Frequently Asked Questions:
* How many Lights are there in the show? Previous shows have included anywhere from 85,000 - 103,000 lights. Every year, the goal is to have ~100,000 lights, and modify the display in some manner.
* How much power is required to run the lights, and what is the cost? If everything were on at the same time, the total power would be about 53,000 watts. Due to the lights sequencing on and off continuously, it typically costs ~$200 extra to run the light show for the month. If all the lights were on continuously, the cost would be much higher! This year brings a new addition of LED lights, which require less power than previous years....however, each year the display grows...
* How do you synchronize the lights to the music? Software & hardware from Light-O-Rama is used. Most of the controllers were bought in kit form, where assembly of each kit takes around 3-4 hours.
* How long does it take to program a song? Basically, it depends on the complexity of each song - specifically - "How do I envision the song to looking when the music is playing?" Usually, I spend a minimum of 5 to 6 hours per minute of song. Some of the songs are programmed to the hundredth of a second, requiring even more time to get everything "just right".
* How do you have your own radio station? A low powered FM transmitter is connected to a computer in order to allow the musical portion in your vehicle . The computer controls the lights and plays the music. My transmitter was purchased from Ramsey Electronics.
* How long does it take to plan & set up the display? Planning of the next year's display starts shortly after the current year is up & running! This allows me to purchase the lights at discount after Christmas. For planning the true "lay-out" of the display, I start a couple months before the show. Initially, with only a few helping hands, it would take approximately a month to set up the entire display. Over the years, I have been blessed with many volunteers, and the actual setting up of the physical display can be accomplished in a day. This is only the display portion of the program. It takes an additional week to run the necessary cables & electricity to each unit, and to map all the drives.
* Do you reimburse yourself for the cost of the electricity or essentials to run the display? No, 100% of all the money donated by the visitors goes to the CAN Council GLBR & Habitat for Humanity Saginaw-Shiawassee. This light show is really about giving back to the community and those less fortunate. Freeland Lights is our family's gift to the community.