Photo shows inside of main controller box. All items are mounted inside storage totes. Contents of this tote include two Light-O-Rama controllers (16 channels each). The Showtime Director which runs the show using an SD card and the wireless FM transmitter.
Three 40' maple trees are lit as part of the show. Each tree has its branches wrapped with white, red, green, and blue lights. The tress also contain 24 lighted balls, also in white, red, green, and blue. 12 channels are utilized for each tree, a total of 5200 lights per tree.
Another main element of the show is the 25 foot megatree. The main body of the tree is made up of 64 strings of LED lights. There are 16 strings each of white, red, green, and blue LEDs. This year we used warm white LEDs in the body of the tree. These proved to look more yellow than white and we plan to switch them out for cool white next year. The tree also has 8 channels of cool white LED spirals. Thanks to all the other light show designers on the internet sharing their secrets. The Weber tree spirals where a great addition to the show and received a lot of compliments from the nightly visitors. Finally, the center support of the tree had an 8 channel firestick in white LEDs topped off with a white LED star.
The yard was covered with a network of electrical power cords and CAT5 networking cable. Driveway crossings proved to be somewhat of a challenge, but the speedbumps added to the holiday joy. A new 100 amp panel was installed to support the show which was originally designed to utilize incandescent Christmas lights. The move to LEDs decreases the total power usage dramatically. For the 2012 show about half the lights were LED and the other half were mini lights (incandescents). The average cost of electricity ot run the show for a month is about $60.
A unique element of our show are the trademark "Allen Balls" used in the trees. These have been a staple of our holiday decorating for several years now. Here is a picture of my son installing them.
We have seen different versions of lighted decorations in stores. However, ours are homemade and surprisingly low tech. They are made with 3" PVC pipe cut to 3" lengths. We then wrap a string of lights around each section of pipe and zip-tie in place They are hung in the tree with shower curtain hooks using an extension pole. Hint - don't forget to attach an extension cord to the ball before hanging. There you have it.......an "Allen Ball" is born.