Tim's Lights // The REAL meaning through lights

Below you will find answers to many of the questions you may have about the display but you can also reach out to us via the form below or via Facebook and Instagram.

Why do you exist?

Our Christmas Lights Display exists for three reasons:

CHRIST - we celebrate the REAL meaning of the Christmas season - the birth of Jesus Christ. While many allow themselves to become distracted by the busyness of the festive period, we believe that the birth of Jesus Christ is too important to overlook. We believe this because humanity has rebelled and sinned against God since shortly after the creation of humanity and still continues to do so today. BUT Jesus Christ gives us hope. This hope only exists because Jesus Christ - God in human flesh - came to earth as a baby over 2000 years ago, grew up and led a sinless life and then died on Calvary's cross to pay the penalty for our rebellion and sin in order to reconcile us to God and prevent us from spending a painful eternity separate from God. That is worth celebrating!!

CHARITY - we fundraise vital funds for the terminal illness care provision of Marie Curie. 100% of the money donated in our cash box, through our online donation platform and contactless card readers goes directly to the front line of Marie Curie in Northern Ireland. We also offer the option for UK taxpayers to giftaid their donation which allows Marie Curie to claim 25% of your donation value from HMRC at no additional cost to the donor. We do not believe in taking any money to cover the costs of running or maintaining the display. To this effect, we are grateful to the many national and local businesses who support us each year through their services, products or financial contributions to offset the costs of running the display. This helps to keep the display sustainable.

COMMUNITY - we seek to put a smile on the faces of all of our visitors through throughout the Christmas season through our impactful and creative displays, which we always try to refresh and alternate each year. We appreciate, and know firsthand, that Christmas can be a sad time for many who have experienced bereavement and no longer have many of their loved ones to celebrate with. But we still seek to put a smile on the faces of everyone who comes to visit our displays, young and old alike, by offering a relaxed atmosphere where the stresses of daily life can be forgotten for however long you stay to look at the the lights.

Our display is dedicated to those no longer with us; Billy Hancock, Ena Hancock and Renee Richardson (grandparents), William Thompson (uncle) along with family friend and great inspiration and supporter behind the display, Andrew Wilson.

Where can I find you?

83 Armagh Road, Tandragee, BT62 2HS


Still lost? Use "rummage.removed.ignore" on What3Words to get right to our gate! You can also message us if you need further help - Facebook and Instagram.

Want to make a night of it?

You can use lightfind.uk to find other displays in the area to also visit. Or feel free to ask get in touch and ask us for directions to other displays which may be on your route.

When can I visit?

The display is normally open from the penultimate Saturday in November until New Year's Eve. The display runs 7 days a week. The core hours are 4.30pm to 10pm until Christmas Day and then 6pm to 9pm from Boxing Day to New Years Eve. We sometimes extend the opening hours - this will be announced via our social media - Facebook and Instagram.

During your visit, please ensure any young children or vulnerable persons are supervised at all times for their safety and enjoyment and likewise for other visitors. 

There are a significant number of cables and equipment used to power the display. Please adhere to all signage and ensure any young children with you also do so. All signage is placed for your safety. PLEASE STAY OFF THE GRASS

What about parking?

We do not have the luxury of car parking facilities however hardcore stones have been placed along the grass verge on the same side of the road as the display to enable cars to pull in off the main road. Barrier tape is placed in the other areas where it is not deemed safe to park - please abide by this as the tape is there for a good reason based on observation and risk assessment. We ask that visitors do not slow down or stop on the opposite side of the road from the display (the Armagh-bound lane) as this can cause lorries (coming from Tandragee direction) to have to break suddenly from coming around the corner. Overtaking can then proof difficult if cars are parked on both sides of the road - especially for lorries.

Parking, stopping and slowing down remains at driver’s discretion and risk. We ask all drivers and pedestrians to respect and look out for other road users and visitors, neighbours and their property to ensure safety and maximum enjoyment is upheld throughout your visit – Public safety is, and always has been, our number one priority.

Exiting your vehicle is again at your discretion however we remind all visitors the A51 Armagh Road is a national speed limit (60mph) road. We encourage the use of hazard lights for anyone slowing down, stopping or parking as the A51 is not street lit. Please keep young children and vulnerable adults under close supervision near the road.

If visitors choose to walk along the driveway, the walkway can be used to minimise the risk of slipping on the cattle grid which can become slippy in icy and wet conditions.

Do I have to make a booking to visit?

Absolutely no booking is required

What if the weather is bad?

Rarely is the weather so bad that we have to completely turn the display off - but it has happened before and we will do so if there is a genuine risk and threat to public safety - fog is actually more dangerous for our type of event than rain and since Northern Ireland rarely gets a white Christmas, snow is rarely a factor. Sometimes the display will run in part if high wind speeds has damaged a section of the display and we are undertaking maintenance. Such maintenance often requires power to be isolated for our safety.

We will announce closures or partial operation on our social media - Facebook and Instagram.

How can I donate?

There are a number of methods of donating.

Cash - we have a cash box attached to the fence on site - coins and notes accepted.

Contactless - we have a contactless card reader beside the cash box - you can use your bank card, smartphone or smartwatch to donate with this option.

For both of these options - we also have gift aid forms available - please complete one and slot it into the cash box along with your donation. This allows Marie Curie to claim an additional 25% of your donation amount from HMRC at no extra cost to you - e.g. £10 with GiftAid becomes £12.50. 

Online - you can donate online here. Gift aid is also available through JustGiving.

If you wish to donate using cheque - please discuss this with us in advance.

How did it all start? Where did the inspiration come from?

Tim’s Lights began around 1999/2000 when the family purchased both a ‘Santa in Chimney Moulded Figure’ and a ‘Snowman Moulded Figure’, during the Christmas sales in a local Christmas shop in Lurgan (Columbus Direct). The family continued to visit the store each year and add one or two figures each year until the store closure. The early days of the display were also inspired by visits to other local displays including the Barr family in Waringstown, the McManus family display near Bleary and the Wilson and Ryan families in Maghaberry. The retirement from the hobby of the Barr family introduced some more new decorations to Tim's Lights but it wasn't until the retirement of the Wilson family from the hobby that the display would really start to grow - many of their moulded figures were gifted to Tim in 2013 to continue the hobby into the next generation and enabling the family to start fundraising for charity through their display - and that is why our display is dedicated to the late Andrew Wilson. The decision to fundraise for charity was also inspired by a 2011 Channel 4 documentary featuring three display owners in England. One of those families were the Brailsford's. They also use quite a range of blow mould figures in their display which drew Tim's attention. The success of the 2013 charity display led to further expansion of the display...and the rest is history. The display catapulted to new level's since 2016 when the family relocated to Tandragee and the larger garden opened up many more opportunites.

How many lights do you have now?

Who knows...is the short answer. There are around 150 blow moulded figures that are displayed in themed sections of the garden each year including our lifesize nativity; arctic scene - featuring many variations of snowmen, penguins, polar bears and the like; choir set; Santa's workshop - complete with 9 flying reindeer. On top of this we have some acrylic penguins, polar bears, seals etc in our arctic scene - these types of decorations have become popular since around 2010 and utilise LED technology. Further, we have a handful of rope light figures and ex-council items (including many old designs which we hope to restore to working order). Of course, we can't forget our 25ft mega tree which features over 6,350 lights on its own - the tree is completed by 4 'mini trees', 4 'candy canes, 4 'leaping arches', 4 'singing faces' and an LED screen. All of this comprises our 'lights to music' section. These lights are programmed/sequenced/synchronised to a variety of Christmas songs using xLights lighting software and can be heard throughout the season. Almost all of the programming is done in-house. This section utilises WS2811 RGB pixel technology - get in touch with us if you want to know more.

How long does set up take?

No joke - we usually start running cables and placing lights in trees and shrubs on the August bank holiday weekend. We don't do much set up in early September as we try to wait as long as possible to maximise grass cutting season but we will be busy prepping various pieces of kit for the display and finishing off maintenance and new projects. Just because you don't see us doesn't mean we aren't busy working on the display. Set up is then all-systems-go from late September - every Saturday, often 10-14hr days - until late November - plus many weeknight evenings. We endeavour to not be working on any lights on Sundays - The Lord's Day - as this is an important to our family as Christians.

How did you learn how to do it all?

The UK is blessed with a strong - and vastly growing - community network of people who decorate their homes for Christmas - many of whom also fundraise for charities across the UK. This gives a massive help and support base for learning the ropes of the hobby. Tim plays a part in helping others and being helped by others. Tim was the founding member of the UK Christmas Lights Community - one of the UK's longest running and largest support network for static and 'traditional' displays. Tim is also a member of the European Lighting Fanatics (ELF) Facebook community. This group specialise in all things RGB and pixels (a much newer avenue for domestic Christmas Lighting). ELF has grown massively since its formation in 2018 and this is evident in the number of pixel displays increasing year on year in the UK and across Europe and the growth of home-grown UK suppliers too.

How much is your electric bill?

Actually not that bad. When the display is running at full capacity the power draw is no more than a normal household running a washing machine and tumble drier together - and that's the theoretical calculations - the actual power consumption is often less. Over half of the power consumption is for the 'lights to music' section of the display but rarely (never) does a musical sequence have all c.12,000 pixels lit at full white colour - so the power draw is much less. To actually answer the question - 2023 figures showed a cost of c. £110 to run the display for over 5 weeks - 7 nights a week. There are however other essential costs required for running the display. We are very grateful to all of our sponsors who contribute to the running costs of the display - both in electricity costs and other essential costs for running the display.

But what about the impact on environment?

Rightly, we should be concerned about our impact on the environment. Not least because, as Christian's we believe, it is our responsibility to look after this world - God's creation. In today's terms, environmental impact is often talked about as "carbon footprint". To this effect, our display is 99% LED. LED lighting is much more energy efficient - meaning less power consumption - meaning less demand on the power grid - meaning less energy needing generated by power station or renewable sources. For example - a 3W LED lamp in our blow moulded figures gives off the same light as a 40W non-LED lamp (which we used to use pre-2015). Some would say even that is too much negative impact on the environment and what we do is unnecessary - this idea has been suggested by some Westminster MPs. But, we believe the money raised for terminal illness care provision by Marie Curie and the smiles put on the faces of all our visitors counters such claims.

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Getting in Touch

We endeavour to reply within 48 hours.