Every Year We Are Asked Questions About Our Show So We Thought To Answer Some Common Ones
How do you do this ?
It is all controlled through a computer with a specialized program. On the outside of the house there are what we call controllers. Some of the controllers have 16 extension cords coming from it which can control 16 different parts of the house … mostly the LED and rope lights. There is also a different controller for what we call RGB lights, which is what you see on the house .. these lights will turn ANY color, through the software.
In total we have 8 controllers. Each of these are joined together using cat5 cable making a network. The software communicates to the controllers and brings the lights to life.
The music goes through a low range FM transmitter which allows us to broadcast the music coming from the computer into your car radio.
How long does it take to set up ?
I can set up all the lights in about 4 – 5 days, with good weather, and an extra 2 – 3 days to run all the wiring.
If we are doing a large build on new items, like we did for 2014, then there are a lot more hours involved.
I work on the construction of props throughout the summer.
Each song that you see may only be 2 – 3 minutes long but it can take 8 – 10 hours to program that song, especially if there is singing and the mouth on the face has to be synchronized.
To animate the face we have to play the song at 1/2 speed marking all the syllables and then determining what mouth position makes that sound.
It is easy to appreciate that a song with 3 minutes of singing can alone take hours…. but it does look GREAT when it is all done !
How much is the hydro bill?
Believe it or not .. over 95% of the show in 2014 is either LED lights or 12 volt pixels and the entire power is just over 20 amps .. We barely saw an increase in our hydro for that month.
When do you start planning the show ?
We start planning next year’s show early in the year.
Light suppliers have sales in the new year, with delivery of the lights in the summer. By February or March, we need to know what we plan on adding for the following season.
Where does the donations go that are collected?
100% of the money collected stays locally and is donated to the Milton Hospital Foundation. In our first first years of doing our show we have collected over $20,810 .. Thank-you to you the viewers !!
How do you pay for all of this?
Each year my wife and I budget money for upgrades to the show. This is our gift back to the community in the spirit of the season. Every single penny that we collect goes to the hospital.
How does the music come through the car radio ?
We have a small FM transmitter that will broadcast our music a few blocks on a specific frequency ..