Lightshows - Designing Your Display

Design Basics

Light shows are slightly different to conventional static light displays and require some additional planning. If you just randomly put lights around your garden and do a Light Show without much planning, you can easily just end up with a display of seemingly random flashing lights!

So if you are just starting out and just have a bunch of lights that you want to string around the outside of your house and garden, do spend some time planning. Consider how you can animate your lights in some way to make them more interesting. Look into using items such as Mega Trees, Running Trees or Leaping Arches. Identify common items in your house or garden that you can utilise in your display, items like window frames, groups of bushes, groups of tree all work well. Look at other displays and see what other ideas you can utilise in your display.

Here are a few tips to help you with your own display:

  • Start Small – As much as we would like you to rush out and buy lots of controllers and lights from us, we do strongly suggest you start with a well planned, small display and build it up over several years. Start with one or two colours and plan items carefully. Think what you can animate (arches, line of trees, line of stars, framing windows) and then use them wisely.
  • Start planning your show early – If it’s mid December and you are reading this it may be a little late to do a Christmas display this year! Displays like this take a lot of time planning, sequencing and setting up, so do start early.
  • Choose Music carefully – As hopefully these sequences will demonstrate, the choice of music is critical to a good display. Many traditional Christmas songs can be very repetitive and can be tricky to animate too, so do choose your music carefully. Look for tracks with lots of changes in tempo or beat which you can exploit in the light display. Change the colour or animation whenever the beat or tempo changes. Try and match the lights to the feel of the music.
  • Do not use all the lights all the time – Keep the viewer’s interest by not using all the lights all the time, this can be difficult in smaller displays. Only use lots of lights when the music warrants it. i.e. Climax at the end of the track, or in a chorus or fast part of the song.
  • Timings are critical – Spend time getting the timings correct. - Use the “Insert Beat” function in the Show Designer to tap in markers whilst the music is playing and then align you events to these. Do one or two sequences well, you can reuse them in following years and enhance them as your display grows.
  • Use colour carefully – The use of colour changes can be very dramatic when used in appropriate places in the music.
  • Have fun – Displays like these are very rewarding and beautiful to watch but time consuming and stressful to create. So take your time, it will be worth it in the end!

Design Service

We can provide a full design service for Commercial or Private displays of all sizes. Using our knowledge and experience we help you with all aspects of your display :

For commercial displays please see our Commercial Light Show page.