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So my wife asked me the other day, where are you heading with this Christmas thing. What do you want it to become, what are your plans for not just next year but a couple years down the road.

I sat for a minute, then simply said. I don't know.

So now my question is to all of you. Where is your display headed? What are your goals for the next, say 3 years? Maybe add a mega tree or two, some arches, 20 blow molds, reach 1 million lights, or be seen from the ISS?

Maybe your dreams will inspire me to come up with a better answer than just More Lights!

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That is a great question and one I too have pondered. For me, my first 4 years are about growth. This is year #3 for me and I went from 16 to 80 to 144 channels. Each year I have added both channels and lights. I have one more major element I want to add (next year) and that is arches. After that my growth period will be done as my display will be the size I want it (in terms of not olnly size on the property but set up time etc). After that I plan to spend my time refining my sequences and adding new songs. Replacing items that need replacement, maybe moving things around some and adding a small thing or two.

The short answer is 5 years to get it where I want it and then enjoy and improve what I have.

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Well I don't think I can look as far ahead as 5 years.

But with this being my second year with a big display and 1st year with LOR. It was about getting as much out of it as I can for the money.

Next year I'm going to add more aches and more mini trees along with more colors per item.

The next year after that is to go Red, Blue, Green and White on all my elements.

But after that Whoo knows!

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So my wife asked me the other day, where are you heading with this Christmas thing. What do you want it to become, what are your plans for not just next year but a couple years down the road.

I sat for a minute, then simply said. I don't know.

So now my question is to all of you. Where is your display headed? What are your goals for the next, say 3 years? Maybe add a mega tree or two, some arches, 20 blow molds, reach 1 million lights, or be seen from the ISS?

Maybe your dreams will inspire me to come up with a better answer than just More Lights!

Well I am just about maxed as far as controllers go (ya right wait until the spring sale)

I "might" outline the house and windows in CCRs(long pause as I dream) over the next few years and use the lights somewhere else.

Another maybe is a bigger mega tree.

Oh ya and even more lights : )

Edited by PaulChristmas
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I think it is important to have the ideal vision of what you want your display to look like, what it will look like when you are "done". Watching various forums I see quite a few people throwing in the towel because the display took too much of their time, and they couldn't keep up.

For example, my limit is what I can setup in a couple of weekends. If it gets much bigger than that then I'm not getting all the time I want with my kids, enjoying the holidays, etc.

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I know this isn't the question, but if I can give a piece of advice. My budget is always my limiting factor in my display, because of that a plan is very important to the growth of my display. I could have saved thousands if I had made a plan years earlier. Instead I have a pile of rubermade containers full of lights that I bought on impulse with no real idea what I was going to do with them (but they looked cool). They now sit unused at Christmas as I shed a single manly Yule time tear, and whisper "some day we'll find a place for you my blink little angels”.

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So my wife asked me the other day, where are you heading with this Christmas thing. What do you want it to become, what are your plans for not just next year but a couple years down the road.

I sat for a minute, then simply said. I don't know.

So now my question is to all of you. Where is your display headed? What are your goals for the next, say 3 years? Maybe add a mega tree or two, some arches, 20 blow molds, reach 1 million lights, or be seen from the ISS?

Maybe your dreams will inspire me to come up with a better answer than just More Lights!

For those types of questions, I usually just respond that I'm just trying to keep Santa happy and make sure that he can find our house!

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Guest Lightzilla

So my wife asked me the other day, where are you heading with this Christmas thing. What do you want it to become, what are your plans for not just next year but a couple years down the road. I sat for a minute, then simply said. I don't know.

So now my question is to all of you. Where is your display headed? What are your goals for the next, say 3 years? Maybe add a mega tree or two, some arches, 20 blow molds, reach 1 million lights, or be seen from the ISS?

Maybe your dreams will inspire me to come up with a better answer than just More Lights!

Well I cannot add anymore blow molds other wise my yard would look to cluttered. I like my yard to look good in the day as well as in the evening. I doubt I 'll ever see a million lights at my house. Why, well even if I continue to run LEDs even they use up power and right now my "fuse box" amp wise is small (60 amps) and I cannot do any electrical upgrading for a number of years since I am still paying for my renovation up grades from 2 years ago.

I ran 22,000 lights last year (95% LEDs) & I believe I will be running 35,000 this year.

The almighty "dollar" is my biggest issue on what I can & can not do. I will not go into debt for this hobby. I own all my controllers & not some credit card company, and the same goes for the lights.

Another big issue is "Time & Help".....I put these two together because if I go to big then I will not have the time to set it up unless I have help, & all my help is gone, moved out. The answer......make items that can be set up & taken down easily. So 4 (maybe 6) "Firesticks/ Star bursts" will be made this year. I was going to make a Matrix like the one you see in Lindsay Lights......

And even though I have the channels I do not have enough "Pure White" LEDs or money to make it this year and so I am going to make a upgrade to 1 or both of my fans that will require 3 to 5 controllers per fan depending on how I decide to go. The basic fans are close to completion, however it will take more work if I make these super fans.

The 4 arches stay the same as do the mini trees for now, but I do have another idea I can do with the arches.

When you live in snowy climate and you use LEDs you cannot do certain displays items like roof or lawn grids unless you are willing to go out in - 25Fahrinhiet temps or colder to shovel away snow, which is what I need to do some seasons just to see the mini trees. And I am not going on the roof each time it snows and so those items are out for some of us up this way.

I live in a small village of about 800 people and we are about 1.5 to 2 hours from the city and so I do not get a lot of traffic. I get on an average of between 3-5 cars a nights.......on some very cold nights I get no cars.......on warmer nights I can get 10 cars.......nevertheless, whatever I put up people enjoy and that counts for something. Come September the talking will begin and folks will be wondering what I am making. I think I see more cars slowing down & watching me set up or what I am building than I see during the show :)

I could add more controllers to make each item have 3 or 4 colours but like I said my power panel wont take much more and so I cannot see me buying more controllers. CCR's or CCB's perhaps but not controllers.

I could use what controllers I have and go 3 or 4 colours on some of the exsisting display items.

Lastly a number of displays have closed down for a number of reasons and 1 of the reasons is "taking away from family time, husband & wife time" etc, but it also took me from some other hobbies I enjoyed and I miss those great times. So I plan to get back into those hobbies and enjoy time with my wife and I am working towards making a display that will stay the same year after year (except I will change 1 display item each year) there after just to change it up a bit & keep it entertaining. A number of folks do this and get a 100 cars a day each year........no viewrs seems to find them boring.

A number of folks can do this for a number of years, but I lose interest in something after a certain amount of time, and in a few years I too may be one of those who cuts back the number of channels.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The lack of enough channels has hampered me somewhat. Its always "to do this, we have to get rid of this". So the plan this year is to add another 64 channels for the moment - then convert them to E1.31/DMX for next year. I have two yards to play with, so another 64 will be the stopping point as there is a point where it stops looking like a display and more like train-wreck.

Or course, there is always something new to add each year. So realistically, there is no "stopping point" - only a seemingly endless progression of changes; removing one feature in favor of a new "cooler" one.

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I have long been a proponent of this. I have next years display basically mapped out before this years is live.

Next year I will be jumping into DMX for the first time, and with both feet.

I have had lots of little things that I have wanted to build that due to time/having two small children has made it difficult. Now that they are both old enough to goto daycare, that will leave me some time to work on projects. Plus I will be building a storage shed here shortly, so that my garage will be able to work on more projects in.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Anyway, back to the topic. I do have a rough idea of 1, 3, and 5 years. My wife just now realized that one thing holding me back was storage. Wohoo

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RGB... last year I converted over to all LEDs, this year new 30ft Megatree. I live pretty far from the main road, so I have to either go big or go home :) I will spread out my display this year and will have to come up with more lights. I had NO intentions of changing my display from last year, yeah right that happened.. $$$ is the determining factor on where I will go from here, as I just became a grandpa for the first time and that little girl gets most of my extra money now... Everything is if the Lord is willing and I am able..

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I think it is important to have the ideal vision of what you want your display to look like, what it will look like when you are "done". Watching various forums I see quite a few people throwing in the towel because the display took too much of their time, and they couldn't keep up.

For example, my limit is what I can setup in a couple of weekends. If it gets much bigger than that then I'm not getting all the time I want with my kids, enjoying the holidays, etc.

Two excellent points.

This is my first year having a display. I'm a planner and do not have tons of money for my hobby, so I'm slowly but surely developing both my vision for the future as well as a finance plan of how I will develop it. In other words I'll "plan my work and work my plan".

Though there are tons of great ideas out there for display elements I do intend (at least at this point) to limit myself as well as trying to make what elements I do use as easy to put and take down as I can in order to save time.

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