Thursday, June 01, 2006

Home Improvement by Martha Stewart

Well Light-O-Rama, the company who makes the equipment that makes this dream possible, had a sale last week for those who were willing to pre-order their items. Since this is the most expensive part of the project, I took advantage of the sale and placed an order for two 16-channel dimmer units and a license for the software that is the wizard behind the curtain. Saved quite a bit of money over what it would have cost latter on in the year. The hardware won't ship until September, but I've got the full version of the software installed now. Once I nail down how I want my yard to look, I can start programming the lights to the music and create the magic.

For the dimmers, I decided to order the "hobbyists" version to save a few greenbacks. This basically means that I'll have to get my own electrical box, install the dimmer boards inside and wire the power cords to it. As strange as it sounds, I think this will actually save me time during the display construction phase in November. The finished product will look something like the thing you see to the right. Except there will be two of them. This is the heart of what makes a LOR Christmas show possible. Each pig-tail connects a separate light strand, enabling you to control when the lights turn on, off, blink, and how bright they are. It's a good thing.