What Do I Need? - Creative Lighting Displays

What Do I Need?
This guide should answer your questions concerning what you need to do to get your
Christmas Lights to dance to music.
In the simplest case, you need:
Your Christmas Lights
Your Windows PC with speakers
A Lighting Controller Package
Musical Sequences
A Lighting Controller Package has everything
you need to control your lights and design
your own musical light shows. You can purchase pre-made shows with music if you don't
want to design your own.
Your PC will play the music through its speakers
and direct the lighting
controllers. The Package
includes the Software,
Converter, Command Cable and one or more
Lighting Controllers.
What to Purchase
It's best to start out small, you can always add more equipment later. You never throw away
older equipment because you can always expand anything you buy from us. Here is a link to
the Package Page: http://store.lightorama.com/showtime-products.htm
A 16 Channel Starter Package is best for the first year. Most newer PCs do not have serial
ports, so for your connector (converter) a USB485 is best. Make sure you get a long enough
command cable to get from your PC to the controller out in your yard. If you don't want a cable
between your PC and the first controller, you can select the Wireless Pair option for your connector.
Finally, you will need Musical Sequences. You can design your own musical sequences using
the software in the Package, or you can buy pre-made musical sequences from Light O Rama.
Here is a link to the Musical Sequence Page: http://store.lightorama.com/sequences.html
A 16 Channel Package with a USB converter and a 50' command cable is $424.95. Pre-made
musical sequences are $29.95 each, or you can but a package CD with 5 on it for $119.95.
See www.lightorama.com/support.html for brochures, user guides and more.
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The next diagram shows a larger system. The PC is still used to direct the controllers and
play the music, but we have multiple controllers and a small FM transmitter. The transmitter allows people in their cars to hear the show without annoying the neighbors.
An audio 'Y' connector available at Radio
Shack is used to split the stereo audio feed
so that we can hear it on the PC's speakers
and also send it to the FM transmitter.
Any FM transmitter will work that takes a
line-level input. We have a good FM transmitter available at this link:
We have also daisy chained three controllers to give us control of more elements
(channels) in the display or because we
want more power handling capability or
You can daisy chain a large number of controllers. We have customers with over 100.
The maximum number of controllers is 240,
allowing control of 3,840 channels.
The next diagram shows an even larger system with wireless connectivity. The PC still directs
the controllers and plays the music, but the controllers are connected via Light O Rama wireless
units rather than data cables. The RF-V4 wireless accessory units are $249.95 per pair.
You can use wireless to replace any data cable. This is convenient for areas like parks that are
already wired for power, but where data cables would be impractical. You can also use wireless
to divide the display into islands that have their controllers cabled together, but receive commands from the PC wirelessly.
Wireless units have a range of about 800 to 1000 feet line-of-sight. They are powered by the controller to which they are attached and are weatherproof making installation very simple. You simply remove the data cable and insert the wireless units.
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In the next diagram, we have replaced the Windows PC with an LOR1602W Lighting Controller with
MP3 Director. This LOR1602MP3 is a 16 channel lighting controller that has an internal show director.
The show director directs its controller and other controllers while playing the MP3 music files.
The show and its scheduled playing times are stored on an SD memory card. There are simple tools
in the Light O Rama Windows Software to arrange and schedule your shows and transfer them to an
SD card. You then simply insert the SD card into the LOR1602MP3.
The above diagram shows one LOR1602W 16 Channel Lighting Controller with MP3 Player
(LOR1602MP3) and two LOR1602W 16 Channel Lighting controllers — you would also need the
SPK-ST Generic Starter Package (the software) with a USB485 connector. The Windows Software package is not used to run the show in this case, but it would be used to design, arrange,
schedule and copy your shows to the SD memory card used by the LOR1602MP3.
A sophisticated industrial setup is shown in the following diagram. The LOR1602MP3 Lighting
Controller with MP3 Director is running the show. It is feeding its stereo audio to both powered
speakers (or an amplifier) and an FM transmitter. It has two lighting controllers (LOR1602W) cabled to it and it is wirelessly directing two sets of three controllers.
All of these controllers would be connected to power continuously and the real time clock in the
LOR1602MP3 would be used to play the shows when scheduled. During the intervals when no
show is active, all controllers shut down their lights and only their microprocessors are running -very little power is consumed when no show is active.
You can have up to nine different shows scheduled to play various days of the week at times you
set. You can change all this at any time by simply inserting a new SD memory card into the
Imagine it, then do it
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