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  • Christmas 2017 countdown has begun. Most people reveal their displays the day after Thanksgiving. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.


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About Douggg

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  1. @donna123 Unbelievable.... We now have on-peak, partial-peak, off-peak and Event Day pricing. As a said we can be paying up to $0.85 kWhr on what are called Event Days. On non-even days the standard on-peak rate for us is $0.45 soon to be $0.50 kWhr. Funny thing is we use about the same number of kWhrs every month and our bill is over $200 each month. Seems crazy to me we have to pay about $0.40 more per kWhr. And I'm in California where we use a lot of non-fossil fuel, hydro, nuclear, solar and wind. One other thing.... CLFs are better than incandescent bulbs at saving energy. But LEDs are even more efficient and I think the color is better. You might want to replace the CFLs and save a bit more. (I bought mine at Costco.) But with your electric rate maybe it wouldn't matter that much.
  2. @BigJ Dide what’s with you? You lolololol-ing at people who have lost crops and food supplies, have had to move or can’t get insurance because sea levels have risen all due to man caused claimants change? Not exactly the Christmas spirt to laugh at your fellow man who is suffering because of what we have done. Why not show some competition the people who are lost their homes, their livelihood or have had their food supply destroyed by man caused climate change. As you know I live in California where fires last month killed 24 people, destroyed over 5,000 homes and disrupted the lives of over 100.000 people. And this month new fires are raging once agin in killing people, destroying more homes and disrupting the lives of tens of thousands. Dude I’m not telling you what to believe in but at least have some respect for the people who are suffering from the effects of man caused climate change. No need to lolololol at thes people, just show a little respect. You asked if we have central AC? The answer is yes. And as unbelievable as this seems thanks to man caused climate change we have not turned it on in over 20 years. (I don’t even know if the thing works anymore.). But at the same time I have co-workers who live about 40 miles away who have told me they are running their AC for more months throughout the year. I really feel sorry for them. They tell me the months they run their AC they are pay anywhere between $600 and $1,200 more for electricity each month. BigJ if you could show some respect, I do have a question for you. You appear top lolololol at man caused climate change. With all due respect can you tell me why? And just so you know where I’m coming from I did not believe in climate change or man caused claimte change either. But to be honest I did not look at the evidence and trusted what was being reported in the news. It wasn’t until I looked at the evidence about climate change when I found out I was wrong. But what really convinced me was the research the Koch brothers paid to have done on climate change. As you may or may not know the Koch Brothers own the second largest private company in the US which is in the fossil fuel industry. One would think the results of this study since it was being paid for by billionaires in the fossile fuel industry would have come back saying there is not enough evidence to show climate change or global warming is occurring. To everyone’s surprise including the Koch brothers the study they funded came back clearly indicating climate change was occurring. The Koch brothers then paid to have a second study conducted to see if there was any relationship with man’s activities. Again the Koch brothers and the team of researches (at the time.thought) they would not be able to find any correlation with man’s activities. The looked at all of the non-man chased theories and found no relationship between the theory and climate change. But once they looked at man’s activities and cliame change they found a direct relationship. As they looked at the data in greater detail they found an even tighter relationship. All of the research was passed along to the Koch brothers and was made public for everyone to analyze. It’s been around 10 years and to this date no one has disputed the findings the Koch Brother paid to have completed. At this time there is no doubt about claimte change and that man is the cause. So what did the Koch brother do with this information? Like the other fossil fuels companies they hired a PR firm to case confusion and doubt with the public and politicians. The funny think is they hired the same scientists who 30 years ago were hired to say tabbacco smoke does not cause cancer. Again I’m not telling you what to believe, I am just asking where you are getting your information and how you decide if it’s the truth or the work of a marketing company who want you to believe their agenda?
  3. @donna123. Are you serious, you are only paying .062 kWh? That’s incrediable. I think we were paying that 25 years ago. At that rate do you have an electric car? Crud your effective price for gasoline would be something like $0.25 per gallon of gas. We punched a hybrid car and it costs us about $3.50 in electricity for a fill up. I resisted buying an electric car but my wife insisted. As much as I wanted to hate the thing, it’s turned out to be wonderful. As much as I like my sports car, my next car is defiantly going to be an electric car. You know even if we wer to install solar on our hose we still could not get electricity for $0.06 kWhr. If you had to pay California electricity rates your $200 bill would be over $2,600. And next year with he rate increase add another $100 or so. You complain about the cost of lettuce and peppers, any idea how much we have to pay for snow? I bet you get that for a lot less where you are. Where I live they have to truck it in. And once it gets here it only last a day or two.
  4. @hotrod1965 You are correct, but power companies int he US don’t offfer DC current at 12 volts. So while we are in agreement you left out how the 120 volts AC gets converted to DC at 12 volts. Depending on how the 120 volts AC is converted to 12 v DC there can be quite a bit of loss from the converter circuit due to heat. Someone in a previous post said a resister was being used in some LED. If so, 98.25% of the wattage consumed has to be disapated as heat. Your new SMD bulbs which use .58 watts do you have a 12 VDC and a 120 VAC version or are they just 12 VDC? I agree with you the 12 volt is far more safer. And with LOR having a 12 VDC controllers it makes far more sense to convert displays to the safer lower 12 volts. The lights you have in the video look very good. I can see some other uses for them besides holidays if they are 12 VDC.
  5. No typo, LEDs can get quite hot. I’ve found some LEDs can get just as hot as incandescents. For 8k bulbs, that would be .000875 amp per bulb or 875 milliampere per LED, that sounds about right. I take it you don’t have any retrofit LED bulbs or LED spot lights. I will disagree. A several years ago in this forum when LEDs were becoming popular we did the calcaulations comparing the purchase price and the coast to power LEDs vs. incandescents. Now this is going to depend on your electricity rate. I think at the time we used $0.10 kWhr and and LED price of 3 - 4 times more than for incandescents. If the lights were just powered on for 6 weeks for 5 hours a day break even was about 3 years. But now with our power company charging over 3 times that I suspect the break even cost for us would now be one holiday season.
  6. Crud... You are only paying $0.11? Unbelievable. Our power company is switching everyone to Time of Use plans. Some plans have folks paying as much as $0.85 kWhr. The IRS tax codes have always been easier to understand then our utility company's bills. In the past they had tiered. The more you use, the more you pay. Now we are on time of use (TOU) or TOU with tiering. Bleeping A it's complicated. I think our rates are the most expensive in the country including Hawaii. It was with nuclear power it was supposed to be free. (As in too cheap to meter.) The windmills are catching on fire and thanks to man caused climate change and smog solar panels don't produce as much as they could. FYI - More people have died in solar and wind turbine accidents each year then all of the people who have died from ALL nuclear power plant accidents. I will probably be installing solar this spring. Thank you fellow tax payers for picking up 30% of he bill. Elon Musk and Solar City have quoted me $40,000. Actual cost if I DIY is $9,000 for the solar panels and mounting kit. $3,000 for the design and installation and $150 in permit fees or let's call it $13,000. DIY I (and tx payers save) $27,000. With profits of $25,000 per home going solar you had better believe everyone in California is selling solar. You had better believe Elon and everyone else is trying to cash in on this while they can. I think the entire solar industry is the next mortgage fraud. It's unbelievable what the solar companies are telling home owners how much money they will save. It's all BS and alternative reality math. But that's for another post.
  7. Really - What are you paying per kWhr? Prior to going with computer controlled lights there was a huge spike in my electricity bill. But now with the power company charging $0.33 kHwr it can get quite expensive. A couple of years ago I replaced all of the incandescent lights in my house with LEDs. My electricity bill dropped by 1/3rd or about $150. In just three months I recouped all of the money I paid for all of the LEDs and that was before the power company increased rates.
  8. It must be nice to have an unlimited budget to spend on your hobby, I'm not as lucky and I care how much things cost. (Too each his own.) I too do it for the fun of it and this is new the third generation of kids who enjoy the display at my house. If you are willing to share some of your love I would gladly accept any contribution you would like to offer to enhance my display for next year. It would bring a lot of joy to others. I have to go back to work now. Need to earn the $$ to pay the power company so I too can make people happy.
  9. How much are you paying per kHhr? I'm sure if your power company were charging $0.85 you would not be saying that. With incandescent easily. Have you seen what our power company is charging per kHr? It can be almost $1.00 kWhr. Any idea what you are paying?
  10. Agreed, but some of us care about saving money and man caused global warming. Guess it all depends on what's important to you and if you care about others on our planet. I have well over $10,000 invested in my hobby so it's a pretty serious hobby. But I've got to tell you if I can save a $500 in electricity costs I would gladly take that $500 and spend it on my wife to have her light up my life at this time of the year.
  11. I've seen number of posts about retro-fit LEDs. and LEDs vs. incandescent bulls. I'm wondering if anyone has calculated the cost power these devices. Not sure were how much you are paying for electricity. Here in California where I live, (depending on the rate one is on, our power company has 9), we can pay as much as $0.85, (yes nearly $1.00 per kWhr) for electricity. My power company charges me $0.33 kWhr for electricity to light my lights. You had better believe at those rates I'm looking at how much it costs to power the lights. I've found a lot of the LEDs get hot, some so hot I can't even touch them. Anytime heat's generated that's money wasted as heat and not as light. Most LEDs operate at 1.5v DC. The power companies in the US have supply us with 120V AC. This means the AC needs to be converted to DC and the voltage lowered. If you install retrofit LED bulbs into traditional string of 120 v lights the LED not only has to convert the AC to DC, but also drop 118.5 volts as heat. That means when these LED lights get powered 98.75% of the electricity is wasted as heat, and only 1.25% is used to light the LED. (This is worst case.) I'm wondering if anyone has measured how much electricity your lights are using and the cost to power each string? I've compared individual traditional incandescent blubs with LEDs and found the LEDs to use about 1/10th the power of the incandescent. But when I compare strings of LEDs with the mini-incandescent strings I find they use about the same amount of electricity. (And I personally like the look of incandescent.) As the cost for electricity continues to increase I would think the cost to light or displays would be of interest to everyone. I'm a LOR user. Since most of my lights are off while the show is running I still use incandescent. But as I build new displays I'm think of switching over to 12 volt LEDs. I can buy 16 feet of LED strip light for just $7.00 from Banggood. LOR makes a DC controller. Anyone else given this any thought? Forgot to mention if you would like to measure the energy usage there are several solutions starting at around $9.00. I personally own and use all of these. If this is something you are interested in I would highly recommend all of these. You really only need the $9.00 to get an idea what's going on. https://www.amazon.com/P3-P4400-Electricity-Usage-Monitor/dp/B00009MDBU/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_23_tr_t_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=N40Q1J49281E55R9QND3 https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Floureon+Energy+Power+Meter+Monitor+LCD+display+Watt+Volts+Time+ https://www.walmart.com/ip/Floureon-Energy-Power-Meter-Monitor-LCD-display-Watt-Volts-Time-Current-60HZ-110V-130V-US-Plug/449562352?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=14168&adid=22222222227109035167&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=233372814680&wl4=pla-383091121896&wl5=9032088&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=118786898&wl11=online&wl12=449562352&wl13=&veh=sem And if you want to record electricity usage over time take a look at https://www.amazon.com/Mooshim-DMM-BLE-2x01A-Mooshimeter-Wireless-Multimeter/dp/B011W4L7JA https://www.amazon.com/Watts-Pro-Electricity-Consumption-Meter/dp/B000CSWW92
  12. 2017 Display

    Looks nice. Someone posted a question about retrofit lights. Have you calculated how much they will cost? And more importantly how much will they cost to power? Some retrofit lights waste 98.5% of the energy they consume in heat and only use 1.5% to produce light. Might be worthy of another post.
  13. Looking for LED version of old school incandescents

    LED bulb manufactures don’t use resisterors any more it’s too costly in terms of energy and could not be sold in some states. (If not all states.) Remember incandescent bulbs can be powered with AC or DC current. But LEDs can only be powered with DC current. The LED string manufactures use to split LED strings in half powering each side with one half of the AC sine wave. But that caused flicker. Now they use the same “trick” computer power supply manufactures use which is to increase the frequency. They LEDs still flicker but an a much higher frequency and with very little energy going to waste as heat. Why does this matter? Depends on how much you are paying for electricity. I know in some parts of the country you might only be paying $0.05 kWhr, but here in California (depending on what rate plan one is on) we can pay up to $0.85, yes nearly $1.00 per kWhr. I’m paying my power company $0.33 kWhr to light my lights. You had better believe when I buy lights I look at how efficient and how much they cost to light. I think might be a topic for a new thread.
  14. Looking for LED version of old school incandescents

    Wow these look really good. Thanks for posting. Any idea what the cost is? I would also be curious to know how much energy they draw. Yes they are LEDs which require less energy to light.... But then LEDs operate in the 1.5 volt range. On a120 volt circuit 118.5 volts needs to dropped and I disipated as heat a each bulb. I could see a string of say 30 of these bulbs generating far more heat then light. Doing a quick calculation 98.5% of the electricity to power these LEDs has to be disparate as heat and only 1.5% will be used to produce light. .