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.

No Lights In 2012

Since the phone keeps ringing and we keep getting emails, we’d like to let everyone know that we will not be doing a Halloween light display this year. We announced last winter that we planned to take at least a year off from the Christmas display due to the added costs of a new garage/addition and wanting to spend time with our new daughter, Zoey. We had intended to still do Halloween, however.

Unfortunately, the contractor we hired to build the garage said things would be done in May but has all but abandoned our job site unfinished. With a hole in our basement, a huge pile of dirt in our driveway, and an electrical panel which isn’t back together yet, we aren’t comfortable setting up a light display. Maybe next year!

The Awesome People at The Wilton Food Pantry!

We were finally able to drop off all of your donations to The Wilton Food Pantry last week. The total amount (after some small paypal processing fees for the online contributions) came to $937.68. Thank you to everyone who donated, and of course to the folks at the Wilton Food Pantry who work hard every week volunteering to make sure famlies in 4 different towns have enough to eat! God Bless You All!

Thanks for a Great Season!

We just wanted to say thank you to everyone for a great season, wish you all a Merry Christmas one last time for the year, and a Happy New Year as well! The final amount collected for the Wilton Food Pantry was $950.25, which works out to about 5939 lbs of food! Way To Go!

As mentioned previously, we are taking at least a year off as we are expecting a new baby (which we recently learned is probably a girl). You can read all about that if you missed it (and here in the Sun Journal as well). We’re excited about our new life changes, but we will miss working on the display. We will post here and on facebook when we are ready to start doing it again.

Thanks to all for your support!

102 Amps of Jesus Loving Christmas!