Tis the season to start to build up the light display. The first thing I do every years is clean out my garage, put away the car, bikes, and summer toys and get the lights into an accessible spot in the garage. Canadian Thanksgiving weekend (2nd Monday in October) is usually the weekend I try to get the garage cleaned out, the yard cleaned up and the trees pruned to help mount the lights.
This year I finally got permission to top the spruce tree in my front yard, which had a second Christmas tree growing out of the top. I had only been able to prune it as high as I could reach with my ladder and it was starting to look very silly as the top tree got bigger and bigger (I didn’t realize how big , over 10′, until I felled it and had to cut it in 1/2 to get in the truck). After topping and shaping it, it looks much better and ready from a few thousand lights.
Starting the lights early has the advantage of fall weather, not having to wear gloves and a jacket make it much easier to work and the lights and clips are much less stiff and prone to breaking on warm days. Doing it all in the sun, in a T-shirt is so much better than in a parka.
The first day of building was highly productive, I got all the lights that I cannot access from the ladder up (snow proofing my build). Having things in the same place and not adding anything to the house also made this go much faster; with all the clips attached and shingles loose where the lights are to attach things just plug and play. Not having to figure out how and where things go in the real world (after mocking the locations up on the PC) is nice too.
From the first light to testing the entire upper story it was a fast moving day. The only thing I may change is I went with some new icicle lights and I am not sure how I like the wire running between 2 sets on the upper level (I did change this and its much better and only requires running one additional 15′ cord) .
The other thing I’ve been working on is converting last years sequences to incorporate the new props I added. This shouldn’t have been as time consuming as it has been. In hindsight how I set up my groups in LOR SE5 was a bit of a mistake causing me some extra work. That said I have been pushing hard to get all the sequences converted and I’m almost there, then I will focus on improving some of my favorite songs as well as add a couple of new ones.
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I also had a little fun when converting the last years songs by syncing a simulation to one of my videos from last year to see how close they look.
Overall progress is going very well so far. I have some construction projects for the new matrix screens I am adding coming up and I have to figure out how I am going to get my RGBs aligned on the ash tree. I feel pretty confident of making the schedule I have set out, but there are always some hiccups along the way so I’ll keep pushing to get as far ahead as possible.
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