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  1. #1

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    Smile Christmas Decorations

    Every year, me and my family try to out-do all of our neighbors christmas decorations. An each year we try to do something totally different because the neighbors copy us the following year and we have a totally new theme and set-up.
    Well, now we will be moving to a whole new city where nobody knows we love to put on spectacular christmas displays and we wanna go all out. An the idea I came up with is LED lights shinning on our house. We want it to look exactly like Sleeping Beauty's castle during the fireworks. I mean we want it to change color combinations throughout the night and be able to be sychronized to music once or twice every night. Not only that, but we want it to be different colors on different parts of the house to show all the bends and cuts in the architecture. Meaning we would need lots of those little LED panels.The only problem is I know NOTHING about how to put on such a display.

    So im asking if anyone has any insight on how to do this? Like, around how much would it cost to do this? What type of LED's does Disney use? Are the lights weather proof? Does anyone know what type of speakers are weather proof and can be hidden during the day? Can they be syncronized to music? An if so, what would I need to do it (software, ect.)? Is there any other great companies that make these types of lights? Do you guys have any refrences to websites where I can learn more about this? An is this even possible without making a mess of cables running around my house? An I don't get all the numbers they throw at you about lumines and stuff like that. An to top it all off, I want to put white icicles on some of the house. Im talking about the super bright ones they put on the castle last year during christmas. Any insight on where to find those would be greatly appreciated too.

    I know this is a major task but I really want to do it. An I know it'll take some time to program all the "shows". But Im willing to do it. Thats why Im planning know!
    Last edited by TIS17; 04-30-2008 at 10:33 PM. Reason: Spaced it out a little

  2. #2

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    Re: Christmas Decorations

    ah im already thinking of christmas it will be here you know it.

  3. #3

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    Re: Christmas Decorations

    LED panels are definitely not cheap. You will need a pretty large budget to do an entire house, most likely in the thousands of dollars. Depending on how many lights you use, the more cable you will have. My advice would be to look up a local stage lighting/production retailer in your area and they should be able to help you out quite a bit. There is probably a lot more to it than you think.

  4. #4

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    Re: Christmas Decorations

    Would these work?
    (wait for video to load)

    http://trinorthlighting.com/Store/in...roducts_id=122

  5. #5

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    Re: Christmas Decorations

    Quote Originally Posted by TIS17 View Post
    So im asking if anyone has any insight on how to do this? Like, around how much would it cost to do this?
    Several thousand or more. The average 60-light LED strand is ~$10; you'd need up to a few hundred strands depending on the size of the are you're covering. There's things like those nets you can get too. Plus you'll need your control board and sequencing software.

    What type of LED's does Disney use? Are the lights weather proof? Does anyone know what type of speakers are weather proof and can be hidden during the day?
    For your purpose, any Christmas lights designed for outdoor use should work. Outdoor-use speakers too.
    Can they be syncronized to music? An if so, what would I need to do it (software, ect.)? Is there any other great companies that make these types of lights? Do you guys have any refrences to websites where I can learn more about this?
    Absolutely, yes. You'll need a master controller (light-board, if you will), and local outlets (which would have your switches and dimmers) plus cabling. Most likely you can use an ordinary PC and network to outlets. You can indeed use playback software to sequence everything, in much the same manner as a sequencer on a music synthesizer. This is what just about any computerized lighting display will be using. The software aspect should be relatively easy, especially nowdays. You could spend a few thousand on commercial-grade software, or maybe find more basic freeware or open-source projects.

    Try doing some Web searches for controllers and software, and also for advanced Christmas-light displays. Others that have done this should have information on controllers and stuff they use.
    An is this even possible without making a mess of cables running around my house?
    Probably not. *Possibly* you can get outlets that use wireless networking. I don't know for sure though; might be something to research.

  6. #6

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    Re: Christmas Decorations

    Wow... There was that special on HGtv about people that are like this. Don't care about being green or how much energy costs now...I just didn't think it was true.

    Just FYI your new neighbors might not be happy if you put on such a display. It brings a lot of people around, not always the best people, and if you leave it on all night.... oy. There's a guy on my block who does an insane display and I'm always like "dude that's a fire hazard."

  7. #7

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    Re: Christmas Decorations

    That might be a bit adventurous to do all this year. That is a lot of money involved. And LED's are very bright- having SO many on a porr litttle house might blind the neighbors?
    PS here is the snopes info on the video- http://www.snopes.com/photos/arts/xmaslights.asp

    Every year, my hubby and I build on ours. He got a musicl set last year (came in a box, already had the musical patterns set up) This year I'm employing the theme I wanted last year- Nightmare before Xmas. Hopefully it will work out- starting at Halloween and haveing the decorations stay through Xmas with a little changeup.

  8. #8

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    Re: Christmas Decorations

    Quote Originally Posted by knittingknerd View Post
    Wow... There was that special on HGtv about people that are like this. Don't care about being green or how much energy costs now...I just didn't think it was true.

    Just FYI your new neighbors might not be happy if you put on such a display. It brings a lot of people around, not always the best people, and if you leave it on all night.... oy. There's a guy on my block who does an insane display and I'm always like "dude that's a fire hazard."
    First off, I came on here to get an idea. Im not saying Im gonna do all of my ideas for sure. Second, our new neighborhood has a competition for this (where they come around and judge) so I think they will be fine with how bright it is. Third, there are guidelines that state you can only have it on for four hrs. a night. An fourth, trying to change your christmas lights to LED is green as they consume less energy. But, from what you guys are saying, I might need to tone my ideas down a bit. Which is no problem to me. It is a little more expensive than I originally thought so its fine. But thanks for all your advice and concerns for the enviroment. Keep it coming!! Did anyone go to that link above an see those wall washers? Im thinking about 10 strips of those and call it a day. An maybe forget about synchronizing it to music. Just have some patterns that change. Thoughts?

  9. #9

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    Re: Christmas Decorations

    Why can't I stop thinking of Ned Flanders?

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