4 computerized panels...before extension cords! Each panel has 16 channels (the black cords dangling from each box) which are connected to the various trees, bushes, snowflakes, etc to create the light show.
SOME of the extensions attached..more to come!
Double and triple checking the connections.
The first few strands of the 10 foot Mega-Tree (12 feet including the star on top). There are a total of 3,200 lights on this tree alone! We have programmed the tree to "spin" during many songs. A cool effect!
The Mega-Tree with its star, standing a total of 12 feet, constructed on a custom-made frame from our dear friend, Louie. (www.toylandchristmas.com)
One of the mini-trees. This shows the first two strands of white lights. Next will be two strands of red then two of green for a total of 600 lights per mini tree. 9 of these and we have a total of 5,400 lights just on the mini trees.
A completed Mini-tree, with 600 lights standing just about 3 feet tall.
Rows of extension cords, laid out in three sets, one for each color, connecting left shrub to right shrub to mini tree. Note the white labels on each cord...these are labeled specifically for each shrub and for each color. We have used over ONE MILE of extension cords, much of that mile consists of extensions we made ourselves.
As we make our own extension cords, we sealed the ends of the plugs with electrical glue, just to make sure no water gets in and shorts anything.
There are too many places that a traditional ladder will not safely reach so, thanks to one of our good friends, Joe Bowling, we had access to a lift! With this lift, we were able to hang all the lights around the roofline, put up the radio antenna, and do many other tasks quickly and efficiently. With the help of Mother Nature, in just one weekend, we were able to get all of the lights up that would normally require a ladder. Thanks Joe!
"Stop taking pictures Hope and get in!"
So I did! And, still took more pictures! After we put up the C-9s (the three red, green and white strands that we made), we had to check them as they tend to get a little loose and then look burned out. So, back up in the lift to change or tighten bulbs. It was a little wobbly, but much less than a ladder would have been!
Changing out some dead bulbs. For those of you wondering, "Why couldn't you just check them BEFORE putting them up?" we do check them before they go up, but the C-9 bulbs are sensitive and very breakable so we do a general check then put them up then check them again.
This is why we make our own strands of lights...see how the spacing fits perfectly into the roof line?!?!
Putting up Santa and his Chimney. Thank goodness for the lift!
Anchoring Santa to the roof. Tim and Brian built a frame to hold Santa so that we would not be penetrating the roof anywhere. The cinderblock was much easier to get up in the lift than by using the ladder!
We had to use the traditional ladder for the cascading snowflakes, but with Brian's help, the job went quickly!
Now that the snowflakes are all up, we had to gather the cords together to prevent any wind from pulling the cords and then the snowflakes down. Plus, it looks better to have everything gathered together, all neat and tidy. It doesn't look too overwhelming when they are organized!
The antenna is used to transmit the music to nearby cars to their radios. We are set up to transmit on 92.3 FM but only in the neighborhood so as not to interfere with any radio stations or transmitting rules. We had a sign made (photo to come later) that tells people to tune to 92.3 as they pull up to watch the lights. It's really neat to be able to do this! (Actually, it is to make sure they get a good signal up there in space where we've been told you can see the lights!)
Here's the house...all lit up! So pretty!
All the GREEN lights on!
Now, all the RED lights on!
A close up of the shrubs and the mini trees...oh, yes, and Teddy, our Christmas Bear. He's got such a bright personailty, beary likeable also!