By Bad Seed
This video #6 of 8 from my very first ever computerized light show. It is the sixth song in the playlist.
The video was shot from 150 feet away to capture it all. Because of that, some of the detail and scale is lost. Each of the 10 mini trees stands 5 feet tall, the arches are 6 feet tall, and the wreath is 7 feet tall. The overall width of the display is about 125 feet wide.
The horizontal lights dead center that resemble a Christmas tree are actually lights on my steps and fountain. The fact that it tapers like a tree is purely coincidental, but very cool.
Behind the fountain is a pair of 7 foot candy canes, and between the rooflines is a 14 foot wide Merry Christmas sign.
There are over 33,000 lights on display. Each arch is made up of 5,130 lights (red, green, blue and white). Each tree contains 1,575 lights (again, 4 colors).
This is not something that can be thrown together at the last minute. It takes months of preparation. I began fabricating this display in January of 2008. The trees are made from tomato cages welded in the shape of a tree. Each took over a week to build and wrap with lights. The arches each took many months to construct. At their core is 3/4" gray PVC pipe. They are the only 4-color arches in existence, and were specially wired so as to eliminate many unwanted pounds of wire that would otherwise cause them to collapse. The wreath was fabricated from 3/16" steel rod, bent into the concentric circles and welded together. For Halloween, I have put orange rope light on the reverse side, along with an animated face to use as a giant jack-o-lantern.
A 2 minute song takes 8 hours to choreograph, using Light-O-Rama software. There are 138 channels of Light-O-Rama in use. A channel is basically a light switch that controls specific lights. For instance, a single mini-tree uses 5 channels: one for each color, plus one for the star.
The display took the entire week of Thanksgiving to install. A mile of extension cord - all custom lengths - was used.
No LED lights are used. If all of the lights were on at once, it would require 90+ amps, blowing all of my circuit breakers. Average current during any song is about 35 amps, spread over several outlets. Even though no LEDs are used, the total energy cost for the show over the month will be about $50.
To learn more about this hobby, visit www.lightotrama.com or www.planetchristmas.com.