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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 SOB

  • Rank
    Senior Member

Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    To be determined....
  • Location
  • Biography
    Engineer who likes to tinker and DIY, garden, work on my house and hunt whitetail
  • Interests
    Gardening, beer, DIY projects
  • Occupation
    Instrumentation & Controls Engineer
  • About my display
    Not much yet - starting out as a newb
  1. 1yr Old C9 LEDs Failing

    Thanks Stephen - I too agree they look fantastic! I lost another white one this weekend. I think that's 8 now. Still only the one red failure. I'll def post an update as the season progresses.
  2. 1yr Old C9 LEDs Failing

    No new appliances. The (mechanical) timer was new last year and started having "dead spots" where the lights would turn of randomly. Just this week I replaced it with a digital timer. The last couple days have been good, i.e. no bad lights, so hopefully this was the last of it *knocks on wood* Thanks for your suggestions!
  3. 1yr Old C9 LEDs Failing

    Thank you for the suggestions. 1. I have tried re-seating the bulbs in the same socket as well as other socket with no luck. Also, I have put in spare bulbs into these same sockets and those bulbs work just fine. Like I said above, some of them you can tell 1-2 diodes have failed but the rest are working. Also, I would also like to reiterate that I take the bulbs out and put them in the box BEFORE taking the strings down and I put the string up BEFORE screwing the bulbs in so that they do not knock around. 2. The contact do not look corroded but I will take some light sand paper to them in case there is minor build up and try again. 3. Everything is plugged into 1 receptacle that (at time of writing) is reading 116Vac - I cannot speak to surges as I do not have a constant meter on the recept. I will say that my house has never experienced signs of power surges (random electronics failing, light bulbs burning out, etc.) in the 6 years we've lived here.
  4. 1yr Old C9 LEDs Failing

    2016 was the first season for my light display. Ceramic-style C9 LEDs in alternating pure white and red. All purchased from HLE. This season they have been turned on for just over 1 week and I am having bulbs fail. So far a total of 7 bulbs - 6 of them the white ones. They all worked at time of installation but now just about every night I'm finding another one that has gone bad. Some are dim (you can tell 1 or 2 of the 5 internal LEDs have failed) but most go out completely. My question is - is this normal?? I have about 200 bulbs total, 100 of each color so that's 6% failure SO FAR on my whites. I take great care of them: put up my light string first then install the bulbs, remove bulbs before the string comes down, and always store them in the box where they are individually protected. At $1/each I was hoping these would last longer than a year, in fact I assumed they would last the bulk of their 50,000hr life or at least 5-10 years. I called HLE and they admit that that seems like a lot of bulbs - but unfortunately since we are technically into the second season I can only get 50% of the cost towards new bulbs (1st season is 100%, 2nd 50%, 3rd is 30%). The cost isn't that concerning but I hate having to get the ladder and replace bulbs almost every night. Soon the roof is going to be too slick to get up there and I'll have to live with the ugliness of failed bulbs in my display.
  5. All-in-One Clips Breaking??

    I agree I probably should have bought more as I was cutting it close but to have more than 10% break seems like a lot to me. What other clips are there that works with the C9 empty socket line? The only other thing I've used are the S type clips but that was for regular big box store light string.
  6. All-in-One Clips Breaking??

    Hey All!! Thanks to all the help last year I have about 75% of my display up and the first (only) headache I encountered was that from the very beginning the all-in-one shingle/gutter clips kept breaking as I tried to install my C9 sockets. If I wasn't extremely careful they would push on too fast and POP goes one side of the ring that holds the socket. I had 103 clips and installed about 90 lights/sockets on my gutter and I came up 3 clips short! In addition, the C9 sockets seemed to stretch them out so much that I wonder if they'll last many years (let alone one season with the winds we get). The clips almost seem a little too small for the C9 sockets. Anyone else have any problems? Am I doing something wrong?? Any help is appreciated!! These are the clips I bought from HLE: http://www.holiday-light-express.com/light_information.php?partnumb=All-In-One-Clip-1000&stock_printout=2 in Stock
  7. Intro and Initial Questions

    Yeah, I just noticed that yesterday. They are in a different section then the main LED lights and the "ceramic" is what threw me off the first time I looked (I was looking for "opaque"). Thanks Gwennifer!
  8. Intro and Initial Questions

    Those were the three I was looking at. Some have better prices than others and some only carry 1000' stuff when I only want 250' or 500'. When I go to order though, I think I may save some money in shipping by getting everything from two places - wire & sockets, clips, plugs from HLE and the bulbs from Christmas-LEDs since they are the only place that has the opaque LEDs. I'm going to try and give Christmas-LEDs a call this week and ask some questions. Thanks for the input!
  9. Intro and Initial Questions

    Haha!! So sorry to disappoint you but I made sure that I ran the options past my wife. I think she was thinking (wishing?) for an entirely pink house until she saw my mock-up of the candy cane style...and she fell in love with it! I do REALLY appreciate your hard work looking at all those pink lights...maybe you can incorporate some into your setup next year? From here I am actually procrastinating on putting my pre-order in from the various sellers. I have a couple of new job opportunities out there with planned pay increases. If one comes through in time I may splurge and buy a few more lights than I plan on I think the first place I'm looking to buy from ends late January so I have some time to wait... Anyone order from christmas-leds.com before? I think I need to call them because they have the opaque C9s on sale but I don't know how to add them to my cart and order. The prices are listed but there's no place to select quantities and add to cart. http://www.christmas-leds.com/productinfo_v3.aspx?productid=PS-OPA-RET-ttp://www.christmas-leds.com/productinfo_v3.aspx?productid=PS-OPA-RET-
  10. Intro and Initial Questions

    As much as I don't want to get obsessed with another hobby I just came home and thought...Hmmm...I could easily put some nice wire frames on the front porch railing and it would look really nice from the road! I already thought about a cool flag pole "tree" in the front where the lights alternate colors and spin around. Uh-Oh....here we go!! Lucky for me I tend to go in waves...I'll find something I want to do, figure out how to do it well, find a point that I'm happy, move on to the next obsession but keep up with the previous one(s). Beer brewing, gardening, home improvement, lawncare, growing fruit and soon to be making my own cider grinder and press...I have no problem filling my down time with productive things! I'm in central Ohio about 30-45 min north, north west of Columbus...outside of Delaware.
  11. Intro and Initial Questions

    gmac, Thanks for the quick reply and the additional options!. I'm getting anxious to get something ordered and get it off my mind for a bit! I think I'll go with the opaque for both to get that distinctive candy cane look. Also, Christmas-Leds has some Cherry Blossom stringers that would be a good surprise for my wife's pink mini-tree inside! As much as I hate the pink I still find myself supporting it on occasion
  12. Intro and Initial Questions

    AHHH! Decisions decisions... Are the opaque bulbs what is typically used for this look? Also, would I want to go with the same opaque white bulbs to get the white-white?
  13. Intro and Initial Questions

    We decided to go the red white candy cane look and incorporate the pink down the road where we can and have it look good. I really like the pure white bulbs! Creative Displays doesn't have them (at least for their sale) but Hiliday Lights Exprrss does. If I get the red from CD and pure white from HLE will there be any noticeable difference in brightness, etc? They are both 5 LED full wave but HLEs use almost a full watt as opposed to 0.7w that CDs use. This leads me to believe there may be a brightness difference. It's only a couple $ per bag so maybe I just get all from HLE?
  14. Intro and Initial Questions

    TED...Thanks for all the info. Some I already am aware of (warm white, cool white, LED white, etc) and some I haven't really thought about until now like using yellow, orange and red together. Also, glad you noticed why I get stuck in the details!! ACK! Those colors clash. (Part of that is undoubtedly a software issue so actual lights could be different.) You will want to keep some (meaning a lot) of distance between that pink and the red/white. Um, no. No, no, no, no, no. The red and pink are too close together. Just...no. TED To each his own, people should decorate to their own taste and personality. Don't take my comments too seriously. Almost everything I post is intended to be taken with a humorous slant. (Sometimes that doesn't come through in text format.) TED I personally don't think the color pink belongs anywhere on the house but you know the saying...happy wife happy life I do appreciate your honest opinion on the red/white and pink. I was worried about the colors conflicting so that's why I wanted some opinions. I'm not sure if I would decorate the porch railing and posts which may help break things up. Also, the pink will be done last (no real landscaping at the moment) so we could always adjust once we actually get to that point. If we do go with the candy cane look do I go with warm white or cool white LEDs? I don't want it to look red/blue but I also don't want it to look red/yellow. I guess red/yellow-ish is better than the red/blue. Gwennifer thanks for your opinion too and I also like your idea of incorporating the pink into a multi-color roof line. Using that idea and something TED said I could see doing a multi-color roof line with R G Y B Pink and the front door same pattern but the windows pink...something like that. I DON'T KNOW!!! There's just so many options how does one decide?!?!
  15. Intro and Initial Questions

    Here's something I put together to show my wife my idea and figured I'd get your thoughts too. The pink in front of the house will be mini-LEDs and will be once we get some actual landscaping. Whatcha think?!?!