Christmas is of course based on the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth. One of the 2 centerpieces of our display therefore is the nativity. Our nativity was built on a full sized trailer. It stands 8 feet in height and width, 10 feet in length, and houses 7 animated figures, all of which are life sized. We have redesigned these commercially produced figures in some cases to change the way they operate.
Our life sized Santa Claus greets visitors and offers instructions to enable them to fully enjoy the display. He is animated using a form of audio-animatronics (trade mark of Disney). He has been completely redesigned, and the vast majority of his control circuitry is actually located inside our home, with underground cables carrying the electronic control of the figure, which is located near the entrance to the driveway.
We have 2 audio-animatronic hosts that alternate announcing the upcoming songs – “Ricky the Reindeer” and “Sammy the Snowman”. Ricky is mounted on the front wall of the house. Sammy is located on the front porch. Both are easily viewable from the parking area.
Visitors’ control panel:
We have a control panel located on the side of the parking area that allow visitors to select one of 6 favorites from our over 2 dozen songs in the show. Once a button is pushed the show stops and plays the song selected. The song selected should be allowed to play to the end before another selection is made. When these buttons are pushed our 2 show hosts are bypassed and they won’t become active again, until the next scheduled song is played.
Choreographed LED Tree:
The “megatree” stands approximately 20 feet above the ground, and has a diameter of 10 feet at its base. It holds 64 strands of red LED lights (size C6), each strand of which is controlled by an individual computer channel, allowing us to choreograph the tree’s “movements” to music. The tree contains about 6000 LEDs, but the overall energy used is only 128 watts (compared to 1,920 watts if we would have used conventional mini-lights!).
Our pixel tree stands about 18 feet high. It is composed of 1360 pixels. Pixels are LEDs that have the ability to mix primary colors (red, green, and blue), and come up with well over 16 million color combinations/intensities. The other unique attribute they have is that each one of these 1360 pixels can be individually controlled by computer based software, meaning this tree can project patterns, images, pictures, and even video! You have seen pixels in action before – every time you look at a computer monitor, or flat screen tv, which are composed of millions of very tiny pixels that work the same way. Think of the pixels on our tree as “pixels on steroids”, and you will get the idea! The pictures below don’t do the tree justice, as they were taken with a basic camera, but you will get an idea of a some of the patterns the tree has been programmed with for a few different songs.