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  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • 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.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. 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.
jayson

R.i.p. 2011 Christmas Light Show

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My daughter and I decided to take the plunge this time last year and have been working hard every since. We started with one LOR controller and 13,500 lights (about 80% LED's). This is our first post as we have been lurking and learning. We have gained so much knowledge from you all and we are very appreciative.

This morning at 4am, we had a catastrophic lightening strike that wiped out over 80% of our lights, blew the front off of our LOR controller and exploded the laptop in the living room. Thankfully, no one was hurt and there was no fire. We had impending storms last night and decided not to run the show and left everything unplugged except the laptop. It appears that the lightening ran thru the cat5 cable. Has anyone ever had something like this happen and is there anything I can do in the future to reduce the possibility of it happening again?

We are devestated at this point but there is not enough time to do anything but clean up the mess. Thanks for all your help.

In Mourning,

-jayson

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Very sorry to hear about the blowing up of your first light show.

I can not even start to imagine how you must feel but I know it would be very hard on us if something like this happened.

The guys with the bigger light shows can tell you better on how to try to avoid that.

Don't give up though. This is a wonderful thing you do for yourself, your family and your community. Start again, come back bigger and better for next year!

It is worth it, believe me.

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That is devastating news...I am so sorry. You even planned ahead and unplugged things, I never even would have made the effort, but now I most definitely will with any lighting around. No amount of insurance will ever pay for the amount of time you've invested. I hope you can recoup from this situation and come back with a great display next year.

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Everyone who has a display nightmare is having a direct hit of lightning. I really feel for you and when you really think of the odds its very unfortunate for you. I hope you come back with avengance next year as you couldnt be struck down 2 years in a row.

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I really appreciate the words of encouragement, we are a little beat down right now but we are not out. We had already started planning and buying for next year. It's just a tough kick in the pants after so much work. I am an early childhood teacher and there has been nothing better than to hear the kids talk about our lights this year. Even though we have had a setback, the smiles have been worth everything and better than I could have ever imagined.

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This does make me ask whether insurance would cover a claim or not. You start to put a value on the hardware and lights in our yards and you are looking at thousands of dollars. Obviously all the time spent is another issue, but replacing the hardware would be hard because it has accumulated over years.

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I would definitely say you have a claim for home owner's insurance. First, the laptop was in the house. I would go for the controller also as you said this was your first year, so it was practically brand new, and they still bring premium prices if you were to sell it on E-Bay.

New lights can be bought and hung, and new controllers can be bought/assembled/connected. I would say the biggest devastation is missing the remaining nights of the season and lighting up as well as the lost time put into the sequences which were on your laptop's hard drive. Hopefully, you have backed up your sequences to an external device, or another computer. If not, there is always a possibility that maybe the lightning did NOT destroy the hard drive, and you could recover your data from it. In the future, I would recommend backing up your sequences. I currently have all sequences backed up to multiple hard drives and multiple computers. A flash drive would be very smart as the sequences aren't too large unless you have a HUGE number of channels, and you can get them for cheap.

I'm sorry for your loss, but as with anything in life: you live, you learn! I'm glad people got to see your display and during the time it was up and running, you got to bring cheer to people in your community! Again, I'm sorry for your loss, and I hope to hear of your plans to go bigger and better next year! Good luck!

Edit: I'm not sure how badly the controller was hurt, but you may want to try and troubleshoot the controller and try contacting LOR. I'm not saying they can or will help, but I have heard of some people who have actually broken pieces or ruined their controller with soldering, and LOR was still willing to work with them and replace the ruined component. So, it wouldn't hurt to give them a call and see if they can do anything, or if they would be willing to do anything. They're great people and have amazing customer support (I can't speak from experience, but I have never heard a negative word and have heard plenty of positive)!

Edited by NarJar

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We have pretty high homeowners insurance here in Tx so before you make a claim, find out how it might increase your premium. It might not pay you to do it. I hate this for you. You may need to get an electrician to check your wiring. One year lightning hit hour house, something was loose, it fried everything that was plugged in, even the alarm clock.

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I checked with homeowners today but the deductable is almost $2500( thanks texas), not really worth the claim when you factor in the higher premiums that will follow. I was fortunate to have everything backed up on another computer and a memory stick which is some solace given everything else. That in itself was almost a tough lesson as I had a computer crash about a week into it.....lesson learned! This has been quite a learning experience to say the least and has become a labor of Love. We have learned so many things over the last couple months:

1. Buy 2x as much SPT as you think you need

2. You can never have enough tie straps

3. Start 2 weeks earlier

4. Buy extra tie straps and SPT cord

5.Spend less time on inventory and more time on layout

6.Have backups for everything

7. Spend the money and buy a good FM transmitter-NOT a CZH from e-bay

8.Buy extra tie straps and SPT

Despite all the setbacks and the catastrophe, it has been a joy and a lot of fun. This year may be over for us, but we are coming back next year bigger and stronger. We really appreciate all of your support and experience.

-jayson

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I have to tell you, I think about lightning all the time, of my display being a huge lightning rod. But I could not imagine how much time would have to be invested in prevention every time bad weather was in the forecast. It is just one of the added stresses during set up. I never would of even thought of disconnecting the CAT5 or of it being the conduit in a strike. What terribly bad luck! But at least on the bright side it was a single controller and you were not so heavily invested that it would take years to make a comeback.

Good luck I'll be rooting for you in 2012!

Edited by Bill V

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I know the feeling Ok heres the thing here. Lightning is act of god and they wont cover it wont hurt to ask though. I will tell you this We have been hit by lightning ALOT! blew tvs vcr dvd players a/c you NAME IT! So finally got a lightning rod installed and we havent had anymore issues. Im not real sure how it works but it does. Im thinking it atracts the lightning and shoots into the ground In theory i guess im no scientist. I think when the new a/c was installed was when they put the lighning rod in If i remember correctly its just a long bar hammered into the ground. Something to look into best thing we ever did.

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Well if you contact LOR you might be able to get some relief there, USE Surge protectors granted i only got a few of them running everywhere but before power reach's my house there is gfci units protecting inside, as for the cat5 line i also use a surge protecter for it and a battery back-up surge protector i would rather replace the power back-up than my house's electric or my PC - it is a sad thing to hear. And i agree with FrostSNsnow Lightning Rods are a great item to have i installed two ran them almost 6 feet into the ground my power box's are grounded to them as well as to the citys grid, and i got a rod on the roof that runs to them. but try investing in surge protecters for your cat5/ Electrical and i also recomend one for the cable wires , to be on the safe side. that is what i did.

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So sorry to hear of your unfortunate incident.

Keep your head up, and know we are routing for you to get it all worked out for the years to come.

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Would like to also add Well i know this might not cheer ya up but look at the good side of this nobody was on puter and nobdy touching lor at the time. it could have been a whole lot worse! Can you even imagine sitting down at puter and getting struck? I have the worse luck EVER!!! but theres always a good side to it It seems like murphy has gotten a lot of us this month. " If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong" or "If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop" Thats my life in a nutshell! If it was my house it would have caught fire and went up like something out of a cartoon! I would consider yourself very lucky I know it sounds bad but still have health right? Lights are not everything

Edited by FrostNsnow

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I checked with homeowners today but the deductable is almost $2500( thanks texas), not really worth the claim when you factor in the higher premiums that will follow. I was fortunate to have everything backed up on another computer and a memory stick which is some solace given everything else. That in itself was almost a tough lesson as I had a computer crash about a week into it.....lesson learned! This has been quite a learning experience to say the least and has become a labor of Love. We have learned so many things over the last couple months:

1. Buy 2x as much SPT as you think you need

2. You can never have enough tie straps

3. Start 2 weeks earlier

4. Buy extra tie straps and SPT cord

5.Spend less time on inventory and more time on layout

6.Have backups for everything

7. Spend the money and buy a good FM transmitter-NOT a CZH from e-bay

8.Buy extra tie straps and SPT

Despite all the setbacks and the catastrophe, it has been a joy and a lot of fun. This year may be over for us, but we are coming back next year bigger and stronger. We really appreciate all of your support and experience.

-jayson

So sorry to hear about this. I too, hope you'll come back next year bigger and better.

As for your deductible. You can reduce that by paying a little extra in premiums. I live in Texas too, and Texas has nothing to do with it. We had to replace $5,000 in flooring due to an over run bath tub. I was dismayed to find that my deductible was $2500. Come to find out, for about $50 more per year, I could reduce it to $500. Call your insurance back and see about reducing your deductible. It won't help now, but will later if something else happens.

Best wishes,

Mark

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Really sorry to hear. If you don't mind me asking, what issues did you have with the CZH from Ebay? I have one and it is has been great.

Steve, The CZH seemed to work wonderful when I first received it. I played with it a couple of days with no problems. I put it up for a month a two, when I hooked it back up, the unit was "frozen". I can't change the channel or power. It now has a good bit of static in the transmission. Weird to say the least. Maybe if I put it back in the drawer for another couple of months it will work just fine....LOL. Just another item to put on my wishlist.

I appreciate all the great ideas. I am going to look into them.......I was surveying the damage yesterday as I am starting to clean up and take down and found C-6 LEDS that had shot over into the neighbors yard across the street. This was from a larger tree that was wrapped that now has about 20% of the original bulb count. It is just amazing at the destruction! There are strings that just severed, SPT cord that is shredded like paper. It is an amazing site to say the least. I checked my mega tree yesterday and it looks to salvageable. Most of the strings on it are still intact and operable. A small win amonst the carnage.

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At least this will help ease a little of the replacement cost:

Unconditional Lifetime Replacement Policy:

Regardless of current end user, any Light-O-Rama hardware device that fails for any reason (e.g. eaten by dog, no longer like color) can be replaced with the same or current equivalent unit for 60% of the current list price of the new unit. The end-user is responsible for shipping the old unit back to Light-O-Rama and for the shipping costs of the new unit. In the event that there is no current equivalent for an Light-O-Rama device, Light-O-Rama will make every attempt to work something equitable out. Light-O-Rama will also honor this policy for any other manufacturer’s device for which we currently have a comparable device.

http://www.lightorama.com/Warranty.html

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At least this will help ease a little of the replacement cost:

Unconditional Lifetime Replacement Policy:

Regardless of current end user, any Light-O-Rama hardware device that fails for any reason (e.g. eaten by dog, no longer like color) can be replaced with the same or current equivalent unit for 60% of the current list price of the new unit. The end-user is responsible for shipping the old unit back to Light-O-Rama and for the shipping costs of the new unit. In the event that there is no current equivalent for an Light-O-Rama device, Light-O-Rama will make every attempt to work something equitable out. Light-O-Rama will also honor this policy for any other manufacturer’s device for which we currently have a comparable device.

And that is why people should use LOR...a great company to say the least.

Jayson, do you have any pictures? I realize you might be busy with things, but I'd be interested to see what your spt cord and c6s look like after a million volts went through it. I can't believe it shot the bulbs out of your yard.

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At least this will help ease a little of the replacement cost:

Unconditional Lifetime Replacement Policy:

Regardless of current end user, any Light-O-Rama hardware device that fails for any reason (e.g. eaten by dog, no longer like color) can be replaced with the same or current equivalent unit for 60% of the current list price of the new unit. The end-user is responsible for shipping the old unit back to Light-O-Rama and for the shipping costs of the new unit. In the event that there is no current equivalent for an Light-O-Rama device, Light-O-Rama will make every attempt to work something equitable out. Light-O-Rama will also honor this policy for any other manufacturer’s device for which we currently have a comparable device.

http://www.lightoram...m/Warranty.html

I have been talking with LOR over the last two days describing what had happened and was surprised/relieved to get that information today. I will be shipping the unit back next week. What a great company to work with, I can't say enough to be able to get a little break.

-jm

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These are the only photo's I have taken so far, but I'll try to get some more tomorrow. The first one is of the side of the house with LED C-9's. You can seen where the entire socket assemblies have been launched and the smoked up eve. The second photo is of some SPT cord that exploded. It blew about 25ft from where it originally resided.

post-13903-0-54379400-1324602736.jpg

post-13903-0-42005800-1324603499.jpg

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A few more photo's from wifey daughter........Living room floor where the laptop was setting, Laptop charger that exploded, Carnage of the laptop and the parts swept up, M5 LED's wrapped around the treewhere the tops were blown off, Male plug to a string on the trees.

post-13903-0-81324600-1324609442.jpg

post-13903-0-23458600-1324609461.jpg

post-13903-0-31326200-1324609658.jpg

post-13903-0-46409100-1324609677.jpg

post-13903-0-13817500-1324609693.jpg

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Would have been quite a show to see when the lightning hit! Kinda like pyrotechnics.

Quite a show indeed, both inside and outside of the house! We found laptop parts in three different rooms. We were very fortunate to not have a fire.

-jayson

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This morning at 4am, we had a catastrophic lightening strike...

...

Has anyone ever had something like this happen and is there anything I can do in the future to reduce the possibility of it happening again?

So what did the lightning hit? Megatree?

Been here for a few years, and never read of anybody having something similar. So obviously pretty rare. With that being said, maybe some that know enough about such matters can share some cost-effective (since it is so rare) ideas for preventing such damage. Somebody mentioned surge protecting their computer (power and cat5), but that does nothing for the rest of the display. Seems that some sort of in-line protection may be needed. Probably cost-prohibitive for the entire display, but there is probably certain high-risk props that could be focused on to isolate them from the rest of the display (ones that are more likely to get hit by lightening, such as a megatree). Even then I don't foresee a practical way to prevent all damage, but maybe a way to isolate the damage. Anybody want to shed some light on ideas for this? Seems we should try to learn something from jayson's experience, even if what we learn is that there is no good, practical, cost-effective way to avoid such a fluke.

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