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Did you know?
  • 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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About Russ

  • Rank
    Distinguished Member

Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    Luke 2:1-20
  • Location
    Downers Grove, Illinois, USA
  • Biography
    Running, Mountain Biking, Gadget Geek (including Christmas lights)
  • Interests
    Running, Mountain Biking, Gadget Geek (including Christmas lights)
  • Occupation
    Network and Sysadmin Consultant
  • About my display
    2017 display, tried projection mapping. Consider it a proof of concept.

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  1. I love your snowglobe. I've been thinking of adding something almost exactly like what you have since I started doing Christmas projections. If you have videos of it, and are willing to share, please post! I'm headed to Disney World in a couple of weeks, I'll see if I can find someone that can give me details about the projectors they use :-) Last time I was there I counted 16 projectors; 4 different angles, with 4 projectors each (which doesn't sound like a lot -- but are probably 50-100k lumen each). The Merchandise Mart in Chicago just installed a permanent projection system. I'm sure it's close to as large of an area as Cinderella's Castle. They use a total of 34 projectors, 30k lumens each, at a street price of about $70k each. https://www.artonthemart.com/technology I'm up to two projectors stacked, 2000 lumens each!
  2. Just getting back on the forums after a long break away. I'm doing video projection for Halloween and Christmas. This is my second year of doing projection plus another year or two of failed experimenting. This year, I cut back on traditional Christmas lights quite a bit and focused on the projection. For next year, I'll go back to doing both. Traditional lights will grab people's attention (unless your projection is REALLY bright--like commercial quality bright with commercial quality prices), but the projection animation will make it unique. The videos below were made when I used one 2000 lumen projector. We have moderate light pollution--lots of street lights, neighbors houses with security lighting--but I think the projection shows up well. Even with the bright sconce lights on my garage, the single 2000 lumen projector shows up nice (see the halloween picture). I replaced the bright lights with dim candle flicking lights which helps a lot (see the Christmas videos). Click on the Christmas pictures to see a the video. 20181202_180401 by Russ Foster 20181202_180348 by Russ Foster IMG_20181031_153321_488 by Russ Foster
  3. I guess I'm thinking more about the sequencing and the light display rather than the choice of music. Seems like most displays I've seen flash the lights in beat to the music. But there's got to be something less, uh, flashy...maybe. Or maybe it's all in my head. Again, I don't what I'm looking for. But, please, post videos! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Got videos? I like where you're going, with the bold LEDs and warmer glow depending on the song. Let's see it! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Awesome job! And great display with the mega trees and arches. Thanks for sharing. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. Very nice! I'm waiting for them to post some newer videos. Thanks!
  5. I love the loud, gaudy, tacky flashing lights with music as much as the next person...but has anyone seen a display that works on a different level? Something you'd see at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, or a Jim Brinkman concert? Something that is as artistic as it is soothing? Think Handel's Messiah and the Hallelujah Chorus and not TSO's Carol of the Bells. (Or whatever...) I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for, but I'll know it when I see it. Maybe you have too. If you've seen something, please share it here. -r P.S. This is not to disrespect anyone's display. I enjoy all of the music videos I've seen and I know how much time and effort go in to them--far more time, effort and talent than I have. I'm looking for something different.
  6. Some projectors have network connections (either wired via an RJ-45 or wireless) have have the ability to turn the projector on/off remotely. I don't know that any of these have a daily schedule timer (i.e. turn on at 4pm and off at 11pm)...but...if there's a web-interface, then there is undoubtedly a way to automate it with your computer (but might take some software scripting/hacking to do). Do do theater lighting work part-time and have never seen a projector with DMX input...but now that I think about it, it sounds like a great idea. I can't say one doesn't exist somewhere, but of the dozen or so theaters I've worked in--some with $50,000 projectors--they all use either a network web interface for on/off ability, or a remote control (or we climb up on the catwalk before/after each show and manually push the power button).
  7. Just curious if you got the video up on YouTube yet. I know it's that time of year, and everyone is busy. But just curious...and I wanted to let you know I'm still interested in seeing this!
  8. How does the story get "told" now? You said the nativity blowmold turns on in sequence and the star raises...is it just a sequence of events that tells the story (without narration, or text on a wall, or anything)? I'm just trying to get a mental picture of what it is now. I think the turning pages would be super-cool, but I have no idea how you'd accomplish that. I go the route of having signs with lights that turn on ('cause that's what I know how to do). Maybe, instead of a light that turns on, the pages/storyboard could be "revealed". The pages lay flat (so the text isn't seen), and then raise up and become readable at the appropriate time -- or rotate 180 degrees with an image on the back and the text on the front. You could go the theatrical route and use a scrim in front of the pages. Light that hits the front, at an angle, will reflect back and make whatever behind it unseen. But with the front light off and the rear light on the rear-lit object can now be seen through the scrim. Even during the day this effect works well. Go you YouTube and search for "scrim lighting". You can get scrim material at any fabric place. Most loosely knit fabric (and cheap fabric with a low thread count) will do this to some extent anyways, some more than others so experimenting helps.
  9. Russ

    Led Strobe Lights

    Thanks for the info. I need to cover a large area (this is for a church building...planning for next year). So probably the zip cord and individual sockets would work best. Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I547 using Tapatalk
  10. Thanks. I'm looking at these for my church (for next year). This would be to cover a section of roof, so probably 20-30 feet between to cover the area we need.
  11. Russ

    Led Strobe Lights

    I was looking at the strobe bulbs from CDI, but how do you mount them? Do you use a strand of C-9 and replace every Xth bulb with a strobe? Or is there a special wire with very wide spacing just for this purpose? You guys have me intrigued... -r
  12. I was looking at the strobe bulbs from CDI, but how do you mount them? Do you use a strand of C-9 and replace every Xth bulb with a strobe? Or is there a special wire with very wide spacing just for this purpose? You guys have me intrigued... -r
  13. Actually, now is the perfect time to start thinking about next year. If nothing else, I start putting together a list of what I want to add, then hit up the after Christmas sales. :-)
  14. Spray a shot of WD-40 and try to keep them facing down.
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