Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I do it? “I do it because I can” and because of the enjoyment and joy it brings to others. It’s hard to explain this statement but suffice it to say, I’ve been blessed with the resources, ability, and technical knowledge to set up this light display. If you ask my wife why I do it, she may say something about ‘obsessive-compulsive disorder’. She’s probably correct. The real reason is to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
How many lights do you have? We really don’t know. It’s approximately 100,000. Every single light including the 500+ lights in each ‘tune to’ sign are LED. That means it’s extremely energy efficient. Even the rope lights around the perimeter are all LED. I’m proud to say that I’m not aware of any light show in Colorado that is exclusively LED with similar quantities.
How much does it cost for electricity to run the display? Take a guess. $5,000, $500, $50 or $5? You might be surprised. I estimate approx $5 in electric costs to run the display for 35 continuous days for four hours per night. Read below for calculation.
70 lights (each strand) = 4 watts. Therefore each LED consumes= .0571 watts when energized. I take this power and multiply by the total number of LED’s (85,000) and calculate 4853 total watts. Multiplying by 4 hours per night and then multiplying by 35 days = 679,490 total ‘watt hours’. Dividing by 20 to take into account of the duty cycle (5%) of each light = 33974 watt hours. I then divide the 33974 watt hours by 1000 and get 34 kilowatt hours. Electricity costs about 15 cents per kilowatt hour so multiplying by (.15) = $5.09 total cost to run the display for 35 days. LED’s are indeed very energy efficient!! Teachers, did I do the math correctly??
How long does it take to set up? About three weeks to set up but it’s a continuous year long project that ‘starts’ the week AFTER we take the lights down . With help from my teenage sons, it goes up quickly. It takes less than a third of that time to take it down. I couldn’t do it without their help. If you get a chance with talk with them, be sure to thank them for their efforts. They worked hard on this and spent a lot of time all year to ensure that everything was done safely and correctly. They hung almost all of the lights this year while I spent the majority of my time on design and functional issues. My 19 year old son learned the programming software last year and programmed this year’s display remotely while attending university 1000 miles away . Good Job Joey!!
Who does the beautiful narrations between the songs?
This year www.HighlandsRanchChristmas.com is proud to have narrations performed by professional voice over artist Dan Harder and Judy Pancoast. Mr. Harder who lives in Highlands Ranch provides the male voice for our narrations. His beautiful voice and cheerful inflection gives our light show the professional touch that puts our light show 'over the top'. Mr. Harder can be contacted at his web site at www.VO4U.com Please contact Mr. Harder for all your professional voice over and audio production needs.
Judy Pancoast who you hear tonight singing her famous song “The House on Christmas Street” also does some customized narrations for our display. More information about singer Judy Pancoast can be found on www.JudyPancoast.com
How long have you been doing this? This is our 8th year of running a choreographed display.
How is the music transmitted to my car? I have interfaced an extremely low power FM radio transmitter on an unused radio frequency to the computer so that the music can be heard in the comfort of your car. Tune your car radio to 97.7 FM and listen as the lights ‘dance’ to the music. You should be able to hear the music clearly within 100 feet in front of my house.
What are the days and hours of your display? We try to open the day after Thanksgiving to the first week of the new year from dusk to 10:00PM. On Fridays and Saturdays, we keep the lights on a little later. If you can, please park directly in front of my house as not to disturb my neighbors. Turn off your lights but leave your parking lights on. Please be courteous of my neighbors.
Why is your display so bright? The sheer quantity and the quality of the LED’s give off the brightness. I use high quality ‘full wave’ LED light strands that are not available in retail stores.
How can I learn to do this? If you wish to do something similar, start at www.PlanetChristmas.com It’s a great website to learn this hobby, but beware---it’s addictive, expensive and time consuming. Advanced knowledge of physics, electronics and computers is helpful.
Can I help? As it turns out the biggest thing needed to put on a display of this caliber is willing teenagers. If you like the quality of our Christmas display, thank my boys. They work tirelessly all year with building displays and preparing all the lights.
As I am getting older it is getting more difficult every year to continue. I’m always looking for volunteers to assist with installing and removing the lights and displays. I cannot allow any volunteers to climb any ladders or do any other dangerous work but any willing talents will be graciously appreciated and used. I cannot pay any money but we do make a great pizza and wonderful hot chocolate. If you feel compelled to assist and learn this ‘art’ feel free to contact me (Greg) via our web site. HighlandsRanchChristmas.com
How long is the show? This year we have twelve songs. At approx 3 minutes each the show repeats every 30 minutes. I selected these twelve songs based on how I wanted the show to look. Each song takes at least a month to program. This year we have a rock & roll song that I’ve always wanted my lights to dance to. If the music compels you, feel free to get out and dance safely on my driveway or the sidewalk but be advised that all activity on my property is digitally recorded and bad dancing will be reported to Santa!
How much does this all cost? Priceless
Questions or comments? Send us an email through our website or directly at HighlandsRanchChristmas@HighlandsRanchChristmas.com. And from everyone in our family,