Getting going on the 2018 Light Show

2018 LOR OrderOnce I put my Light-O-Rama order in, it didn’t take long for it to arrive. When it did my motivation started to pick up around planning for this years build; this includes the planning the physical build, the conversion of my existing sequences and creating any new ones I’m going to add.
I have ambitious plans this year for the amount of musical Sequences I have in my show. As I mentioned in a prior post I want to add the entire A Twisted Christmas Album  as well as the Original Now that’s what I call Christmas Album, which was the background of our family Christmases from when it was first released in 1985. All this new material as well as converting my existing sequences to run on this years layout is a large undertaking. In addition I wanted to get some of the lights up earlier and add a few Halloween songs.

Last year I had around 45 mins of sequences with 1 min of non musical sequence between each song to stretch it out to an hour before repeating. I want to remove the non musical breaks this year as people would often leave after about 15-20 seconds of no music.  This year if I execute my entire plan I will have around 2 hours and 30 mins of music sequenced. Ambitious but I’m determined.

The first thing to do is build a plan to help me keep on track:


Build Week Category Sequence Due Date
Week 01 Kids Jingle Bells Bat Man Smells 09-Sep-18
Week 01 Kids You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch 09-Sep-18
Week 01 Misc Jingle Bells 09-Sep-18
Week 01 Misc Let it Snow 09-Sep-18
Week 01 Misc Santa Claus is coming to town 09-Sep-18
Week 01 Twisted Oh Come All Ye Faithful 09-Sep-18
Week 01 Kids Snoopy’s Christmas 09-Sep-18
Week 01 Kids LET IT GO 09-Sep-18
Week 01 KIds Rudolph the red nosed reindeer 09-Sep-18
Week 01 Kids Frosty the snowman 09-Sep-18
Week 01 Kids Domenick The Italian Christmas Donkey 09-Sep-18
Week 01 Misc Here comes Santa Claus 09-Sep-18
Week 01 Misc Christmas Vacation 09-Sep-18
Week 01 Misc Christmas Vacation Intro 09-Sep-18
Week 01 Now Merry Xmas Everybody 09-Sep-18
Week 01 TSO Christmas in Sarejavo 09-Sep-18
Week 01 TSO Christmas Cannon 09-Sep-18
Week 01 TSO Wizards in Winter 09-Sep-18
Week 02 Twisted Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 16-Sep-18
Week 02 Twisted White Christmas 16-Sep-18
Week 03 Now A Spaceman Came Travelling 23-Sep-18
Week 03 Now I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday 23-Sep-18
Week 03 Twisted I’ll Be Home for Christmas 23-Sep-18
Week 04 Now I Believe in Father Christmas 30-Sep-18
Week 04 Now Last Christmas 30-Sep-18
Week 04 Twisted Silver Bells 30-Sep-18
Week 05 Now Band Aid 07-Oct-18
Week 05 Now Elton John : “Step Into Christmas” 07-Oct-18
Week 05 Twisted I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus 07-Oct-18
Week 06 Halloween Thriller 14-Oct-18
Week 06 Now Mike Oldfield : “In Dulce Jubilo” 14-Oct-18
Week 06 Twisted Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow 14-Oct-18
Week 07 Halloween Oogie Boogie Song 21-Oct-18
Week 07 Halloween Ovoture 21-Oct-18
Week 07 Now Gary Glitter : “Another Rock n’ Roll Christmas” 21-Oct-18
Week 07 Twisted Deck the Halls 21-Oct-18
Week 08 Halloween Tick or Treat 28-Oct-18
Week 08 Now Paul McCartney : “Wonderful Christmastime” 28-Oct-18
Week 08 Twisted The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) 28-Oct-18
Week 09 Now Shakin’ Stevens : “Blue Christmas” 04-Nov-18
Week 09 Twisted Heavy Metal Christmas (The Twelve Days of Christmas) 04-Nov-18
Week 10 Kids Hot Chocolate 11-Nov-18
Week 10 Now John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band : “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” 11-Nov-18
Week 11 Misc Little Drummer Boy 18-Nov-18
Week 11 Now Jona Lewie : “Stop The Cavalry” 18-Nov-18
Week 12 Now The Beach Boys : “Little Saint Nick” 25-Nov-18
Week 13 Now Queen : “Thank God It’s Christmas” 02-Dec-18
Week 14 Now Mud : “Lonely This Christmas” 09-Dec-18
Week 15 Now Johnny Mathis : “When a Child Is Born (Soleado)” 16-Dec-18
Week 16 Misc Twas the Night before Christmas 23-Dec-18
Week 16 Now Bing Crosby : “White Christmas” 23-Dec-18
Week 06 Halloween This is Halloween 14-Oct-18

Once I had my plan built I hit the conversion motion hard while camping on labour day long weekend.

Camping & Sequencing
Sequencing and Camping on Labour day weekend

Week one was all about converting last years sequences, then add some of the sequences that didn’t get converted last year and start building the new ones.  The conversions didn’t go quite as smooth as possible because of how I changed some strings to be a single string of 100 rather than 2 strings (and channels). Overall it went pretty fast as most of the sequence carried over from the LED to RGB and adding the new stings to groups also inherited the sequence at the group level. For two features I had to create new props, the big spruce and mini trees. For this I kept the old props and moved them into the sky (the kids like this in the preview and suggest I should have lights floating above the house), maintaining them allowed me to create nice pixel tree props for each and kept the historical sequence as reference.

Mini Tree GridFor the mini trees I created a motion row for each colour (Red, Green, Blue, White) that I had on my LED mini trees to allow me to quickly copy the entire row of the sequence for each colour. I created a custom grid just for the mini trees to allow this conversion to happen really quickly.

I took a similar approach for the Spruce tree, although this didn’t work quite but I could quickly apply a similar effect to what I was doing in the LEDs.

My approach to conversion is to get it converted as close as possible then move on, as time allows later in the season I will revisit the converted sequences to enhance them. Converting the new sequences I created last year for my RGB lights was much quicker than converting the ones that had initially been built on the LED props then converted to RGB last year. This is because the RGB are usually effect based across a group where the LED sequences are prop focused on/off to beats and changed in music tempo. This is why about half way through last year I stopped converting and started building new sequences from scratch.

Once I had my existing sequences converted it was time to begin creating the new ones. As I get into sequencing it takes me about an hour to sequence a minute of music, but starting out it was taking me about 3 hours per minute. This is about the pace I usually start at and then I get in the groove (or lazy and become less picky). I was panicking a bit at first when it was taking about 3 hrs a min, I had also made the 1 hr connection to a song not a minute so the backlog of sequences looked daunting. I did get my groove back though and I’m now clipping at about an hour per min of music. The weather has also been pretty lousy (late October/early November like, with snow and temperatures below freezing) so we have been house bound (when not at the hockey rink), this has given me some time to work on creating new sequences.

So far my progress is looking pretty good.

Due Complete % Run Time
              23 27 117.39% 1:28:45
Status # Run Time
Convert 0 0
Create 27 1:06:32
Enhance 13 0:36:43
Complete 14 0:52:02
In Progress 0 0:00:00
Total 54 2:35:17
Total Compete 27 1:28:45
Compete % 50.00% 57.15%
Total Due 23 117.39%

In addition to building my plan for sequencing I also built out my physical build plan. I am starting much earlier this year for three reasons:

  1. According to the Farmers Almanac we are in for a lot of snow this year.
  2. I don’t want to spend an extra $350 on a boom lift like I did last year.
  3. I have moved our traditional light up party forward a week.

The one thing about moving to the RGBs is it takes much less lights so hopefully the build is easier, faster and warmer than usual.

Week Ending
Group Prop 21-Oct 28-Oct 04-Nov 11-Nov 18-Nov 25-Nov
Count 6 4 3 6 6 10
House RGB Upper Roof-RGB To Do
House LED Upper Icicles R-LW To Do
House LED Upper Icicles L-LW To Do
House RGB Right Upper-RGB To Do
House RGB Living Room Pitch-RGB To Do
House RGB Left Upper-RGB To Do
House RGB Play Room Window-RGB To Do
House RGB Living Room Window-RGB To Do
House RGB Kids Room Window-RGB To Do
House RGB Garage Pitch-RGB To Do
Yard Pixel Tree-RGB To Do
Yard Driveway R-IM To Do
Yard Driveway L-IM To Do
Trees Spruce -RGB To Do
Trees Spruce Net Lights -LW To Do
Mini Trees Mini Tree Build To Do
Yard Candy Canes To Do
Trim Garage Tree Build To Do
House RGB Garage – RGB To Do
Trees Tree Burst To Do
House LED House Snowflakes-LW To Do
House LED Garage Outline-LW To Do
House LED Front Door-LW To Do
Yard Floodlight Right RGB To Do
Yard Floodlight Left-RGB To Do
Trim Wreath R-LW To Do
Trim Wreath L-LW To Do
Yard Right Candle To Do
Trim Nutcracker To Do
Mini Trees Mini Tree Display To Do
Trim Left Candle To Do
House LED House Garage Globes-LW To Do
Yard Ground Accents To Do
Trim Garage Tree Display To Do
Trim Garage Door Cover To Do

So far my plan is progressing surprisingly well, I don’t know how I have found the time to get ahead but I’ll take it as I know I’ll be behind soon enough.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s