Jump to content

How much money is in your tree?

Recommended Posts

I've run a 12-foot tree for a few years, but this year I'm stepping it up -- 20 feet. Lots of lights, tree ring at the bottom, guy-wires, power concerns, etc. Adding strobes and other illuminated ornaments & gifts at the bottom. Certainly comes with a lot more investment than my smaller operation.

All told, how much money have you put into your tree?

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 controllers

108 strings of lights

$65 steel pole

7 bags of cement

PVC sleeve

20' stick of rebar for the footing cage

black 3/16' steel cable

rigging hardware

3 earth anchors

30' PVC for hoop

20+- 6' extension cords

steel for the start and hook head

boat winch

40 strobes

3 100' 12/2 extension feeders

And a bunch of planning and work to build it.

You get the idea. It's a large investment.

Luckily it was my wife's idea. :giggle:

Link to post
Share on other sites

well it looks like im lucky execpt for lights i have $20 or so in mine,

22 ft tall (work trash)

30 foot circum bottom ring (had to buy 3 sticks of PVC)

3 colors with 32 strings each (obtained most free from good will trash pile)(will buy 14)

boat winch (freefrom friends sunk boat)

guy wires and steaks (work trash)

and it will be static just the flasher bulbs to give it a little life(this year)

Link to post
Share on other sites

70' Ham Tower (Crank Up) $300

Guy wires / Guy Accessories $150 (1/4" wire rope)

Lights (30,000) $300 (Target 2006 after christmas clearance)

Mega Tree Star $50 (home made - lots of steel and ropelight)

Mega Tree Plane Warning Beacon $10

Mega Tree Webcam $50 (yes, live webcam on the TOP of the tree!)

96 Channels of Control $300

6 40 ft extension cords $35

72 12' Extension Cords $100

A lot of the parts etc for the tree were obtained from wheeling and dealing - I got VERY lucky on the ham tower (been searching for 4 years for a crankup that someone wanted less than a grand for one) wire and cable supplies were bought off ebay - and "cough" doing off ebay deals with the sellers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

8 channel, 3 color tree. 4 strings per channel, 2 on each side (full width, not "radar").

98 strings 100ct minis - $0.30/box = $29.40 (96 on tree, 2 on topper)

2 controllers @ $170/each = $340 (not sure if you wanted to count those or not)

2 x 10' fence rail (pole) = $20

Misc hardware (includes pvc star topper and light wooden hook assembly) = $20

Guy wires and associated hardware = $45 (no joke)

3 - 100' 12 AWG extension cords @ $35 = $105

Boat winch lift: Free (donated by family member)

Total: $559.40

Total without the controllers: $219.40

I'll have other stuff on 6 of the channels on the 2nd controller so I wouldn't count that entirely as part of the mega tree. One of the extension cords could be ignored if it weren't for those "other things" too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

:santasmileyitty:This is what I am planning for a mega tree this year


9600 LED /4 colors /12 channels per color

3D North Star $60 (Christmas Lightshow) =300 Lights /3 channels

20 Strobe Lights

6 Sphere Balls = 300 Lights 2 /channels


2 10' EMT and fittings Conduit $30

Winch Gears $40

Steel Base $20

Steel Cables / Guy Wires + Fastners $100

PVC Base $50 Plans from (Christmas Lightshow)

PVC fittings for tree toppers to hold the wires $40

I don't know who's Idea ....:giggle:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I got the christmaslightshow.com kit and 3-D star ($300),

metal pipe, anchor stakes, and PVC ($140),

16ch controller ($250).

I bought my lights full retail :eek: (2.50*48=$120).

Made 5 ornaments from strings of C4 LEDs and clear drinking cups ($40)

I figured 48 strings was the max I could run off 1 breaker, and worked out to 4 strings on each of 12 channels, 3 channel star and 1 for ornaments.

This off season, I bought 3 colors of LEDs for the tree (what a deal at only $850! oh, and another controller)

I have more tied up in my tree than I do in the whole rest of the display... but it looks good

Link to post
Share on other sites

Our Megatree.............

2) 10' 1 1/2" EMT conduit $24

1) handmade star $10 ropelight and $4 in steel $15 Hooks

16)handmade stakes $2

9600)lights white red green minis blue led's $102

32) channels of LOR in outdoor Boxes $420

1)garage sale boat winch $5

1)garage door pulley $8

34) extension cords $75

Total approx.

$665 with controllers

$224 w/o controllers

Edited by Toymakr000
Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW now you guys are scarring me away from a mega tree....:rolleyes:

Don't be. If I remember correctly in the past year or 2 we had a post here (or was it on DIYC) about who could make the cheapest Megatree. If I recall, Some of the plans were under $20 (without lights).

If I had to guesstimate mine, it would be in the $30 range for parts, and $64 for lights. But that's for a 12' tall tree, 8 slices, 2 wedges/slice, 4 colors/slice (6400 lights). 3200 lights (still a nice tree) would be $30 + $32.

Just like anything: The more options you want, the higher you want to go, the more you pay for supplies (not getting lights at 50% or more off), etc the MORE it is going to cost.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Our megatree is 22' based on 2" steel pipe.

3' ground sleeve with 400 lbs of concrete securing it.

4 ground auger rings for the guy wire attachments.

96 strands of 100 ct mini lights.

Wire rope w/ boat winch to raise the whole light group.

Three 16 channel controllers, three colors with 16 channels per (red, green and white)

30 curtain strobes.

Firefly Megatree star that I designed on top. (16 pixel star, test video here: http://www.vimeo.com/3031643 )

I don't add the costs up. ;) For my own sanity, everything that goes into the display is just considered a "cost of doing it". I try to find the best prices I can on each component, but buy stuff that will last and then write off the costs immediately.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I am putting up my first megatree this year. 10' tall, 64 strings 4 colors.

Pole supplies $99.63

(i had a $100 gift card)

Concrete rebar, hooks,

pvc, wood, etc.

64 strings of lights $340ish

(from xmas light source)

16 of each red, green,

blue, clear. 50 per string

6" spacing.

1 16 channel LOR controller $377.00

Started get with Basic Plus

1 six point star $24.99

Total $841.62

Link to post
Share on other sites


20' - 2" Rigid Conduit

3' - 2.5" Rigid Conduit

Post hole digger rental

5 bags Quik Crete

4 ground anchors

120' 1/8" cable

8 anchor shackles

4 turnbuckles


4" to 3" PVC Coupler

3" to 2.5" bushing

16 heavy gauge hooks

2 pulleys

40' of 1/8 cable

3 - Cable straps

4 forged eye bolts

2 1" pipe stands

2" to 1" iron reducer coupler

1" to 1/2" iron reducing nipple

2 U Bolts

2 4" pieces U Channel steel

3 Ton boat winch

Christmas light Show 3D topper w/ Rope lights


Christmas Light Show Kit

100' 3/4 PVC pipe

20' 1/2 PVC pipe

10' 3/4" well pipe


192 - 100 count lights (48 of Red, Green, White, and Blue)

50 curtain strobes

12 - 50 count lights globes ((4 Red, Green, and Whites)

5 Controllers

Can not remember the cost of everything, but I think that is everything...have a pretty good memory.

My tool bag that I use at work was stolen last year and I had to make a list of all my tools for the police report. I had over ten years of tools in there and remembered everything that I had.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I spent less than $300 on mine.

I used a 2' and 10' section of PVC on a "t" fitting with a PEX ring. < $20

10 strings of C9 Green LEDs from christmas LEDs.com during their sale. (thanks Val) < $40

one 2' tall bethleham star bought at a garage sale for $2 and re-wired to LED for $8, total $10

One T post from Orschelins ~$5

Total for lights and parts =$75

One AC/16 controller ~ $200

As you can see, You should easily spend more on the controller than the parts to assemble the tree. Remember, the higher you want to go, the more expensive. Mine is only 14' high but it looks great!


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

This is one of those things you probably don't want to add up before you dive in. LOL.

I used

2-10' pieces of 1 3/4 EMT $22

5/16 rod for star $6

8-10' pieces of 1/2 EMT for base $22 for a 10 pack

2-100' steel cable from Harbor Freight $20

1 set of Big top anchors from HF $15

64 sets of 100 ct lights from walmart $120

3 cans of black spray paint $10

1 controller $?? can't remember (bought it last year)

2' 2 1/4" exhaust tubing $14

6" of 4" exhaust tubing leftover piece from NAPA free

$10 S hooks $12

$231 plus controller

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...