from thinking to building


New elf
Jan 8, 2012
central North Carolina
I know that the season will soon be winding down, and the task of taking down and storing your display will soon start. You may already have ideas for next year.
So when does the process go from thinking about an addition for next year, to actually buying the supplies, and the actual building of new props.
I to often think about new projects, but wait to late in the season to build and only do a small portion of what I had planned.
How long do you wait to see what new items such as lights, software, and hardware are going to be available for 2013.
Just wondering how you schedule your time and efforts to this hobby.


Apprentice elf
Dec 7, 2011
Hi Bert

This is my first year and I have made LOTS of mistakes. Knowing what I know now I will be planning next years display before March (concept, layout etc), buying stuff by May and be built and tested ready to start sequencing in September.

This year I didn't buy anything until August, didn't start building until November and wasn't ready to sequence until Nov 22.

I won't be waiting for new lights/technology. I am already committed to LSP (some would say I should be committed for using LSP...hahaha) and after my purchases in May that's it, no more buying.

If I follow my plan I should have a good display up and working 100% on Dec 1st. A bloke can dream can't he :D




WiFi Interactive
Dec 23, 2010
Brisbane, Australia
Yeh same here, ordered late August - ran out of time. Needed another 2 weeks really and I was still pushing timelines way too much. Starting earlier for sure next year!


Animated Shows since 2012
Jan 12, 2013
Richmond, VA
Hi Bert-NC,
Two days after Thanksgiving Day last year (2012) I decided to animate my display of less than 2000 lights. Did some research and chose LOR. After 3 weeks of sleepless nights (literally slept 2-3 hrs a night), I managed to build my display up to 9500 lights and sequenced 3 songs on 64 channels. After enjoying my display for about 2 weeks and then taking it down, I already had ideas of what to do for this year. I placed a very large light order in January with CDI and solidified my plan in LOR's Visualizer by March of this year. I started sequencing right away. Lights arrived in April and I started building. Have been building all year and still have a few more things to do.
As of today, I have 6 of the 7 songs sequenced on 368 channels. My display will be over 50,000 lights. Yes, I spent all my vacation money for the next two years. But I am so absolutely enthralled with this whole Christmas lights to music phenomenon that it's worth it to me. Been working hard all year, probably 30-40 hrs per week, but I've enjoyed it. Honestly, I'd like to have everything ready to go by mid October so that I can forget about it for a few weeks before I start putting things out in the yard and on the house. Once it's up, I know I'll want to tweak some of the sequencing, but then I'll get to sit back and enjoy it this year!
I may have been a little over zealous with my plan for this year, but after seeing how much people enjoyed what I did last year and knowing this year will be so much better, I think it was time and money well spent. I think it's mostly about what you are inspired to do. If you know what you'd like to do, you can afford it, and you're motivated to do it, then I say go for it. My only advice is to remember that it always takes longer to do than you think, at least that's what I learned this year. It's never too early to start building.
As far as waiting on newer technology, I'm way behind as I don't have a single pixel in my display. :p But with 368 channels and 50,000 lights, I feel like I've just hit the tip of the iceberg as far as what I can do in sequencing. I have no worries about new technologies that might come along. It'll take me some time to catch up with what's available today!! ;)
Just like Glenn, I've made some mistakes and had to redo or rebuild some things, but I just chalk it up to experimentation and trial and error. Comes with the territory of building up your display.
I wish you the best with your display this year!
Take care,