DIY Kit for a Christmas Light Show

Decorating one's home and yard with brightly colored decorations is a popular Christmas ritual. With improvements in technology, this tradition has evolved from the use of a few strands of tinsel to full-fledged Christmas light shows. For best results when it comes to planning these displays, the proper types of equipment are essential. Extension cords, light-display software, and FM transmitters are a few of the tools required for a professional-grade Christmas light show.

Things You'll Need

  • Christmas lights
  • Staple gun
  • Extension cords
  • Light controller
  • Computer
  • USB adapter
  • Cat5 cable
  • Light display software
  • Speakers
  • Christmas music
  • FM transmitter

Instructions

    • 1

      Attach the Christmas lights to your home and yard. As this part of the process can be quite time consuming, it should be done early in the Christmas season. Use a staple gun to secure the strings of lights to your roof, shutters or door, and hang over trees and bushes as desired. Attach these lights to an extension cord that has been plugged into an outdoor outlet to ensure that all bulbs are functional.

    • 2

      Unplug the extension cord from the outlet and attach it to the light controller, which is an electrical device that can control multiple lights at once. In most cases, a 16-channel light controller is advanced enough to control up to 9,000 lights. While some may consider a Christmas light show composed of 9,000 lights to be small, it is recommended for beginners. After all extension cords have been attached to the light controller, it must be plugged into an AC outlet.

    • 3

      Connect the light controller to your personal home computer. To do this, the light controller must first be attached to a cat5 cable, which in turn will be connected to a USB adapter. A cat5 cable is sometimes referred to as a twisted pair cable, and is traditionally used for carrying signals. The USB adapter can be attached to the home computer through the use of a USB cable.

    • 4

      Install the light display software. While some technological experts may be able to design their own lighting software, most others will have to purchase this from office supply stores or through online retailers. Depending on the type of software purchased, users may be able to individualize music, lighting sequences and flashing rates. Follow the directions on the specific software to achieve optimal results with the installation process.

    • 5

      Attach the FM transmitter to the computer. Instead of simply blasting a stereo for all who pass by, FM transmitters are designed to allow individuals to enjoy music by tuning their radios to a specific channel. In contrast, those who are not in the mood for Christmas songs can avoid the tunes by keeping their radio tuned to a different station.

    • 6

      Test the Christmas lighting system. Ideally, this should be done at night, so that the maximal impact of the lighting display is evident. Make any changes that may be necessary as soon as possible.

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References

  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

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