What do you use to control your holiday lighting?

What do you use to control your holiday lighting?

  • a simple timer

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • a PC (i.e. Homeseer, HAL, etc.)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • a hardware controller (i.e. Ocelot, home built controller, etc.)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • my spouse

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • my kids

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I don't automate anything

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I have no holiday lighting

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Two or more of the above solutions

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
No automated holiday lighting yet but im sure there will be some next year. It becomes a pain in the butt unpluging all those little window candle lights and all the other little orniments that require electricity. I don't like to keep them on all night because its too bright out front and keeps me awake all night. So for now every night i walk around the house unplugging everything by hand.

P.S. Yeah right! like i could get my wife to turn off a freaking light :(
Squintz, are you telling me you don't even use simple X10 appliance modules to turn those candles off? That's what everyone else does :(
Well, I did vote but I really use a combination of things. I have my PC control the schedules, a KeypadLinc in the room to manually turn them on and off, and a palmpad.
I think you should lose all your geek points on this board if you don't do something as simple as "on at sunset, off at midnight" with at least one plug-in X-10 module. Unless you don't do any holiday lighting at all, then you are excused.

Bonus points if anybody actually does sequencing of a display via X-10 or Z-wave or UPB. With X-10 you would flood the powerline pretty easy, but I bet Z-wave would be able to do a decent speed light show. anybody?
0 geek points for me then :(

Nope i dont even use cheap X10 plugin modules. I've been spending every dime i have on Z-wave so the X-10 stuff is gonna have to wait another year. I tried X10 lighting and a couple and did not get positive results. I went straight from there to Z-wave and never looked back...Until Recently. I did just buy a new EagleEye Motion detector for my laundry room. First X10 Device that im gonna actually try to get working. Only because the Z-wave ones are taking to long. Next year i will probably be using Z-wave modules. or hopefully by then i will be using Z-wave recepticles.

I know... keep dreaming right ;)
WayneW said:
Unless you don't do any holiday lighting at all, then you are excused.
Thanks. I'd hate to think that I'd lose geek points just because I don't put anything up.
Very true Wayne, time to strip Squintz from his Geek Status :(

As for controlling the lighting using X10, that's crazy for sure, but I would imagine Z-wave would be a better solution, time for someone to try this and earn some points again ;)
Actually i dont think it would be a very good light show. Perhaps a Z-wave switch together with industrial type Timer Realys to syncronize everything might work better. Z-waves have a very noticable delay. Maybe not so noticable to the average person but enough to drive someon like you and me nuts.

I might give it a try with a train garden next year. Depending on how much money i can save this year.
You still can notice a delay with the Z-wave hardware? I thought it was supposed to be much faster.
As long as everything has the same delay, wouldn't it effectively just time-shift the results?
I use a variety of controllers, from PC to task-specific devices. The poll should allow multiple answers.

For my on/off events for time-critical items with high resolution needs, I use a PC with a VB program I wrote twiddling the parallel port lines, which are used to drive SSR's which switch the AC lines directly.

For standard "on at sunset, off at midnight" needs, I have HS switching most lighting systems using X10 modules and switches.

I do have some specific devices either bought or made for special tasks, such as smoke machine release timing; motion, presence detectors, and trip sensors; and similar.

And with a little luck this year I'll add some sound effects and music that is played in sync with triggered events, using a PC.
I voted with a PC. But I have to be honest....Haven't done it yet. But am this year. Hope that counts. Maybe I'll only loose half a geek point?
Last year, I had everything on simple timers, being that I received my first x10 module (firecracker kit) for x-mas. This year, I may put the outside lights (1 strand mind you) on a simple timer (weather resistant), but everything inside the house will be controlled via pc (girder).

Hard to believe that I've been playing with HA for (almost) a year now. This all started because I thought it would be neat to have the lights dim when a movie starts.... never thought I would have motion sensors throughout my house, moreless that I would have converstations with my computer. :(

Next year... Zoned Audio!
I added an option to reflect if you have multiple solutions, but unfortunately I can't move votes. Treetop, those modules will work outside too, I have 3 outside, 1 of them all year around, 2 others only during winter, and they work fine (I did wrap them in a zip lock bag).