Q. How much does your electric bill cost? (This is the number 1 most asked question.)
A. Most people assume that electricity is one of our largest expenses. In reality our electric bill is one of the least costly expenses. For the month of December our bill increases about $100-$125 compared to other winter months. The secret to keeping the electricity consumption low is flashing the lights to the music. Even though we have tens of thousands of Christmas lights on our house there are only a few thousand turned on at any given moment.
Q. How do I listen to the music?
A. When you arrive at our house, you can listen to our lights by tuning in to 87.9 FM.
Q. What are your operating hours?
A. Our lights run daily 5pm - 9pm (weather permitting) starting the day after Thanksgiving until New Years Eve.
Q. How many Christmas lights do you have on your house?
A. To be honest we really don’t count anymore. In the past we’ve had as few as 11,000 and as many as 67,000. We encourage you to count the lights and let us know how many we have.
Q. What kind of Christmas lights do you use?
A. We use regular incandescent mini lights purchased from Home Depot, Lowes, Target & Walmart. We buy whatever is cheapest and we try to buy them by the case so that we have groups of lights with consistent coloring.
Q. How long does it take to put up the lights?
A. It seems like forever! But setting up the lights takes 3-4 days and then wiring everything takes 3 weeks. Add in another few days for programming and fine tuning and you are right around a month. For 2018 we have spent many hours working on our install process to make things go up faster. Things like building frames to hold the lights around the windows and custom cord sets with multipin connectors help to speed things up.
Q. Do you leave the lights up all year?
A. No, we take the lights down every year because the elements (especially the sun) would eventually damage the lights.
Q. Do the lights run in the rain / snow?
A. Sometimes. It depends on how much it rains and for how long. Sometimes the water puddles and causes some of our GFCI outlets to trip. Once this happens we usually turn the lights off until everything has had some time to dry out.
Q. When do you start putting up the lights?
A. We start prepping in the late summer but the actual installation begins the first weekend after Halloween.
Q. How many extension cords do you use?
A. This is a difficult question to answer because we have hundreds of extension cords and really have never counted them all. We do know that we have over 3 miles of cords.
Q. Why don’t you have more songs?
A. We usually have only one song each year. In the past when we’ve had more than one song we found that the traffic would build up and sometimes cause problems for our neighbors and their family. Having only one song keeps the traffic from building up and hopefully keeps our neighbors happy.
Q. Were you on the Great Christmas Light Fight?
A. Yes, we competed on ABC’s Great Christmas Light Fight….and Won! Behind the scenes photos can be seen here.
Q. What is your favorite Christmas song?
A. O Holy Night - Bing Crosby.
Q. Why do you decorate your house so elaborately?
A. Because it’s cool! The real reason is that we love the magic of Christmas and watching the joy it brings to others who view our display.
Q. How do you make the lights flash to the music?
A. The heart of our light show is a pc that runs off the shelf software from Light-O-Rama. The software has a sequencing program that allows us to take any song and program the timing of the lights flashing. The PC sends the audio to a small FM transmitter and the sequencing data goes to a series of controllers. The controllers are then wired to the lights and that is how you get what is called “Blinky Flashy”. For more information checkout https://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/ and https://www.planetchristmas.com/