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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 KneelandLights

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    Distinguished Member

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    2015 has been my favorite Christmas! Why? Because we bought a light O'Rama controller and a bunch of LED's! I'm a little too excited to be honest.
  • Location
    Northome, MN
  • Biography
    Father of ten, married to one amazing bride, pastor at HopeBethesda.org, saved by grace, changed by grace, loving Gods Word and striving to live for God in this world.
  • Interests
    Bicycling, traveling, geocaching, reading, writing, Kione Greek, LightORama sequencing, & quad-copter flying.
  • Occupation
  • About my display
    2015 - One 16 channel controller. LED lights on most channels.
    2016 - Added Pixilite 16 MKII, Falcon Player & 1500 Smart Lights
    2017 - Moved to a bigger city. Same setup but modified for the new house.
    2018 - Only change up the sequences... no hardware upgrades.

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  1. Nice! That would be fun! I wish I could afford to do that every year.
  2. 2018 is my 3rd year with smart lights and 4th year sequencing lights overall. Every year, as much as I love hanging from the roof to put clips up and then lights, I think there has got to be an easier and quicker method of hanging this many Christmas lights!! I think I found the answer, but I want to run it by you all before I head off to Menards or Homedepot to get what I need. BTW I think I can get most of it done for less than $150. Here's the method I found, though I would modify it for my smart lights setup. Let me know if you have a better option or feedback:
  3. I'm doing three new songs this year: Born Is the King It's Christmas - Phillips, Craig and Dean Jesus Is Alive - Josh Wilson Lift up Your Eyes - Danny Gokey Sequencing gets EXHAUSTING! I'm wondering, does anyone have any good links for smart light sequencing theory? So many of the videos are about how to use the software, I'm just looking for a good discussion thread or video on the method of light effect and color changes... Yes, I know it's a highly subjective topic, and yes I understand we've just got to find our nitch in how to do it... but there has got to be some basic theory discussion out there. Anyone come across some?
  4. Slankard, we just put ours out in a mailbox and then light it up with smart lights at one point of a sequence when we invite people to come get one. We do empty it when the show gets done though. If we forget to, the neighboorhood kids empty it for us on the way to the bus in the morning. The community loves that we do it so much they have left money and even donate bags of candy canes to help replenish supplies. On the main topic, like many of you, I receive comments about the radio broadcast. My neighbor told his kids I must be friends with the radio station owner or something. HA HA!! His kid didn't understand when I tried to explain what was really happening.
  5. Wow! Love the flamethrowers!!! This is one elaborate display! Thanks for sharing.
  6. Okay, so we have a sign from our FM station at our old house, but now that frequency has a broadcast on it. Can I get in trouble for using the same frequency? I've read the FCC legal stuff and I can't find anything that says I can't. However, they do say: These devices must accept any interference caused by any other operation, which may further limit the effective service range. AND On FM frequencies, these devices are limited to an effective service range of approximately 200 feet (61 meters) Here's the link: https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/low-power-radio-general-information#PROHIBITED Here's more documentation: https://transition.fcc.gov/bureaus/oet/info/documents/bulletins/oet63/oet63rev.pdf
  7. Those look like smart pixel strips! I wonder if you could purchase it and hook up a REAL controller instead of their pre-programmed stuff. It's to rich for me too, but if a guy was loaded it sure would make this hobby a lot less time-consuming.
  8. NEW QUESTION: I just realized a new issue. My last house had siding close enough to white that white connecting cables blend in. My new house has green siding!! White is going to stand out while the show is running. I'm going to have to watch some video's online and see if I can pick out other people's signal and power cables. How do you hide your connecting cables? Here are the options I can think of. Paint the connecting cables close to the same color of your siding Tuck them into your siding the best you can Let them stand out, it's not that bad Oh, that's a good idea! 20 amps up and down. I didn't look too hard, but the GFI outlets I bought couldn't do that. Are those standard outlets then, or is it possible with GFIs?
  9. Thanks for the advice! I decided to just do two 20AMP outlets instead of one because of your feedback. And yes, each outlet is on its own 20AMP breaker and each is GFI. I only needed one this year but figured at least now I'm thinking a little ahead. Now to start re-creating the Christmas strings to fit the new house...
  10. No way HOA was gonna happen. We are in the clear, just gotta care for our neighbors now. Wow, you've got a TON of AMPS to work with. Maybe I should add more....
  11. Okay, I've got my bro-in-law coming to install a 20 AMP outlet with me this weekend. I did find that I have a 15 AMP breaker for the garage and an outside outlet I can use from that too. Last year I pulled 18 AMPs max when full white on 100% brightness. I may drop down my brightness on the controller this year, I've heard it looks good a little dimmer. So my next question with moving: Should I remap my strings in xlights so my previous sequences still work? Or should I start over with the new layout completely?
  12. Thanks for the compliments on the house. We are excited! We backed out of a Purchase Agreement because they didn't disclose the HOA. It was a beautiful house too and would have been a much better layout for the light show. However, they had way too many restrictions in the HOA. This house has no HOA so no restrictions!! My only concern is staying in good graces with my new neighbors. Thanks for all the tips on power! It actually is an issue for me too. There are ZERO outlets outside on the front of the house. I have an electrician in the family, so I'll have to try to get him to the house ASAP and see what we can do. Hopefully, there is an open breaker location in the panel so I can setup a 50amp like Ralph. I am going with the CFIs too, good call 'Christmas on the Farm!'
  13. Oh, we are moving from a population 200 town with no other major town for 45 minutes, to a 17,500 population suburb! I may have to learn to manage traffic and how to sweet talk my neighbors so they don't get upset. Power requirements? As far as making sure I'm not overloading one breaker? That's a good point, because I know I'm over 15 AMPs. Thanks!
  14. We are moving into a new house next week! Yay and YIKES! Any advice from my fellow smart light guys?? Should I get to work rebuilding my smart light strings first or re-programming? I think us synchronized Christmas Lights people should stick to moving in the early spring so Thanksgiving isn't looming over us Here is my display from last year. Smart lights are all green. Some static lights are off. Here is our new house. I'm really bumming that the garage sticks out so much. We almost didn't get the home because of the impact on my Christmas lights hobby. The positives out weighed the negatives though. Plus, the view in this pic is mostly visible for a few blocks because of the location.
  15. Hey Stosh, I wasn't concerned about keeping them nice and straight, but here's what I used: HORIZONTAL VINYL SIDING CABLE CLEAR SNAP CLIPS - I pre-drilled a hole carefully in these, then used screws for the wood siding on our house. They work great in vinyl in my display too. Adams Christmas Mighty Light Clip - I used these on my gutters and around window frames. Maybe that's not what you are looking for, but they are options. Keep us posted on how your projects are coming. I'm looking forward to seeing what your display looks like in 8 months!
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