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What’s Involved In Creating Community Christmas Displays?

To some extent, we’re all familiar with what’s involved in planning Christmas light displays – even if it’s only a few lights hung on our tree at home! For community displays in towns and villages, though, it can all get a bit more complex. This week on the blog we’re taking a quick look at what’s involved in planning a community light display, and the sort of electrical power distribution equipment involved in setting them up.

Planning The Festive Fun

planning a lightshow

This probably won’t come as a surprise, but a huge consideration for community lighting displays is budget. Not only the cost of the lights themselves, but also the continuing power that’s required to run them. Most commonly, councils use a mix of string lights, icicle lights and curtain lights to provide that vibrant visual element, while smaller villages might simply have to make do with whatever’s most cheaply available.

Larger councils and towns tend to keep a well-maintained stock of lights that they install and re-install every year. If you’re based around Manchester, you’ll already know ‘Zippy’ – the twenty-foot tall Santa which is the town’s most famous example of their trademark Christmas light display. Setting up lights on this scale requires months of planning – sometimes beginning as far back as May – while small villages might choose to purchase, assemble and put up their Christmas lights all in the space of a few weeks or even days.

How Christmas Displays Are Powered

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Before the Christmas lights are actually purchased, one of the major decisions that councils and parishes have to make are to do with where the power will come from. Will they be using mains power, wiring them into lampposts or using their own council power supply? In each case, organisers have to pay careful attention to their power distros, and make sure they have the capacity and efficiency to suit their purposes (which are, incidentally, two chief advantages of our own power distribution boxes here at Rubber Box).

To use Manchester again as an example, the power for some of their famous Christmas Markets stalls is actually drawn from mobile generators. It’s for this exact reason that Manchester City Council hold the sellers to strict standards in terms of what they can plug in within these huts – a short-out in one hut might cut the power to the whole row! For most of the markets, however, the power is drawn from the city’s main supply, overseen by the council. This means that even if they have a minor hiccup, at least you’ll never see the power for the entire markets go out – not unless the city itself has a serious issue! As for village displays, they have to contend with the same health and safety concerns that large councils do, though given that they’re rarely operating on the same scale, checking their electrical distribution equipment is often a much faster process.

Here at Rubber Box, we’re proud to have supplied a wide variety of events, including F1 and the Olympics – just to name a few! We have a broad range of equipment amongst our stock; you can click here to browse our power distros, or if you need any help or advice setting up your next event, you can just give us a call on 01282 677 910.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @rubberbox

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