All posts by Phil

Christmas 2017 – New Location

It took some doing but we’re finally up and running at our new home (still in Wilton but at a new address) for the 2017 Christmas season. Here are the important details:

  • Parking (or lack thereof) – Our new home is in a far more densely populated area. The street is much narrower and there is no off-street parking. This means 10-20 cars parked at once is no longer an option. You are free to use the limited space at the top of our driveway, but if we pull up in front of or behind you please move your car so we can get through (please also turn off your headlights while you’re there).
  • Neighbors – We’ve got a lot more neighbors now, and it’s important to respect them. Please do NOT turn around in any driveways. The road loops around back to Orchard Drive so there is no need to do so. Several of our neighbors are very protective of their landscaping, so please don’t pull over onto their side of the road. There is no shoulder on this street. And of course, with more neighbors it’s even more important that you refrain from honking.
  • Songs – Because we don’t have the space for people to park for long periods, and stopping in the street is essentially blocking an entire lane, we have cut back the song list considerably to just a few. Probably just 2 at a time. We may swap out which songs are running each night, but it will no longer be a 15-30 minute set. Wilton Lights broadcasts on 96.9 FM. Please keep your radio down so as not to disrupt our neighbors.
  • Fewer Lights – We still haven’t gotten lights up on the house yet. Our custom order LEDs didn’t arrive in time to get them mounted and configured with our computer/lighting network. We hope to get them up for Halloween 2018, but for now the only lights are in the yard on display items (Charlie and Snoopy, the trees, etc).
  • Wilton Food Pantry – We don’t have a collection box out by the road this year for the Wilton Food Pantry. We’re still working on the logistics of that. You are welcome to make a donation online, however, and we will see that it gets there. They are a wonderful organization.
  • How To Find Us – (If you skipped to this paragraph, please read the rest of this post first, we’ll wait…) With all that said, our new home is at 38 Applegate Lane, off of Orchard Drive in Wilton. It would be best to come in from Applewood and turn left on to Applegate so that you are on the right side of the road. When coming from Wilton just go past Applegate and take your next left on to Applewood. Here is a handy link to get directions to Wilton Lights.
  • Hours – We plan to run 5:00 to 9:00 through Christmas, and until there is a warm day to take things down after that, but no later than New Years. We may be offline for tech problems and bad weather. Our new home uses GFCI outlets outdoors so we will be more prone to issues with rain/wet snow than we were in the past. Sorry.

Thanks for your understanding and have a Merry Christmas!

– The Hiltons

 

What’s Happening in 2016-2017?

A quick update for 2016-2017: As most folks have learned by now we moved this past spring (that’s right, you can stop telling us to mow the lawn – it isn’t our lawn anymore).

The good news is that we are still in Wilton, and not too far from our old location. Though we aren’t going to share the address right away. No need.

In any case, due to the new neighborhood, budget changes, and time constraints we aren’t yet sure how much of a display we will be setting up this year. If we do get something up it will be on a smaller scale than in previous years. We haven’t had the time or money to build custom props for the new house yet, and not everything translates well to a new location.

In any case, we will get something up eventually, we’re just not sure what yet.

Hopefully this post will cut back on some of the email we’ve been getting.

We’ll update our facebook page when we know more.

Happy Halloween!

Up & Running for 2015

We’re live from 5 to 9:30 PM every night until January 1st. As always, please refrain from honking, keep your radio down so we can’t hear it across the street inside the house (it happens more often then you would think), and leave your parking lots on for safety! Merry Christmas all!

Almost There!

We’re almost there! Pending any last minute maintenance issues, we plan to start things up Friday, December 11th at 6 PM, and then run 5:00 to 9:30 PM the rest of the season (Until January 1st).

Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  1. We replaced our entire control system this year and have to re-program our music synchronization, so our song list is limited for the time being. There will be at least 3 songs in rotation (more if we’re lucky), and more will be added over time. Of those 3, 2 are new, and 1 of them is Star Wars themed.
  2. If you are making a long drive or have kids who might be disappointed, always check our facebook page for any issues before making the trip. With the new system we anticipate there will be some hiccups. We’ll post a notice here if we are offline for more than a few minutes (and we’re home to know about it, obviously). Consider activating “Notifications for All Posts” on our page if you really want to be kept up to date.
  3. Please avoid honking at the house. We appreciate the support, but it usually just startles us or our 3 year old, and let’s be honest – when you live here, it gets old after awhile. …Just sayin’.
  4. As in past years we are accepting monetary donations for the Wilton Food Pantry. There is a secure/locked donation box on the back of our sign. If you wish to say thanks for the display, please redirect your good will in that direction. This isn’t about us. Pay it forward.
  5. Always leave your parking lights on at a minimum, and don’t forget your headlights before pulling back out in to traffic.

Many thanks to Ben, Henry and Amanda for helping to set up this year.

Merry Christmas, all! And thanks for your patience!

Gearing up for Christmas 2015

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.

Thank You!

Thank you all for a great season. We especially appreciate all of the respect you gave us this year. We noticed a huge reduction in the number of loud radios and car horns and it means a lot to us (and our daughter’s sleep schedule). If anyone would like to make a last minute donation to the Wilton Food Pantry we will be dropping off the total collected and posting that figure this coming week but you can still make an online donation right here until then. Thanks again and Happy New Year from The Hiltons!

Christmas 2014

It’s been a long ride but we are now up and running from 5:00 to 9:30 PM through January 1st (severe weather and maintenance not withstanding). If you decide to park across the street please leave your parking lights on for safety and refrain from honking (we have neighbors and a 2 year old. Just sayin’…).

As in past years we will be collecting monetary donations for the Wilton Food Pantry if you feel so inclined. There is a secure box on the back of our radio station sign or if you prefer you can use a form right here on our website.

Many thanks to all who helped us get things up this year. It’s been a project to say the least.

Merry Christmas from the Hiltons!

Halloween 2014

We’re up and running for Halloween! Technical issues notwithstanding, we plan to run starting tonight through Halloween from 6:00 to 9:30 PM (probably starting a little earlier on trick or treat night). Please keep in mind that this doesn’t mean we’re definitely doing Christmas yet. We’re still trying hard and hopeful that we can do that, but Halloween is a lot less work, and there’s still many things which need to come together for Christmas at Wilton Lights to happen. Happy Halloween!

Lights in 2014? We’re Tryin’!

Alright – We’re officially in decorating mode. We have new lights up on the eves (fancy LEDs that can do any color we want and change every 10 centimeters. They’re currently running a basic pattern for Halloween, check ’em out – no music right now, however), we have Charlie, Snoopy, and Snoopy’s Doghouse undergoing refurbishment, we have an electrician lined up to fix the mess our garage contractor left us with, and while we can’t make any promises as of yet, we’re going to do our best to get a display up for Christmas. Here goes nothing!

No Lights In 2013

Sorry Folks. No light display this year (aside from the basic stuff most folks have of course). We’ve been getting a lot of messages asking about it so here is the official notice.

We’re still trying to pick up the costly mess our contractor left after abandoning our garage project, and juggling full time jobs with a 1 year old. We’re cautiously optimistic for next year, however.

We hope folks will understand that when we do finally get around to starting things back up again, it may be on a smaller scale as some equipment will no doubt have fallen in to disrepair and the costs to replace all of it at once will be prohibitive.