For those wondering how it’s done here’s some technical details about the light show.
What’s Your Electric Bill?!
We never run our lights at more than 30% brightness – which means significant savings on energy – and the fact that unlike a traditional Light Display, our lights are not on all the time – we see our electricity go up by a few dollars for the months and that’s it!
2023 Nerd Stats
Number of Pixels: 6,200 – all 5V minus our Gutter/Peak lights.
Amount of Controllers: 2x Falcon F16v3 w/ 3x Smart Receivers, 2x Dumb Receivers
Mega Tree stats:
-Roughly 12-13ft Tall
-16 Pixel Strips – 50 each – for a total of 600 pixels
-Made using the ASAP Pole by Walter Monkhouse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8XRpqi3dvU
For the majority of the life of the light show, I used Light-O-Rama (http://www.lightorama.com) software.
In 2017, I switched over to Xlights software, as it provides much more flexibility with Pixels and the cost is free (Minus a yearly donation to the developers for the great work!)
Xlights can be downloaded at http://www.xlights.org
ALL of the Programming at Germann Lights is done by ourselves. You won’t find any of our sequences on any other houses! Songs can take anywhere from 30-80 hours to complete.
Most of my lights are WS2811 Pixels – running at either 5V or 12V depending on which light they are. At last count I have about 6,000 RGB Pixels in the light show. These Pixels are obtained by local dealers, as well as directly from Chinese manufacturers.
As of 2022 – we are 100% LED!!!
To run scheduling on the Light Show and Run the Light Show itself, I use a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ with FPP (Falcon Pi Player) Installed. https://github.com/FalconChristmas/fpp
I use 2x Falcon F16 controllers and 1x Raspberry Pi with FPP for Christmas. For Halloween, I only need to use 1 Falcon F16 Controller.
To control my pixels, I use a variety of devices, anywhere from SPI to DMX adapters. My main controller these days are the Falcon F16 controllers available at https://www.pixelcontroller.com/store/index.php
A variety of my lights are running direct DMX control via the Falcon’s 3/4 DMX outputs.