We had a lot more bad pixels than last year. A lot of shows reported significant bad pixels this year due to production problems in China over the past two years (due to COVID-19). I believe ours are a combination of that, and just the bad weather we have had this season including extreme rain and wind. Most of our bad pixels have been on our Mega Tree, which gets whipped around in the wind pretty badly and is by-far the most “exposed” of our show elements. While they did not contribute to strand failures due to our power injection system, I did notice broken power wires on some pixels that appear to have been the result of wind damage.
While not universal, I classify bad pixels into one of the following:
- A Stuck pixel that displays one color (red, green, or blue) all the time. It may or may not display other colors as part of a sequence.
- A Dead pixel that remains dark all the time.
- A Color Failure, where a specific internal color or colors (red, green, or blue) fails.
- A Data Corruption pixel. May act normal or exhibit one of the above traits. Passes corrupted data to downstream pixels, resulting in random colors, flashes, or flickering of all or most pixels after it.
- A Data Drop pixel. May act normal or exhibit one of the above traits, but does not pass data to downstream pixels at all, so they remain dark, or stuck on the last colors displayed before the failure.
Generally Data Corruption and Drop are the worst, as they can result in a significant part of a prop or strand either flashing randomly or not lighting at all.
We had a total of 16 pixel failures in our 2021 show. Out of about 7400 pixels modules, that amounts to only a 0.22% failure rate, which is actually quite good. Still, since a single failure can take out a large section of a show element- each one can be detrimental to our show.
- 2x Stuck Pixels (Red) on Mega Tree (2021 Sourced Pixels)
- 2x Stuck Pixels (Blue) with Data Drops on Mega Tree (2021 Sourced Pixels)
- 6x Data Drop Pixels on Mega Tree (2021 Sourced Pixels)
- 1x Stuck Pixel (Blue) on Hattitude Quartet* (2021 Sourced Pixels)
- 1x Data Drop Pixel on Hattitude Quartet* (2021 Sourced Pixels)
- 1x Stuck Pixel (Blue) with Data Drop on Candy Cane B (2021 Sourced Pixels)
- 1x Data Corruption Pixel (random colors/flashing) on Mini Tree A (Largest) (2020 Sourced Pixels, reused from 2020 show)
- 1x Data Corruption Pixel (random colors/flashing) on Jumping Arch 7 (2020 Sourced Pixels, reused from 2020 show)
- 1x Data Corruption Pixel (thermal-related flicker) on right roofline. (2020 Sourced Pixels, reused from 2020 show)
So, all but three failures were from pixels purchased in the spring of 2021. All three 2020 sourced pixel failures resulted in data corruption.
There is an additional stuck-red pixel on the Mega Tree Star, but that was a carry-over from 2020 that was just never fixed. There is also a color failure pixel in the Show Info display (P10 Matrix) above the carport, but that surfaced this past Spring while building the display, and is not a pixel module that is part of a strand/prop.
There were no dangerous (overheat/burning) failures, which I attribute to our use of 5v pixels instead of the more-popular 12v ones.
*Hattitude Quartet is the large central medallion spinner/singing faces element above our front porch. It is the second largest conventional pixel element in our display after the Mega Tree, with almost 700 pixels.