History

For me, the desire to put up Christmas lights started when I was a young child. Each year we would go looking at lights, and we would always drive by "that house." The yard was filled with wooden cut outs, a sleigh, and music. Lights were all over the place! I still remember driving by one year only to learn that it was gone. 


As I got older, we moved into a new house in the same town. Of course, I wanted to put lights on it. However, honestly, my dad wasn't to thrilled with the idea. (Probably because I was a hooligan growing up, but I digress.) Anyway, the most lights I ever got on the house was 125 C9, and some mini lights in a few bushes.

After that it was apartments for me until I met my wife back in 2001. That first Christmas together was spent, you guessed it, in an apartment. Late summer of 2002 we moved into our current house. Even as the house was being built, I was trying to figure out how I would put lights on it.

Part of my inspiration for computer controlled lights came from a part time job. Here is a video of what I am talking about. (Note: I added the music in the background.) My first year on the job I was able to watch the gentlemen program the tree. At that time I knew it could be done, but I never could locate an affordable solution. That changed around 12/11/2004, when an article in the Associated Press mentioned Light-O-Rama.

I spent the remainder of 2004 and most of 2005 planning for the first animated display in 2005. The first few nights were slow, but once people got back to work and school (the display went live on Friday after Thanksgiving) word began to spread, and traffic increased.

 

What follows is a summary of how the lights have evolved over the years.

2002: First year in the house. Red C9's were salvaged from a previous residence. Everything else in the display was bought that year. Display ran off of one circuit via a plug on the front porch.

2003: My neighbor helped me get 2, 20amp circuits installed which operated on timers. This allowed automated control of the lights. The C9 lights on the house were bought new, straight off the spool. Each strand was custom cut to line up with 5 zones on the roof. This allows for quick installation (and tear down.) of the lights. More curtain lights were bought, as were some reindeer, and more lights added to the bushes in front. C9's on the east side of the driveway were added as well as the lights on the mailbox.

2004: 2 more, 20amp circuits added to the house. Only downside was that the lights came on a different times, being that they were manual timers with no way to synchronize them. Another 6 foot tree was bought, even more lights in the bushes as well as a few more strands in the trees. 2 more reindeer were purchased, more C9's were added to the east side of the driveway, and the letters were changed to "Santa Stop Here."

2005: 2 more, 20 amp circuits added to the house. The timers that were in place the previous years were removed. The lights are now controlled via computer, 80 circuits total. New additions to the display included the yard grid of lights, and the mini-trees. The "Santa Stop Here" / "Merry Christmas" lettering was removed.

2006: 2 more, 20 amp circuits added to the house. 112 circuits now control the house. The real trees are no longer decorated, as I obtained 2, 10 feet metal trees to decorate. 4 colors total were put on the bushes this year.

2007: More circuits added to the house. The display now has 160 channels available for use, though not all are in use. The 2, ten foot trees from 2006 were replaced with 4, eight foot, 4 section/4 color trees. This was the only major change from 2006.

2008: Nothing major added this year. Relocated a few items in the display, and changed out the C9's on the roof to LED lights. Added green LED's to the roof. The real trees were cut down, not for decorating purposes, but it sure does help!

2009: Blue and White LED's added to the Red/Green from last year. The roof, windows and garage now have 4 colors of LED's outlining them. I also added multi-color lights to the mini trees. We're up to 192 computer controller channels of lighting.

2010: The 4 mega trees were sold in February. They were replaced with a single mega tree. No other major changes to the display.

2011: A second mega tree was added to the display. The yard grid was replaced by two light fans. See the 2011 video(s) for an example.

2012: Some Light-O-Rama Cosmic Color Floods were added to the display. No other changes were made.

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