May The 4th Be With You

Star Wars day theme lighting show

Ran my first ever lighting show on 4th May, using only 12 of the 16 Channel LOR AC controller.

  • 1 Minute filler (test each light and function)
  • Star Wars Medley (apologies, but forgot who I got original sequence from)
  • I am your Father
  • Star Wars Medley violin version – see the amazing Taylor Davis youtube video

Didn’t take a video but my visualizer, sequence and audio files are available from the Downloads page

Fairly happy, but obviously I’ve got a lot of work ahead.

Next light show is planned for Halloween, this will be the same 12 props plus 1 singing christmas tree disguised as a ghost. I’ll document construction and post in the How To page.

Let there be lights

Finally set up my LOR 16 ch controller with 12 lots of lights (240V rope lights) and ran some sequences I’ve been working on. I was interested to see how much current was drawn when all lights on full. 4.85A on the main side with 8 lights, so I gather the same on the other side. So just under 10A total.

To be on the safe side I’m programming all the sequences with a max 90% brightness (max recorded above was with lights at 100%).

Was reasonably happy with the few sequences I’ve done in readiness for a couple of nights I’m going to have them on soon. A few spots where lights don’t match exactly, but good enough for the 2 brief shows I’m planning.

Will be videoing the 2 shows mainly for my own benefit so I can see how to improve things by Christmas.
Cheers

 

So whats’ been happening lately?

Built several props – mini trees and ‘spirals’.

Finally got around to mounting the rope light clips to the walls for the ‘house outline’.

Finished sequencing the 3 tunes for the upcoming display.

Had to come up with different idea for some of the rope lights, so made 4 more mini trees.

Played around with a few sequences I found / was given / stole 🙂  to get a better idea of how sequences work.

Refined (using the term loosely) plan for lights shows this year and what lights and props I’ll use.

Scoured the internet, especially all the forums, for ideas, tips, designs.

Went to Bunnings and Masters way too many times and spent way too much money.

Came across an awesome version of Bohemian Rhapsody I can use for Christmas. So here’s to learning how to sequence singing trees. 🙁

 

“ARGHHH – I’m not very musical and am having a lot of trouble sequencing!”

Sounds like me, does it sound like you?

Found this helpful information at ARGHHH

Does this describe you? You’re probably more musical than you give yourself credit for being, but when you’re just getting started, it’s sometimes hard to figure out exactly what you might want to do with a song — what lights you want to turn on when and where. Here are some ideas that can help you get going and put on a successful show.

It all really boils down to this: Do things that make your viewers comfortable.

English-speaking people read left-to-right and from the top to the bottom of a page. Our eyes are trained to look left-to-right, and when you see someone coming toward you for the first time, you’ll probably look at his/her eyes and face first and then work your way down, sometimes stopping along the way… When a visitor stops in front of your display, his/her eyes will naturally follow in the same order, left-to-right. People are comfortable when things follow the same order that they’re used to seeing. So if you decide to do a wave of lights across your whole display, the viewer is likely to get more good vibes out of the effect when the lights go from left-to-right than they will going right-to-left. Try it sometime for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.

In like fashion, we usually associate “high” with “up” and “low” with “down.” We even speak this way, lifting our chins upward and possibly raising our voices during mid-sentence while the voice usually drops to a lower pitch at the sentence’s end. Thus sounds are even associated with height. It’s also associated with left-and-right orientation, too. For example, when you increase the volume on your iPod or other favorite listening device, what direction do you turn the knob or swipe your finger? Yes, left to right or turning the knob clockwise is usually thought of as “increase” while the reverse is “decrease.” So when the pitch of music it high, it probably makes sense to light things in your display that are high as well — a soprano’s voice, a flute or piccolo, or even a violin for example could be lit higher on your display than the drums and basses, which might be simulated by lighting some low bushes. A mega-tree that “spins” the lights around the tree will be much more visually pleasing when it spins clockwise than if it is spun counter-clockwise. We think of clockwise as “forward” and counter-clockwise as “backward.” We’re comfortable when things are moving in a “forward” direction but less comfortable when it’s the opposite.

Consider volume and tempo (speed). When a song is gentle and soft, we think of “cooler” colors such as blue, dark purple and green; when the music is firery and wild, we think of red, white, yellow and orange. For example, the familiar song “Silent Night” is actually a lullaby to the baby Jesus. Lighting “Silent Night” with wild blinking bright red, yellow and white lights seems a little incongruous for a lullaby, wouldn’t you think? And when the music is loud, bright lights seem more appropriate than dim lights, and of course, the reverse is true, too.

When the lights and music match one another it gives the viewer-listener a pleasant effect. When the lights don’t match the music it leaves the viewer less comfortable, less fulfilled. So think about the lights and music as a package — make the colors, locations and brightness of your show match the music you want to use and your visitors will give you rave reviews — and come back year after year.