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How Many Strobes Should I Use In Mega-Tree, Etc..


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Greetings -

 

This year (my 4th) I have decided to add strobe lights to parts of my display.  I have ordered 20 of them that flash 4 times a second, now that I have them coming in, I now have a new question / concern, how many to use.

 

Now, I know you can never have enough lights in total, but I suspect too many strobes would end up causing headaches to the viewers.

 

So, can some of the experts out there who have done this already share some tips, tricks and techniques on using them.

 

My mega-tree is 10 feet high, how many and how far apart would people suggest I put them?

 

I also want to put some into the very tall, i.e. around 15 feet tall, bushes in front of my house, so again, how many and how far apart?

 

You can see my yard in pictures and video at www.crazytechchristmas.com if that helps with providing some guidelines for me.

 

Thank you to all in advance for sharing / helping me out here, when it comes to strobes I am a newbie.

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Strobes staked in the ground across that big slope your house is on would look pretty neat.  IMO, strobes are best spread throughout a display, rather than one small location, but given you are starting with 20 I'm not sure how that would work.  I started just by putting them in my tree line, then expanded from there as I purchased more.  I think 4 or 5 strobes would be plenty in a 10 foot mega.  Use spt wire with snap on sockets to spread them out.  The rest can go to your bushes, maybe the ground, or even that tree you have wrapped to the left.  You'll get many opinions, but do what you think is best.  You can always move them if you want to change it.

 

I use 120 strobes at the end of

video. (took a while to collect that many) Edited by vkjohnson
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I have a 20' mega tree and I used 25 strobes in mine, you have to remember as you go down the tree the space becomes much wider I used a zig zag pattern going across the tree and it uses them up rather quickly, I think you could use alI 20 in the mega tree to get a nice effect, I don't think too many would give anyone a headache cuz you only run them at certain intervels during the song say as to highlight a event or at the end of a song. I ran strobes around my house in the gutter line and spaced them every 3'. I also used the spt wire like vkjohnson did only I got the wire with c9 sockets 12" spacing that way you can remove sockets as needed to get the spacing you want. 

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I have a 20' mega tree and I used 25 strobes in mine, you have to remember as you go down the tree the space becomes much wider I used a zig zag pattern going across the tree and it uses them up rather quickly, I think you could use alI 20 in the mega tree to get a nice effect, I don't think too many would give anyone a headache cuz you only run them at certain intervels during the song say as to highlight a event or at the end of a song. I ran strobes around my house in the gutter line and spaced them every 3'. I also used the spt wire like vkjohnson did only I got the wire with c9 sockets 12" spacing that way you can remove sockets as needed to get the spacing you want. 

 

 

I have purchased spt2 and c9 sockets that I can place where I want.

 

You refer to zig zagging on the tree, since my lights simply are pulled out from the tree, i.e. there is no wire (other than guy wires) that the lights attach to, not sure how I would do that.

 

I assumed you zip tie the spt2 to the tree pole, it sounds like that may not be the best method, can you share more details on how you setup yours up?

 

thank you

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I have purchased spt2 and c9 sockets that I can place where I want.

 

You refer to zig zagging on the tree, since my lights simply are pulled out from the tree, i.e. there is no wire (other than guy wires) that the lights attach to, not sure how I would do that.

 

I assumed you zip tie the spt2 to the tree pole, it sounds like that may not be the best method, can you share more details on how you setup yours up?

 

thank you

The reason I got the one with the sockets attached is cuz I'm lazy :)  But the zig zag pattern is I start at the top and attach cord by the 1st strobe to my hookhead that raised the light strands then coming down I zip tie to one of the light strings then going 180 degrees to the other side I do a wrap around my center pole then continue to the opposite side and zip tie the cord to a light strand and start back 180 degrees and I continue down the tree in that fashion till I reach the bottom, my diameter is 12'.  At no point are the strobes attached to the light strands or center pole I only zip tie the cord, the strobes are left just dangling inside the tree. That way when the strobes go off it gives off sort of a twinkle effect that fills the entire inside of the tree.(Hope I made that clear). If not please ask away and I'll try to answer.

Edited by gmac
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I have 10 strobes for a 10 foot tree. I start on the ground halfway between the pole and tree ring. Then go up and over the pole and attach it to the ground on the other side halfway between the pole and opposite tree ring. The strobes on the right side are staggerd so they are between the strobes on the left side.

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The reason I got the one with the sockets attached is cuz I'm lazy :)  But the zig zag pattern is I start at the top and attach cord by the 1st strobe to my hookhead that raised the light strands then coming down I zip tie to one of the light strings then going 180 degrees to the other side I do a wrap around my center pole then continue to the opposite side and zip tie the cord to a light strand and start back 180 degrees and I continue down the tree in that fashion till I reach the bottom, my diameter is 12'.  At no point are the strobes attached to the light strands or center pole I only zip tie the cord, the strobes are left just dangling inside the tree. That way when the strobes go off it gives off sort of a twinkle effect that fills the entire inside of the tree.(Hope I made that clear). If not please ask away and I'll try to answer.

 

 

I have 10 strobes for a 10 foot tree. I start on the ground halfway between the pole and tree ring. Then go up and over the pole and attach it to the ground on the other side halfway between the pole and opposite tree ring. The strobes on the right side are staggerd so they are between the strobes on the left side.

 

Wow, the is great, I love both the ideas for attaching the strobes, would not have thought of either one, and they give me a much better idea of how I need to set this up.

 

Thank you both for helping me out with this, feel much better about what I need to do now.

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Strobes in a display are the icing on the cake. trouble is they are very addicting. Once you do one element you want to do more. I would start with the mega and then go from there. I have 35 in my 20 ft. mega. I think 10 to 15 in your 10 footer would work well. I started using strobes six years ago and add some each year. I first used them in my mega and then expanded out to do the front yard, the two largest trees in the front yard and then finally all the smaller bushes. 525 total. Big investment, but  like everything else in our displays, doable over time.

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Hi All,

 

Don't want to steer this off-topic too much but since we are discussing strobes and SPT sockets-----    An issue I ran into using strobes/vampire sockets the first year of using them. Some strobes worked some didn't, took awhile but I found the problem. 

Open the back of a vampire socket and note that one 'tooth' is at approximate center and one 'tooth' is close to the socket side(offset). If the SPT wire is hung vertically and the socket is installed with the offset tooth on top then the weight of the strobe tends to pull the offset tooth out of the wire and breaks contact with the copper core. If the vampire socket is installed with the offset tooth on the downside then the weight of the strobe will push the offset tooth into the wire. The center tooth is secure enough not to be effected.  

 

Hope this helps.  Now back to strobe counting!

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Hi All,

 

Don't want to steer this off-topic too much but since we are discussing strobes and SPT sockets-----    An issue I ran into using strobes/vampire sockets the first year of using them. Some strobes worked some didn't, took awhile but I found the problem. 

Open the back of a vampire socket and note that one 'tooth' is at approximate center and one 'tooth' is close to the socket side(offset). If the SPT wire is hung vertically and the socket is installed with the offset tooth on top then the weight of the strobe tends to pull the offset tooth out of the wire and breaks contact with the copper core. If the vampire socket is installed with the offset tooth on the downside then the weight of the strobe will push the offset tooth into the wire. The center tooth is secure enough not to be effected.  

 

Hope this helps.  Now back to strobe counting!

 

 

I am so glad I posted this question, getting great info and this post will help me avoid an issue, always glad to avoid the learning curve for something like this.

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I do have one more question, now, if you run the spt over the tree, how are you securing it on each side so it can support the weight of the strobes themselves?

 

Always seems one answer leads to more questions. :P

The strobe wire (only)  is zip tied to the vertical light strands that make up the perimeter of the mega tree the strobes are just hanging in mid air...I did a quick diagram as to how it was done...Nothing special ...it just looks nice when the strobes go off.

 

post-9475-0-01769500-1369437374_thumb.jp

Edited by gmac
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The strobe wire (only)  is zip tied to the vertical light strands that make up the perimeter of the mega tree the strobes are just hanging in mid air...I did a quick diagram as to how it was done...Nothing special ...it just looks nice when the strobes go off.

 

attachicon.gifStrobes in Tree.jpg

 

 

Use the same pattern but instead of zip ties I use bread ties, you can get a whole spool in the garden center for a couple bucks and they last for years, easier to remove as well. For the tree top I zip tie the SPT wire to a "S" hook and hook it around one of the hook head supports. Again it's easier to remove. Started with almost 100 strobes but the failure rate is high. Putting strobes under the eves look nice as well and they last longer.

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