All the participating neighbors’ lights are synchronized and controlled wirelessly from a single Bluebonnet Lights Master Controller.
We use hardware and software, designed specifically for this purpose, from a company named Light-O-Rama. Part of the software is the Sequencer, which is the software that is used to choreograph the lights to the music. The other part of the software is the show player, which plays the sequences. The show player runs on a Windows workstation, and automatically starts the show on schedule. Most of the lights are connected with USB devices that send the signals to “controllers” over cat5 cable. Most of the controllers are AC controllers that have 16 electrical sockets, each of which is connected to an ordinary Christmas light string. We have 16 of these AC controllers in our show, usually located close to the lights that they control. If you multiply the 16 controllers by the 16 channels they each control, you will find over 250 “channels”.
However, these are not all the channels. We also have some RGB channels, including floodlights, strips, and bulbs, each of which can be any of a million different colors.
Finally, we have the pixel tree, which contains 1,200 pixels, each of which can be controlled individually. This requires a separate connection, using Ethernet from the computer’s network card.
The houses across the street are connected using a wireless link from Light-O-Rama that connects to the cable that goes to the controllers and the USB adapter on the computer.