Technical information about out upcoming 2013 display        

For the first time in 21 years my house remained dark for Christmas and December nights on Collingwood rd. for the 2012 season, were a bit darker and a bit colder than in years past. Financial and health issues can at times, be greater than my  own decorating obsession. With fingers crossed I am hoping for a spectacular 2013. Here are a few interesting facts about the display.

Contributions                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Before I get to the technical stuff, I want to thank the many folks that have helped support my crazy hobby over the years. Thanks to their generosity  my display shines a little brighter each year. If you would like to support this insanity.....contributions can be made through paypal by clicking videos and then clicking donate.

300,000 lights  Although my display continues to grow, the electricity consumed has dropped 40% in the last four  years.  In 2007 we began  integrating  LED energy saving lighting into our display with 38,000 of the 220,000 lights. The 2013 display switch over will be approaching 180,000. 

Strobe Lights
2006 marked the first year that strobe lights were used.  Computer controlled they add the WOW factor in our show. We will be using  475  strobes in this years display with a fire rate of 2 to 3 times per second.

Lighted Wire Frames
With the exception of 3 store bought wire deer all of my displays wire frame sculptures are hand formed, welded up and fabricated by me. In 2006  105 lighted wire frames were used, 80 of which, were animated.  Over four thousand five hundred feet of 3/16 inch and 1/4 inch steel rod has been used in fabrication. The animated sculptures include leaping deer, shooting stars, concentric stars, and fish jumping about in a LED illuminated  pond. The fish pond was a great success with the kids and will be greatly expanded with additional animated channels and wire frames. This years new addition we be animated cone trees, an additional spiral tree and 2 animated deer herds. If all goes well there will also be a added element to the grand finally.

FM Broadcasting
Christmas music selections are broadcast over a low powered FM transmitter. Visitors should tune to 88.1 FM to watch the lights dance to the music.


Extension Cords
2006 was the first year I actually kept count of the extension cords used as this is one of the most asked questions from visitors. 16,760 feet, nearly three miles of cords were used as well as 231 three way adapters. Just over five miles of cord was used in 2007. The 2008 display had a cord total of  6.1 miles and last years display unbelievably topped 7 miles. These totals are extension cords only and do not include the miles and miles of light strings attached to the cords.

Computerization And Synchronization
Finally, How do I make the lights seemingly dance to the music? I like to tell people that it's Christmas magic.....but it's a little more involved than that. Simply put, using both software and hardware by Animated Lighting I am able to create a program on my PC which is downloaded to a micro processor that directs controllers which then command light functions in the display. Small amperage direction, up to 15 amps per channel are handled directly by the individual controllers. Commands requiring the direction of larger amounts of power, in some instances 200 amps are made through controller commands to externally mounted DC input non zero cross solid state relays.

Generally, each min. of music requires somewhere between 10 and 12 hours of programming to sync. In 2007 I used 15 sixteen channel controllers, 3 sixty four channel controllers and 24 externally mounted SSR's to control up to 432 different light activities at any one point in time. Our 2007 display included  nine songs   ( about 22 min. total ) synchronized with the lights and broadcast in a loop over a low powered FM transmitter at 88.1  The 2013 display will use over 750 channels and 40 solid state relays for light direction. We will be using most of the songs of 2011 which will be modified to include the added channels as well as adding one new song.

 Hours of Operation
Hopefully, the display will be glowing on the 1st of December and will remain lit until Jan. 6th. I will update this page as the season draws near. Collingwood Lights will shine from 5:00 pm until 10:00pm each weekday and until 10:30 on weekends.Lights may remain dark on rainy days. Check the blog section of this site on rainy days before coming to visit us as I will try to post in the event of a rain day.

Songs for 2010

Overture by Bruce Boughton                                                      Sandstorm by Darude
Little Saint Nick by The Beach Boys                                         Deck the Halls unknown
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy by Arctic Express                 Christmas Baby, Please Come Home
Thirty Two Feet and Eight Little Tails by Gene Autry              by Darlene Love
Santa Clause is Back in Town by  Elvis Presley
Siberian Sleigh Ride by TSO
Run Rudolph Run by Billy Ray Cyrus
Midnight Clear by TSO
Christmas Eve/ Sarajevo by TSO,