We use three different style networks in our display:
LOR (Light-O-Rama): This network is a special type of network specifically designed for holiday lighting by the company Light-O-Rama. The networks communicates through a USB RS-485 adapter attached to the computer which sends commands through Cat-5 Ethernet cable to individual animation controllers. We use this network both for the inside and outside display. Within our displays, the LOR networks communicate with two different types of controllers, 16-channel AC light controllers and Cosmic Color Pixel controllers. You can read more about these in the controllers section of this page.
DMX (Digital Mutiplex): DMX or DMX512 is the standard network used to control stage lighting and effects. This network communicates through two USB RS-485 adapters attached to the computer which sends commands through Cat-5 Ethernet cable to individual devices. DMX compatible devices can be found anywhere where stage lighting is available. For our display, this includes our moving head lights, up-lighting, and ambient lighting used to change the colors of the walls around the room. The 512 in the name describes the main limitation of this type of network, which is that only 512 pieces of information can be controlled per adapter (also referred to as a single DMX universe). For example, an RGB-style light uses three pieces of information to control the amount of red, green, and blue. As a result, we do not use this network for individually controlled pixel lights.
E1.31 (ArtNet): This network transmits data over the same network you have in your home PC network to controllers that then convert this to multiple DMX universes that are all output from a single controller. This is ideal for pixel based elements that have more than 170 individually controlled lights (the maximum number of RGB-style lights that can be controlled within a single DMX universe). No adapter is needed as these devices all communicate over the church’s internal PC network and each device is connected to a router by Cat-5 Ethernet cable. For the outdoor display, we use a second PC network that does not communicate with the church’s internal PC network. These networks control our larger pixel displays, such as the mega tree outside.
In our Indoor display, we use all three networks: LOR, DMX512, and E1.31 ArtNet. In our outdoor display, we use two networks: LOR and E1.31 ArtNet.