Holiday displays anyone?

Figured I’d start a thread for people to share their holiday displays powered by WLED! I’m always looking for new/fun ideas to build.

Here is mine so far (right now about 2,500 LEDs all running from one esp32, but will likely need to add additional controllers when I expand):

I still have more to go. I want to do window and front door outlines, put in a couple of snowflake/spinners between the windows, add a couple of mini trees, maybe a lighted north pole tune-to sign if I can get enough sequencing done in xlights. Not sure I’ll get everything built-out in time, but I’ll add as much as I can and do the rest next season.

Anyone else want to show off your displays?

Update: A few days before Christmas and not likely to get anything else added. Here is a sequence running on our display:

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How tall is that tree and how many strands?

it looks like 50 pixel tree, so about 2.2-2.5m

It looks beautiful

The stands are about 8 feet. I got a large 4’x8’ sheet of coroplast from Home Depot, then cut a butnch of 1" strips 8’ long. Then drilled holes 2 inches apart leaving a little extra room at each end. Slightly annoying, since each strip holds 47 pixels instead of 50. I ended up chopping off 3 pixels from each strand and soldering new connectors where needed. The star at the top was also made out of the coroplast sheet. It has 90 pixels.

The icicles are made from leftover j-channel siding materials drilled out every inch and a half. Then long pixel strings are formed together and it all just hangs off the gutter.

The candy canes were made from old PVC pipes. Used the heat gun to warm them up and bend them into shape, then spiraled pixel strips all the way up.

Took some time and effort to cut, drill and solder it all, but thankfully WLED is doing all the hard work making it look great!

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Looks great! If I have mine completely running, I will send a picture. I have some trouble with the 2x digquads and Xlights. (and i still need to do some wiring. Can you take a closeup from your Icicles? I want to add them next year to my rooflines, the more info I get the better it is :smiley:

I’ll take some more pictures tomorrow. I’ve added a few things since the original post. It’s a continual work in progress. Currently at about 2,200 LEDs total.

Sorry for the late reply. Here is a closeup of the icicles.

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I love the clean effect of what you have done here. I “may” not pursue the dropped icicle pattern, however, I see so many things that raise my interest and curiosity. I also like the idea of using readily available mounting/display products. This is great.
With the chance that I may take away from the great display, as a novice, I do have a few implementation questions.

  1. If you are willing to share some of the details on how you got power to all of this in a “nonintrusive” fashion - I would love it if you could share some photos. I have dreams of trying something small, but similar, but the wiring scares me off.
  2. The controller(s) and software would also be a challenge , but , it would be a good hobby for me to take on.
    Thanks.

I should really do a better job of documenting the various props/elements in case others are interested in following. I can get out there and try to take a bunch more photos and try to give more details about them in the next couple days.

This was pretty much my first year working on all this. It was extra tough setting things up, since we just recently renovated our house (got new roof, windows, siding, gutters, etc). I didn’t get the wife approval to drill into anything or disturb any of the exterior of the house. So I had to get creative when it came to mounting everything. The J-channel was the key to the icicles. I’ll take and post more detailed photos in case it may help others.

I definitely need to do better wire management next year. I have lots of wires running along the ground in front of the house. I need to come up with a better/cleaner way next year.

Thanks - I look forward to the pics. I am certainly not one who is going to criticize. Our homes are large investments and drilling holes randomly is not an easy decision. I am only looking for info on how you may have done this in a non-obtrusive manner and ideas you came across on how to get power/signal to the necessary places…
Thanks

Here is mine, I have sequenced 7 songs at the moment, unfortunately discourse wil not let me upload videos. 1822 pixels on 6 outputs, all 5V.

Thanks, it looks like they are regular pixels with 3 wires that you zip tied together?

Nice job if so, I am looking to add this for next year and the premade icicles, with 4 wires costs a fortune including shipping to the Netherlands, and making them yourself is very time-consuming and prone to water ingress due to the many solderpoints. So this helps me a lot, with some time in xlights you could program them also the right way I think. Thanks for the inspiration.

Well done @Ejwind. It looks great!

@Ejwind, yes, all of mine are standard 3-wire pixels. A mix of 12v and 5v. The icicles are 12v ws2811, candy canes are ws2812 strips wound around pvc and shrink-wrapped around it all, and the rest are all 5v ws2811.

You are correct, for the icicles I just used a ton of zip ties with the standard 3-wire strings. Took a while to build, but turned out well in the end.

Here are a few more random photos from my various elements (and ugly cable management):

J-channel icicles hooked on the (leafy) gutters. The orange wire that runs along the inside of the gutter is for power injection.

Pixels are formed into “ropes” (see photo in the next post) and follow the outline of the garage trim. The pixels are secured in place using some cut up metal fencing wires bent into “S” shapes and hook into the trim from behind.

Messy wires…

Wiring for the icicles tucked behind the siding trim

Messy nest of wires coming from the garage where the power supply and controller live

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A few more…

To avoid disrupting the window frames, I cut a 1" think piece of wood just over 36" long (the width of the brick opening). Then I was able to wedge the wood in between the bricks and it hold very snuggly. After that, I was able to mount the plastic strips with the pixels onto the wood and no screws needed to touch the house.

These is a metal bracket in-place already so I used some fishing line to hang one of the snowflakes.

Our house number sign provided another hanging point again with fishing line.

I made many strands of these to use in various places. Just folded the pixels down in the same direction and zip tied them to secure in place. Then the string becomes more like a “rope” and was easier to follow the shape of the garage outline/trim.

Messy wires…

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Latest update (with a few elements added since original post):

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We are impressed by projects of around 300 leds , when I see what you have done i feel that you have topped them all . Must be a nightmare to design and to wire such huge setup and for sure we can all learn from what you have done .Great work and amazing result

Nice one! I had the (very) local news on the doorstep, so I can have a link to a seqeunce i did: Erik Jan – Pioenstraat – Zwolle gaat aan! ( looked up a nice sequence, and, to the best of my ability, recreated it in Xlights :slight_smile: )

When I have time I will also do some close ups of the props, controlers and wiring.

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Thanks for the compliments @ALDIY. I’m actually quite new to this hobby. This was my first year with a display. I built the candy canes last year, but didn’t have any other props until recently. I try to take a “no-stress, do it as best you can and make adjustments later” approach to the process (which is why some of it is a bit messy). In all honesty there are PLENTY of imperfections going on, but most of them are only noticeable by me, so I tend not to worry about it. I thoroughly enjoy tinkering with electronics and building as much as I can myself.

One of my goals was to try to minimize the costs by using materials I already had laying around. Being new to the hobby, I didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on materials (in case of catastrophic failure). I was lucky to have a bunch of leftover J-channel for the icicles. I have plenty of pvc around which I’ve bent, cut, shaped in various ways to fit my needs. I had hundreds of feet of Cat6 cable leftover from wiring my house that I used to connect everything. I tinker a lot with building smart home electronics around the house, so I had some spare esp32 chips laying around (though I only ended up using 1 for this build so far). All my lights so far are powered from an old PC power supply that I yanked out of a throw-away desktop. The pixel stakes are built from leftover closet shelf brackets (my in-laws were getting rid of 12 unused ones and they turned out to be perfectly sized/shaped for this. Obviously, I had to purchase the LEDs, but the only thing that I specifically purchased for this was an 8’x4’ sheet of Coroplast from HomeDepot. I used that to cut out the snowflakes. I also cut it down to 8’ long 1" strips for the mega tree. It took a lot of measuring and drilling to make all those holes, but worth it in the end. I’ll take and post more photos of the stakes and megatree tomorrow.

I’m definitely happy I decided to build the elements myself. I learned a lot and had a ton of fun along the way!