Per Mike Collins at the Holiday Soft Forum:

Here's some of it

1. Support for new LOR commands
-Twinkle Fade
-Shimmer Fade
-Twinkle - Set Intensity
-Shimmer - Set Intensity

2. Minimizing the main application window and just using the view window during playback gives a significant performance boost. We have automated this to a degree for users who aren't aware of this feature. When you start a LOR sequence the “view1” window will open and minimize main HLD app. If you close the view, or minimize it, the main window will come back up. You can also turn off the “Auto View”. The frames per second are now displayed both on the main window, and in the title bar of the “View1” window.

3. We have a new option called "Connect Bulbs". Using this mode, the strands that you draw will be a single object instead of individual bulbs. This improves performance quite a bit and provides the ability to move a whole strand at once. If you draw a strand of 1000 bulbs it only requires the memory resources of a current "single bulb". This process works for C9, C7, Mini Lights and Rope lights. You can still do things the old way if needed. The new option is the default.

4. Mega Tree - When decorating a mega tree, all you have to do is click anywhere on the tree and a single vertical strand (angled to the tree) from top to bottom is added. It doesn't matter where you click on the tree e.g. top, bottom, and side. This provides the ability to add several strands without having to constantly rotate the camera. You could also be looking down from above the tree and add lights all the way around without changing your view at all. You also get better performance with of single strands. You can still do things the old way by unchecking the "Connect Lights" option. This could be needed if you didn’t want a vertical strand. Another change is the way the “Orbit Tree” works. It used to be that this option rotated the camera around the tree to easily see all sides of it. The difference now is that the tree rotates in place instead of the camera. This way the whole scene doesn’t spin, just the tree.

5. The Icicle lights now have the same color choices as the C9, C7 etc lights. You can also choose custom color patterns for them.

6. The "HUD" has been modified to be more helpful.

There are lots more things in the works. For example, another mega tree enhancement coming later is auto layering. Let's say you create a mega tree with 16 strands around the tree. So now you need to add another channel of a different color in the same place. Instead of having to click around the tree again in the same spots, the program will just add a second layer of lights for you on top of the other ones or next to them depending what you need it to do. This could also apply when adding lights to the house. Maybe right click over a strand and say “add layer”. Whatever the light, channel and color is active would be placed on top. Also later in the year a release will give performance a good boost with better Directx support. With the ability to see the frame rates you will see the impact.

Oh, and this next release is not just free, it’s “absolutely free” for existing users.