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Is The Novelty Starting To Fade


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Is it me, or is the novelty of animated lighting displays wearing off? Pre Carson folks still seem to be hanging in there, but I can't recall less activity on sites or more displays up for sale than I have seen in the last few months. Wondered your thoughts.

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Is it me, or is the novelty of animated lighting displays wearing off? Pre Carson folks still seem to be hanging in there, but I can't recall less activity on sites or more displays up for sale than I have seen in the last few months. Wondered your thoughts.

I really think times are tough. I have to saving my change and few dollars to buy stuff for my hobby. It also seems like time is flying by. Maybe some do not have the time to devote to this anymore. It does take a ton of time in planning and executing.

I do agree there does seem to be a lot of displays being sold, but they are all being bought up. So at least they are not just being put on the shelf and never used again.

It could also be a fad. Just like parachute pants and leg warmers. The fact is, people have been lighting up their houses for years. It is up to us to keep the spirit alive. I remember going by one special house in town that had a wonderful display. Now that house is gone and is a vacant lot, but the family moved it to another location and I take my kids by it. Hopefully kids will go by my house and someday bring their kids by it.

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Is it me, or is the novelty of animated lighting displays wearing off? Pre Carson folks still seem to be hanging in there, but I can't recall less activity on sites or more displays up for sale than I have seen in the last few months. Wondered your thoughts.

I hope not I am just starting, looking forward to transitioning from static to animated - my first animated Halloween and Christmas display this year - 10,000+ LED's and 48 channels -- Can't believe it's almost July. :blink:

Edited by Techster
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I think more people than ever have jumped into this hobby not knowing what to expect. It is not inexpensive, it is time consuming, and it demands you constant attention from setting up, running it, and tear down.

Of course there will be some that get out for various reasons.

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Bill,

I agree. Do you think that the reduction in the number of posts is due to the new format? I really liked the unread feature versus the New content feature. I really do not want to be negative for the newbies, but it is much more difficult to navigate around the site. I remember 6 years ago, all the assistance that I received from this and our local sites.

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well LOR sale did good this spring so people are still buying new controllers. It just costs a lot of money that people dont have. I know I shouldnt be spending money on it but I do. My lights are my life. The one and only thing that keeps me going. It is a hobby and sometimes hobbys get old and you move on. But I can tell you I dont plan on ever stopping lol. Bought 6 more controllers this year and still want 4 more!

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Bill (and all)-

Funny you should bring this up- I was just discussing this with another decorator yesterday. Here are the thoughts we talked about:

1. There are Post-Carsonites (and I don't say that disrespectfully at all) that got in, have enjoyed the past 5 years or so, and now they're moving on. I've long said that hobbies typically have a short shelf life- in my experience it's usually 1 to 2 years. I know a few years back I got really into disc golf and after about a year and a half I was done. Still like it- never play anymore. Those discs (and I have a lot!) are sitting in the closet, just taking up room and covered in dust. I did the same thing for 2 years before that, only with darts.

2. Money is an issue for people now more than ever. People get excited and see Christmas lights as something that must be affordable, right? Wrong, at least if you want to do what we do.

3. I think, and many will probably disagree with this, it gets exhausting trying to constantly add the next "big thing". Sometimes I believe that you should just be happy saying "I've added what I want. It's enough." If more people would do that I think it would help with points 1 and 2 above.

3.1 On the flip side of this argument is that people do want new things- how many times can you do "Wizards in Winter" with a mega tree, chasing mini-trees, and some leaping arches (with Marty Fans thrown into some displays). I'm not knocking that, but I personally don't have any of those things in my display because I don't want to have a carbon copy. For ME (so don't anyone start blasting me on this) I don't get any creative satisfaction from that. What does keep me coming back is the chance to add new things that have little to do with lights. I've become active in the Santa Claus community and definately put more thought and effort into that part of my Christmas display than I do the lights or songs. Ggranted, my house is covered so there's not much room to add, and I did the (in)famous 52 song theme night plan a few years back so maybe I'm just tapped on lights and new songs.

4. This is an interesting point brought up by my best friend, who is also an extreme Christmas decorator. Back then (2006-2007) there was a lot people had to learn to do what we do. That lended itself to being on forums more, learning and sharing. Eventually that learning curve comes to an end, and that plays a part in reduced involvement on the forums (which is why you're seeing declining involvement).

5. Less new folks are joining in the fun. Old timers moving on (or reducing their involvement) plus less new folks equals a reduction in the overall hobby... any hobby.

Again, these are just my perspectives. Interesting to hear what others think.

Edited by Ryan_Johnson
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Have to agree with you Bill, but like others have said I think its a combination of the bad economy and how much time you really have to put into it. I know for me I get to the point where I just dont have the time so sequence a new song so I wind up using the same song set from the previous year. Right now I dont have the motiviation to start anything new but that will change when Ryan sends my boxes of lights. That will get me motivated and back ontrack for what I want to do this year.

Also have to agree, I really wish we could go back to the old forum format, it was much better.

Jeff

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Speaking as a newbie. I'm on the Fourum Daily trying to learn as much as possable and figure out how my first display will work. I don't feel i have a lot to offer yet but when i do i add it. I know i feel a crunch on time already. but i enjoy knowing i'm not alone.

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The Novelty in any hobby comes and goes with many people. We have seen that in many things we are involved with.

We have a boat at the marina that we have had for years. We see new boat owners every year, some of one or two years and then never again. This is really no different.

Some of us will hang in there for ever, others will come have their fun and move on to the next great thing in their life.

Over all, we do what we want because we love what we do.

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You've got people like Ryan that love the personal interaction with others - through Santa in his case. You have the people over at DIYC that love building and rebuilding new controller designs - all the "tinkering" stuff. You've got people that love the social interaction and friendship of others. You've got people that won't quit until they collect every version of a blow mold. You've got people that just 'have' to have the biggest display in town. You've got people that love to tinker with new technology (even if it's just new to them). You've got people that love the heaps of praise from neighbors, friends, family and organizations for which they raise money for. You've got a lot of reasons, which would be unique to each individual and I suspect that when a person asks themself "what's in it for me?" and they don't have an answer, they move on to other things. While financial constraints will crimp people's budgets, if people REALLY want to do something (think addicts of anything here), people do, find a way to make it happen - it's just that they have to find value to themselves.

I think while some broad assumptions could be made as to why people get in or out this, in the end it comes down to "what's in it for me?"

So, what's in it for you?

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I know its tough times and its tough for me too but i will assure you i dont go peacfully i am going to be animated this year if it kills me! If i have to get out there in the middle of the night then im going to do it! I almost quit once but... I didnt come this far to quit.... Too much blood sweat and tears to quit now. Maybe if i had a broken neck i would stop but until then it aint gonna happen! Its go time! Peopel that quit after a few years didnt want to do it to begin with. They Thought it might be the shiny thing that was going to make them happy and it didnt. Your all in or your out....

Edited by FrostNsnow
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I started in the LOR Hobby 2 years ago although I always had a static dispaly. For me the initial excitment started when I saw the Holdman displays and it still holds true to today. Whenever I start to lose intrest I hop over to his website and check out the how to video he put together....Before I am done I want to achieve a sense of satisfaction that I am sure Holdman has reached. With that being said and the fact that I am nowhere close to what Holdman has done....I plan on being in this Hobby for a long time waiting for that moment of satisfaction.

So here it is Mid June and I have already started sequencing 5 new songs.....tweaking last years sequences...planning the 15-20' Mega spiral....North Star and Lawn grid.....oh and also waiting for the LOR Floods!!!!!!!

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I think more people than ever have jumped into this hobby not knowing what to expect. It is not inexpensive, it is time consuming, and it demands you constant attention from setting up, running it, and tear down.

Of course there will be some that get out for various reasons.

Uh? I use to spend maybe a couple hundred dollars every year.... this year it is well over $3000 (don't tell the wife)!

I

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This is my 6th season animating. First year 16 channels. This year 224 channels. Worked up to 50K lights this year with 30K being LED's. I believe I am in this for as long as I can keep going. Yes there are financial restrictions. That is why I have to keep going. I have a lot of ideas in my mind for future display items but as time goes on the items require a lot more lights and more controllers.

I have been converting over to LED as funds would allow. Now I am diving into RGB. So, for me, I think there would actually be no end to the "madness". I must priortize my projects now as the cost of my ideas far exceed my wallets ability to provide the necessary funds. So, I add something every year. One step at a time.

My 8 year old son will be sequencing his own song this year. My hopes are that his interest in animated lighting will grow on him as it did me. The only way to help insure that is to provide him the same kind of encouragement and support I get from this site and all the people here. I do not want him to loose interest or be discouraged.

The comments of my viewers and the memories of the kids squealing to the "bouncy lights" all play into why I do this. It is MY way to share my Christmas Spirit.

Doug

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Im stealing this guys wallet,telling his wife, and hoping to get a finders fee! j/k :)

Oh she knows I spend a lot!

She is an enabler!

Last year I wanted to buy 4 LOR boxes and she said buy one more because it is like getting it free! Click add to cart!

This year she made me buy 2 more CCRs again Click add to cart!

Shes the bestest!

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For me, last year was my off year (less thank 100k up) so this year I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.

Last year I started cycling a lot - and that took up a lot of my time, and this year I have cancer (but I'm taking some advantage of that time to get things ready while at home on bed rest)

Of course I'm not going to stop cycling - as I've found I enjoy that a lot.

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