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I've done static lights since 1999, when my first child was born. I always wanted to jump into the light shows, but cost, time, and really knowledge keep me from making the plunge. I'm the worst at planning layouts and figuring out where to put electrical cords and what is asetheticly pleasing to the eye.

Almost all of my lights are LED, with the exception of a few this year. We have a huge lace bark elm in the front that is so tall that even with one of those extension poles they sell for hanging lights, I can't reach more than half way up. So, I'm always disappointed with how my tree looks - just the green lights are right at 1,000. Oh, I am not sure how to describe it...but, it's almost like it is just too two dimensional. Maybe I need like some mini-trees on the yard or some lights around the yard. Some yard figures.

I thought I'd post some pictures and maybe some might feel comfortable with giving some feedback/suggestions. Don't hold back - I don't take anything personal. One thing is that I think I need to do lights on the ridge line of my roof. It's a high pitch roof so I don't want to get up there if I can avoid it - although it might be possible next year to hire someone to do just that part. Not sure how to run cords on a roof like that - meaning the best way to organize them so I don't have 100 cords running all over the place. Anyway...enjoy the forum and the information here and love what all of you do - it's pretty amazing.

Have a great evening.

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House looks good and welcome to the madness. I really like the tree out front. With what you have right now, you could easily control everything with 1 controller. I have found that one of the cheapest ways to go is the DIY LOR kits. I usually get this one (http://store.lightorama.com/ctascpa.html). It is mostly assembled, doesn't require soldering, and you just plug in all the cords. But if you can and don't mind soldering, you can save some money and get the kits you solder. If you can wait, I would wait till one of the two big LOR sales (1 in spring that is limited quantities and 1 in summer that is no limit). Add yourself to their mailing list to get updates on the dates. With one controller, you will have 16 channels (so for example: 2 for your tree, 1 for icicles, 2 for bushes, 1 for garages, 1 for columns, 1 for smaller tree, and that still leaves you with 8 channels for things to set out in yard). You will also need ext cords and the software to run it all. You can download a demo version of the software to play around with and start sequencing (it just doesn't allow you to control lights). It is time consuming and very addictive. It takes me on avg about 1-2 hrs to program 1 min of song. And if you have questions, the forums are very helpful. Hopefully that is enough info to get you started.

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I don't think that tree looks bad at all. I like it. The ridge line on your roof would add some height in the back and look really good, at least it's only one story. The yard has so much potential too. An outline around the yard and some mini trees scattered around maybe? Looks great!

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Thank you all so much for the feedback. It is GREATLY appreciated. I totally agree on doing the ridgeline to add some depth and then adding some minitrees or equivalent and some yard lights. I'm going to absolutely plan to make 2013 a controlled display. I'm going to keep my eyes open for an LOR kit and start looking for some ext. cords on sale once Christmas is over. One thing kind of funny about lights - I always loved Christmas lights as a kid but my parents didn't do stuff like that. So, after our first child was born, I started putting lights on the house. We would tell them as they grew older that we had to have lights so that Santa could find the house. My kids won't let me NOT put lights on now ;)

Thanks again to the three of you for your feedback and responses. It was greatly appreciated and I'm looking forward to next year already!

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Stefan I am also new the the site but my two pennies are to add some light around that cool front window with the arch. Looks cool.

Great suggestion Santasean :) I also found a youtube video on a relatively inexpensive way to make a nice size star. Made the outline of it today and ordered the rope lights from walmart and will pick them up tomorrow; so, will hang a star up in the next day or two also.

Thanks again for the suggestion!

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Made the star using the video above. Here is a pic of it hanging on the house tonight. Think I'll make another one and hang it over the 2 car garage area. May think about making some of these at half the size and placing them up on stakes in the yard next year versus mini-trees. I'd have to consider using something other than rope light. Anyway, thought I'd share this one last item on this thread. Thanks again for all the feedback. It's been greatly appreciated!

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If you have the time, maybe add another star over you double garage door.

Had the same thought, Nick. Made one tonight using LED string light, but wasn't happy with the look. Finding any lights locally is already becoming impossible. Walmart shows they have the same rope light I used for the first, so going to run by there during lunch tomorrow and keep my fingers crossed they have one left. The star uses 12' and I've looked at almost every single online site and I can't get it for the same price ($11.00).

Thanks again for the tip!

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answered my own question Thanks

Hey d - I was out on the town all day yesterday with my wife, celebrating both our birthdays. Our exterior is brick and I used some black adhesive cable tie mounts and can't remember where I found them. I think it was Ace Hardware - it was probably 100 or so in the bag and if I bought them, they had to be $10 or less or I would have faced the wrath of my wife ;) I used them this year to hang the icicle lights along the wood just under the edge of my shingles - this keeps the lights from blowing up onto the roof. I'll have to take a picture and post it to explain that a little better. Here is a link where you can see what the mounts look like. I also added some links of other ideas that people have used. Hope this helps :)

mounts

Light Strips

Hot Glue

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One thing I did to expand my display a few years ago was to add a lot of blow molds. I got most of mine at yard sales for $1 but a few were more on craigslist. I also have a tree that is similar to yours. In the past I did it like yours. This year I decided to wrap every branch with lights spaced about 1 or 2 inches apart from the ground up as high as I could climb (about 20ft at its max) and it looks great, I just wish I could get higher up it so that it could be seen above the neighbors houses.

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One thing I did to expand my display a few years ago was to add a lot of blow molds. I got most of mine at yard sales for $1 but a few were more on craigslist. I also have a tree that is similar to yours. In the past I did it like yours. This year I decided to wrap every branch with lights spaced about 1 or 2 inches apart from the ground up as high as I could climb (about 20ft at its max) and it looks great, I just wish I could get higher up it so that it could be seen above the neighbors houses.

How long did it take you to wrap the base of your tree, how big is it?

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it took me at least six hours, the tree is about thirty feet tall but I could only get up about fifteen or twenty feet. In total the tree uses about 65 strings of multi color led lights, I had about thirty from last year and then I got the rest at home depots incandescent to led trade in sale, I paid only $3.50 a box.

 

I cant really figure out how to post a picture of it to show you as I am new to the forums, but I do have one if someone could explain it to me. 

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