February Update – What Have I Done So Far This Year?

In 2018 I had started planning my Christmas lights pretty late in the year. I had started in September and my set up was very simple and it worked out really well.

For this year my goal is to make this year’s lighting set up bigger and better. So, with that I am going to be more intentional with my planning and I have already started making plans. It’s only February but here is a recap of what I have done so far.

January

It’s never to early to start planning for lights! So, I had started out in January by sketching out what ideas I would like to do for this year.

2018 Christmas Lights Setup
2018 Christmas Lights Setup

Last year, in 2018, I had a very simple setup with just under 600 pixels and conventional Christmas lights that were turned on. Nothing to fancy but it was a great way to get started.

Sketching and Planning

This year I decided to upgrade to using xLights to help sketch and plan out what I want to do for my lights this year. Last year, I had used Vixen which worked good but I wanted to try a different program.

Using xLights

As I started working with the program and testing out what I could do with the program my list and ideas piled up pretty quick. With that I had created an excel sheet to find out what I would need, how much it would cost, and if it was feasible.

What is a PreSale?

So what is presale? Presale is when vendors are importing pixels from China and will take orders in January and February. You do pay for the order upfront and then you receive the orders 2 – 3 months later. This helps you save on cost and is cheaper than buying pixels later in the year.

Settling on What I Needed

So after running the numbers and organizing my list of everything I needed I had placed my order with Diyledexpress.com. I had ordered my lights from them last year and had a great experience. There are other vendors of course you can order from.

The downside is that this year most vendors are going to an X-Connect plug but the vendor I ordered from does not carry these just yet.

Getting Started on Planning

If you’re looking to get started I would recommend starting in January or February. Start with planning out your lights using xLights, Vixen, or even Light-O-Rama and start sketching out what you want to do.

Then, you want to make a list of everything that you would need so that you can save money by getting your pixels and equipment ordered early in the year.

Through March I am hoping to get together my power supply and getting my lights in. While it’s not necessary this early in the year I would like to have everything together so that during the summer I can start building my props and have everything ready for set up in November.

About the author

David Henry

David first began using pixels in stage lighting, and then decided to try it out on his house. The result? An urge to create useful and helpful information to help non-technical folks create great Christmas lighting with pixels on their homes!


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