A: It varies from year to year. But normally anywhere from $600 to $1000. This includes setup, testing and the actual show from first of November to December 31st.
A: The display can draw as much as 200 amps at peak. For that main reason I have the power for the lights on a completely seperate meter and power source different from the house. However that total actually reduces a little more each year as I slowly replace incandescent lights with LED lights. When designing the power distribution for each item in the display all relative power requirements are considered. The correct size extension cords and breakers for each circuit are utilized because safety is a big concern with a display this size.
A: The amount of lights we have change each year. As we change or add something every year. Also I usually won't tell exactly how many lights there are because, simply put, we don't know until Christmas Day. That's when we actually count them to determine the winner of the "Guess How Many Christmas Lights" contest we have each year.
A: A very good, but difficult question to answer. Basically, by using specialized software (in my case xLights) I can program and choreograph the lights to come on and go off at any time I want in step with the music I select. Then signals are sent out to the display and distributed to the correct prop. The corresponding lights then turn on, or "dance" in time with the music.
A: I actually use equipment from several different companies. Including, but not limited to lightorama.com, falconchristmas.com, edmdesign.com, xlights.org, walmart, homedepot, elliot electric. Just to name a few. A/C controllers are from lightorama. Pixel controllers that control the 27ft mega pixel tree and the matrix are from falconchristmas.com. The hundreds and hundreds of feet of cat5 cable that enable all the controllers to talk on the network is from monoprice.com. The software that makes it all possible is called xLights which is amazingly powerful and is a collaborative effort by several developers. Best part is it's totally free and updated with enhancements almost on a weekly basis. The developers do accept donations and are greatly appreciated.
A: I use a small, low power fm transmitter and choose a station that no one else uses so as to not interfere with anyone elses broadcast. The station we are currently using is 92.3fm.
A: It's really an accumulative effect. But year on year I usually start buying things in January for the following season. While I'm setting up the current years show I already know what I'm planning on for the following year. However, the animation sequencing is probably the most time consuming part. It takes an average of about 10 hours to sequence each minute of a song. We start the actual physical setup of the light show in the middle of September.
A: I got the idea of adding the water fountain in 2014. Special thanks to Aaron Skoczen for the technical help putting it together. It uses 2 - 7000 gallon per hour swimming pool pumps, pvc, and sprinkler valves to push a 120 jet "wall of water" 20 feet into the air. It is also backlit with red, blue, white and green lights as well. Both the water and the lights are choreographed to the music as well! To this day it's still a fan favorite addition as well as mine!
A: Well, lets just say it costs more than racing and we'll leave it at that. hehe. It's my gift to the community that I hope brings smiles to faces.