Enttec Elm Vs. XLights: Unleash Your Dream Light Show Now!

Creating a dazzling holiday light show requires the right lights, decorations, and the perfect LED mapping/sequencing software. The right software can help you turn a simple string of pixel lights into a beautiful work of art, making it a cornerstone in your Christmas light display. Two popular options for creating stunning displays are the Enttec Elm LED Mapper and xLights. In this article, we’ll compare these two software options to help you determine which one is best suited for your needs.

Enttec Elm LED Mapper

The Enttec Elm LED Mapper is a user-friendly software solution that simplifies the process of mapping and sequencing LED pixel lights. It offers a wide range of features, making it an excellent choice for beginners and advanced users.

Key features

1. User-friendly interface

The Enttec Elm LED Mapper has an intuitive interface that makes it easy for users of all skill levels to create stunning light displays. This simplicity can be beneficial for those who are new to decorating a Christmas tree with pixels or a grander light display.

2. Pixel mapping capabilities

Pixel mapping is an essential feature for creating intricate light displays. Enttec Elm LED Mapper’s pixel mapping capabilities make it easy to map individual LEDs or groups of LEDs, allowing you to create dynamic and engaging light shows, such as an RGB light tunnel.

Finally, the Enttec Elm LED Mapper is compatible with many popular lighting controllers, including Kulp Lights, Holiday Coro, Wired Watts, and Falcon Controllers. This compatibility ensures you can easily integrate the software with your existing hardware and create a cohesive light display.

Easy setup: Enttec Elm LED Mapper’s user-friendly interface makes it simple to create and customize light displays, even for those with limited technical knowledge.

Wide range of compatibility: The software’s compatibility with popular lighting controllers ensures that you can seamlessly integrate it into your existing setup.

Professional features: Enttec Elm LED Mapper offers a variety of advanced features that can help you create professional-quality light displays.
Limited free version: While the software offers a free version, its features are limited, which may not be sufficient for advanced users or those looking to create complex displays.

Cost of professional version: The professional version of the software can be expensive, which may be a deterrent for some users, especially those on a tight holiday budget.
Programming Magical Christmas Lights


xLights is a free, open-source LED mapping and sequencing software that has gained popularity among holiday light enthusiasts and hobbyists. Its robust features and active worldwide community make it a top choice for those looking to create light displays.

Key Features

1. Open-source and free to use

xLights is open-source software, meaning it is free to use. With a history reaching back to its origins in 2010, it is continually supported today by a small group of developers who continue to introduce new features to the software on a regular basis at no charge. This makes it an excellent option for those preparing for Christmas on a budget or those who want to experiment with custom features.

2. Wide range of features and effects

xLights offers comprehensive features and effects, allowing users to create intricate and dynamic light displays. From LED pixel mapping to creating custom effects, xLights provides the tools to choreograph Christmas pixels to music.

3. Active community and support

The xLights community is known for its active and supportive members. This means that users can easily find help, resources, and inspiration from fellow enthusiasts worldwide, making it an excellent choice for those looking to learn and grow in their light display skills.

Free to use: xLights’ open-source nature makes it an accessible option for users of all budgets.

Extensive features: The software offers a wide range of features and effects, allowing users to create complex and engaging displays.

Supportive community: The active xLights community provides a wealth of resources and support for users.
Steeper learning curve: xLights may have a steeper learning curve than Enttec Elm LED Mapper due to its more complex interface and features. Having said that, with a bit of patience, anyone can learn to use it.

Compatibility issues: While xLights is compatible with the most popular lighting controllers, some users have reported compatibility issues or require additional hardware to integrate it with their setup.

The Enttec Elm LED Mapper and xLights offer unique features and benefits for creating holiday light displays. The Enttec Elm LED Mapper is an excellent choice for those who prefer a user-friendly interface and compatibility with popular lighting controllers. On the other hand, xLights may be more suitable for users looking for a free, open-source option with extensive features and a supportive community.

Ultimately, the best software for your needs will depend on your specific goals, budget, and hardware. Be sure to consider the resources available on Rusty Griswold’s blog for additional guidance and inspiration as you embark on your journey to create the perfect holiday light show.

A fantastic example of what xLights is capable of. Check out the amazing singing light bulbs and how their lips are synchronized to the words!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is the Enttec Elm LED Mapper software free to use?

No, the Enttec Elm LED Mapper is commercial software and requires a license purchase.

Can I use both Enttec Elm LED Mapper and xLights simultaneously?

While using both software programs simultaneously is technically possible, managing and synchronizing them may be challenging. Choosing one software solution that best suits your needs and preferences is generally recommended.

Which software is easier to learn for beginners?

Enttec Elm LED Mapper is known for its user-friendly interface, which may be more suitable for beginners. xLights, while feature-rich, may have a steeper learning curve due to its more complex interface and advanced features. Its extensive support community offsets this.

Which software is better for creating large-scale light displays?

Both Enttec Elm LED Mapper and xLights are equally capable of handling large-scale light displays. The choice will depend on your needs, budget, and hardware compatibility.

Can I synchronize my light display with music using both software options?

Yes, both the Enttec Elm LED Mapper and xLights allow users to synchronize their light displays with music.

Can I create custom effects with both software options?

Both the Enttec Elm LED Mapper and xLights allow users to create custom effects, but xLights might offer a broader range of customization options due to its open-source nature.

Rusty Burlington

Disclosure: The Rusty Griswold Light Display supports the xLights software/community and has donated to the developers in the past so they can continue to do the fantastic work they do to produce the software.


  • Rusty Griswold

    Since 2015, I have been building my light display to celebrate the holiday season and experimenting with various recipes to bring people together around the table. I have learned many do's and don'ts in both areas along the way, and share them with everyone via the rustygriswold.ca website.

    https://rustygriswold.ca info@rustygriswold.ca M Mike
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x