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  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.

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We are moving into a new house next week! Yay and YIKES!

Any advice from my fellow smart light guys?? Should I get to work rebuilding my smart light strings first or re-programming?
I think us synchronized Christmas Lights people should stick to moving in the early spring so Thanksgiving isn't looming over us ;)

Here is my display from last year. Smart lights are all green. Some static lights are off.
xlights2016.JPG.2e3bbc36fd03f63877c05da5eed7fea1.JPG

Here is our new house. I'm really bumming that the garage sticks out so much. We almost didn't get the home because of the impact on my Christmas lights hobby. The positives out weighed the negatives though. Plus, the view in this pic is mostly visible for a few blocks because of the location.

4168JansenAve.jpg.f888625d897f59e2ff821f658c46fb2f.jpg

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When I moved I thought no one was going to ever see all my work.  We moved out to the family ranch.  Thanksgiving night no one came by but then slowly more and more people came and it was the biggest year to date.

 

Work on power requirements as soon as your in the house.

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14 minutes ago, Christmas on the Farm said:

When I moved I thought no one was going to ever see all my work.  We moved out to the family ranch.  Thanksgiving night no one came by but then slowly more and more people came and it was the biggest year to date.

 

Work on power requirements as soon as your in the house.

Oh, we are moving from a population 200 town with no other major town for 45 minutes, to a 17,500 population suburb! I may have to learn to manage traffic and how to sweet talk my neighbors so they don't get upset.

Power requirements? As far as making sure I'm not overloading one breaker? That's a good point, because I know I'm over 15 AMPs. Thanks!

Edited by KneelandLights

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Beautiful home!  

Yeah.  Power.  We just moved into our new home and there's one set of plugs.  that's it.  none in the garage, and the backyard one's aren't working  (wires cut).  

We knew it going in, but due to HOA restrictions and the way the house is built we are struggling with how/what to do to add more power...  May not happen this year.  I'm pouting a little about it.  lol

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I feel your angst! We moved two years ago and finding our next home that was compatible with our light show was a real ordeal. So,that being said, I would echo the advice of others: get your power supply needs done first. Here's what I chose to do at the new Priest Ponderosa: an electrician ran a new,dedicated 50 amp supply to the exterior, east wall and installed a generator hook-up.Using a heavy duty hand truck, we built eight,110 outlets on the truck. That way, when the season is over I simply disconnect and wheel the power panel in to the garage.

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2 hours ago, Christmas on the Farm said:

Are there restrictions on adding receptacles or Christmas decorations?

Yep.  We cannot add any extra plugs out front of the house without HOA approval.  Back yard too, but that's a "only if they catch you" thing...

Our old house we didn't have an HOA so this is new territory for us.

Christmas decorations cannot be put up until December 1st I believe, but will have to re-verify that part...

Hubby's plan is to eventually add lots of plugs in the garage (as it is he has to unplug the garage door opener to run power tools), and some exterior one's on the back of the house right behind the fenceline-- out of HOA view!  The moving expenses/necessary updates we had to put in this house means it's likely not in the budget or time before THIS Christmas season.  But there's always hope, lol.

 

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4 hours ago, joyfulheart said:

until December 1st I believe, but will have to re-verify that part...

look into that one....our POA states decorations NET 2 weeks prior and 2 week after a holiday, but define the winter holiday as Thanksgiving to New Years.  Heck, you could get away with "Halloween lights" that roll right into Thanksgiving and on to New Year.  I started the first week of Nov last year and had no complaints.....I do get an email if it isn't all put away by 15 Jan though!  I usually say I have to let it dry out before storage and that's all I hear.

I have lived in 3 HOAs and never heard of a restriction on outlets.  In fact, one development I was in all the homes had a switch in a closet that controlled outlets under the eaves specifically for Christmas lights.

Edited by qberg

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7 hours ago, joyfulheart said:

 

Christmas decorations cannot be put up until December 1st I believe, but will have to re-verify that part...

Hubby's plan is to eventually add lots of plugs in the garage (as it is he has to unplug the garage door opener to run power tools), and some exterior one's on the back of the house right behind the fenceline-- out of HOA view!  The moving expenses/necessary updates we had to put in this house means it's likely not in the budget or time before THIS Christmas season.  But there's always hope, lol.

 

I have been able to avoid HOAs all my life.  Look at a house once and when we found out it was in an HOA we walked out of the sales office. 

 

Perhaps receptacles in the garage  is best.  I like having the CFIs in the garage for trouble shooting reasons.  See photo. At one time there was many more receptacles in here but they where mover out were needed.

IMG_1441.JPG

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Thanks for the compliments on the house. We are excited!

We backed out of a Purchase Agreement because they didn't disclose the HOA. It was a beautiful house too and would have been a much better layout for the light show. However, they had way too many restrictions in the HOA. This house has no HOA so no restrictions!! My only concern is staying in good graces with my new neighbors.

Thanks for all the tips on power! It actually is an issue for me too. There are ZERO outlets outside on the front of the house.
I have an electrician in the family, so I'll have to try to get him to the house ASAP and see what we can do. Hopefully, there is an open breaker location in the panel so I can setup a 50amp like Ralph.

I am going with the CFIs too, good call 'Christmas on the Farm!'

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best of luck on your move without HOA.  we love being slap in the middle of 10 acres and 800' of road frontage.  makes for a pretty nice 4 acre front yard display, along with a 200 amp power supply

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4 hours ago, xenon said:

we love being slap in the middle of 10 acres and 800' of road frontage.

We also live in the country with about 800' of road frontage at the display about 450' off the road is the only problem.

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Okay, I've got my bro-in-law coming to install a 20 AMP outlet with me this weekend. I did find that I have a 15 AMP breaker for the garage and an outside outlet I can use from that too. Last year I pulled 18 AMPs max when full white on 100% brightness. I may drop down my brightness on the controller this year, I've heard it looks good a little dimmer.

So my next question with moving:

Should I remap my strings in xlights so my previous sequences still work? Or should I start over with the new layout completely? 

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So did you go with the HOA place? I would put 2-20 amp outlets on all sides of the house. We ended up putting 2-20 amp circuits on the north and south end of the house. 4-20 amp circuits IN addition to the 15 amp in the front and rear that was already there. 

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13 minutes ago, Big J Illinois said:

So did you go with the HOA place? I would put 2-20 amp outlets on all sides of the house. We ended up putting 2-20 amp circuits on the north and south end of the house. 4-20 amp circuits IN addition to the 15 amp in the front and rear that was already there. 

 

No way HOA was gonna happen. We are in the clear, just gotta care for our neighbors now. 
Wow, you've got a TON of AMPS to work with. Maybe I should add more....

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Bought my house back in May and bought a corner lot specifically for the Christmas display. Now, instead of just a front yard, I also have a side yard to use for all the lights that people can see easily from the road. Having the same problem with power. Only 3 outlets on the exterior of the house and they all are in the back so November a buddy and I will be running 6 new 20 amp breakers and lines to the front and side of the house to add more outlets. 

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Thanks for the advice! I decided to just do two 20AMP outlets instead of one because of your feedback.
And yes, each outlet is on its own 20AMP breaker and each is GFI. I only needed one this year but figured at least now I'm thinking a little ahead.

Now to start re-creating the Christmas strings to fit the new house... :unsure:

59dba61468d32_2017-10-0814_36_03.thumb.jpg.cc9a8908694ed10c36da8a627ec6b174.jpg

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NEW QUESTION: I just realized a new issue. My last house had siding close enough to white that white connecting cables blend in.
My new house has green siding!! White is going to stand out while the show is running.

I'm going to have to watch some video's online and see if I can pick out other people's signal and power cables.

How do you hide your connecting cables? Here are the options I can think of.

  1. Paint the connecting cables close to the same color of your siding
  2. Tuck them into your siding the best you can
  3. Let them stand out, it's not that bad

 

7 hours ago, Big J Illinois said:

Well done!!! We did these last year and LOVE them     (4) 20 amp circuits

 

Oh, that's a good idea! 20 amps up and down. I didn't look too hard, but the GFI outlets I bought couldn't do that. Are those standard outlets then, or is it possible with GFIs?

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No, each outlet is 20 amps...have 2 quad outlets, as you see, on each end of the house. So a total of (4) 20 amp breakers, 12 ga wire, all in conduit. 1 breaker=1 GFCI outlet. Hope this helps:)

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Okay, so we have a sign from our FM station at our old house, but now that frequency has a broadcast on it. Can I get in trouble for using the same frequency? I've read the FCC legal stuff and I can't find anything that says I can't. However, they do say:

  •  These devices must accept any interference caused by any other operation, which may further limit the effective service range.
  • AND  On FM frequencies, these devices are limited to an effective service range of approximately 200 feet (61 meters)

Here's the link: https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/low-power-radio-general-information#PROHIBITED

Here's more documentation: https://transition.fcc.gov/bureaus/oet/info/documents/bulletins/oet63/oet63rev.pdf

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