Here are some commonly asked questions about our show:
Q – How much extra does this show add to your electric bill?
A – Actually not much more. For December the extra cost might be $100 and that includes our indoor lighting and lighting in our back yard. Since the lights are constantly turning off and on and not all of them are on very often it’s not much of a draw on the electric. Also, many of our lights are LED.
Q – What kind of lights do you use?
A – As stated above many of our lights are LED. These are a more commercial type of LED lights. The ones we use need to be able to dim properly. They are what is known as full wave LED light strings. We also use some conventional Christmas lights known as incandescent lights. These fade very well but are prone to breakage, color fading and more power usage. We also have some RGB elements in our show. This stands for Red, Green, Blue. These are LED’s that actually have 3 tiny LED’s of each of those colors placed very close to each other. These can be made to produce any of about 2 million color combinations at any one time.
Q – What do your neighbors think?
A – Our current neighbors love the show. They were disappointed when we weren’t able to do it for 2014. They get in their car and go across the street with their hot cocoa and watch the show. The last couple of years they have even let me “extend” our show into their front yard!
Q – Why do you do this?
A – Simply, to make people happy. With so much evil and negativity in this world we want people to come by, forget about their troubles and just enjoy the lights dancing to the Christmas songs. Also, for charity. We currently promote both the MD SPCA and the No Kid Hungry / Share Our Strength charities. Our show is free but we encourage visitors to consider making a donation to either or both of these worthy charities. We may get set up to actually accept donations at our show when we or volunteers are able to be out greeting viewers.
Q – How long does it take to put up the lights?
A – Basically about the month of November. I take 1 1/2 weeks off from work to get the bulk of it done but also use every weekend in November I can to get things set up and checked out to make sure everything works properly. Weekends throughout the year are also used for constructing new elements.
Q – How long does it take to program the lights to the songs?
A – This varies a bit depending on the length of the song and complexity of both the song and what I envision for it. Programming is a year long event. I do it every chance I get. But basically a 3 minute song can take me weeks to finish but in total hours I’d say about 60 hours.