started, and basically some general information to pint me in the right direction. I have been wanting to do this for years, and figured now would be a great time to get started.




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Sorry. Toledo. 

But the basics of LOR aren't super hard to figure out. Especially, if you have done some form of decorating in the past. There are some really good guides on the LOR website and Youtube.

Before buying anything decide if you want to go with pixels (newer way of doing lights) or the standard light strings (LED/incandescent) that has been the norm for years. Many of the big shows are moving to pixels and that seems to be the current trend, but they are way more expensive. (I personally am not a fan but am happy to buy stuff from those selling their old stuff). So search LOR forums and Youtube to see what the different shows look like and make up your mind before buying anything.

Assuming you decide to go with traditional LED/incandescent lighting and are starting from absolute scratch, aren't super ambitious, and don't have a huge budget and just want "easy" I would suggest buying the residential starter kit listed under light controllers on the LOR website (upgrade software to Basic Plus and upgrade to the red RS485 adapter). Get a cheap refurbished Windows 10 PC from MicroCenter. Then buy 5 or 6 of the pre-made sequences from LOR (or Wowlights.com) and follow the included directions to setup the sequencing software, connect the controller, and install the sequences. Then take a look at the lights layout in the diagram included with the sequences and figure out where to put your first 16 sets of lights.  Ah...lights...where to get those? Well, assuming you have 0 imagination, no money, and have no time - print out the diagram from the sequences and take a trip to Menards, Big Lots, and Wal-Mart when the Christmas stuff comes in. We started with a few things from Big Lots and Wal-Mart and just added to it every year. This is like year 5 and we're going to be up around 80 channels this year. We started with 6 (ah Mr. Christmas), went to 16, then 32, then 48, then 64....so again, no hurry....enjoy this and have fun. Lots of people on FaceBook groups will say if you don't have 64 channels you are a lose...just laugh. build a base and add every year. And don't feel afraid to experiment. Many a time we hooked something up and ended up pulling it or moving it around (usually in the snow). Pro Tip: get a notebook with weatherproof cover and some pencils. Document all your cables and which lights go where so next year you aren't standing out in the cold and now trying to remember what last year looked like (lots of pictures and video, too!)

Now...if you have some time....and really want to have a big show or want to put your owns hows together...then look at the tutorials for sequencing your own shows...with 92 days until go time it would be pretty tight to learn and sequence enough 5 or 6 shows.  The expert sequencers on here can guide you much better but if you are an absolute newbie, you might want to just spend your time watching Youtube to see what other shows look like, get the basic starter kit, and run a few canned shows this year and then use that experience to build your own shows for next year. 90 days seems like a lot, but after waiting on the electrician to install 40 amps of outdoor outlets, LOR to ship your stuff, weeks of light shopping, and 85 trips to Home Depot you'll feel a bit rushed.

Please feel free to ask follow-up questions. This place is full of very helpful people and now is the time as the closer to go-time the less time we have to be on the forums. I know this year I am starting setup day after Halloween.

By the way, back to your asking about what to get the the Summer Sale: Controllers breed like rabbits. If you have some extra money then the Summer Sale is the perfect time to grab an "add-on" controller at a great price.  We setup the starter 16 channel and my wife was like "lame" and I ended up on eBay to get more. Also, read up on the forums on SPT wire - I already had a hundred extension cords when I learned about it on here. If you're comfortable with it, you may save  money.

Good luck!


PS - There are about 18 of us who run 64-512 channel light shows in the Toledo area so feel free to make a trip sometime. There is a list that gets circulated early December


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Thank you Matt for the in depth explanations. I really appreciate all of the help and guidance!  :)

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  • 7 months later...

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