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  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.
cjriddick

Starting Small with Room to Expand

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Hello World! I'm brand new to this and am a bit overwhelmed haha. I have seen the 10w x 8 flood packages at LOR and Holiday Coro, that will probably work for lighting the siding, but haven't been able to find any small up lights with a more narrow angle for two trees that have been planted on both sides of the house since this pic was taken. I want to start with the floods that will be out year round for general landscape "up" lighting, but would like to go Griswald over time. Our house including the garage is about 65' wide. Will either of those packages work? Will the controller (CMB24D) be enough to add smart pixels and other fun stuff or should I go bigger? Looking to spend around $600 this year to get started. I know that isn't much in this world, but hoping to start with the right controller and software and add pixels and more controllers as money becomes available. Will 10w floods work for our house or would 30w-50w be better? Want to be able to show maybe 4-5 unique colors at a time in different sections. Let me know if more detail would help.Thank you all for helping a newbie! 

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For the most part I have only run the Holiday coro RGBs and controllers and LOR runs my conventional Christmas strands.  With Xlights Nutcracker free software you will have no problems running your RGB displays all year long and there are ways to set it up for a Raspberry pi to run em instead of a laptop or computer.  The EZpix Holiday Coro smart controllers have a preprogrammed modes when no DMX signal is present and work great for landscape lighting, but can also be run as a small full up smart pixel controller for Christmas.  The only suggestion I have is go with smart pixels now if you plan to individually cycle the colors during holidays.

If I were doing it I wouldn't hesitate to grab up the Holiday Coro controllers and floods and use Xlights to run it.  In fact, I gutted all my landscape lights and run Holiday Coro rectangular pixels in them with that EZpixel controller all year long...I change the colors for all the Holidays. 

I have not run LOR RGB stuff, but I think it is expensive and you are going to pay for the software to run it all.  I buy it and run my Christmas show off LOR since I run a projector with videos of all the songs and clips and right now Xlights cant support that.  But I find Xlights is much easier to program all the RGBs so I spend a good deal of time exporting and copying from xlights to LOR and as my show has grown I think LOR has become cumbersome.  Even if you end up getting LOR controllers to control conventional Christmas lights, Xlights can run them to the music too.

Edited by qberg

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What I currently own in my display is 4x pixlite 4....which are nearly identical to the newer alphapix 4 that he carries.  http://www.holidaycoro.com/AlphaPix-4-V3-RGB-Pixel-Controller-p/722-v3.htm  or http://www.holidaycoro.com/4-Output-E1-31-Artnet-Pixel-Controller-Assembled-p/831.htm for the kit.   Now I do not have them filled up, but you are limited in distance from the controller to the firsrt pixel and it is easier to run cat5 from a central hub to the different elements.  I have a yard left, yard right, mega tree, and one up on the roof that runs the stuff on the house.   I would recommend that model over the 16 as it is much cheaper and you can expand your display in the future as it grows.  That alphapix 4 is going to be able to run 2720 nodes (my mega tree is 32x60 for 1920 pixels so it is the most filled of any of my controllers and requires 4x 350 watt powersupplies).  Your spot lights are 1 node each and will just daiseychain together off 1 output, so you are using 10 nodes if you put in 10 spotlights and 1 power supply is plenty.

I am running this for my landscape lights http://www.holidaycoro.com/SMART-RGB-DMX-DIY-CONTROLLERS-s/1919.htm   With no DMX input it runs one of 26 pre programmed  seguences so there is no computer required.  I literally have the power supply http://www.holidaycoro.com/Rainproof-400w-Power-Supply-p/48.htm for it running off a night sensor and runs the 15 landscape lights and a couple of small spotlights.  During Christmas, I run the aux out of my pixlite controller to send the DMX signal to the input on this and run the landscape light pixels.  This little controller can run 170 nodes (or pixels).  If you don't have any controller with an aux DMX output, you use their actidongle to actively control this unit.  http://www.holidaycoro.com/Enttec-Pro-Compatible-DMX-Dongle-p/53.htm 

Edited by qberg

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Would it be possible to run the landscape lights year round with the alpha pix? Could I set that up to control the lights with a phone or remote? Sounds like that cotroller might be overkill, but would like to stick with one controller for the time being if it makes sense. Would set up landscaping right away and then start planning for Christmas. 

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yes, but you will need a computer, laptop, raspberry pi or some other computer to send the instructions to the alphapix continuously.  Using Xlights Nutcracker to build the display would be simple and it has a scheduler program that you would set up to start/stop at a certain time each day.  The only recommendation with this is do not keep that computer hooked up to the internet with auto updates turned on or it will do a restart when you don't want it to.  Cheap laptops capable of running the software can be found on craigslist or pawn shops and raspberry pis are like $30.  That is where I have picked up my laptops and projectors.

Not sure about a phone or other remote as I have never researched that option, but I am sure you could find something off the raspberry pi that would do it.  

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Once again, thank you so much for your help! Last question for now, I would like to start out next Christmas by purchasing sequences. I saw LOR and HC have sequence stores. If I go with X Lights, will I be able to easily purchase and play sequences if I mostly match up the elements that I purchase? Would I need to purchase LOR software or controllers in order to play their shows?

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You can import LOR sequences into xlights.  There are some great youtbue videos showing you how.  I have mainly imported sequences to get the megatree stuff, but you can match elements from sequences to your display when you import them.  There are a couple places for good stuff in addition to LOR and HC.

https://www.holidaysequences.com/

http://showstoppersequences-com.3dcartstores.com/

 

 

 

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