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Beat by static displays

Discussion in 'The Family Room' started by Gilrock, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Gilrock

    Gilrock Full Time Elf

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    I'm in the US and we live within an HOA. This is only our 2nd year at our address but the HOA is very supportive of the lights and in fact they run a lighting contest that gets judged around the 15th of Dec. This was our first year having lights and I'm a bit disappointed I only placed 7th in the contest...I was thinking I was at least in the top 3 but I guess the judges liked 6 static displays over my sequenced display. I'm the only one in the neighborhood that had a sequenced display unless you count the 2 houses with a Mr. Christmas. The house that won just has a bunch of blow ups on like every square foot of his yard and built a PVC arch across the driveway with lights wrapped around it. Ranking so low had me wondering if they even paid attention to the fact that I had music playing and the lights were in sequence with the music. I had 1 to 3 cars at a time parked out there watching my 20 minute show on most nights. I'm pretty sure no one spent more than a couple minutes looking at anyone's static display.

    I was really trying to not care about the contest because that is not why we are putting up the lights but it still is bothering me that it got ranked so low. Its more for our enjoyment and for our kids. But it does feel good to see others enjoying it and when I go outside and find kids dancing in my driveway.

    There were some nice looking static displays but I surely didn't think there were 6 of them that would top me. The advantage I saw they had was showing a lot more color. I'm hoping adding a lot of RGB elements this year will make mine display more dramatic.

    Here's a couple videos I have from my show:
    Amazing Grace 2012
    Little Drummer Boy 2012

    Thanks,
    Gil
     
  2. NeilKellie

    NeilKellie Be gentle we're only little!!!

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    I wouldn't let it get you down your display looks awesome and is timed very well!!
    I would suspect that your xmas light comps are much like the one's we have in Australia - very political!!
    We are just getting into the whole lights thing this year and we went for a drive around last month to have a look and spoke to a lot of people here on the Gold Coast at various locations about their displays and the comps they went in and nearly every person we spoke to said pretty much the same thing - too political.
    So just do it for what you really do it for and what most of us will be and do do it for - the kids. We have a 3 month old and he is the reason we are getting into it (plus we are big kids ourselves).
    Neil
     
  3. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    I dont even bother entering anymore after not even being in the top 20 two years ago. Most competitions are sponsored by Christmas lights stores so they treat the competition purely as marketting, and with my display being custom made its not a good advertisment, instead what they prefer to see is as many lights thrown onto a house and in the yard without any thought, because that promotes all the product that they sell.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Gilrock

    Gilrock Full Time Elf

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    Yeah I didn't actually enter the contest. They just drive through the neighborhood that night and if you have lights up you get judged. I did win a $50 gift card to Home Depot even for 7th place. It's actually a pretty cool night when the judging happens because it's a neighborhood event where they sponsor horse drawn carriages to pull people around in two different loops in the neighborhood and they have games for the kids and food at the loading locations. They just don't swing the carriages down far enough to see my house but I get a lot of people that are walking from a nearby school parking lot that see my house on the way to one of the carriage loading zones. If they changed the turn around point for one of the carriages by 100 yards they could swing down and turn around in my court. They really only end up covering like 20% of the neighborhood with the 2 carriage routes.

    Gil
     
  5. aussiexmas

    aussiexmas Sinnamon Lights

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    In Brisbane, the lights competition is run by a radio station and co-sponsored by newspapers, TV and others. It gives "best lights" awards for 1st-3rd in the north, south, east & west divisions plus several category awards one of which is "Best synchronised music & lights" (introduced 3 years ago). While winning has never been a concern, I have entered for about the past 7 years, and until 2011, only ever received commendations. The reason for entering is to be included in the published list of entrants. Visitors would frequently say that they had seen the winners and preferred my display - "Why didn't you win?" This is difficult to answer and I would usually suggest that all the displays are very different and winners usually had features that I did not - walk through, touch & feel toys, perhaps a more Christmassy feel. Judging criteria are never revealed.

    While I have now won the synchronised category for the last 2 years, 2012 was the first time that a synchronised display was awarded a place in the "best lights" section, (I was awarded 2nd in the west). Maybe this was a break through. I was recently talking with a church group looking to step up their display, and they had asked the judges for suggestions. One of the responses was to look at synchronising.

    Winning competitions was never a consideration when putting up my display. My satisfaction derives from seeing the responses of the children and the adults (big children) and the grandparents (older children), together with the satisfaction I derived from simply from getting a complex, computer controlled display to actually work and look good. Mind you, winning something does result in a good feeling, but it should never be the driving force. At least I now don't have to answer the question "Why didn't you win?"
     
  6. MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    We've found that competition judges seem to be impressed by the number of lights, not what they do. In our local comp last year, we were beaten by a house which had a light on every brick. They didn't do anything. Most didn't even flash, but there were a lot of lights.

    Our display, apart from being synchronised, was very interactive. Lots of elements for kids to play with and room to run around. As a result, we picked up 75% of the vote in the people's choice award. It was far more satisfying knowing that our neighbours appreciated our display than a couple of judges.

    You can never tell with these things, so don't lose sleep over it.
     
  7. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    Especially for the first year you have excellent elements and nice sequencing.

    I surely would suggest not to worry about where you placed as the newbie in the neighborhood.

    As already stated, there can be politics involved with houses that have been doing it for many years before you got there.

    Do it for yourself and family and let the rest of the chips fall where they may. In time you may be surprised.
     
  8. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    I feel for you too. In the local comp here that is ran by the paper I was beaten by a house that literally had about 5 strings of fairy lights. Voting was online and the voting process was a shambles. I hope that the organisers at the paper feel somewhat disgusted with the result as there are some really good displays in the Bendigo region. Like a lot of the members here I'm only in the comp to get the word around. Of course I'd love to win mainly because there is no better way of getting people out to see the lights.
     
  9. johnson8ryley

    johnson8ryley My idol is ɟɐsʇǝppʎ

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    You may be right in the fact that they aren't even aware the lights are to music. The first year my show was up, hardly anyone even knew our lights were to music. I'd tell people about our lights and they would go "WOH! They're to MUSIC!? I thought they just blinked!" But I bet more color will do the trick. We've won our light show contest in our neighborhood for the past couple of years and we don't even have RGB (yet). I would just keep on programming your amazing show you've got and spread the word. A static display shouldn't beat a fully synchronized light display. Keep your head up.
     
  10. remoteutah

    remoteutah Full Time Elf

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    Are you sure you don't live near Bill?
    Are you sure you were beat by blow-ups and not 170+ blow-molds?
    (snicker @ bill)
     

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