What's your background? (you mean there's more to life than blinky?!)


Full time elf
Dec 31, 2016
Let's see... Went to the Amsterdam High School for Performing Arts. My dad owned his own graphic design studio and I did some of the smaller projects that he didn't feel like. Somehow I ended up doing some international youth work, then I ended up as a bartender in Amsterdam's entertainment district (no not THAT district). Eventually I ended up developing software for a living (don't ask me how I got from Music and theater in HS to IT). I moved to the US where I did some software development and eventually became the CIO of a small hospitality software company. Upon moving to Oz I did some consulting work and now am a software developer for NSW Government. I work in Forensic and Analytical Science. So, depending on how suss the circumstances, if you die in NSW I probably get to hear about it. As for hobbies, I do a lot of photography, I have played guitar since I was 10 and bass guitar since the age of 14. Helped doing make up for a few theater productions, done some stage and movie lighting...


Jan 2, 2015
I'll bite .. I left school in 99, slept through 2 years of a tafe diploma in IT and bailed a year before completing it, started working at an ISP & IT outfit, various vendor courses along the way, after 4 or 5 years was sitting in the big chair calling the shots at a technical level, after more various training programs and certs, moved into an operations manager role in the company, realised very quickly I didn't enjoy it anymore so left that and moved over to a telco carrier mainly working in the mining industry, I spend half my time out on site and the other half in the office, I enjoy the outdoor and site hands on work a lot.

Got addicted to blinky about 4 years ago after seeing the guy down the roads display.

I like to tinker with all things electronic, enjoy my gardening, raising 3 kids so don't really get a lot of time for hobbies anymore!


Full time elf
Sep 3, 2012
Whyalla SA
Pretty boring story from me :)

i have always been into computers and to some point xmas lights as my father used to put them up at home, he managed to score an old plc from work that had been de-commissioned and that is where my first blinky started.

Finished year 12, got my electrical apprenticeship at the local steelworks (Onesteel / Arrium) Went on shift for a few years and met mellowcouple, after a few years i had the opportunity to move into a more technical role. Got involved in quite a few upgrades and was offered an Electrical Technicians position. ive been at the same place for the last 11 years and i cant see myself going anywhere any time soon.

on the side i have my own business that i do IT for a couple of local business's and i also own a smallish laser engraver and sell laser cut stuff, i also make and sell stainless cable markers that are used in industrial installs mostly to a couple of local contractors.

I have been putting lights up at home now for 4-5 years which now includes helping my father with getting more pixels working at his place.


Senior elf
Dec 28, 2016
Albany Creek
I have always been interested in computers. When I was young we had a Commodore 64. I was on it so much that my mum figured out that by taking the lead between the computer and disk drive meant I couldn’t use it. I figured out that the cable between the computer and the printer was the same one, so plugged it into the disk drive and away I went.

Completed high school in 1992 @ Whittlesea Tech (Vic). During this time I helped Microsoft (managed to regularly crash Windows 3.0 and paint :/). Then did 2 years at Tafe learning programing (I managed to complete the first year of some classes in the first few weeks). After that bounced around at odd jobs (petrol stations, shelf stacker, etc).

Then I worked as a store man / delivery driver for 3 years, then as a removalist for 4. Then got a big break by getting work in facilities at the Department of Education in Melbourne. Stayed there for 4 years before being transferred to facilities in Department of Treasury in shared services (someones bright idea to get facilities staff from all departments to work together in the one location). It slowly started to break up (departments not being happy with the service built their facilities areas back up). Late 2014 they decided to review it and everyones job was spilled mid 2015. I decided not to apply for mine and we took it as a great opportunity to move to Queensland where the wife was originally from. So January 2016 we moved. I got work at Queensland Treasury in facilities where I still am.

I have had lights on the house at Christmas. I mainly did solar (fast and easy to install). Where I lived in Melbourne we fronted onto a park (we were in townhouses so the road was to the left and right). Which was great as we just put the solar lights in the trees. Locals enjoyed it. Then I got fascinated by the animated stuff. The house around the corner from us was doing it, and I told the kids next year, next year. This year I decided time to do it.

Enjoy most sports (played basketball for 25 years at various levels). Not much (read not at all) of a handyman or electrician so this has been a challenge but its been really enjoyable. So much so I am already thinking of next years display.


Senior elf
Jul 5, 2013
I grew up and attended high school in Adelaide and my best year 12 subject was physics. I liked calculating answers, applying concepts and being sure that I was right in tests. Visual thinking is one of my strengths and this also helps with sequencing. Topics like English never appealed to me due to the amount of subjective content. I continued studying physics at university and recently graduated. A difficult decision for me was choosing whether to study chemistry or mathematics alongside the physics topics (can't fit both into the degree). I just had to pick one and hope for the best so I chose the mathematics. I graduated recently and moved from Adelaide to Canberra where an I.T. company wanted someone with a mathematical background (no regrets about choosing to study this, little did I know at the time).

There was a family tradition that lasted from 1996 to 2012 where we'd put aside a night each December to go "Christmas light hunting" and try to find as many displays as possible. As a child I used to beg for lights and started decorating my parents' house in 2008. The light collection steadily grew. In 2013, I joined ACL and converted the entire display to computer control. It certainly was an improvement over the plug-and-play setup and this was 100% worth it despite ending the "Christmas light hunting" tradition as I wanted to stay with my own display. I chose not to advertise the display or post videos because it was nice having it for the local community, friends and family instead of big crowds. The move to Canberra meant that 2016 was the end of the (by then quite large) display at my parents' house; the neighbours were sad but I'm glad that I could tell them while it was still up. Some of the 2016 videos are now public. Since moving to Canberra at the start of this year, I'm at my third share house because the first two had issues. I don't think I'll ever own a house - don't get me started! Things are great now and I'm enjoying my first professional job. I have the lights here and I'm allowed to use them but I don't want to push it too far. I don't know what'll happen with the lights long-term but I want to avoid selling them at all costs.

Other interests for me are astronomy, retro-computing, bike riding (with pedals, not a motorbike) and I like to grow a few plants. I also listen to music; the latest hits on the radio aren't always my favourite - I prefer to have more variety and this showed through in my light display. I learned piano for a long time with a preference for classical pieces. The commitment of university became too much for me to continue this. I see myself as coming into the lighting hobby with more of a musical background than a technical one. I had lights with computer control before building up the knowledge at university and starting work in I.T.


Full time elf
Apr 21, 2016
Glass House Mountains
Started life in a sleepy hollow called Selby, victoria. (cant help where you were born)
Got dragged around to my sisters dancing classes at the age of 7 and ended up learning that too.
High school years saw a fascination with musical theatre both participating on and off stage.
struck up a friendship with a guy who did the Audio for the shows and got hooked on recording and editing. (reel to reel tape in those days)
Developed a fascination with lights "dancing" to music using thermo filament light bulbs and electronics.
I progressed to Electronics Australia and built a couple of "musicolours" which flashed lights on the "Bass, Mid-range and Treble frequencies". and joined the "Disco rage"
I graduated high-school, studied to be a PT Teacher but stupidity of youth saw/gave me a back injury that wouldn't let me teach to full capacity.
I joined my father in the fibreglass industry and worked there for a while.
My girl friend and her family were moving to Queensland and I followed like a little lost sheep.
Got myself a job with a company in Morayfield called ChemAir which sold fertiliser and chemicals.
From there I got a job in Nambour in a store that also had hardware and pumps.
I became fascinated with pumps and hydraulics.
I got a job in Beerwah with an irrigation company who sent me to different "schools" to learn about pumping, hydraulics and sprinklers
After 9 years there we started our own business in Kawana specialising in pumps and irrigation for Resorts, sports fields, schools, domestic and the fishing industry
After 24 years we sold the business and I am semi-retired working only weekends at a Caloundra based transport company as a weekend supervisor and delivery driver subcontracted to Woolworths shop on line.
I started static Christmas light display at home using lights from Bunnings and Big W - all being two wire lights.
2016 saw me purchase a heap of LOR controllers and lights which got me into "Blinky things" before I joined up here and went to a Brisbane mini, but due to my daughters wedding in Santorini Greece and a 3 month European holiday, I never managed to "synchronise" my lights to music, so I just whipped up a few self running blinky sequences. Everyone that came to visit thought it was fantastic - what do you expect - it's Glass House Mountains - we don't get too much excitement out there LOL
2017 will be my second year of blinky things and hopefully syncing with music this year - still doing major works around the house that's taking me away from the blinky things.
Only time will tell.
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Dedicated elf
Jan 5, 2014
I progressed to Electronics Australia and built a couple of "musicolours" which flashed lights on the "Bass, Mid-range and Treble frequencies". and joined the "Disco rage"
Oh that takes me back.... I built one of those many moons ago and it was a huge hit at a party we had. A couple days later my dad had some friends over and wanted me to show them, so I set it all up, but little did I know at the time, the spot lights were screwed in too tight and shorted out. This caused the loudest bang and what could only be described as an ied going off inside the case. It was irreparable and I was as shattered as all the electronics inside :(


Full time elf
Generous elf
Dec 27, 2014
Buellton California
After a request in chat as to my background, I'll bump this thread. Spent close to the last 20 years working in the family business. (I'm 4th generation) Our company drills water wells, install pumps, holding tanks, VFD's, electrical controls, etc... I dont have a strong background with computers, networks, etc. I actually had no clue on networking when I started with pixels in 2015. Learning slowly but its not easy for me :eek: Before that I worked in a cabinet shop for a couple years. I love woodworking and is still a hobby of mine. Pretty much the only two real jobs I've had.

Lujama Lights

Apprentice elf
Dec 6, 2017
@uncledan, I’ll throw my name in the ring to help drag up a old post

Mechanic by trade, starting working in a dealership in Brisbane while I was still at school (school base apprentice grade 10)
Was lucky enough to be asked to work on a race team supporting the v8 supercar series. (Second year apprentice still at school grade 12) this was short lived (6 month) as I was then asked to work for a very successful and well known v8 supercar team. I graduated grade 12 in 2007 and continued my apprenticeships working the best job I could ask for as a mechanic. I spent 4 years working and traveling Australia, I had a ball, getting paid to travel, work, party ect what more could a 22ish year old want!

But the girlfriend at the time (now wife) had other ideas... ha ha apparently I was getting a little wild working away from home so I decided I needed to settle down and “grow up” ha ha ha (not there yet, now 29) haha

So I decided if marriage and kids was the way I would head inneeded a stable work life to bring them into the world. So I applied for a job (did not think I would even have a Chance) to be a operations manager of a well known air freight company. Guess what I got the job and and continued to move around doing various roles. I saw a opertunity to open a new depot 1 hour closer to home so jumped on the idea and continued there for another 4ish years. Hours and demand got the better of me and wanted Somthing less time demanding so
During that time I was also a fire fighter for fire and rescue and this is what led to a caree and tree change in 2015/6

I had the opertunity to move to central Nsw and work as a fire fighter, this where I am
Currently.... I’m working for fire and rescue nsw and also for a paper making company. Betwen the two I’m busy, but get a lot more family and personal time.

The change is great! I can safely say I have enjoyed every role I’ve had and have a lot of Knowledge and experience to fall back on later in life.

I have alway had Christmas light displays but this is the first year of xlights / pixels ect.
Like a kid in a candy store ordering and planning for this years display the wife and kids think I’m mad.


Full time elf
Jan 5, 2013
OK, I’ll jump in.

I served an apprenticeship in the UK as a mechanical and electrical maintenance fitter, emigrated to Australia in 1972 as a 10 pound Pom sponsored by my step sister who lives in Newcastle NSW.

Jobs were so easily found in those days and I had quite a few from driving heavy plant road building, contractor doing shutdown maintenance at the Newcastle steelworks, plant maintenance at Southern Portland Cement in the Southern Highlands, as a maintenance person for The co-op ‘Store’ (Newcastle people will remember that) and plant maintenance at a bakery.

A friend of mine who was working for a plastics company invited me to do some cash in hand night work doing plastic fabrication, I got the hang of that, so I was doing two jobs for a number of months until I was offered a full time position at the plastics company.

Since then most of my employment has been in the plastics and signage related industries, I had a spell doing injection moulding and another installing NC router tables all over Australia.

I worked in Fiji for a couple of years, but the project I was working on came to an end so came back to Australia. When I got back to Newcastle I caught up with an old friend, he offered me a job on the spot and asked me to start work the following day, back in the sign industry again.

I have worked with his company ever since. I moved to Melbourne in 1993 still with the same company, I currently work on design with AutoCAD plus a bit of estimating and project management.
With the industry that I’m in there is no shortage of plastics and composite materials, LED‘s and power supplies plus our purchasing guys make regular trips to China.

I have been very lucky, never been unemployed more than a day or two in all those years, now 68 years old I’m thinking of cutting back hours and working 4 days a week.

I guess that in a couple of more years I will need to scale back the Christmas light display as none of my family are interested in carrying on the tradition, pity... maybe I will just not decorate the roof and make it easier for myself?!
We get so much positive feedback from people, including strangers who notice new props and say they have been coming for years and really appreciate us doing it, so it’s hard to give up.


I love blinky lights :)
Community project designer
Dec 27, 2010
There is nothing but blinky :p
I did a college course called "Associate Diploma in Scientific Instrumentation". Left because I got a job as an electronics tech before I failed the 2 subjects I failed. Same lecturer for both and wasn't a fan of him. Very knowledgeable but very abrasive. Volvo driver with number plate VOLVO7. Dr John J ***** H.R.H. G.O.D. . The last honorifics were bestowed upon him by us students. Spent just under 4 years at the local tv station in the maintenance department before getting the chop due to aggregation of tv stations absolutely gutting local tv. The station went from 135 staff at it's peak to around 35 over the period of a couple of years. In the 25 years since I have mostly been self employed doing electronics. Originally doing tv and video repairs but for most of the last 20 years just building stuff. For the last 7 years have been building blinky gear and for the last 5 years that stuff has been up on www.hansonelectronics.com.au .ACL and the people on here are the reason I transitioned to making blinky gear and now I ship stuff worldwide. Antarctica is the only continent that I haven't shipped to. I'm happy to ship there and to make up the complete set of continents I'm happy to do a deal. Just send me a message :D


Full time elf
Dec 8, 2012
Chirnside Park, Victoria, AU
Hi my name is Rowan, and I have been coming to ACL for the last 5 years. <Hi Rowan>
I have made great strides with my CLAP. I am able to limit talking about it to family and friends to mostly November and December. <polite applause>

But Seriously, I didn't complete Electronic Engineering at university, started work at an electrical wholesaler and then managed to become an apprentice for one of the companies I dealt with. They dealt the power and data/networking at both Data centres and Medical facilities. Since then I have moved to another contractor that mostly does work for the major telco carriers in Australia. I do more large DC cabling these days than power points. For fun I dabble in electronics and computers. Still play RPG style games here and there when time allows. Always 7 unfinished electronic projects sitting on my work bench. Always reading and watching videos about latest gadgets and electronics.

Don't find myself on the forum as much as I'd like these days, but always check in once in a while to see what the latest is.



Full time elf
Dec 10, 2010
Guess it's my turn, so I've been on this forum since 2010 but many may not know me as I went MIA for the last few years moving house and work....speaking of work.

I grew up in NZ, left school in the late 90's and started a joinery apprenticeship before I realised it was a dying trade so moved on to an Automotive Refinishing apprenticeship (spraypainter) until I realized I hated going to the same place everyday...and got a job as a painter/decorator working on state housing, it was here I got to learn the trade including wallpaper, we were the first pilot crews on the program, and as more crews came on board we in the first crew took supervisory roles, I became pretty good at wallpapering, so good my boss took me and another colleague of my choosing and made us the only 2 to do wallpaper, cruisey....house all clean and prepped all we did was hang a few strips of wallpaper and out. I did this for a number of years then decided to start my own business doing commercial jobs hanging commercial vinyl, specialized wall coverings and still painting as well, was a bit of an entrepreneur at the time being the only doing what I did, I also made good friends with a plasterer who got hold of a new product to produce a level 5 plaster finish, that could be rolled on, he asked me to trial it for him so I did, doing big commercial sites with no cutting in, no trimmings on the walls stage, I could roll hundreds of meters a day no sanding...I quoted him $2 a square meter he got $4 a square meter we went halves as he still had to sand it after I rolled it we both did rather well, trial was a success, and other contractors started calling me to do their work as well, before other painters caught on and started jumping on the bandwagon causing the price to fall to $1.75...then $1.50 a meter....then I stopped, and the price kept getting less.....I moved to Australia in 2001 still painting, but quickly realized it gets hot here...too hot for me to be outside and I got a job doing commercial work again after seeing someone advertise for some frontrunner work, a product I was familiar with, like a velvet wall covering used in cinemas...you'll see it on the walls, I did that and also installed the curtains along the sides and built the cinema screens, this job took me back to NZ to install a couple screens there,and all over Australia, plus Dubai for a week.....then the cinema trade died down as fast internet came around and people downloaded movies...I moved on to security to help a friend with Melbourne cup through channel 7, which led to more channel 7 work and then working in the studios full time for about 3 years before my friend lost the contract, I stayed in security where I am still, working several sites including corporate buildings in CBD, Monash University as a supervisor before being where I am now, nothing glamorous but close to home and easy.

Hobbies apart from lighting....

Basketball, I don't play anymore but I have 2 kids who play Representative Level so that takes up 7 days a week, with both playing 2 games a week and training 3 times a week.

I am a volunteer firefighter with CFA and have been since 2003 where I've learned a lot of training which helps with my first responder role as a security officer

I also volunteer in motorsports as fire/rescue, doing events such as V8 Supercars, MotoGP, Formula 1, and plenty state events .

I like to do a lot of my own handywork at home including woodworking projects, I guess I never really lost my passion for it when I did my joinery apprenticeship many years ago

This ended up longer than I thought it would be, the joys of working a sunday 12 hour shift with nothing better to do...but it is double time today.....