Q: How many lights are there?
A: We have finally reached over 20,000 lights!!
Q: How do the lights change with the music?
A: I use controllers and software by a company called Light-O-Rama which allows me to turn individual channels of lights on and off in time with the music. The lights are manually programmed to match the specific song.
Q: How long did it take to put the lights up?
A: The display only took about 100 hours or so to put up, but many more hours were put into programming them. I took three weeks off of work to get it all done, and was quite busy during that time.
Q: Isn't your electric bill going to be outrageous?
A: No. Since the lights are automated, there are really only a few on at any given time. Last year, we had just over 10,000 lights, and our utilities only went up about $40 for the month of December. That's comparable to what many other people with only a static display can expect.
Q: Why do you do this?
A: I've always been big on Christmas lighting-- I just can't get into the spirit without Christmas lights. I used to do professional sound and lighting, and this seemed like a great way to re-live some of those days while providing something for others to enjoy. I LOVE knowing that others find them as cool as I do. The smiles of my family alone make all of the work worth it.
Reason my wife goes along with it: I have fond memories of all of my family getting in the car when I lived at home and driving around looking at Christmas lights. In our over scheduled lives, with people glued to screens of all sorts, I hope that our show can put families together to share something, if only for a few stolen moments. I can't imagine a better reason to do this then to bring families together for the holidays!!
Q: How many different channels do you have to turn the lights on and off?
A: I currently have 112 channels of Light-O-Rama controlled lighting-- 7 controllers with 16 channels each, I still have 16 channels available, if I can find the time to sneak some more stuff in, and 16 more channels are planned for next year. (One can never have too many channels!)
Q: Why does the display only show if the weather permits?
A: Due to the vast number of lights and extension cords in use, and the fact that I use GFCI based outlets for safety reasons, rain or drizzle can can cause problems. It only takes a little bit of water getting into an extension cord to cause a GFCI circuit to trip. So, when the weather outside is frightful, the lights cannot be delightful-- sorry about that.