Day night crib control unit: everything you need to know

Day night crib control unit: everything you need to know

A nativity scene control unit can make your Christmas truly special. Here’s how to make your nativity scene unique and original with the right devices.

At Christmas, the nativity scene cannot be missing in the home of a Christian family. It does not need to be large, with many characters and scenarios, even just a small representation of the Nativity is enough, with the Holy Family united in a symbolic picture of love. The Madonna, Saint Joseph, the Child Jesus, and perhaps the ox and the donkey.

All over the world, the nativity scene is a symbol of Christmas, and in our country in particular it boasts an ancient tradition full of suggestions still alive and felt today, which are renewed every year, as we can admire in the cities and villages that host the most beautiful and famous nativity scenes in Italy.

But the representation of the Nativity of Our Lord is widespread all over the world, with different declinations, characteristic characters, settings that are only apparently far from what we are used to knowing and conceiving us, the hut of Bethlehem, with its now codified protagonists, many of which symbolic, as in the Neapolitan crib.

What we want to focus on in this article dedicated to crib control units is that all Christians in the world celebrate the birth of the Son of God, and those who love the crib want to make it unique and unrepeatable every year. We think in particular of the DIY nativity scene enthusiasts, who create real reconstructions of the Nativity, small domestic works of art, but also of those who simply want to make their home nativity scene more evocative and atmospheric.

Here’s how a crib controller can help us.


Control units for cribs

To begin with, let’s clarify what crib control units are and what they are for. These are electrical devices that help us create various scenic effects in our crib. This can be light, sound or motion effects. In any case, they can greatly contribute to making our small or large crib really special.

There are two types of control units: traditional incandescent or LED ones. In this article in particular we will deepen the traditional ones.

The traditional incandescent control units can in turn be of different types:

  • control units with only two phases to create a simple day/night effect;
  • control units that create day/night lighting effects associated with movement effects;
  • control units with multiple light phases: sunrise, day, sunset and night

In general, all our systems provide for the possibility of connecting multiple devices, even using a power strip, to regulate multiple lighting, audio or movement effects. Just stay within the power allowed by the control unit. For example: if the control unit supports 80W, then you can put 2 movements of 40W or 4 movements of 20W. If during the day you need the synchro effect for the movements of characters such as the baker, butcher etc., for the night you can put a sleeping figurine or a scene with a drunk instead. In addition, with our control units, you can move ovens and fires, fountains, and streams.

In general, it is very important to be careful of the maximum limits of the power of each grip and not to exceed them, to avoid problems. If too many devices are connected to the control unit, the fuse may blow. In this case, it will need to be replaced. All our control units have an integrated spare fuse.

Day/night effect for the nativity scene

Natalino with 2 day/night phases

Let’s start with the simplest control unit, the one that has only two phases: day and night. The device we propose is the Natalino 200R: day and night fade control unit, equipped with two sockets to which the lights for the two phases day and night are connected.

Natalino determines a cycle of fading between the lights, with a transition effect that recreates the atmosphere of the alternation of day and night.The cycle duration can be set with a small controller and ranges from a minimum of 20 seconds to a maximum of about 3 minutes.

Even if the device has only two sockets, it can also support more lights, using a power strip or an adapter, as long as the voltage limits supported by the control unit itself are respected. Suitable for a small nativity scene with statuettes that remain stationary.

Natalino at 2 + 2

If you need to recreate the day/night alternation not only with the lights but also accompanying it with differentiated movements, you can orient yourself towards the next model, the Natalino 2 + 2 which provides both the day and night fading effect and a series of synchronized movements.

The Natalino 2 + 2 is also extremely simple and practical: there is a DISSOLV. socket DAY, to which all the lamps necessary for daylighting must be connected, and a DAY SYNC socket to which you will connect all the movement effects relating to the day. The same happens for the night, with the two DISSOLV. sockets. NIGHT and NIGHT SYNC. A knob adjusts the duration of the entire cycle.

The difference between the light sockets and the motion sockets is clear: the fader sockets for the lights send a current that gradually increases in power creating the effect of fading in transition, while the sync sockets send the current all at once. It is very important not to be mistaken and not to connect the crib lights to the sync socket and the other motion devices to the fading socket, because if the motion device receives current gradually, problems are created for the mechanisms.

Another fundamental thing is that you connect only resistive loads to the FADE OUT sockets, i.e. incandescent or halogen lamps at mains voltage, such as filament bulbs (220V).

Obviously, if you need elements that continue to move both day and night, indifferently, such as a river or a waterfall, you will have to connect the movement device to a separate socket, not subject to the day and night cycle.

Natalino 4 phases

In our catalogue, you will also find 4-phase control units, which provide for the alternation of SUNRISE-DAY-SUNSET-NIGHT.

The Natalino N502, equipped with 6 sockets, provides 4 fading phases for the DAWN-DAY-SUNSET-NIGHT lights and 2 synchronized sockets with the phases for the other effects, such as character motors, sound recorders, movements, electronic effects and whatever else.

The DAY EFFECTS socket is synchronized with the SUNRISE-DAY-EVENING phases, the NIGHT EFFECTS socket is synchronized with the NIGHT socket. We, therefore, have 6 sockets, 2 for the night (NIGHT EFFECTS FADE) and 2 for the day (DAY EFFECTS FADE) and another 2 fades for DAWN and EVENING, to which we can connect lights with suitable colours to create the transition.

Then there are even more complex devices, such as the talking Natalino with kit Fading dawn, day, dusk, night. The basic structure is the same as the traditional Natalino, but this device is technologically much more advanced and improved in performance. The main innovation was the elimination of 220V for absolute safety, and the fades of the various phases are all LED.

In addition, the system allows dynamic adjustment of the cycle duration from one minute to ten minutes and is equipped with a new audio system, stereo and with external amplifier socket.

In addition to fading effects between the various phases of the day, this device allows you to adjust sounds, lights and effects: fading stars with flickering, house lights, fire LEDs, soundtrack with adjustable volume and audio jack, for birds chirping, the crowing of the cock, the lightning and thunder effect (possibility to exclude it if unwanted).

The audio system automatically recognizes the duration of the phase and programs itself accordingly. The outputs of the stars and of the house lights have been doubled and expansions will be possible for the use of numerous other accessories. SYL devices can be added separately and connected to other phases if 230V sockets are required.

Nativity scene lights and accessories

Of course, our catalogue also offers a wide range of nativity lights, as well as lamps, lamp holders and jellies to create your favourite colour effects. For example, the 40W wood effect filament lamp is a must for all cribs.

It is a filament lamp with a wood effect that can also be used in fading, essential for the night effect lighting of small cribs, but also very useful for adults. Its matching E14 lamp holder is also available.

Even in the section of the moving figurines for cribs, you can indulge yourself. In particular, you will find a truly varied and rich catalogue of moving figurines made for the Neapolitan crib, one of the cribs par excellence of our tradition.

Animated statues in the Neapolitan Nativity scene

Read more:

Animated statues in the Neapolitan Nativity scene
The Nativity scene is one of the most famous and spread traditions connected to Christmas.

All the figurines of the Neapolitan Holyart nativity scene are made entirely by hand in Italy, in Naples, and come alive thanks to motorized systems hidden in the folds of the clothes, gears manufactured by hand by highly experienced artisans, to give life to your nativity scene and recreate a timeless atmosphere.

Finally, even the nativity hut needs accessories that embellish it and make it truly the beating heart of the nativity scene. Especially if you have opted for a DIY nativity scene, in our catalogue you will find many solutions suitable for all needs and budgets, to create your perfect nativity hut and give it all the realism and magic it deserves.