The application used to program the lights is called Vixen. The programming of the lights must be done for each channel(string of lights). For each channel we have to tell the lights to be on or off at the certain time period. The time is broken out into a tenth of a second, .1sec for each time period. As you can see in the screenshot below, a white square indicates that the channel is ON while a gray square means that it is OFF. For just a 3 minute song, there are over 12,500 decisions (180sec x 7channels x 10period/sec=12,600) that have to be made regarding the sequencing of the lights. For each minute of a song, it takes anywhere from 1-2 hours of programming time depending on the complexity of the song.
The controller is a “Kit 74"(picture below) relay board which is a 8 output lighting controller that hooks to a PC and provides 8 individually controlled plugs. A computer is hooked up to the relay board with a parallel cable and the lights are controlled by the board based upon the software. Unfortunately this particular controller does not allow for dimming control of the lights, just simple ON or OFF.
A 50mW FM transmitter is used to broadcast the show’s audio in order for it to be heard by viewers on the street. The transmitter is connected to the show’s computer where the music streams live to our flagship channel, 88.1 FM.
To create the different lines throughout the roof section we had 14 25-bulb C9 strands for a total of 350 incandescent C9 lights. The spacing on the light strands is a foot in between each bulb. If all of our C9 lights connected end to end would be longer than a football field. In addition to the rooftop lights, we had 5 net-light sections with 150 bulbs on each to cover the bushes.
Totals: 350 C9 lights 750 mini-lights contained in the nets =1100 total lights
All of the lights are run on two separate 15amp circuits. Special consideration hadsto be taken using this many C9 incandescent lights since they are such a big energy user.
The total current draw with all of the lights powered on is 25amps.