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A bit disappointed with this year's Christmas Light Fight


VinceL

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I've been somewhat disappointed by this year's Christmas Light Fight.

My specific issues are:

1. They don't go behind the scenes as much as in the past.  I want to see light controllers, extension cords, how the wiring is organized, use of the software, wireless vs. wired, etc.  Perhaps ABC should have either an extra half-hour of behind the scenes stuff or maybe do that on their website.

2.  I want to know what these houses/neighborhoods look like on a typical evening leading up to Christmas.  There has been an increasing focus on "special shows" (singing, dancing, the special ceremony to turn on the lights, etc.) when the judge arrives.  I want to see a "normal" evening when no judges are around.  Friends of mine who are not into lots of decorating have commented to me about how these "special shows" don't reflect a normal evening.

3.  I am only interested in seeing displays that are put up by family and friends.  Last year, it was particularly obvious that some homes had been decorated by a bunch of professionals / hired workers.  It doesn't seem to be so flagrant like it was last year.

 

I want to extend thanks to all of the families who participate in the Christmas Light Fight.  You all do an amazing job.  And a special congratulations to the neighborhoods who participated this week.  It's one thing for someone to decorate their own home months in advance, but getting a whole neighborhood to do so is quite an accomplishment.

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"I want to see light controllers, extension cords, how the wiring is organized, use of the software, wireless vs. wired, etc."

you will nevee see what type of equipment they use as far as controllers, software etc. If you do see an LOR controller, you can be sure the LOR logois blocked off.

 

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I'm not into all the special effects that people are adding now with the water and fire. Even the projections on the side of the house seems silly to me. To me it's all about the lights and lots of them and make them look good. There is a house on this week's episode that is close to where I live and they have well over a million lights but parts of it seems sloppy. I guess I am just ocd and like a good clean display. 

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I don't like the show much anymore because it seems to be all about who can spend the most money and wow the judge with special effects. An average display has no chance to win and I don't know why they even feature non animated displays. They should have two shows. One for mega dollar displays and another for more traditional. Just my .02 worth. 

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I miss the old way of decorating for the holidays.  While the big flashy shows are great for some, my only gripe is that there's only so much Trans Siberian Orchestra one can take.  My intentions are not to offend those that enjoy the flash, the computerized stuff, but just to offer a suggestion: dump TSO.  It's jarring. There are so many great Christmas songs out there that can turn a sharp, harsh display into a smooth display.  I'm not talking about just what I have seen on TV, this is just what I've picked up just from driving around town.  

ABC has perverted Christmas decorating.  I have only watched one episode so far this season.  As a lover of all things artistic and static, I have great respect for the biker family (my apologies, I cannot remember their name).  They are very talented.  Even though I am in Georgia, the equivalent of hell (temperature wise), how they did that in that heat is beyond me!  Their display was beautiful!

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I'm not into all the special effects that people are adding now with the water and fire. Even the projections on the side of the house seems silly to me. To me it's all about the lights and lots of them and make them look good. There is a house on this week's episode that is close to where I live and they have well over a million lights but parts of it seems sloppy. I guess I am just ocd and like a good clean display. 

Agree. I don't like the fire and water stuff. Maybe if it was for a Halloween display it might work but not for Christmas.

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Just saw the first episode and I agree. I'm a fan or fireworks but not for Christmas. To much are people morphing Christmas into Halloween or other holidays. Christmas is its own awesome and magical holiday.

I'm not into all the special effects that people are adding now with the water and fire. Even the projections on the side of the house seems silly to me. To me it's all about the lights and lots of them and make them look good. There is a house on this week's episode that is close to where I live and they have well over a million lights but parts of it seems sloppy. I guess I am just ocd and like a good clean display. 

Agree. I don't like the fire and water stuff. Maybe if it was for a Halloween display it might work but not for Christmas.

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All the displays are cool, and it takes a lot of work to put them up and even more so if they have animated display. I think a lot of the new light shows since rgb came about and people that incorporate moving heads and fog, and fire, have almost just taken out the Christmas of it and use it as an excuse to put on an awesome light show.

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Though my (old) home was never featured on Light Fight, we were one of the first to try out combining multiple effects like water fountains, fog, and falling snow with traditional Christmas lights. I found that, like anything, moderation is key. 1 million lights can be just as over-kill as an inappropriately placed effect. I'm glad to see that there have been "non-show" displays winning Light Fight as well! That castle home was AMAZING this year, right? Seriously awesome work! 

It's also important to remember that editing makes a huge difference in the final cut you see on TV. I've seen a few of the homes on Light Fight in person and they truly do envoke a strong sense of Christmas Spirit when seen live.

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I agree with most of the above comments, All Glitter and no "Guts". In My opinion many of the things that they are featuring in the displays belong more in the realm of Discos, Rock Band Stage Shows and Hollywood special FX, even some of the music has nothing to do with Christmas.

They certainly seem less inclined in showing us the "nuts and bolts" of the displays this year, and have gone crazy with that black gaffer tape that they use to cover up any identifying information on what gear the people are using. I often pause the video a lot to size up the few little "techie" crumbs that slip out, and noticed that even all the brand names and model numbers of every piece of electronics test equipment on one of the guys workbench were carefully blacked out. I love to learn new and interesting tricks and ways of setting up Christmas yard decorations and see fascinating things that people have built themselves and how they did it, but this show seems designed more to dazzle than educate and inform viewers.

 

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I've been thinking, and I think it's best to leave the show as it is.  Big, flashy, over the top, and unrealistic for the average family.  It's tv, after all - it's for entertainment purposes.  

I'll stick to my basic, always expanding static display.  My 9 yr old son has a different agenda: he wants big, he wants flashy, he put LOR on his Christmas list!

As far as the actual craft itself, write HGTV!!  They used to have shows dedicated to creating, crafting, and building, now it's all about buying and selling.  

Thank goodness we have websites like PC to keep us sane! 

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As far as the actual craft itself, write HGTV!!  They used to have shows dedicated to creating, crafting, and building, now it's all about buying and selling.

My biggest gripe about The Great Christmas Light Fight is the whole idea of a contest.  A small neighborhood or city contest is one thing but it's a bit offensive to me that one person will decide which display is "best" and give them $50,000 while the others get nothing.  That is not what Christmas displays are about!  Christmas displays are about giving back to one's community and putting smiles on faces.  All Christmas displays are winners!

HGTV had a lot of good shows that featured Christmas displays.  It's odd that they have dropped out of that completely.  I hope they won't feel the need to come up with a contest show to compete with TGCLF.  You might be onto something Eggbah with the idea of writing to them.

TED

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I agree as well. I believe animated displays should be in a whole category of its own. We have a traditional static display. Adding flashing or blinking lights is not considered an animated display to me. But if your All your lights move to your music it should be considered an animated display.

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There is always going to be problems when judging displays as they are all so different. I wish the TV folks would be a bit more open minded in their approach to these specials. Stop pushing the competition angle and just feature some of the best over the top displays and what goes into them.  On TLC's first "Invasion of the Christmas Lights" the producers started out with the whole competition idea but quickly realized that we really were not interested in being the best. We just wanted each of our displays to be the best that they could be. Sure, they had the corny idea of pitting a novice up against us to show what was involved, but I think the final thing  turned out pretty  good.
Real or manufactured, they seem fixated on adding the tension that comes with competition. the same competition that keeps pushing the limits  and ultimately morphing Christmas displays further and further away from the warm glow of a decorated home  and more into the realm of a Vegas light show.

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VinceL, you're preaching to the choir.  You nailed it!  Cut the hosts, no offense, but no one tunes in to see them, and spend more time on the light set ups.  Maybe have one show for the millionaire independent businessmen who use their company employees to decorate-nothing wrong with that and God Bless them for their unselfishness-and another show for the mom and pop who put it all up themselves and have to hit Walmart the day after Christmas at 6 a.m. because they have a limited budget (can I get an amen).

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There is nothing better than seeing a well decorated home during this time of year, however, the great light fight has corrupted these displays.  I will lay money that you will not see a hot air balloon going up to show off their displays or santa parachuting in.  What happened to the normal everyday display?  Unreal ABC. It really sickens me to see what they have aired.

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I miss the old way of decorating for the holidays.  While the big flashy shows are great for some, my only gripe is that there's only so much Trans Siberian Orchestra one can take.  My intentions are not to offend those that enjoy the flash, the computerized stuff, but just to offer a suggestion: dump TSO.  It's jarring. There are so many great Christmas songs out there that can turn a sharp, harsh display into a smooth display.  I'm not talking about just what I have seen on TV, this is just what I've picked up just from driving around town.  

ABC has perverted Christmas decorating.  I have only watched one episode so far this season.  As a lover of all things artistic and static, I have great respect for the biker family (my apologies, I cannot remember their name).  They are very talented.  Even though I am in Georgia, the equivalent of hell (temperature wise), how they did that in that heat is beyond me!  Their display was beautiful!

If you like traditional displays there are a couple in your area you need to check out. One in Marietta and mine in Mableton. You can find them both on Christmaslightfinder.com

Marietta: http://christmaslightfinder.com/display.php?ID=1824

Mableton: http://christmaslightfinder.com/display.php?ID=1555

 

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I don't know everyone... I thought this season went pretty well. I didn't get to see episode 5 yet (week 3, episode 1), but out of the 5 I saw, I only disagreed with 1 winning choice (episode 2). They did a really good job of showing more of the houses and showing less of the car roll ups this year. It's hard to pack a whole display into about 6 or 7 minutes of air time, when you have 4 displays plus commercials plus the winning decision. And lets face it, as much as we may care more about the technical side as opposed to the stories and crowd reactions, the majority of their viewers are not light freaks like us.

My biggest issue this year was the over the top "one night only" shows that displays put on - fireworks, dancers, etc. If it's not regularly a part of your display, you shouldn't have it on TV. Now, I don't have a problem with Santa showing up, or the big turn-on buttons. I think that kind of thing is fine. But if you don't shoot fireworks off every weekend, then you shouldn't shoot fireworks off for TV. 

I know it's likely not possible - but it'd be cool if they could do live winners announcements and let viewers vote for their favorite. Just tell all the homeowners to be home the night of the airing.

All and all, I really enjoyed the show, and am disappointed it's over again. Looking forward to next year! 

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I look forward to watching the TV show every year just to get ideas, but I have to say that I'm finding the show a little more depressing as it goes on.  As others have said, some of the display elements such as fire, water effects, 'searchlights' and whole house projection seem over-the-top.  I just started this year with animation (have been wanting to do this for 30 years); when I compare these homes with my meager 4700-light, 48-channel display, I can't help but feel a little deflated.  It also sucks when you see some really nice displays loose to others just because they aren't over-the-top.

I have to take a step back and look at the big picture.  I put up my display to show my Christmas spirit and to share that with others.  I hope that my display inspires everyone who sees it in some way - some just enjoy the lights, some may be interested in doing their own display, but I also like to impress upon people the 'reason for the season' - Jesus (a big part of our display).

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Everybody's display looks like each other's. They use the same stuff:  arches, lights, LOR, flashy songs.

 

how can anybody tune in for "new ideas"?

Thank you.  You hit the nail on the head. No offence to the people or work involved in creating these over the top displays for tv, but when I tune in I hope to get at least 1 new idea. This past episode I just skipped through the first hour. Please TV producers, go back to the days of Invasion of the Christmas lights that was so much better.

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Everybody's display looks like each other's. They use the same stuff:  arches, lights, LOR, flashy songs.

 

how can anybody tune in for "new ideas"?

Thank you.  You hit the nail on the head. No offence to the people or work involved in creating these over the top displays for tv, but when I tune in I hope to get at least 1 new idea. This past episode I just skipped through the first hour. Please TV producers, go back to the days of Invasion of the Christmas lights that was so much better.

Something was found out today concerning the one winner in Livermore, his house but not his display.

 

https://vimeo.com/139432346

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My Dad and I were watching the show together and started laughing about the prize money.  $50,000 is probably what they spent if not more, just to make their over the top display haha. I know it's not about the money and I'm not trying to sound greedy or anything, it's just funny to think about. 

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