2023 End-of-Season Update

Sorry I’m way behind on this. My employer shut down last Fall and I was laid off after over 29 years of working in IT. I also got a total knee replacement the day after Christmas, which had been planned since early in the year. So, I’ve been a bit preoccupied…

First, power consumption:

One of our two show power meters malfunctioned so I don’t have a very accurate measure of our 2023 show’s power consumption. We added several new elements to our show this year, including…

  • 80 more Pixel Stakes.
  • 2 Mini Trees
  • 6 “Micro” Trees
  • New P5 “Info Display
  • New P10 “Tune-To Sign”
  • New video projector

Based on this and our previous usage, we are estimating that our show used 310kWh of electricity from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. At Ameren’s Tier 1 Winter rate of $.0934 (increased since last year), that’s about $29. That’s almost double from last year’s $15. Most of it was the extra video projector which uses 300W by itself, the new high-density matrix signs, and increased billing rate. Still, not too bad at all given the size of our show.


I guess we weeded out most of the bad pixels in 2022. We only really had one pixel “failure”, a stuck pixel on the lower left side of the left mini-tree. It was unnoticeable and we didn’t bother replacing it. I’ll fix it when I assemble and test everything for our 2024 show.

We did have some power issues (again) on the Mega Tree Starburst. The lower half would randomly flash multiple colors during high power usage sequences. I thought I had that fixed from last year, but it’s still problematic. I’m going to re-do the power setup for that prop for 2024.

Early on we had some power issues with the new mini-trees too. They had some power balancing issues that were resolved in the field, but will be re-worked in 2024.

I believe we only had a couple of pixel stakes damaged by deer. I think the higher density discouraged them from running through the yard last year.

The Hattitude Quartet (large round prop above the front porch) sustained mount damage. Not bad for three seasons with PVC pipe and 3D printed primary mounts. It will be fixed for 2024 as-well.


We had a few high-wind days, but overall the weather was significantly better than 2022. Only a few sub-freezing days and very little precipitation. We didn’t have to suspend the show due to weather at all.

Technical Issues

We did have some minor technical issues with the projectors, and some random controller problems that resulted in minimal downtime. There were also some software/sequence issues which were resolved quickly as we found out about them. With over 3 hours of sequences and all of the hardware involved, some problems are almost inevitable. We hope not too many folks noticed them.

Overall, 2023 was a success! I would like to thank our friends Tim and Bonnie who helped us take down the show after my knee replacement, and of course my wife Kim for everything she has done to support this crazy hobby. I also want to thank our great neighbors for their support and tolerance, as we know it can be disruptive.

We are planning to return again for Christmas 2024, assuming I can find a suitable source of income. 😊

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