The first thing to remember here is that it can take some time and effort to build the ideal computerized Christmas lights display. There is the shopping, designing and building, which can all take the time to perfect.
The time scale largely depends on the expertise of the chief designer and builder, and the amount of help on offer. Some projects are more advanced and time-consuming than others. No newcomers can expect to buy lights and equipment in October and have a display ready for the beginning of December.
Figuring Out Design:
The design is crucial, especially for those out to impress, beat their neighbors or only surpass previous displays. There is a lot to think about here when it comes to the theme and some lights in use.
Also, there is the music to consider. Are the two linked? Is this a winter wonderland, a Star Wars themed display or something else?
All newcomers must remember that the more sets of lights they have, the more channels they need and the more complicated the programming.
Patterns of LED strings for the beat and melody are a good start. Big moments and climaxes can bring in the big centerpieces, like a giant Santa.
Choosing The Lights:
There is a lot to consider when choosing the right lights for a computerized Christmas lights display. The shape and colors are all important for the look of the display and the message. However, the quality of the lights is arguably more important.
These lights need to be bright and reliable.
A pro-grade set of LED lights can provide an intense look with a durable design that will last all season. Also, designers should think about getting the lights early, such as just after Christmas in January sales.
This can cut down some costs. Everyone should avoid flashing lights as they are not that easy to reprogram.
Finding A Controller:
There is no point getting lights for this computerized Christmas lights display without a controller to create the sequence. There are two different ways to do this.
The first is to use a fully built system that is plug and play. This means no assembly necessary, but it is the most expensive option.
Experienced designers may prefer to try and DIY kit where they can learn more about how it all works. This requires some time and patience, but it is cheaper in the long-term.
Using The Right Software:
There are different types of software available to suit different types of programmers. At the top end are systems like Light-O-Rama and Animated Lighting.
They are pricier but also easier to use and offer a great result. In fact, many retail displays tend to run on Animated Lighting.
At the other end is a free approach called Hinkle's Lighting Sequencer and the inexpensive D-Lights. The problem with D-Lights is that the others are much more intuitive for newcomers.
Test Run The Lights Until They Are Perfect:
With the right kit, it is time for homeowners to program their first computerized Christmas lights display and see how it looks.
It is unlikely that the first attempt, or even the third, will be perfect. It can take the time to get that perfect synchronization.
Perhaps some of the lights aren’t quite in the right place for the full effect. Those that plan ahead and allow themselves time to tinker will have a better show in the end.
Think About The Sound:
The purpose of these computerized Christmas lights displays is as much about the sound as it is the lights. The patterns make a lot more sense when viewers can hear the music.
It is, therefore, important that all homes include a good speaker system with the synchronized music. The quality of the speakers is important for a clear sound, but so it the volume. If the volume is too low, those looking into the yard won’t hear it. If it is too loud, it could disturb the neighbors.
Some homes may consider publicizing the display and raising money for charity:
These light displays can bring a lot of joy to a lot of people. Many will be happy to shell out a couple of dollars for a good show if it is a worthy cause. The cause is up to the homeowner, but a community-based project will always go down well.
These charity computerized Christmas lights displays need plenty of publicity. Fliers in local stores and social media posts will all help.
Once word spreads that there is a must-see display in the area, everyone will want to see what the fuss is about.
Keep It All Running Throughout The Holidays:
These displays, whether personal or for charity, need to be on show for the entire holiday season. Some people may travel to see famous examples and long running times mean more chances to earn donations.
This long-term project needs a lot of power and those durable products mentioned above. All homeowners keen to impress with computerized Christmas lights need to budget for a high winter energy bill.
Computerized Christmas lights displays require a lot of time, effort and technical skill for the perfect show. It can take a while and some careful modification to get the synchronization and aesthetics right. However, the results are worth it.
With a strong set of lights, plug and play controller and simple pieces of software, anyone can have a go. The best displays can continue to impress local kids, raise money for good causes and reignite competition with the neighbors.
It is so appealing and easy to learn that soon every US neighborhood could have one of these musical, magical displays.