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While the display was up in 2006, I started to read on-line about animating light displays and by the time the holidays were over, I had decided to make this my focus for 2007. By February I was starting to think about what elements I was going to add to my display to animate and what music I would use. I was spending most of my free time investigating different ideas for the display and learning about the equipment necessary to synchronize my light display, as well as listening to Christmas music.

   By May, I had decided to go with 128 channels (of light synchronization), and 3 songs. Key elements I was planning to create included: thirty, 6 foot mini trees, each with 2 colors; 150, 100watt flood lights, red, green, and gold, to encircle the pond; 14, 500watt halogen lights; and 22 strobe lights, including a 750watt mega strobe. A lot of what I was planning was centered on delivering my vision for the song that most inspired me – U2’s, ‘City of Blinding Lights’ (COBL). To create the mini trees, I found some 4 and ½ foot tomato cages at a local store and while making these with my kids, I had another good idea! Using the tomato cages we could make giant stars to hang on the cable! So that I could put 2 colors on each stars, and make each ‘starpoint’ controllable, I needed 12 additional channels for each star. This, and some other ideas we had, forced me to increase the number of channels from 128 to 192 and this was without any experience on sequencing the music.

   In June, when LOR had their annual sale, I purchased the necessary equipment and software, and began sequencing music. I started with ‘COBL’. At this time, I was hopeful I could do 3 songs in total and my two other choices were Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s, ‘The Mad Russian’, and Celtic Woman’s, ‘Carol of the Bells’. Once I realized I was going to be able to finish these songs well in advance, I started to listen to Christmas music and began queuing songs for future sequencing. In July, Daniel asked if he could sequence a song. On a long drive to Rochester, listening to Christmas music, he picked out Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s, ‘The Lost Christmas Eve’. We got him set up on a computer and he began working on this song. I didn’t have high expectations for him as I thought it would be quite challenging for him and I could only describe to him what I thought the display was going to look like. He finished his song in November, with absolutely no assistance from me. I set-up a mini display with 1 giant star, and 15 of the mini trees in the basement so that I could see how my sequencing was working out.

   Realizing how much we had to do, we started setting up parts of the static display on weekends in October. Emily, Daniel, John, and Grace were all helping out significantly and this was now truly a family project. Brian returned about 1 week before Thanksgiving and each day, from sun-up to sun-down, we were out assembling the display. We finished on Wednesday and started to test the hardware. Miraculously, everything worked! We finished with 116,115 lights and 21 songs for the show. And Daniel’s song, turned out to be one of my favorites!



Emily's Light Video

2008 Preparations

See All the Videos On YouTube

Song List