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Thread: Help getting started...

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Kailua- Kona, Hawaii
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    Default Re: Help getting started...

    There is a good stretch of our yard that we could run dumb (the string of small spiral trees) but since we would also like to boarder our planters in this area, tied together in different sequence hopefully on one controller, it might be best to go with the smart pixels and the raspberry pi.

    We do have tools and experience in construction, electrical, electronics/appliances, soldering and feel quite confident in that department.

    We decided to reconfigure our design. Thinking we may have dreamed a little too big for our budget I'm just so excited and there is so much I want to do- time to prioritize...

  2. Likes TazChaLet liked this post
  3. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Default Re: Help getting started...

    Quote Originally Posted by Phrog30 View Post
    With a budget like that, lightorama is surely not an option, so you really need a diy option. You have missed most of the presales, so you probably won't get the best prices for this year.

    I would recommend diyledexpress, holidaycoro, or pixelsequencing.com for the pixels. I recommend a falcon controller. For software either vixen 3 or xlights. I personally prefer xlights. You can sequence without having any hardware.

    Start there and get familiar with the products and then decide on what you want the layout on your house and yard to be.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
    I disagree with this. 2016 was my first year doing a display and I went with Light O Rama and all in I am sure I was under $1,000 and I ran two 16 channel LOR boxes. (non pixel display)

    But really it depends on what you like. I personally don't like pixels but some people do.
    2016 - 32 LOR Channels - Roughly 5,000 Lights
    2017 - 64 LOR Channels - Hoping for 10,000+ Lights

    Christmas Lights On 16th Street - Facebook Page
    Christmas Lights On 16th Street - YouTube Page

  4. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    1,041
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    Default Re: Help getting started...

    Quote Originally Posted by Protege94 View Post
    I disagree with this. 2016 was my first year doing a display and I went with Light O Rama and all in I am sure I was under $1,000 and I ran two 16 channel LOR boxes. (non pixel display)

    But really it depends on what you like. I personally don't like pixels but some people do.
    Since it sounded like the op wants RGB, LOR AC controllers won't work. LOR RGB stuff is way overpriced. I disagree with your disagreement.😀

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  5. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Winter Haven Florida
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    2,444
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    Default Re: Help getting started...

    um sending you a link in mail for you we have a guy in KAMUELA HAWAII who you might wanna get in touch with for any help or info he does a show with pixels and regular lights
    James WinterHaven Fl

  6. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    109
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    Default Re: Help getting started...

    I did my first show in 2016 for ~ $1000.

    I had 2 controllers

    1. San Devices E682 16 port RGB smart pixel controller
    2. Renard SS24 controller (for LED strings) These are AC lights

    For my controller (E682) The controller needed to be within ~15 feet of the first RGB node for each string to work properly, otherwise there was flicker in the lights on that string. Because I only had one controller I had to modify my placement of things the first year, but it worked ok.

    If you do go with the RGB smart pixels, (ws2811/ws2812) you do need to budget for the 3 wire connection cables between the controller and lights. Those you can not pick up locally. Be prepared for power injection ever ~100 RGB nodes.

    The cost will depend in some part on how far apart your props are from each other for RGB nodes.

    My display had pixabulbs on roofline, 2 leaping arches with RGB strip lights (ws2811), 4 spiral trees, a signing christmas tree face, a Holdman Star, and LED string lights on a train, in bushes and a tree. I had some LED string lights already on hand that I used for the bushes, train and trees.
    It is amazing how cheap the LED string lights are getting at the local box stores.


    So it is doable. I did it.

    Kevin

  7. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Shelby Township MI
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    206
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    Default Re: Help getting started...

    I watch a few specific members of the forum for the fact they are not only well versed in the community, but they are fairly unbiased as well. A few have spoken here already. Now, here are my thoughts, and this is the route I went for my show, which will be my first, in 2017.

    1. I took the picture of my my house AND I stood at the viewing distances. I did this multiple times.

    2. I downloaded xLights and Vixen, played with both, and xLights felt more natural to me. So I went with that. Your experience may differ, so go with what feels natural to use.

    3. I then came up with the outline on the house for pixels that I planned to have. At that point, I had decided on the Falcon for its expandability so I started adding costs to my list. This kept me in touch with my budget. It included pvc, mounting strips, hardware, etc. Data/power wire, power supplies, enclosures.

    4. Next, I looked at all the various props/elements on the different websites and took note of costs. Mega trees will blow away your budget in a heart beat, so I started with small props/elements. I added these to my software and placed them in various spots. I stopped once I realized I was close to my budget. I was able to build a lot of mine.

    5. I double checked all my costs, budget, made sure I had all the equipment costs accounted for and then started sequencing.

    There are a ton of little things, and you find them here and there throughout the forum. There really is no start to finish thread, because like others mentioned, what you want in your show will create variances in processes and costs. Loads of walk through videos on youtube. Questions to ask yourself, are you going to run it off your computer, a raspberry pi, how much do you plan to expand in the future ( I have a 3 year goal). How will weather affect your elements (rain in your case). It truly goes on and on.

    Good luck with your show, don't let costs stop you. Stay to your budget this year, them grow.

  8. Likes kreeve liked this post
  9. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    KAMUELA HAWAII
    Posts
    527
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    Default Re: Help getting started...

    ALOHA...welcome to the bugs of madness and lights i'm frankie,...been into this hobby for about 3-4 years now...if you need help let me know...nice to see a new member from hawaii...i live in kawaihae let me know what you would need help with i'll be glad to lend a hand

  10. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Prairieville, LA
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    799
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    Default Re: Help getting started...

    Some fairly inexpensive props that are easy to DIY (I'm not much of a DIY'er....) and that look REALLY good are arches (e.g., SharkBite tubing from Home Depot or similar translucent tubing from some other supplier) and the small/medium/large minitrees that James sells at Boscoyo. The only downside is that these are all somewhat "short"--no vertical dimensions to speak of! Maybe do one pixel tree too for some height--you could do something like a 10' pixel tree with 16 strands without breaking the bank. I recommend using nodes and the pixel strips James sells at Boscoyo if you build a pixel tree. I'm a proponent of Dave Pitts' Falcon hardware (e.g., F16V3 & F4V3) and xlights software. ...my 2 cents...

  11. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    KAMUELA HAWAII
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    Default Re: Help getting started...

    Quote Originally Posted by DanJ View Post
    Some fairly inexpensive props that are easy to DIY (I'm not much of a DIY'er....) and that look REALLY good are arches (e.g., SharkBite tubing from Home Depot or similar translucent tubing from some other supplier) and the small/medium/large minitrees that James sells at Boscoyo. The only downside is that these are all somewhat "short"--no vertical dimensions to speak of! Maybe do one pixel tree too for some height--you could do something like a 10' pixel tree with 16 strands without breaking the bank. I recommend using nodes and the pixel strips James sells at Boscoyo if you build a pixel tree. I'm a proponent of Dave Pitts' Falcon hardware (e.g., F16V3 & F4V3) and xlights software. ...my 2 cents...
    here in hawaii there are so many things that we can't even get or don't have..like nice tubing or some lighting lol...all the static display guys always buy the good stuff once it hits the shelves

  12. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Kailua- Kona, Hawaii
    Posts
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    Default Re: Help getting started...

    Thank you all for the great information and warm welcomes! Super excited to see others in my area! We've been working on our layout and measurements. This year we are going to try and accomplish as much coverage as possible by outlining portions of the house and planters. We have figured 4 small snow flakes, 6 medium arches, and a 3.5 ft wreath. Hoping once we figure how many lights we need to order, along with other components we will still be under budget to add a few little features. Really really would like two 3.5x 2.5 diy pixelated screens but thinking that might be our start for next season. We shall see. Will post an update once I have a handle on the design/ know what we are working with

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