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2010 lighting season brings a big disturbance for most of us!


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there were many factors as to why retailers Blew it this season... in my opinion they are the following:

1] in 2008 no one spent any money on anything - people were VERY scared.. if not for themselves then for a family member.. people didnt buy gifts, they didnt buy lights.. or such.. many finally realized how much nicer it was to spend time with family at christmas..

2] as a result of #1 retailers OVER-STOCKED BIG TIME.. and lost their hats....and shorts..

3] in 2009 many of the people affected by #1 felt a bit more comfortable in the economy but thus still didnt spend money on extravagant gifts.. but found out how nice it would be to do something neat as a family like deck their homes up together as a family.. so decorations began to sell early...

4] in a big part of the USA the wetaher in november was INCREDIBLY nice.. pretty much every weekend in november here was sunny and warm.. the weather Greatly impacts the amount of outdoor lighting equipment sold in a given year... yes there are us here on PC who build displays in whatever weather we are given.. but many this year were like "ok its nice out i think ill string some lights"....

as a result of 2008's blunders retailers stocked MUCH less inventory than previous years... and they surely couldve sold many more lights than they had.. but typically they are placing their orders very early in the year to get delivery in the warehouses in time to have delivery at the stores by labor day and then out on the shelves by october first...(earlier in some chains)

nobody had any idea where 2009 was going to go so they were very conservative on their buying...

my guess is 2010 will be a little better but retailers mnay still be jumpy and not stock what they previously had...

alas I plan to be creative and use 2010 as the year I begin migrating to LED and adding lots of special effects elements to the display rather than just lots of lights....

-Christopher

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I noticed this happening early this season and staked out some of the stores that had a fairly good inventory as the season ended and made a note of them. I was able to pick up some LED's at 1/2 off and picked up quite a few boxes of white from target for 50% off plus another 10% on that. So for this year I'm going to concentrate on adding channels and really planning on what I can do to add that WOW factor.

Remember: Bigger isn't always better...it's the channels and how you use them.

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No analizing here from me... I'll agree with Elder boy... nice November weather this year. More people put lights up on their house this year than ever! And more people putting up "their" next level in displays....

As for me, I spent way too much After Christmas 2008 for 2009 that I got waaaaay more than I'll use for a coupple of years. For example... On hand I have +2500 red, green, blue, and multi lights. Well over 400 clear. And that dose not count what I have that is only 1 season old. So for me, next year may turn out to be something like (future signature) 208 channels controling 85,000 + lights... The thing is, when you can buy the lights, get them. It may stink at first if you blew your budget like I did last year. But lucky that my gable paid off and I'm sitting really good.

Dose that mean I'm happy? Heck no!. I want more! More More More!!!!! (did I say I wanted more???) I don't have exactly what I need to pull off next year's display so I'll be keeping my eyes open online to get the Green and Red C9 bulbs or green and red C9/C7 LED's I don't need many so I've got my "budgeted money" saved from my after Christmas sale that I DIDN'T spend. My plans for 2010 are simple... try to pull off what I wanted too in 2009 but couldn't because I didn't have the time (went to Basic Training).

Neither quantity of lights or number of channels but how you use them both together is what makes it all happen.

Remember: Bigger isn't always better...it's the channels and how you use them.

And I completely agree with both of you :D My sequences have improved dramaticly and the time spent has gone down as well... I'm enjoying this hobby more and more each year!

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retail tends to run on a 2 year swing

each years buying is based on the previous years sales. since sales tanked in '08 they were left with tons of stuff which scared retailers into buying much less than they would have on an off year. so 2009 saw shelves that were scarcely stocked and sales were pretty good (at least in my area), this should encourage buyers to have more stock for 2010. but this doesn't help some people until 2011.

take a lesson in decorating on a budget.

1. Go to Walmart and buy a $20 gift card, then every time you go back add a few bucks so that you have enough money to buy extra lights in November without breaking the bank

2. look through you decorations and see what you can trade for other decorations

3. shop for wireframes and blowmolds at flea markets, thrift stores, and gaage sales

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View from down under....

I noticed a similar thing over here with most places that carried lights at reasonable prices had sold out 7-10 days before dec 25 with pricing never getting under $5 / hundred bulds for incandescants, normal price being $7.99.

LED's were the dominate bulb type over here with the cheapest strings being $17 for 120, these eventually went on sale for $8.73 with not many available.

With pricing for lights in Oz it's hard to get 50k + without spending BIG dollars.

Personally i think the move will be to finer more granular control of the lights we all have. My display this year was 16,500 lights across 350 channels, less than 50 bulbs per channel on average.

2010 will see closer to 1000 channels with light count only increasing to 22k.

Cheers

Aussiephil

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I know its been a rough your for those wanting to stock up as usual.

Overall, I'm happy that I was able to get all the cords I wanted and the store still had plenty left.

I was able to find some green and red minis (not as many as I would like, but more than I thought I would) ... mainly by hitting the smaller market . more rural stores and skipping the big city stores which all had almost nothing.

I also found some plenty of white lights, which always seem to be available, but certainly in less quantify than in years past.

And keep in mind, these stores probably don't make much money off of these lights, as they are typically "loss leaders", even if they are meat and potatos for us.

A loss leader or leader[1] is a product sold at a low price (at cost or below cost)[2] to stimulate other, profitable sales. It is a kind of sales promotion, in other words marketing concentrating on a pricing strategy. The price can even be so low that the product is sold at a loss. A loss leader is often a popular article.

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Guest csx5861

I just pay regular price and KNOW I have what I want, when I want it. I do not wait for after-sales because far too many times I have been disappointed in NOT finding the item or items I had seen prior to Christmas day. So ya' all can do it however you want, I'll just pay full price and if I happen to get some on sale, fine, but I'm going to buy them when I find them, so I have them and not wait. Like said, been there, tried it, and have been disappointed every time I've waited and then missed out. And sometimes the items I wanted ARE NO LONGER available the following year and then I have to see if I can locate it elsewhere as a used item, if I can even find it.

Sorry, no thanks folks. I'll pay full price and get it when I see it. that way I get exactly what I want. (providing I do have the funds for it at the time I run across it, many times I haven't and still lost out when payday came and the item(s) were nowhere to be found or had!)

Just my 'pinion.

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Sorry, no thanks folks. I'll pay full price and get it when I see it. that way I get exactly what I want. (providing I do have the funds for it at the time I run across it, many times I haven't and still lost out when payday came and the item(s) were nowhere to be found or had!)

Just my 'pinion.

once again this is why it pays to load up a gift card at your favorite stores,

when they have what you want, you've already paid for it over the previous couple of months

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Well, I am shifting my plans a bit. I, as always plan bigger and better every year. It just so happens that I am running out of room in my display to put lights so My light count is not going to go up much if at all. I plan to add detail to my display. I will be adding control channels and resequencing every song that I have to show off the control of the lights instead of making them brighter. I actually have 10k of clear lights leftover from purchases in 2008. I will be using these for one project I have planned and for retiring old strings. Another project of mine is built with ropelight and I also have a 150' roll set aside for that.

There are plenty of ways to improve and expand a display without adding a ton more lights. Just do what you can with what you have!!!!!

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Guest Lightzilla

I had chances to buy lights, in fact I can still get lights, but I was not working, no source of income to speak about. I am now starting to work.

So I will be waiting until late September, or mid-Oct. to buy my lights. Nonetheless I have about 4,000 lights I can use (all LEDs) so I will be find for another year.

Yet for me I can get away with less lights in my display as I like to make display items, items that attract the eye.

Also I am taking apart my 12ft trampoline arch and recycling the LEDs for other projects, and I will be replacing that 12ft arch with my C7 12ft arch. I am very happy with the results of using retro fit C7 LEDs on my arches as it give a ribbon effect as some folks described it after viewing the lights.

I would like to buy 3 controllers tops this year for a project if I have money, otherwise the fact I am dropping the 3rd colour will give me channel counts to at least make another project.

I do however need to buy C7 sockets and about 300 retro fit C7 LED bulbs for a project.

I will make out O K and folks will be happy with what they see. My son gives me a report from his work and many folks are still talking about the display. That is the kind of media I like.....(word of mouth).

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I've noticed that too. Retailers here just don't stock items like they use to. There use to be hoards of lights left over after Christmas now the shelves are so picked over it's like a hurricane came through the store. Stock in this town has definitely dwindled and so I'm glad that I have the lights I do now but, Like everyone else I want more but, budget's, life and family take precedence over such things. So as time moves on and Money becomes available then I'll take my lights to where I can finally say, "there that's enough!."

Phhhhhhhhhhh Like that's ever gonna happen.

-Evan

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Maybe it is just me, but I think buyers for retail giants may see this year as a huge success. Rather than throwing away stock, or clearing it out at a heavy loss, the shelves were almost bare being sold at full price. If I were a buyer, I would be sitting back right now thinking I got it right.

In essence, we (as Christmas Decorators) win when they lose. Trust me - I would much rather be buying lights at $0.50/box! This year they won. I would not expect the pendulum to swing too far in the other other direction next year because of their success this year selling at full price.

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It doesn't matter to me on After Christmas sales and hasn't for the past couple years. I purchase commercial LEDs now. I too used to wait and then most everything of what I wanted would be already gone. That was before my LED craze.

Now I hit sales from CDI and will know what I get and when. No pressure there.

I've planned out my budget for the whole year around this sale. By the end of the year, everything worked out. Along with my display.

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I also think this year's light inventory was just an outlier and not the shape of things to come.

Next year or the year after that you will still be able to get pallets of discount, Chinese made incandescents. ;)

I am lucky in the fact that I bought big last year and didn't even get all of my fixtures made that I had planned for 2009. That is now my 2010 plan and I have all of the lights down in the basement to pull it off (plus a few spares)

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I hear ya and wish I could do that too, but not on cop and school teacher salaries, and four children. A 100 minis for .75 vs. 7.50 is the way we have to do things for now. It can stink when the items you want are already gone, but we have adjusted, and sometimes just built part of our display with available items. Our town has sure loved it and gave us alot of radio, news paper, and personal PR, and our kids, they had a blast.

By the way nice to meet all, kinda new to the planet, just landed. We put up our first animated display this year with LOR 48 channel and around 20k lights outside on our three story victorian, and six interior trees on the inside facing our street ( try to overhaul 115 year old house and be addicted to Christmas lights, call us a cross of Tom Hanks-The Money Pit and The Griswalds-Christmas Vacation!

Anyway thought I would jump in here, I have been lurking around here listing and learning from you guys for a little while now. So. HELLO! from Clinton MO.

Jim Houk

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Hi,

This past weekend I spoke with a Regional Wal-Mart manager and asked him why their Christmas light inventory was so low this year.

He stated that due to the anticipated economic downturn, Wal-Mart ordered substantially less lights and that they will do the same for this year. Sorry!

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eldoradoboy wrote "in a big part of the USA the wetaher in november was INCREDIBLY nice.. pretty much every weekend in november here was sunny and warm.. the weather Greatly impacts the amount of outdoor lighting equipment sold in a given year... yes there are us here on PC who build displays in whatever weather we are given.. but many this year were like "ok its nice out i think ill string some lights"....

Last year I found lots of lights at garage sales. I'm betting there will be even more at garage sales this year because of all the people who don't normally decorate did because of the nice weather and probably won't decorate again this year.

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I do a lot of shopping at yard sales. But I also get in on the pre-season sales and I keep an eye on different sites for clearance sales. It's amazing what you run across in the summer. Even on this site I have gotten great deals all year long.

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