Q. How does it work?
A. First, we choose the music we want. We then use the control
software to tell the system which lights, and often which colors,
we want to turn on or off. Once loaded into the system controller,
this program plays the music and tells the hardware when to turn
on the power to each of the display elements (lights, signs, etc.).
Q. How bad is your electric bill?
A. Not as bad as you might think. While there are a lot of lights,
most of them are turned off 70 to 80% of the time. While there
is no doubt our December electric bill is higher, it's just another
part of our gift to the community.
Q. How do you get the radio station to play your music?
A. We use a low power FM transmitter to broadcast the music.
This is similar to the iPod transmitters you use for the car radio.
We select a frequency that does not match any local stations
so it remains clear and interference free. We do this for the
sake of our neighbors and our own sanity. After all, listening to
the same selections over and over again is just too much to ask.
Q. How long did it take to put this together?
A. Placing the display elements in the yard takes about 5-6 days.
Programming each song sequence takes anywhere from 10 to 30
minutes of programming per second of music, depending on the
complexity of the song and how much activity we are using at
Q. What do your neighbors think about the show?
A. We have been very blessed in this regard, in that all the feedback
we've received has been very supportive. While we are setting up
the display we get many neighbors stopping by to thank us for our
efforts and telling us how much they enjoy it. More encouragingly,
all of our immediate neighbors have told us they enjoy it as well.
We work hard be good neighbors and watch out for their interests,
especially as traffic increases.