Belair Christmas Lights

Belair Christmas lights Icon

  • Why do you do it?

Initially it was the challenge of doing it. But now it’s a real buzz to hear the “ooh’s and aah’s”  from the kids (and even adults) when they see the show, or leave a thank you letter. To know that the people coming to see the show get enjoyment from my work is the reward. In a way, the show is my Christmas gift to the community.

  • How long does it take to set up?

It takes about 3 solid days of setting up. I am getting faster at the set up now that I have done it once or twice. The setup is the fast part, it takes months of planning and construction over the year to build and fine tune the various elements.  I’m still working on it!

  • How do you broadcast the music?

I use a low power FM transmitter hooked up to the PC. It has a range of about 50 - 100m. There is also a radio for people who aren’t in their cars.

  • How do you make the lights flash in time to the music?

Each light string is connected to a single “channel” (or circuit). Then each song is divided into 50millisecond intervals. For each interval the light channel is turned on or off according to what I want the lights to do. An average song of 3 minutes has 3600 intervals to program. It takes several hours to program each minute of song. Trust me when I say there is only so many times in a week that you can listen to a particular song...

  • How many lights do you have?

Not enough!  I have truly lost count. I have purchased over 25,000 LEDs and probably 3.5km of cable. Not all of the LEDs/cables are in use.  Yet.

  • Where did you buy it all?

I wanted a unique display so I made most/all of the display elements. It also keeps the cost down. You won’t find my display elements in any shop. The LEDs and most components come from China.  The few off-the-shelf elements like the cherry trees and candy canes are still customised before I put them into the show.  All the wireframes were bent and welded by yours truly.  

  • How much did it cost?

Let’s not go there!  
I will just say that it's no coincidence that China's economy has started to slow as my spending on lights has reduced.  

  • You have a nativity scene - you must be a Christian right?

I simply recognise the reason for the season!

  • Can you see it from space? or 
  • Do planes try and land in your driveway?

Not yet!

  • How much electricity does it use?

Believe it or not I don’t notice a huge difference in the electricity bill! Not all the lights are on all the time and the lights are all LEDs so they don’t use much electricity. The whole shows runs from approx 20x 250W power supplies.

  • Do you have any sponsors?

No. I won’t ‘commercialise’ the lights.

  • Can I make a donation?

Yes, after many queries for visitors I have added a donate button on the home page of this website.   Donations made via this website will be used to improve the show.  
Cash donations made in person will be given to a suitable cause - probably a wildlife shelter.  

  • Do you do behind the scenes tours?

Yes, just email me and arrange a time.  I’m more than happy to explain how it all works.   
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