June 10, 2021

When you’re beginning to plan out your Christmas light controller, what should you plan for in the box?

What exactly do you need in your Christmas light controller box?

If you are choosing to build your own controller box or even partially build the box rather than buy a prefabricated one from a manufacturer, you may be unsure of what exactly needs to go inside.

Getting Started

As you may have already guessed, as you are getting started putting your controller box together, every controller box will start with one main thing; an enclosure.

The Enclosure

This will be an outdoor, waterproof enclosure of some kind. If you are using a purchased controller there are certain boxes that it will fit in and certain ones it will not so it’s important to measure out the size you need.

Some controller boxes such as the Cable Guard are generally inexpensive and relatively easy to work with, but some people tend to dislike the holes which are drilled in the bottom. The holes for drainage require you to mount the box vertically and might not suit your specific needs. This is just one minor feature to pay attention to when making your enclosure choice.

Another option you have are “Bud Boxes”. These are a little more expensive but also completely sealed and waterproof, including a rubber gasket around the outside. The Cable Guard boxes do not have this particular feature and so you may find that spending a little extra will be worth it for the better protection.

The Controller

The next thing you will need is the controller itself. This is a rather obvious part of the controller box set up but you will have to take some time to decide what controller will work for you. This largely depends on how things are laid out in your display and how many outputs you need in each location.


After you have decided on your controller and figured out how it will fit into your enclosure of choice, you will need to decide on your power options. Depending on your controller and what is in the box you may only need something as simple as a little power brick to power the controller. This is usually the case if you aren’t powering any pixels.

When deciding on power supply you have to consider what power you need, if you’re powering pixels, if so how many, and how many you will need and then configure how that will fit into your box.

Mounting Boards

When it comes to mounting boards, you technically could just throw all of your stuff in the box and hope for the best, but as you move things around and set up or tear down your display to move it, you risk potentially breaking things.

You will find that many of the kits and controller boxes have options for mounting boards. You can use these to customize your controller box to suit your needs and keep things a little more secure.


Organizing and customizing your controller box is a bit of an art and science when it comes down to it. Figuring out and deciding how to best lay everything out in your controller box really depends on your display and your needs.

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