No announcement yet.

Christmas lighting

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Yes, I am planning more Halloween (you know, that "holiday" that comes next month?) decorations and may use HS for automation as they are getting more complex.

    I have a smoke machine, and this year I'm planning to build a large witch's cauldron with a witch stirring her brew, smoke billowing forth and lights shining and flashing from inside, and I'll use motion sensors to trigger the action - lights, WAVs ("I'll get you, my pretty!") and smoke via a remote. Maybe a head or two poking up out of the cauldron shouting "Help me - get me out of here!" or such.

    I also have a background haunting CD playing and I click the amp/speakers on and off with motion sensors and a relay. Could move that to a multi-channel player on the computer, I suppose. Barking dogs is always a good way to scare 'em!

    I usually get a few kids that don't dare to approach the house, but it's all in fun! ;-)

    As for Christmas, that's my better half's favorite outdoor decorating. Each year we add more lights or decorations to the yard/house. I like "motion lighting", and I plan to have Santa and reindeer on the roof. How about Santa running across the roof and getting stuck in the chimney, with his legs flailing back and forth? Got to get that built and automated with sound, etc. This all got started way back when I was working in a theater doing SFX and stage sets. Fun!

    - huggy
    | - Gordon

    "I'm a Man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess." - Man's Prayer, Possum Lodge, The Red Green Show - -


      and I actually have a copper cauldron.
      Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble...


        Don't forget about Jim Doolittle's randomn village house script. I use this indoors for the village (as well as for security in non-Xmas times). No reason why couldn't use this to randomnly turn on outside lights. It's easily tuned, and you can set up sequences as well.

        I've used appliance modules outside for years, I place them inside one of the kids empty plastic Nestles Quick containers (upside down of course), and leave the bottom open.

        Win2000 Pro SP3, IE6, 1333Mhz512KRam, PN576V, MR26a-B1.1.617, HS-1.6.0, HSP-B52, VR/TTS-SAPI5ATT

        [This message was edited by DaveB on Wednesday, 25 September 2002 at 08:57 AM.]



          the way to get around the light going to full on first is to dim to 0% instead of turning off. You get the same basic result of the light being off but there's just enough current flowing that the lamp module knows it's on. Then you simply dim to 100% or 20% or whatever and it acts like the more expensive soft-on switches.

          Rupp's right, the X10 recepticles in the plastic hoods are definitely the way to go on the outdoor recepticles. Before installing those I occasionally had the lights mysteriously turn on either during the day or in the middle of the night (puts a serious damper on the WAF and I already get Christmas cards from the Electric Company, no need to go overboard!! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

          BTW, I use the lamp modules (usually 16 - 20) cause I like the dimming effect. You have to be carefull of the # of lights / module, but you can do 2 strings of the C9's or 3 strings of the C7's or a whole mess of the mini lights with no problem. By wrapping them in the plastis sandwich bags I've only had a couple of failures but I bought a boatload of the $3.95 Magnavox units from Worthington, so at this rate I should be good for years!



            I almost did the Santa on the roof thing, actually had it all set up and ready to mount on the roof! Then I had this picture of me trying to take it down in January from a very steep, snow covered roof and that was enough to kill that idea quick! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img]


              George P,

              Come on down! Lights go up Thanksgiving weekend and come down 2nd weekend in Jan.


                thutchins : How long does it take you to put up and take down all those lights and how to you store them? I think your idea would be pretty cool.

                I've got a tangled mess of lights in the garage, makes me want to either leave em up all year round or but new ones every year.

                Anybody ever use those mini projectors that have halloween or Christmas images on em?




                  putting up the outside lights takes 1 FULL day, it's become a family thing where the kids test the lights and I hang them up. The wife provides food / drink and plays referee for the kids (glad I'm hanging the lights!)
                  Inside decorations takes 2 full days (rearranging furniture, cleaning etc). That's why we picked Thanksgiving weekend!
                  Taking them down is another matter, the help suddenly becomes scarce!! Especially if it's cold! Luckily, taking them down is easier than putting them up! But it still takes a whole day.
                  I store the lights using those orange windup extention cord storage wheels. Keeps things relatively neat and you can even stack them! I laid plywood on the garage rafters and store all of the decorations out there, except of course the items that would be affected by high heat go in the basement.
                  It really is alot of fun once you get some kind of a system, and doing the programming is the most fun of all. You try different setting and times until you get it looking just right. Adam H said that he has things change every 30 minutes because every 30 seconds seemed excessive, well all I can say is I've tried from 15 minutes to 15 seconds and 30 seconds looked best (at least in our opinion) it's amazing how long 30 seconds feels when you are standing out in the snow watching the lights! It also allows visitors to see the entire show in less than 10 minutes - keeps the traffic down!


                    I'm in South Florida now - no snow! But I'm originally from Maine so I know where you're coming from. ;-) Don't have a "Ho ho, UH OH!!"

                    BTW, that's what we do - make the decorating part of the family events for the season.

                    - huggy
                    | - Gordon

                    "I'm a Man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess." - Man's Prayer, Possum Lodge, The Red Green Show
           - -



                      I bought a bunch of C9's last year from the Target after X-mas sale and was just starting to think about how to implement them, thanks for the idea! Would you be willing to share your timing script so I could get a jump start on creating my own?

                      Wait till the neighbors see this [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]


                        Thutchins-- Care to post your script for the lights? Sounds really neat!



                          Does anyone out there no how to script what "Thutcins" is doing with his lights?

                          I remember doing something like this with an old DOS based controller in a script that just loops. If this was scripted in Homeseer, wouldn't it tie everything else up - being the script would be running for hours?


                            I would assume that he would be using recurring events (or absolute time, and automatically rescheduled by the script once executed) ... there are several ways of doing this.
                            HSPRO 2.4 (ESXi 4.1) | my.Alert NEW | my.Trigger | HSTouch | ACRF2 | UltraM1G | BLWeather | BLLan | Rover
                            (aka xplosiv)
                            Do You Cocoon? Home Automation News, Tutorials, Reviews, Forums & Chat



                              After seeing thutchins post last year I did a scaled down version myself. I wrote a script to cross fade blue and white icle lights that are hung overlapping each other. I have an event that runs the script with the trigger set up to recur every 15 seconds with a condition of my outside walk lights being on. I set up another event to shut down the icle lights triggered by a condition of my walk lights going off. Not as elaborate as thutchins setup but should give you a starting point.

                              Attached Files



                                I was able to use your script as a base, and then modifed it for my needs.