Sunday, October 19th, 2014


(Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What are the names of the songs in your display?
We have a complete list of songs on our website.

Q: How much power does the display use?
The display can draw more than 40 amps of power. Each item in the display is inventoried in a spreadsheet so we know exactly how much power it draws, where it is plugged in, and what else is on that same circuit. The lights are programmed with these figures in mind so as not to overwhelm any of the circuits and cause it to overheat or trip. The gauge of the extension cords running from the house to the relays are chosen specifically to meet the needs of each section of the display. With this many lights, safety is a big concern.

Q: What does this do to your electric bill?
Very little, at least compared to our old static display. Seriously. Because the lights are animated, they are very rarely all turned on at the same time or at full power. The year we went from a 10 amp static display to a 40 amp animated display we actually saved $10 in elecricty for the season. Electricity is a very minor cost relative to the equipment expenses and time we put in to the display. Our electric bill is slightly higher than usual while the display is running, but we enjoy it so it is worth the extra cost.

Q: How does it work?
Do you ask a magician how their trick works? We didn’t think so. The short answer is that our computer sends pre-programmed commands to banks of dimmable electrical relays (triacs) from Light-O-Rama at the same time it plays back the music.

Q: How do you get the music in to our car?
We use a low power FM transmitter which operates in accordance with section 15 of the FCC rules and regulations. We use 93.9 FM because there are no other stations in our area on that frequency.

Q: How long does it take to put this together?
The animation sequencing is probably the most time consuming part. We start planning for next year after Christmas the previous year. Without a thorough plan of what we’re going to do next year, we could not find time to put this together. We already know what we want to add for next season, what we need to get make it happen, and where to find it. Planning is everything! We try to add some new elements every year, so the display grows and isn’t always the same.

Q: How can I help or give to you?
We do not ask for anything in return and enjoy putting up the display each year. If you really want to give or donate then please give to Toys for Tots and help make a less fortunate child’s Christmas special.

Q: How much does all this cost?
This display is our gift to the community, and we always take the tags off of our gifts before we wrap them. Merry Christmas!