Why we reduced lights in 2014

See a comparison of the hardware used to run the displays between 2007 and 2019.

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Jan-Dec Build

Back in 2011 we added 5 wire, 4 color Ropelights to highlight the outline of the house. This used almost 80 meters of Ropelight, and at the time there were very few options for true RGB LED's around at a price I was willing to pay. What I chose was an RGBW Ropelight that contained individual strings of Red, Green, Blue and White 3mm LED's spaced every 30mm apart, so this totalled 10,872 LED's, drawing a maximum of 550 Watts when all on, or 161 Watts per color just for the house outline alone.

This is an image of the repairs that were carried out each year on the RGBW Ropelight used for 2011 through to 2013. Each repair took up to 45 minites to do, and made subsequent repairs in that area much harder to do.

To make things easier, we decided to replace this ropelight with individual strands of RGB LED's the same as we use around windows, on minitrees, and a few other items. This allows for easier repair, less spares needed for the future and also a saving in overall power. The 782 8mm 5V LED's draw a maximum of 148 watts when on white, or 59 watts or less for any single color, thus saving a peak power of up to 402 Watts, or 102 watts per single color.

While not the actual outline lights, this shows the style of lights used on the outline of the house. The LED's were spaced every 150mm, but by the time they are bent over and cabletied to the rope they are closer to 120mm apart, and give a clean straight line for the outline.