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Did you know?
  • 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.
  • 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.



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About jhoybs

  • Rank
    New Member

Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
  • Location
    Muskego, WI
  • Biography
    I have been designing and constructing Christmas light displays since I was 12. There is nothing like firing up the Christmas music and hanging lights to put me in the Christmas spirit.
  • Interests
    Christmas Lighting
  • Occupation
    Electrical/Software Engineer
  • About my display
  1. My 2016 Display

    Really nice display, Merry Christmas!
  2. Let there be peace in PC.

    I'm sorry that many of you can't experience cold Wisconsin winters where your nostrils freeze together when you sniff.
  3. Hi everyone1

    Welcome aboard! Merry Christmas!
  4. Annoyed

    The main issue I see with these lights are just that they are so dim. Some devices are better than others, but even the more expensive ones are too dim in my opinion.
  5. Stephen, Your display is way cool! Very unique too! Great job and perfect example for this topic.
  6. LOR is simply a computer-controlled dimmer switch. 16 channels mean you can control 16 outlets. It can control any 120V (ie: standard) light strings and, in some cases, floods (as long as they are dimable). You then use LOR software to create a script (program) to tell the LOR controllers what to do and when. RGB is a different animal - you can't plug them into a wall outlet (ie: 120V) to light them up, you need a power supply because they don't run on 120V - usually 5VDC or 12VDC. Where an LOR controller has a computer chip in it to control the light strings, RGB lights are powered on all the time and each bulb is controlled by its own computer chip. In the RGB world, controllers are generally still required to communicate with each bulb and to inject the 5 or 12 DC power. With RGB, you still need to create a script to tell the pixels to turn on/off/dim.
  7. First time outdoor display

    Great job, it looks nice and clean!
  8. My 2016 Display

    Mike, Looks really nice - great job!
  9. Newbie Here, looking for advice

    SPT wire and vampire plugs are the way to go. I buy my lights. plugs and wire from http://www.holiday-light-express.com/. You can make any size extension cord and also make it custom (like in-line receptacles) essentially without tools.
  10. Help

    When I moved into my current home, most of the GFCI's in the house are GFCI circuit breakers. For me, this works out well because with the outlets, you may have one feeding (coming first in) the circuit. It can be confusing which one tripped. I used to live in a house where the GFCI outlet was in the bathroom and that was in series with the outside standard outlet. When the outdoor outlet "tripped", I had to reset the indoor. The GFCI breaker is more expensive than an outlet, but it is way easier to reset/test.
  11. Christmas lights in the rain

    You need GFCI's so nobody is hurt. GFCI's trip when you have differing amounts of current going out the hot and coming back from the neutral wires. In other words, for Christmas lights, current is returning thru earth ground. You need to get all connectors off the ground or away from metal going into ground (ie: like mini trees made from tomato cages). With sealed LEDs, you don't have to worry about any part of the string accept for the connectors, but for removable LEDs & incandescents, you have get leakage from each bulb. Anything that gets wet (like a tree trunk) can also conduct electricity to the ground. I've been doing displays for 25 years - I think I've only have 2 GFCI trips.
  12. I bought a Light Keeper Pro (http://lightkeeperpro.com) to troubleshoot incandescent light strings - it really helps and makes things easier. I've seen these devices sold at local hardware stores and "big box" stores. That being said, trying to troubleshoot a prelit tree can be a pain! The light keeper can light individual bulbs (so you know that they are good) and it can also send a pulse thru the string to short any open shunts. There are videos on the website on how to use it. Your obvious problem is the replacement bulbs; either the tag on the lights is wrong or the replacements you bought wrong (most likely). I've gone all LED, but I see more incandescents stating they are "low power" or "power saving" - this might be another reason for your issues. That being said, (assuming the tags are correct) it does state the voltage (2.5 volt) and power (0.43 watt) so that should take in account any "power saving" design. Did you try finding replacement bulbs at Walmart? You'd think that they sell them there (or online).
  13. Help

    I'd first unplug everything from the outlet(s) on the circuit, reset the GFCI and then plug in a single (dry) item like a string of lights or floodlight. If you are resetting the GFCI with your lights plugged in and you still have a path to ground, they'll just keep tripping. If that doesn't work, make sure your circuit breaker isn't tripped - you can try switching the breaker on and off to see if it helps. GFCI outlets do go bad periodically, you might have to replace it.
  14. 2016 UP and Running!

    Awesome, great job!
  15. High Country Lights 2015 Season

    Really nice display - love the view from the drone (if that is what it is)! Question, I believe your trees are RGB - how did you mount your pixels?