They say change doesn’t come easy. We’re not sure who “they”refers to but we’re pretty sure that they had something more substantial in mind, like economics, politics, or social justice. Still, the adage rings true when it comes to Wilton Lights. After resisting the trend of retiring older incandescent lights in favor of newer LEDs, we’ve finally given in. The technology has advanced far enough that we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do some great new things with the display, and new LEDs were the key.
We’re not going to ruin the surprise, but just to give you an idea – We will now have the ability to control almost every bulb in the display independent of all the others, and make it any color we want. That gives us a lot of power and opens up a lot of possibilities for cool lighting effects.
With this transition, however, comes some growing pains. Almost every aspect of the display is being replaced either this year or next. The lights on the house, and the lights in the tall tree (what other decorators refer to as a “mega tree”) are brand new this year, and require custom mounting. The cool new effects require every light to be positioned in specific locations so the computer can map designs to the right places. Like most LEDs, these are “directional” meaning that they are brightest when viewed straight on and much dimmer otherwise, so we’ve spent a lot of time make sure the lights on the house are all facing the right way. …Long story short (too late), we’ve been through a lot of zip ties this fall getting things ready.
The mega tree hardware has also been replaced and is about 5 feet taller than it was. The changes made should ensure that it can get put together and taken down much faster than previous years, but required a lot of time to create initially.
With these new lights we also needed entirely new computer software to run the display. The software we used previously (Light-O-Rama) simply can’t keep up with effects which address thousands of lights individually (rather than entire strings of lights altogether). This means all of our music needs to be re-programmed in the new program (xLights). We’ve only recently been able to start this process, and we have a long way to go.
So all of this is a roundabout way of saying that we’re running behind schedule this year. We have awesome things planned, but those plans are taking a lot of time. We’re still a few weeks away from being ready. We will post updates here and on facebook when we are ready to start running nightly.
Thank you, in advance, for your patience. Please help us by spreading the word so that we can cut back on the number of phone calls and messages we have to respond to.