Category Archives: Display Work

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

 

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.

The Lights Are On!

Radio Station SignWell… We got all excited (not to mention tired of folks asking us when things will be turned on) so we’ve decided to move the date to turn things on to today, December 2nd. The lights will be on 5-10 PM starting tonight at 1228 Main Street in Wilton, through January 6th. Just tune to 96.9FM to hear the music when you’re close enough to see the house.

Merry Christmas!

Major Milestone…

As of 11:50 PM Saturday night, the 21 foot mega tree is up and running. 96 strings of mini lights, 4 strings of strobe lights, and another 2 strings of mini lights on the star (9,821 lights in total) are all working great. Still need to tighten things up before a good wind comes through, but otherwise it’s good to go.  Just 2 more minor (but important) projects to complete and we’ll be ready for showtime.

Christmas 2009 Preparations

We’re well on our way to have the display ready. in the next couple weeks. Here are some pics of what we’ve been working on.

The star topper on what will be our 21 foot tall tree of lights, though it doesn’t look like it from directly below. We actually have this turned on most nights if you happen to be driving by…

topper-guy-attach

The “mini trees” are out and ready to go.

minitree-secure

The 6′ star which will go on the roof just got a completed frame. All it needs now is some paint and wind-free day to get it up there.

star-and-frame-01