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When do you test your show?

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This is going to be my first year with a computerized light show (LOR Based). I plan on firing up the display the day after thanksgiving. I am sure there will be many things I will want to tweak or change once I see what it actually looks like.

I want it to be sort a surprise for everybody in the neighborhood. I am sure they will see me setting up everything buy I really don't want them to see the lights during evening hours until it is all finished.

I thought about waiting until 2am or so in the morning during the last weeks of November to fire up the lights and to make sure everything looks correctly.

How do you test what it is really going to look like before you start your nightly shows?

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Last year was my first year at computerized lighting, and my first year in the new house. I made every effort to be ready the Friday after Thanksgivig, but because of various problems (such as losing my entire show!), plus just not knowing the magnitude of what I was attempting, it was Dec 10 before the lights came on. Because of that, there was no test .. it was live and I went with what I had.

This year, I hope to be on the other side of the curve. I'm planning to start setting up either just before or just after Halloween, and testing the show about a week before lights on (gotta have time for tweeking it here and there).

Running the show during the day sounds like an excellent idea. It hides the show - and the best place to hide something is right in front of people. I can go from place to place while listening to the music and seeing that the various items come on and go off when I expect them to. Plus, I'll be able to see the wires so I don't accidently unplug something while going from place to place.

That being said, there's no substitute for running it at night, IMO. So I might wake up in the middle of the night at some point and go thru a test rehearsal just to insure that the total show looks like I think it should. If I do that, I hope the neighbors don't think an alien attack is underway.

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