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Make-A-Wish Utah

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FAQ

I love the music you used? Who is the Artist?
Music Box Dancer - DJ Schwede - (Buy it from Amazon.com - They require you buy the entire album)
Overture (Miracle on 34th Street) - Bruce Broughton - (Out of print and hard to find)
Carol of the Bells - Monique Danielle - (Download for 99cents from Amazon.com)
Winter Wonderland - Alexia Phillips - (Super rare and hard to find)
Jingle Bells - Master Tone - (out of print but you can buy it used at amazon.com)
We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Highland Pipers
Silent Night - Sinead O'Connor - (Download for 99cents from Amazon.com)
Angels We Have Heard On High - Brian Setzer Orchestra - (Download for 99cents from Amazon.com)

Why was the display moved in 2008?
I live in a Gated Community of about 33 houses. Traffic picked up for 2007 which caused some traffic issues and concerned neighbors. A vote took place to close the gates for December so I moved the display to my parents house for the next two years. I have moved it back to my house and th HOA has decided to open up the gates only a certain days which you can find here.

Why do you do this?
Why Not? I have always loved Christmas Lights, Music, and Computers. This was a way to combine all three to make something unique and different. The real reason though is because it celebrates the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is another way to express our love for Him and what He has done for us and mankind. We hope that those who watch our display draw a little closer to God.

Somebody said your display is "Wind Powered". I don't see the wind turbine in your yard.
It's true! The display is 100% wind powered. Our local power company has recently been involved with wind farms in our area including the Spanish Fork wind farm that is only 15 miles from our house. The Spanish Fork wind farm can power about 14,000 houses. We participate in their Blue Sky renewable energy for an extra cost that guarantees that the electricity we use is replaced back on the power grid using renewable energy. Many other large displays in the area are also using the Blue Sky program to help their large displays be more environmentally friendly.

How many lights do you have?
There were about 45,000 lights for 2007 and in 2008 & 2009 we have around 150,000.

How much power does it take? How much is your electric bill?
If everything was on, it would consume about 33,000 watts or 300 amps. I had to install 21 dedicated circuits to be able to power everything. Most of the time only 30% of the display is on because it is animiated which helpes conserve power. A lot of smaller displays acutally use more power than mine, because they are always "ON". We use about $150 worth of electricity for the Christmas display for the season which is less than running the AC in the summer.

Do you have your own Radio Station? How are you transmitting to my radio?
We use a small FM transmitter the broadcasts on 99.9FM. It only goes a short distance which allows people to listen to the music within sight of our display.

How much time does it take?
Like any hobby, it takes quite a bit of time if you add it all up. I plan and work on things throughout the year but things get really busy during November when I start spending all my weekends putting up lights and usually take a week off work to get everything set up. My wife helps me with some things and I have some friends that come over and help with some of the bigger stuff (the Mega Tree). For the 2007 season I spent about 250 hours or so designing the display, making the leaping arches, programing the display, etc. I also spent another 50 hours outside during December playing traffic cop with volunteers because of the amount of traffic the display attracts. in 2008 and 2009 it took about 100 man hours to just wrap all the trees.

How do you control the lights?
Everything is controlled with software and hardware from Light-O-Rama. Our display for 2006 used 80 different channels, 2007 was 176 channels and for 2008 it is 215 Channels. This allows us to control almost every element in our display between Red, White, and Green. Because of how the display has to be set up, we use 7,000' of extension cords.

Also be sure to check out the Tutorial page where I explain how it works.

How much did this cost?
Don't know and don't want to know. :)

How do you live in a house with that many lights? I think that it would be to loud and bright for me.
Inside the house you can't even tell what is going on outside unless you look out the window. The music is also transmitted to play on the visitors car stereo via a FM transmitter so you don't hear the music. One of my next door neighbors also told me that they can not see the lights inside their home unless they look out the window.

What do you do for a living?
I have done a few things including owning a DJ Business (no money in that), Video Production, Graphic Designer, IT Director, and few other jobs. Currectly I do web work and mostly work with a product called Tahitian Noni Juice and created the web site at www.noniusers.com

I have a question not answered by the FAQ
If you still have a question about our display or anything else, you can send us an e-mail at christmas@holdman.com