It sure would be easier if you could go to the library, check out a book on how to assemble a light show, go to the local store to buy a few Christmas decorations and then throw everything up in about an hour. If this was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Let's first get everything in perspective. A drive through light show becomes part of many family traditions. It makes for great holiday memories so people want to repeat those good feelings each year. A great light show creates great memories. People will tell others and your traffic will increase every year. A cheap or very small light show will never get that word of mouth advertising. Great drive through light shows require careful planning, setup and implementation.
The first step is to determine the location. Easy to find with simple access is key. Many localities use an existing park since it is already well known and has roads with parking already built and well established. Great light shows do consume power. If you're using incandescent lights, a couple of orange extension cords from the big box store won't do it. You need to be thinking about needing hundreds of amps of power. If sufficient commercial power is not available, generators will need to be rented. If you use LED lighting technology, significant power is not needed (think only 10-20% of what an incandescent display consumes.)
- Setup time should not be underestimated. A great drive through light show can be assembled in just a couple of weeks but we recommend having access to the property four weeks ahead of time to allow the staff to go in and do final planning before mobilizing the workforce. Depending on your venue, scissor and/or knuckle man-lifts will be required for reaching high places.
- You'll need to man the ticket gate as well as have people patrolling the park during show hours. People have a tendency to get out of their cars and wander into places they shouldn't so it pays to have a friendly voice asking them to get back with the others.
- Security is highly suggested after hours depending on the venue.
- There is a certain amount of maintenance involved after the light park is set up and running. Lights do go out, extension cords get yanked out of the plugs or GFCI's trip off-line. Someone with an elemental sense of electricity can easily do any maintenance.
- Drive through traffic will drop off significantly the day after Christmas though some people will still come through the new year. You can adjust your staff accordingly.
Need some more ideas of what you can do? Check out these videos below:
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