Frequently Asked Questions
This page is a place for us to answer all those questions we get from the great people we meet in the street while watching the show. If you have a question that you don't see below, Contact Us and we'll do our best to add it, and answer it, for you.
Q. What do you do for a living and does it help you do this?
A. Both mine and my wife's careers are in the Information Technology (IT) realm but none of what we do prepared us for doing the lights. We learned though a lot of trial and error to do what was needed to make our show work. We're still learning.
Q. How long does it take to do one song?
A. We estimate that we spend between 20 and 40 hours per song programming the lights. We're always looking at the songs and thinking of changes we want to make. It's something we work on all year long.
Q. Is this hard or is it something that I could do?
A. With a little help from someone who has figured it out, it's not hard and you could do it. If you want to give it a try, we're happy to assist. You just have to be willing to put in the time.
Q. How much does it cost to do something like this?
A. That depends on what you want to do. You can do a really great show using lights that you might buy at a store (e.g., Walmart, Home depot, or Lowes), and that would cost less than the more expensive RGB pixels. We would suggest starting small and growing your show each year so that you can spread out the cost. Here's an example of cost difference; a set of 50 LED lights at Walmart might cost about $5.00 and a string of 50 RGB Pixels would cost about $30.00. The Walmart lights just need to be plugged in to work, the RBG lights would need a controller to work.
Q. How do you get the music on my radio? or How do you get the lights to match what is playing on my radio?
A. We have an FM transmitter (a mini radio station) in our garage that transmits the music from the computer that's running the lights. The transmitter only reaches a short way so it doesn't interfere with any actual radio stations.
Q. Do you do all the programming your self?
A. Yes, Julie and I do all the programming. We each have our own songs, and some that we share, and the truth is that our best songs are always a product of collaboration. We see things differently and we think that gives the show a special feel.
Q. How long does it take to put out the show?
A. We start putting out the lights for the Halloween show in early October with plans to run the show the seven (7) days before and after Halloween. Then we spend about two weeks switching over to the Christmas show with a target premier on Thanksgiving night.
Q. How much does the electricity cost for the show?
A. Our electric bill in December is the same as our electric bill in June. We have gas heat, so that means it costs about the same to light the lights as it did to keep our house at 70 degrees in the summer.
Q. How do you get the lights to be different colors?
A. In addition to regular LED lights, we use something called RGB pixels that can be any color. Check out our lights page for more information about how these work.