Sunday, July 22, 2007

Another MR-16 mounting idea

Nutz4lights over at Planet Christmas posted this idea for a PVC MR-16 LED light holder this might be the winner for me. It is nice when people give advice like this. I would probably still be at Lowes trying to figure out which PVC this or that would work. It seems like every time I walk into the big box hardware store my mind goes blank!

So write it down...

  • 45 degree 1 1/2" fitting
  • 2" to 1 1/2" PVC adapter

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Pre-ordered MR-16 LED lights

To go along with my new DC Lightorama board, I pre-ordered some MR-16 32-LED bulbs. 8 each in white, red, blue and green. The specs are here.

I hope to be able to replace the 16 halogen flood lights I used last year, this would be a huge power savings and the LED bulbs are very cool!

I will have to make my own MR-16 holders; so here are a couple of ideas from other people:

Off the shelf: (OK this is indoor, but one several steps closer than the DIY links - look for the plant up-light).

My first DC controller card...

So on an impulse I ordered a Lightorama CMB16D 16 channel DC board ( This will officially bring my channel count to 64.

The CMB16D is a new board from Lightorama, it will not even ship until sometime in August. Other light control vendors including D-light Animated Lighting both have DC controllers and they look intriguing.

This controller will require a lot of extra work from me as it is not a "Showtime" product. I will have to supply my own enclosure, power supply and custom power cables, but I will be able to control DC based fixtures, including some awesome LED floodlights.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Recent Purchases - New Strobes and another Controller

I almost forgot to mention, I recently ordered some new things for the Christmas Display this year...

I already have the strobe lights here, now I need to find a C-9 light string so I can try them out.

Working on 2007 Show!

I am working on the 2007 show. Right now I am looking for new tunes to synchronize this year. I will not be able to reuse the sequences from last year easily, so I will probably pick all new music. Of course there will be a Carol of the Bells, probably not one of the two I used in 2006.

I am currently considering two Carol of the Bells - a cool, modern Bare Naked Ladies version and a rousing techno Arctic Express.

Beyond Carol of the Bells, there is a great swing-vibe Frank Sinatra Jingle Bells, an 8-bit Jingle Bells, and a folksy Canon in D.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Extension Cable Monster

Today I finally decided to start unraveling the pile of extension cords in my garage. Before I could untie, twist and organize them though I wanted to take a picture for posterity. I had a small display last year (2006), only 32 channels of Light-o-rama, but this is the most extension cords I have ever seen together!

Maybe I should have taken a little more time to put up the extension cords the right way after Christmas...

Saturday, March 3, 2007

David Foster version of Carol of the Bells

This is the second version of Carol of the Bells I completed for Christmas 2006. This is my favorite high spirited version, I first heard it on a Casey Kasem Christmas special 2 years ago; I did not know then that I could synchronize Christmas light to anything. It always made me think in my head how lights could dance to it.

When I figured out I could put together the Christmas display, this song right up there on the short list, unfortunately it is hard to find. It is not on iTunes, Yahoo Unlimited, Yahoo MusicMatch, Urge, Napster or Rhapsody, basically it is not available digitally. I am sure I could have bit-torrented it, but that would have been illegal :(. Also the CD is not available in local stores or on as new. I ended up joining and added this CD as my number one "I need it."

Luckily someone on came through, I had the whole CD and had the capability to create the light display.

I started this sequence off from, someone else worked out the timing, I adapted their layout for my display. Having someone else set-up the timing saved me a lot of time. I completed this version the day after Thanksgiving, as my family waited for darkness and a promised "one more song". It is blinkier than I liked, and in person it has the strobe/seizure effect, but this is a fast paced, dramatic song, the light display had to match that as well.