So are you asking the question 'How do you do this?'
We like to call it 'Christmas Magic' but its really a lot of work. Each house makes an investment both in time and financially. Being in the show is completely voluntary which is why we have a few houses that are not part of the show. Below is some information that may answer any questions you may have. If you have a question that is not answered below, feel free to use our 'Contact Us' page to ask your question. The answer to your question just may be added to the site the next time you visit.
Each home participating in my light display is equipped with at least one 16 channel controller box by Light-O-Rama controller box. Each channel, of each box, has its own unique address assignment in the sequence editor program. Each box is powered by the home it is controlling. The box then powers the strings of lights that are plugged into it. The concept is really just that simple.
The Programming of Light-O-Rama software assigns when each channel of lights turn on an off with the music. There is nothing automatic about this. This is the hardest part of the project. First we import either a MP3 or WAV file of the song we want to use into the program. The timing of the song is divided into columns and each column becomes a command from the program. Each column represents approximately 1/10 of a second in a song. For a four minute song, that equals 2400 individual commands that we program for 1 channel on a Light-O-Rama (L.O.R.) controller or from the bigger scale, 38400 commands for 1 . For a four minute song, that equals 2400 commands for 1 Christmas lighting sequence signals are sent from the master computer program over network cable connecting each L.O.R. controller box at each home. A four minute song will take around 250 hours to program for the level of detail we put into the songs.
The music heard on the show will come from the master computer that is driving the program. The audio output is broadcast by a small residential FM transmitter whose range is limited to the local neighborhood. Signs are posted in the listening area that instruct the touring cars to tune their radios to 89.9 FM. This allows them to enjoy the synchronized light show as they listen to the audio portion from the comfort of their cars.
Planning for the next years show starts the day after the current years show ends. Lights generally start going up no later than the first week of November. We have been known to start as early as mid October to take advantage of free usage of a lift.
The master house will come online for the year on Thanksgiving night. The other homes are brought online by the Sunday after Thanksgiving if at all possible. Static lights run from 5:00pm until 5:25pm nightly. The main light show runs from 5:25pm until 11:00pm Sunday thru Thursday and from 5:25pm until 11:20pm on Friday and Saturday. We have been known to run the show a little longer each night during the week of Christmas if a lot of cars are in line to see the show.