In 1999, they closed down the drive through Christmas light park in Memphis. The huge displays had worn out, sponsors weren't as interested in participating, and their electric bill was too high. Behind the scenes, the PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) that drove the relays that sequenced the power hungry incandescent lights were constantly failing and causing never-ending problems. No one was sorry to see the light park fade away.
Fast forward a few years, and a group came together wanting to bring back those special Christmas memories from that 20th century display and decided to re-do Starry Nights at Shelby Farms Park.
First on their list was to recreate the magic using only LEDs to save on power. Second was to replace those old PLCs with the latest generation technology. Animated Lighting was contacted to bring life to their custom designed lighted frames. By opening night, twelve Monster Brains and more than 30 ELD-16s were used along the new 1.5 mile drive through Christmas light experience. Over a million M5 LEDs were used.
Here's the entrance to the Starry Nights drive through light park at Shelby Farms Park in Memphis. The marquee was animated. Look carefully for the red larger-than-life-size buffalo.
Permanent grid power was available for all the displays along the route and no generators were necessary. Heavy duty unistrut based frames were built to hold power distribution panels and Animated Lighting ELD-16 controllers.
It's hard to see the scale of this venue but the blue balls are 5' in diameter. Each tree uses eight light channels so they build from the ground up. The lights on the embankments chase and the large lighted balls appear to roll down the hill and bounce around, all thanks to Animated Lighting controllers.
The frames required to hold the massive displays were held up by impressive structures. The light controllers for this frame of fireworks and the word "Kapow" are just to the right of this picture.
This frame dedicated to wind energy is 20 feet tall, fully animated and sponsored by the local power company.
One of the most dazzling displays was a section of the park where they created an underwater scene and then drove everyone into a "starry night." This picture is where the two scenes meet (which explains octopuses and stars) and again brought to life by Animated Lighting controllers.