SEQUENCING 101 - Page 1

Many people have asked me, "How do you get your sequences so accurate and detailed"? The answer is many, many hours of precise attention to detail, lots of imagination combined with a lot of patience.

I first got into sequencing lights in 2007. I saw that Miller Lite beer commercial that had the house synchronized to Wizards in Winter and wondered if I could do that. I have always put up as many lights as I could and the fact that YOU are here tells me that you also have the same passion.

It is important to know that if you are taking your Christmas lighting to this level, that it really is and needs to be a PASSION, not just something to do. If you are looking to just buy a controller or two and make lights blink to the beat, then you are going to end up with a lot of disappointed spectators.

In the three years that I have been doing this, I cannot tell you how many disappointing displays I have seen. Watching a sequence that is not properly timed or just flashes to the beat is like pulling up on a construction site at night. It is just a ton of flashing and irritating lights that you cant wait to put behind you.

The key to a successful light show is one that not only is timed properly, but is also aesthetically pleasing and easy to follow. It is important to either retain your effects that you put into the show into an area that people can easily follow or program your lights so that people can follow it without having to turn their heads all the time. You also should not have too much going on at one time. The human mind is only so fast at taking in what it sees and assessing it.

An example of this is displays that cover a large area. You don't want to have the same effect on one side of the display as the other. I have seen this a lot and it gets very confusing to the viewer. It all depends on your set up, the configuration of your house and the angle at which people view it.

This is a problem at my house. It is "L" shaped so the best view is out front or from the south. Many people will park at the north end and they don't realize they are only experiencing a fraction of the show. In this case I will let them know if they move they will see it better and I also post it on the website here.

The best advice I can give is to use your animation wizard to watch your sequence over and over. Make sure that it can be followed and always do this as someone who has never seen the display before, not as yourself.