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

NTKing(Brad)

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12 months ago I would have said plug and play and purchase of the shelf. 12 months later and it has been very satisfying to have built and got everything working. Some items were held together by "bandaids" but the viewers didnt know that. It has been a learning curve, but it has been a great one. If you are just starting out ask lots of questions and be prepared to think (amongst other things) lights,music and power all year round. The end result is all that matters. And if you cant get it done this year, get it ready for next year. My planning has already started for 2018 - only 332 days until the show starts again. :D
 

bluzervic

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Fremont, Calif.
Best start early.... I ended up getting tons of work and no time to build....but did manage to add 2 pixel nets re-sequence and added a new song...better than nothing...;)
 

plasmadrive

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Elk Grove, CA
I don't have the answers for you all of course, but for me, this was my last year out front for public view. We only ran 9 days this Dec and had a bit over 6000 visitors.... The traffic has become unmanageable for us. It took us 6 volunteers this year and we had a hard time keeping it under control. We did it, but took a toll on everyone that helped. So... Because we are too popular, we must now be dark.

So now it is only the back yard for us. no more public display...
 

NTKing(Brad)

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Albany Creek
I don't have the answers for you all of course, but for me, this was my last year out front for public view. We only ran 9 days this Dec and had a bit over 6000 visitors.... The traffic has become unmanageable for us. It took us 6 volunteers this year and we had a hard time keeping it under control. We did it, but took a toll on everyone that helped. So... Because we are too popular, we must now be dark.
So now it is only the back yard for us. no more public display...
Pity - the snowman orchestra must have been a big hit.
 

fasteddy

I have C.L.A.P
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I don't have the answers for you all of course, but for me, this was my last year out front for public view. We only ran 9 days this Dec and had a bit over 6000 visitors.... The traffic has become unmanageable for us. It took us 6 volunteers this year and we had a hard time keeping it under control. We did it, but took a toll on everyone that helped. So... Because we are too popular, we must now be dark.

So now it is only the back yard for us. no more public display...

Always sad to hear but many large displays has gone down the same route, unfortunately the saying if you build it they will come is very true when doing what we do, so we should be careful for what we wish for.
This year was the first year I put lights back on the house since 2012 because it became too large back then and I was a slave to it. All I did this year to keep the wife happy was put up my strip mega tree, gutter outline and 10 strings of strobes as filler with just effects and some animations but no show or music, this worked well as it was still very original and different to other displays in our area and I still had many cars each night stopping but I didn't have to manage any traffic.

So take a year off to send the message to everyone and then in the future just select a couple of nice elements you already have built and put those out the front but without the musical show may be an alternative for you and you will find its still a very different display to most around your area
 

plasmadrive

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Always sad to hear but many large displays has gone down the same route, unfortunately the saying if you build it they will come is very true when doing what we do, so we should be careful for what we wish for.
This year was the first year I put lights back on the house since 2012 because it became too large back then and I was a slave to it. All I did this year to keep the wife happy was put up my strip mega tree, gutter outline and 10 strings of strobes as filler with just effects and some animations but no show or music, this worked well as it was still very original and different to other displays in our area and I still had many cars each night stopping but I didn't have to manage any traffic.

So take a year off to send the message to everyone and then in the future just select a couple of nice elements you already have built and put those out the front but without the musical show may be an alternative for you and you will find its still a very different display to most around your area
Ya know.. I did that year off thing last year.. people found out it was back in about a week and they came by the thousands. I couldn't down size the front.. just not in my nature.. ha ha..
I will do the back yard for private family and friends.. that will be all from now on.. But thanks for the thought..
Craig
 

AAH

I love blinky lights :)
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Eaglehawk
I think 1 of the things that will make it's way into Christmas displays in a big way is networking via the mains power like the Powerline ethernet system. All the props are getting power and it seems only logical to use the 240V or 110V mains leads as the data distribution network as well. It reduces the need for routers, switches, knowledge of routing tables, bucketloads of cat5 cable and a lot of the other E1.31 issues. Wifi has been used but distance is an issue and the electrically noisy environment of Christmas displays reduces their effectiveness.
 

fasteddy

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I would like to see in the near future DVI/HDMI mapping and output from Xlights (media server) because with the onset of screens being used then this is the best way to output and manage the use of screens instead of managing universes for screens (similar to what is seen in Madrix)
 

Romerio

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Dec 28, 2017
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I'm struggling to see the attraction of screens?
If I wanted a video display, I'd just reverse a projector and shine it through my curtains, or spin around my TV and play a DVD on it?
 

OzAz

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Newcastle
On the topic of lasers in displays, I recall seeing (on youtube) a vendor at the big christmas show in USA last year selling a laser package.
Found it, they actually call it their Holiday Package

I don't envisage these being mounted on roofs as someone suggested, these laser systems don't just do beams they can be programmed to project images and text and can be synchronised to music. These ILDA laser systems are more designed as an alternate to video projection, you need a surface to project the customised images and text on to. So yes, I think laser projectors could be a thing of the future for holiday displays, but probably not a big thing. Similar to how video projection is a thing, but not that many people incorporate it.

As it is we're seeing a lot of those cheap laser projectors that display dots or repeated images. Systems like x-laser or laserworld are just a step up from that and can be programmed much like we do with pixels and xlights.

Like the rest of this hobby, things don't come cheap, you're looking at minimum of $1k for a decent laser projector, ILDA interface and software.

There are also safety issues with class 3 and 4 lasers, such as ensuring the beams are above eye level. There may even be requirements to do a laser safety course and have proper PPE.

was bored at work, did a bit of research on laser projectors out of mild curiosity
 

David_AVD

Bite my shiny metal ass!
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I'm struggling to see the attraction of screens?
I'm with you to an extent of the whole video screen thing. It's all about how they're incorporated into the display.

To me, some just look out of place. Having a massive P10 (or whatever pitch) screen just doesn't do it for me.

Others, like the pixels on Brad's hedges look more Christmas like. Again, just my opinion and preference.
 

fasteddy

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I'm with you to an extent of the whole video screen thing. It's all about how they're incorporated into the display.

To me, some just look out of place. Having a massive P10 (or whatever pitch) screen just doesn't do it for me.

Others, like the pixels on Brad's hedges look more Christmas like. Again, just my opinion and preference.
Everything has its uses and screens are another element that can be used. But with any lighting if you just add it just for the sake off adding a screen without any real thought on how it works with your display then it could look out of place. Ive seen some great uses of screens and some bad uses of screens in the past.

The other thing I have found is with anything new then many people may not like it at first, kind of reminds me when I started doing RGB lighting many years back and there were many saying it didn't look traditional, but now several years later RGB has become a staple for the majority of displays.
 

ryanschristmaslights

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From a display design point if view (ignore sequencing), I don't really see a matrix as an 'element' in its own right. Mega trees, mini trees, leaping arches, singing faces, icicles and so on. They are elements, a matrix is not. But your mega tree, singing faces or icicles may also be (sequenced as) a matrix due to the type of lights used or way it is designed. Somebody talked about an interesting idea around the site (or at a mini?) to use one line of LED Panels across the full length of their gutter as a 16-tier (assuming 32x16 panels) house outline that doubles as a matrix. So yes, I think it is what you do with a matrix or how you incorporate it into a display element. :)

But with this all said and done, LED Panels are great for getting important details across to viewers... dates and times, FM frequencies, websites, name of the current sound, etc etc. I couldn't vision a panel matrix working within my display without clashing, so I have a standalone tune-to & dates panel sign kerbside.
 
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