This is probably one of my least favorite aspects of the Christmas lighting hobby. All of those little lights that are put into the props have to get there somehow. The process involves a pair of gloves, some strong hands and when you get sore and tired a tool of some kind to help. That is the black thing on the prop. The large end fits into the palm of your hand so that your fingers get a rest.
I am working on the Angel wings. Each of the wings has 500 lights to insert. They are the first pixels I have pushed this year, and well lets just say that after years of doing this I didn’t follow my rules and I have paid the price. What should have been 1000 pixels has turned into about 1800 because of the number of redos.
My pixel pushing rules:
1. Check the wiring diagram once, twice and then a third time to just make sure you read what you thought you read and re-read correctly. Hard to admit but I pushed all 500 pixels into the one wing to realize that my starting position was incorrect. I had two choices… pull them all out and do it again or change the submodels in xLights. (Submodels are groups of lights on the prop… so for example just the outside, or just the first layer of feathers, etc… they are identified by all of the pixel numbers for that specific grouping. ) I decided to pull them out and do it properly.
Remember the wiring diagram in xLights is looking at the back of the prop. (Coro vendors that print the wiring diagram on the prop are awesome… thank them!)
2. Make sure that you do not miss one of the pixel holes drilled into the coro. When the wires get close it is sometimes easy to miss one and then you get to go back and pull out whatever you have finished and redo.
3. Make sure that you do not skip a bulb. Similar to the above when you have a large group of lights that are being pushed make sure you don’t happen to skip one.
4. Check frequently to make sure that you are proceeding without any issues.