Hi all. I've had big Christmas displays going back to the early 2000's with numerous wood figures that I drew, cut out and painted myself, as well as covering the house and yard with lights and am big on DIY'ing everything I possibly can, so I am comfortable with soldering and wiring,etc. I've wanted to do the big Christmas light shows but back then LOR seemed to be the only way to go and I couldn't afford it and as the kids got older and didn't want to help with setup, I gave up on my dreams. But my 23 year old son wants to do it this year so I'm in the planning stages. I have spent the last 2 months researching and reading everything I can, including the forumks and Wiki and am to the point that I'm confused and unsure of what to do.
My plan is to buy pixels for the Mega Tree ( 24 strings/75 nodes, with 24 strings/25 nodes for the "skirt" and a 36" 270 pixel Star); a few mini trees and and probably for the window/door outlines. I'm not sure if I will use pixels or Strips for the arches. Eventually, we'll do pixels everywhere but it's just not in the budget this year.
For the "show", I was going to use Xlights, a Raspberry Pi, and FM Transmitter, but I'm not sure if I will go with a Falcon F16v3 and expansion boards, the Falcon F48 and Smart Receivers. or the Kulp 32 A-B which requires a Beaglebone Black.I guess my first question is, If I go with the Kulp controller with the Beaglebone do I still need the Raspberry Pi?
My biggest issue is with the "other" lights. I have read and searched for answers but the more I read or watch, the more confused I become to the point that I don't know what to do. I replaced my incandescent lights a few years ago with a bunch of standard wall plug in LED 5mm lights that I am going to use to outline the roof and house, and C9 lights to outline the driveway(runway)but I don't know what to use to "control" them. From what I gather, I think the way to go is with a Renard but I'm not sure, much less which one? If so, can I use the Raspberry Pi with it too, instead of my computer to run it? Can I use Xlights for sequencing or do I have to learn Vixen too? And how do I wire the lights from the controller? For power, do I plug them into the wall with extension cords like years past or can I put pigtails on them and use Power supplies like the Pixels?
Any help and suggestions is greatly appreciated.