What is the future of Christmas lighting? An open discussion... continued!

Discussion in 'The Development Lab' started by ryanschristmaslights, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. ryanschristmaslights

    ryanschristmaslights Senior Elf Administrator Generous Elf

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Messages:
    541
    Likes Received:
    62
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    Find Me On:
    At the Adelaide Mini this year @keithsw1111 hosted this interesting discussion asking us what the future of Christmas lighting is... where this hobby is going? What should be easier to do? What takes too long or costs too much? Is there something you'd like to do but can't right now? And the list goes on.

    This question is something that could have an infinite number of answers. Ideas don't come from just one person. So check out this video and join in the discussion.


    The Christmas lighting hobby today has taken on a new direction compared to the last decade. Back in 2015 I made an off-hand comment that the direction of the hobby was heading was predominately about the three P's... Pixels, Panels and (3D) Printing. Anyway, so what would you like to see change leading into the future? And... go! :cool:
     
  2. plasmadrive

    plasmadrive Full Time Elf

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    Back in the early 90s I was in an International Laser Display Assoc (ILDA) meeting and several of the industry leaders where pushing the idea of "laser displays in every home". I suggested that something along those lines would take the specialness out of the laser displays and that is not why I wanted to get in the laser biz.. I wanted to bring something special and evoke ooohhs and aaaahhs and the occasional whoa!

    My comment sparked a lot of sneers among those that sought to bring it to the masses as an everyday thing..

    Where I see this hobby going is much in the same direction.... it has become too easy for those that don't have the creativity to make "something special" to go out and just buy everything and slap together a large mediocre display.. At some point I see it becoming "normal" for the public, unless you have a really good and different display. But with so many out there... it dilutes the specialness of those that are indeed "special".

    I'm not talking about driver boards or software or pixels. I think they are the paint and paint brushes of the hobby. I am talking about special props and creativity on how the lights are used. Buying and selling sequences in my opinion does not help this hobby. It may get more people playing, but doesn't improve the overall specialness of a display.. DIY videos and meeting and classes however, I think do help. I think the interaction among us helps with the creativity... but only to some point.. This is not a hobby everyone can be good at.. nor do we want everyone to be good at it.. or what is the point.

    My bottom line take on this is that in a few years, I will most likely stop because it will lose it's "uniqueness" and become.. "oh one of those displays".. I get around 10k people a year visiting when I run my display, but to be honest, I put it up for myself, my family and my friends.. everyone else just shows up. When it is no longer unique to me I will no longer pursue it. (YES.. there is ego involved) I think we will see massive amounts of lights and pixels in yards were people are not really any good at putting together a meaningful display.. Good for them.. but I don't think good for everyone.. Time will tell.
     
    diyer, Boof63 and DrNeutron like this.
  3. tooms

    tooms Apprentice Elf

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Kalgoorlie
    I hear ya .. I'm new to it all, but in 2015 I realised all I really had built was a cool kinda light show, a lot of straight lines, a lot of random round objects with pixels around them, but nothing that really said Merry Christmas, 2016 we went out on props & motifs from shops to try and improve it but wasn't enough, the more traditional light displays in town that basically had zero pixels and a lot of creativity behind them in my opinion looked a lot better then what I had and a few of the other people in town that went all pixel.
     
    diyer and plasmadrive like this.
  4. Homer2014

    Homer2014 Apprentice Elf

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Broome
    Find Me On:
    Spent a small fortune last year buying controllers & pixels thinking I'll have a great Christmas display, When driving around town seeing a couple of store bought light displays I realised I'd done the same as 95% of the display videos on ACL and just had a very bright light show held in December. This year I'm spending time trying to make it look like a Christmas display.

    Hopefully in the future the power requirements for bullet pixels will allow for longer runs and having the pixels the same size as the LEDs on store bought lights would allow for some really nice DIY props.
     
    diyer and plasmadrive like this.
  5. Boof63

    Boof63 Senior Elf

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Messages:
    500
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Kadina
    Have to say agree with the above, i am at a point where i don't wish to add any(would like to but...) ,more pixels as i believe i will be over the top and will take away from what i think is a great christmas display (visitors seem to agree), to having a very big,but poorly thought out display. So yes, you can have too much of a good thing.
    The commercial sequences i am unlikely to buy, however as inspiration and learning new tricks (trying to emulate some effects - one has taken me 4 hours to nut out)., I cant thank them enough for their work- :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: lilla),.Where we goto not sure, projection as for some of the large city lights shows, (no flat surfaces in my house) but costs may be prohibitive etc.
    Still think maybe panels, P5 etc those of higher res maybe be at lower prices in future so bigger displays, higher led counts on strips etc ,small improvements (l am likely to be wrong)
    Cheers Boof63
     
    diyer likes this.
  6. algerdes

    algerdes Al Gerdes

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Lebanon, Illinois
    Where are we headed? Hopefully in many directions!
    If we all do the same thing, unless you are the only one in your area, you are not special. If you are doing what they can see on the television, you are not special. If you don't take the time to put the message behind your display, you are not special. If you are doing it just because it is the "in thing" to do, you are definitely not special. (Remember CB Radios?)

    We are looking at this being our last year of expanding the pixel count (or at least a severe slowdown of pixel additions). Instead, we are working on how to bring the pixel world and the standard light (LEDs, of course) together. It isn't as easy as it looks, to be sure.

    There is just something about strands of lights on a realistic tree, and non-uniform items all around the scene. There is also something special about animated props. I still remember the guy who had about 30 different props he put out in his yard (we lived in a small town where everyone had room.) One in particular was a lady mannequin washing cloths in an old tub washer, complete with a stiring paddle. Occasionally a male head and torso wearing long-john underwear would come up out of the washer - dripping wet. I was 6 years old when I first saw that funny scene. I am 10 times that (plus), and I can tell you the color of the gentleman's eyes. Now that is a fond, and fun memory. This is what I want to make happen for kids (and adults) today. Memories that are funny and remembered for a long time.
     
    tooms, Boof63, Homer2014 and 2 others like this.
  7. diyer

    diyer Full Time Elf Generous Elf

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Sunbury
    To me, just outlining the roof shape and around windows with pixels isn’t very appealing and not ‘Chrismassy’ enough in my opinion. As Al mentioned above, it would be very boring and not very ‘special’ if everybody did the same thing with their display.

    Some might want to go the fully digital route but to me props make a huge difference, and more animated props are my future hobby direction.
     
  8. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,368
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Victoria Point (Brisbane)
    Find Me On:
    For me, enhancing traditional Christmas elements (candy canes, trees, etc) and controlling them centrally keeps the more traditional Christmas atmosphere in my opinion.

    While full-on pixel based Christmas light shows aren't my cup of tea for home display, I do respect the hard work that people put into them.
     
    tooms likes this.
  9. Doctor_007

    Doctor_007 Apprentice Elf

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2017
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Toowoomba
    I tend to agree with the above comments. As a kid there was an older couple who did a display every year which had a massive star on top of a large connifer you could see for ages with displays in every window, and a reindeer(read donkey) and carefully considered lights all around the house. They would dress up and hand out lollies to the kids so it was really immersive and I was desperate to see it every year. So being able to combine those elements with my love of tech is what I'd love to be able to do. Watching the smile on my kids and those that visited as they discover different elements and their imaginations ticking over is what I think it's all about.
     
  10. OzAz

    OzAz Full Time Elf Generous Elf

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Newcastle
    funny how comments talk about using "old style" lights and decorations; all very "back to the future"

    after watching TV show last night about AI and Avatars and seeing an ad today for the webinar "Easy to create Talking Avatars with CrazyTalk 8"; I'm wondering if the next big thing is full blown singing avatars instead of simple singing trees and coro designs?
     
  11. heathwithnoteeth

    heathwithnoteeth Full Time Elf Generous Elf

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2015
    Messages:
    446
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    sheidow park
    maybe holograms next?
     
    Boof63 likes this.
  12. marmalade

    marmalade cats & pixels

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    newcastle
    Lasers are coming down in price every year, as well as moving heads and projection devices. As soon as xlights/vixen can output ILDA watch the explosion in the numbers of people putting rgb lasers on their roofs! Perhaps in the future, smart display drivers that can be configured, connected to a display and automatically identified on a network by xlights/vixen? True plug and play.

    Technological wishes.... I'm hoping their is a move toward 5ghz for wifi drivers (compared to the current 2.4ghz esp ones) given it's much improved bandwidth, reliability and latency. And brighter led's that can accept a higher input voltage with lower current draw would also be nice Santa lol
     
  13. diyer

    diyer Full Time Elf Generous Elf

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Sunbury
    I would have the Feds knocking on my door if I put lasers on my roof! Best check with CASA if it's OK in your area before you consider it
     
    Boof63 likes this.
  14. marmalade

    marmalade cats & pixels

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    newcastle
    strangely enough the police seem to have little issue with 'fixed' lasers although in a recent email to them I received a typical government department response in that it didn't go into detail on what that actually constitutes, and made no mention about power outputs.

    My local council stated a permit for usage 'may' be required and that it was subject to completing a course on the usage and safety of lasers in general. This marries up to a comment from a local DJ supplier on the requirements to use lasers in parties.
     
    Boof63 likes this.
  15. diyer

    diyer Full Time Elf Generous Elf

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Sunbury
    The issue that I would have is that we are located in a wedge between two flight paths to Tullamarine Airport.
    There were some incidents a couple of years ago when idiots were directing laser pointers in the direction of commercial aircraft which is severely frowned upon.
    I'm not suggesting that it might be an issue in all areas just commenting that although I like laser effects, it probably wouldn't be an option for me.
     
    Boof63 likes this.

Share This Page