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  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.

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Lights@721

Newbie With So Many Questions

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Lights--I am still new to this gig; have only sequenced about 6 songs so far.  The way I have done so far is to work each part of the song from beginning to end.  For example, on the Groove Gallery's techno version of sugar plum fairy, I started with the disco beat first (was very repetitive, so once I got it I just pasted it through the rest of the song), then I went and caught all the little "ack-ack-ack-ack" type sounds, then caught items I thought should flow from left to right then back left,  etc etc.  This is how I plan to continue doing this.  Now, for my RGBs I didn't have all that much time (started in Sep last year was pretty late for newbie), so I "sequenced" my RGB arches using xlights/nutcracker (macro effects, not RGB-by-RGB...) then exported that into LOR.  That worked quite well, at least for my first year!!  I do have LOR superstar, but I found SuperStar to be too much for me to learn in a short period because I was using non-LOR RGBs (ie not LOR CCRs), so I used xlights/nutcracker instead--these are REALLY REALLY easy to learn!!  Almost zero timeframe to learn these...

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Making your own extension cords is the ONLY way to go.  You can soooo specialize each piece.  Really handy.  Vampire plugs are quite easy to use and work really well.  My opinion is that LOR is a good way to get started but my opinion also is that LOR is currently quite behind the curve with respect to RGB lighting.  Not throwing LOR under the bus, but....   I used their hardware & software last year and it worked really well; no problems with anything.  But...  when you get into RGB lighting your channel count will increase very rapidly.  You can look here and go to auschristmaslighting website and find numerous posts that document LOR slowing down really badly at high channel counts.  so I am moving away from LOR this year.  I am trying HLS (hinkle's lighting sequencer) this year because it reportedly does really well with high channel counts.  I have already found its learning curve a bit tough, but that is part of this game.  Except for xlights which is really super easy to use, I have read that most of the major software packages will have some pretty decent learning curve associated with them.   One more LOR negative (my opinion one more time)--I believe LOR is GREAT if you plan to use ALL LOR stuff (CCRs, etc) but is NOT great if you plan to use "other" hardware (e.g., RGBs from Ray Wu or DIYLEDEXPRESS, etc etc).  I hope this helps you!!  This is a really great hobby.

Not so true.I ran over 300 channels, 4 universes of pixels from ray using LOR 2.9.4 on a older computer without an issue.

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Lights--I am still new to this gig; have only sequenced about 6 songs so far.  The way I have done so far is to work each part of the song from beginning to end.  For example, on the Groove Gallery's techno version of sugar plum fairy, I started with the disco beat first (was very repetitive, so once I got it I just pasted it through the rest of the song), then I went and caught all the little "ack-ack-ack-ack" type sounds, then caught items I thought should flow from left to right then back left,  etc etc.  This is how I plan to continue doing this.  Now, for my RGBs I didn't have all that much time (started in Sep last year was pretty late for newbie), so I "sequenced" my RGB arches using xlights/nutcracker (macro effects, not RGB-by-RGB...) then exported that into LOR.  That worked quite well, at least for my first year!!  I do have LOR superstar, but I found SuperStar to be too much for me to learn in a short period because I was using non-LOR RGBs (ie not LOR CCRs), so I used xlights/nutcracker instead--these are REALLY REALLY easy to learn!!  Almost zero timeframe to learn these...

Yea this weekend I was able to get a shortened down version (just over a minute) of "the house on Christmas street" edited and sequenced. I am now starting the traditional "dance of the sugar plum fairy". Its somewhat frustrating since using the demo software you can't save sequences using beat wizard or add additional timings. Once I get the license I can go back in to adjust but it looks pretty good right now. If someone wants to criticize for something being less then 1/10th of a second off, then i say let them lol. 

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New question here...show length? I have been reading a post on here about show length and it seems like everyone does their own thing/ whatever works best for their audience. As a first year I have no idea how many people will show up or for how long they will stay. I have an intro song that's a minute long, then 4 full songs. total length of show will be 10-12 mins(pending I can get them all sequenced in time); too long/too short? I plan to run the show every 20 mins (10 on, 10 off) with a basic welcome to show, don't block neighbors driveways/ traffic or the show, turn off your headlights etc... message broadcasting during dead time. 

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In the first few years you can probably go with longer shows without issue but as your display becomes more popular you will have to put breaks in so people will let others   come and see. Mine was 42 min of show. Plus 2 min of intro at 6pm and a finales (Spelling?) plus our closing message. had no issues. But as our display gets more well known... this may have to change. I get tired of hearing same songs 20 times a night for over 45 days... so as much for my family sanity as my neighbors too... hope this helps

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This will be my first year during a LOR show!  I have been sitting back watching and learning from others over the past year, getting ideas, what works, what doesn't work, learning from others mistakes and getting as much information as I can to put on a great first show!

Just since around November have I actually started to really dig deep in researching LOR, looking at the demo and planning!

As of January, after the Christmas clearance sales, I have picked up an extra 12,000 +/- lights, 500' of spt-1 wire, vampire plug, strobes, fm transmitter, Cat5e cables, LOR program and 5 controller and others misc. items!  

I have also gotten 14 songs programmed and ready to go (35 min. +/-) just need to build my 20' mega tree and 2 10' this summer!

Can't wait!

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Hey Everyone, New to PC, new to Christmas lighting. Before I swarm you with questions, heres a little background. I just purchased home prior to Christmas and due to lack of funds I couldn't start my show this year, but my soon to be wife loves Christmas lights as much as I do so I will be doing one next year. I have always wanted to do this so I have been doing research for years, but I am sure my plans will not go as smoothly as I envision. First question, any basic tips/tricks for a newbie?

 

Second question, I plan to purchase LOR 16 channel controller to start (hoping to get one during a sale, did I miss the spring one? any idea when the summer one starts?) Will this leave me enough to time to create the songs and displays? I have been seeing that 40hrs per song is a good estimate for time. We already went out and purchased LED lights (multi-color C9 and C7, blue C9s) at all the post holiday sales, plus people have already donated some lights to us (white icicles). I am going to start with some simple outlines of the house, garage, etc.. nothing crazy, yet. 

Newbie here too!, I have learned so much from other LOR'ers on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/8111378684/) on what to do and not to do along with many ideas while watching some of their videos along with YouTube.  I started working on the LOR demo back in December, purchased the starter kit in January and by February came around I already had 10 songs programmed. I bought 4 more controllers and the rest of the stuff I needed and have 14 songs ready to go by the first of March!  As for how long it takes to program a song, at first it took a while (maybe 40 hrs) but the more songs I finished the faster it goes because after you have many different things created you can easily copy and paste onto a new sequence!  I think the fastest sequence I had done was in less then 5 hours for a 3 minute song.  Have fun!!!

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Show length - that varies - I am going into year 5 - this past season 2013 - if I did not repeat any songs you could listen for 3 hours without repeat.  To help move it along, I do have a few songs I repeat once per hour to insure movement.

 

I had just after 4,000 visitors in 2013 - I still found that most people stayed only around 7 to 10 minutes max, my plan is to continue with many songs, up to and until I see issues with backup.

 

If that occurs I figure to drop to a set of songs that plays for 10 minutes - and to keep from going bonkers will change out that set every 20 to 30 minutes.  You want people to stay, the trade off is when it becomes to many staying for to long.

 

I myself am thinking the year that happens I may consider skipping a year to drop the traffic back down.  That is our trap, we all want to be talked about and have people come to see us, we just don't want TOO many to do it, unless you are one of the lucky few who has an area or land enough to handle very large crowds.

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Motivation.....

How does everyone stay motivated in the spring/summer months? I powered through synchronizing my first two songs, the third just seems like I can't get the time and when I do have free time I can't get into the work (especially when is sunny and 75). Any tips? The release of the PC mag today has given me some new motivation today. 

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To be honest... I never put all my CMAS up. my workshop I have my decorations I have on the house hanging up.. some of them even plugged in. Seems the more I frequent the forums and people have new ideas, this helps me alot. in MOST instances I have to MAKE time to do it cause of my work. I use White Christmas lights to light up my workshop so I can see but also so I remember my goal..  

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Leave some lights up, that might be enough, depends on what works for you best.

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CHRISTMAS IN JULY COME EARLY!!!!!!

Long story short, just got back from my honeymoon which means I was able to order my LOR controller!!! I ordered the Residential Series 16 channel starter package but upgraded to the basic plus software (mainly for the automatic beat detection). I have been using the demo version and have almost 3 songs ready for this year. Even better news is that it only takes 1 day to ship via UPS ground (guess their facility must be close). 

Any tips/tricks for set up and testing (software and hardware)? I will download the software tonight once I get home, hopefully that goes smoothly and I don't lose any of my already completed work. 

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Read the directions - use the LOR hardware tester to verify that you have the latest firmware installed.  Test ALL the channels, controllers can have issues, make sure you test again a few weeks before setup.  As time progresses you will find you need to have a spare controller, I had one fail 4 days before the show was scheduled to start!

 

If you have LED lights as the main or all of your display, you may / will want to load the LED lighting curve, instructions for this are in the back of the controller manual.  Start planning how you will keep this dry, it is water resistant, NOT water proof.

 

I use a thinck 40 gallon size garbage bag, to cover the controller stand and controller, it reaches the ground so it protects the cords as well.  If you use the light linkers, I put it under the same garbage bag, put poke a small hole in the top to allow the antenna to be out.  Again Light Linkers are NOT water proof.

 

Have fun, the first show you do will in some ways be the best as it is the first time you get to REALLY view the results of your hard work.

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I ran my first show this past season.  It was a lot of fun.  I ran the show running S3 on a Vista computer with no issues!  Just make sure that you also do not let the computer sleep or hibernate!  The lights will shut off!  Also, channels 1-8 and 9-16 can only have 8 amps per section.  To help with this, I highly recommend buying a Kill-a-Watt.  With this helpful tool, you can measure the number of amps-this REALLY HELPS!  Also, i ran the show last year with the basic license and will definitely be upgrading in the next month or so!

 

Good Luck!  PM me with any questions!  Have a great, fun first year!!

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thanks for the comments and support guys! I will have to flip through the instructions again to ensure I have everything set up correctly. 

 

In the mean time, I made a short video of one of my songs. I am just about done my 4th and my plan was to have at least 5 for this year! I can't wait to get this up on the house to see what it really looks like. Any feedback is certainly welcome! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEDMgHJ3-v8&feature=youtu.be

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Hello [email protected]!

 

First of all, congratulations on your marriage! May you and your bride have many years and happy Christmases together!

 

Second, I just wanted to pop in here and thank you for using my song in your display!!  Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

 

Judy

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Hello [email protected]!

 

First of all, congratulations on your marriage! May you and your bride have many years and happy Christmases together!

 

Second, I just wanted to pop in here and thank you for using my song in your display!!  Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

 

Judy

THANKS JUDY!!

 

The song is just too perfect for the occasion! 

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NEW QUESTION! TRAFFIC!

or I should say, lack there of..... we have had many family and a few friends stop by. My facebook page is up to 80 likes but the street traffic is lacking. 1 car every other night basically. Granted I am not home/ constantly watching all the time so I may be missing a few people. This is my first year so I was not expecting much(and compared to other displays we have very few lights) but my plan so to at least generate enough so that next year I could start a donation for charity. I have put our display in two local papers online sections for "best area lights". If there isn't at least a noticeable increase this weekend I will be disappointed.... Any suggestions besides word of mouth/facebook/newspapers? We live in a fairly large neighborhood and not even many neighbors are stopping....

 

This will not stop me from doing this again next year (already buying more lights and planning), but concerned that maybe I shouldn't start the charity next year. I am happy with my owns efforts this year and my family is enjoying it when they come to visit. But the traffic is disappointing, even though I swore I wouldn't let it get to me....

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Try getting you some coro signs made up with directions to the display and put them out. Will probably help out some.

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Traffic - DON'T RUSH TO GET THAT MUCH TRAFFIC!

 

I speak from experience, it builds over time, I had very few cars in the first year, then a few more in 2nd, on the 3rd year is was up to 906 cars, then year 4 brought in over 1,300.

 

This year it went NUTS!  Estimating over 4,000 cars, it became so congested I had to hire police details to control it!  OMG, that becomes expensive and I could not be out there all the time to direct it.  At first some officers had wondered why a Christmas display needed  a cop, then the traffic arrived and they could not believe it, we can have about 17 cars seeing the display at any minute, beyond that it backs up, and we had them up the street and waiting as much as TWO hours to get down to where they could see it.

 

I quickly had moved to a 24 minute loop of songs and repeated it, that helped, but still did not move traffic along enough.

 

It is nice if you want to collect for a charity, just beaware it can become overwhelming for your street very quickly, and that can also annoy your neighbors very fast as well.

 

After 5 years I may have to shutdown because of getting my wish for more traffic and the expense of controlling it.  In Mass you have to be tied in with a charity to collect or your home owners won't cover you if you take ANY money.

 

Just enjoy the show and they will come!

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Traffic - DON'T RUSH TO GET THAT MUCH TRAFFIC!   I speak from experience, it builds over time, I had very few cars in the first year, then a few more in 2nd, on the 3rd year is was up to 906 cars, then year 4 brought in over 1,300.   This year it went NUTS!  Estimating over 4,000 cars, it became so congested I had to hire police details to control it!  OMG, that becomes expensive and I could not be out there all the time to direct it.  At first some officers had wondered why a Christmas display needed  a cop, then the traffic arrived and they could not believe it, we can have about 17 cars seeing the display at any minute, beyond that it backs up, and we had them up the street and waiting as much as TWO hours to get down to where they could see it.   I quickly had moved to a 24 minute loop of songs and repeated it, that helped, but still did not move traffic along enough.   It is nice if you want to collect for a charity, just beaware it can become overwhelming for your street very quickly, and that can also annoy your neighbors very fast as well.   After 5 years I may have to shutdown because of getting my wish for more traffic and the expense of controlling it.  In Mass you have to be tied in with a charity to collect or your home owners won't cover you if you take ANY money.   Just enjoy the show and they will come!
Just curious how far are you from Edaville railroad? We usually make a trip out there once a season. We're from springfield MA. This was my first year at my new location and the traffic was alright, most nights had 1-3 cars sitting out there at a time. Knot really interested in crazy traffic like your experiencing lol

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