Jump to content
Did you know?
  • 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.
mwalz

Power Needs Keep Growing

Recommended Posts

Well between last year and this year i added 8,000 lights. I have a static display. I got all excited and caught up in the fact that i got that many lights in one year. I'm only 16 which may have something to do with that. Anyways, i didn't really realize til this past week i need more power. Not really that but I'm going to have to spend $80 on 4 20 amp timers, and another $10 or so to fix a broken outlet as well as upgrade a 15 amp to 20 amp breaker. I'm pulling around 57 amps this year, and it's just a another reminder to have everything well thought out and well planned before you put your display together. I added up the amps before the display went live, and i figured it was all ok, but now after 2 nights of the display on for a full 5 hours, the 15 amp breaker has to be reset. I want to avoid that plus I'm about overloading my current wireless remotes for the other outlets. I'm not at my display every night because its at my grandmas house, so its even more an issue now. Anyways just had to get out all my thoughts in to words. Thanks for listening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You cant  safely just swap out a 15 amp breaker with a 20 amp breaker- the wiring between the breaker itself and the outlets it serves must be correctly sized to handle 20 vs 15 amps! Consult an electrician so you do not burn down your grannys house! I hope she is prepared for the huge increase in her electric bill that a static display pulling 57 amps creates!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You cant  safely just swap out a 15 amp breaker with a 20 amp breaker- the wiring between the breaker itself and the outlets it serves must be correctly sized to handle 20 vs 15 amps! Consult an electrician so you do not burn down your grannys house! I hope she is prepared for the huge increase in her electric bill that a static display pulling 57 amps creates!

Well i do understand the wire and all that needs to be correct. I didn't exactly put all i knew in the post. Anyways when I'm there tomorrow i will double check to make sure the gauge of the wire is ok for it to handle it. My dad has done many house wiring jobs so i can ask him when i look at the wire. And as electric goes....she has already stated that if the bill is over $200 i get to pay it.....lol. Which I'm sure it will be. Last year it was over $300.....i don't want to even think of what it will be this year.......Thanks for reminding me about the wire though.....my dad said it might be ok but i'm still going to check. If it's not the outlets that shorted out because of aunts is a 20amp breaker so that will be there if i can't replace the other safely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Merrymidget is correct about breaker sizes. They need to be aligned with the wiring size. Keep in mind that for a continuous load that exists for more than about three hours, you should only load a circuit up to about 80% of the rating to provide a safety margin. This means that a 15A circuit should be limited to about 12A load, and a 20A circuit should be limited to about 16A.

 

If you are truly pulling nearly 60A for your display, it's becoming time to seriously consider your overall power need. Most homes have a maximum of 200A service, and many only have 100A service (especially if they use gas for heating/water heating/cooking). You need to invest in LEDs, upgrade your service, or invest in a sequencer that will limit your power consumption by not keeping all of the lights on at once.

 

Based on your comment about four timers, I'm assuming you are spreading out the load over four different circuits. My personal "don't-burn-down-the-house" rule of thumb is to keep the individual circuit load to around 7A max if the circuit is not specifically dedicated. If you have dedicated 20A circuits, you can double that to 15-16A. Based on that math, I would suggest that you need at least four dedicated 20A circuits (and personally, I would take that up to six to allow for future expansion).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the feeling here, a few years ago we have two outlets installed along the roof-line (running from a single 20A), and this year I had two more added, each running to their own 20A. I had an electrician do it though, that's not an area I want to meddle with and mess up!

 

Using an animated display and some LEDs does help control the electric cost. I also only run it for about 2 hours on weekdays and 3 on weekends until about a week from Christmas when I extend that time a bit longer. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the whole box is rated for 200 amps, which is way better than 100. This year after Christmas i will sit down and figure out where i need to go with the display. If possible i will add 2 dedicated 30 amp breakers, and a couple 20 amps along with what i currently have. The only problem I have with buying LOR or some other controller is that to do the whole display i would have to spend at least $1200 probably...all at once.....I just don't have that kind of money to spend all at one time on Christmas lights. I will check in to adding new dedicated breakers coming next spring when i start planning everything out. If all else fails i can have a sub-box installed and new outlets wired. It would still probably be cheaper than LOR. I will still get the timers though because i will always need those. LEDs would definitely be the way to go...but then again to replace most of my lights in one year would be a huge amount of money. Either way I'm going to have to spend a lot...lol..

 

I am replacing my 100 C9 bulbs with LEDS next year, as well as probably 2 of my mega-tree's, that will help with a lot of electric.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't need to hook everything up to LOR controllers in the first year. Not only would that be financially difficult it would be a daunting task to set up and program the sequences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't need to hook everything up to LOR controllers in the first year. Not only would that be financially difficult it would be a daunting task to set up and program the sequences.

Yea true, like i said i still gotta sit down and think about next year. For right now i will make due, and then i will make any big upgrades as necessary. Here is a few pics of this years display, any thoughts on what what would be good to start with with LOR?

post-19074-0-35458700-1386434293_thumb.j

post-19074-0-35625700-1386434297_thumb.j

post-19074-0-90542900-1386434301_thumb.j

post-19074-0-90466700-1386434343_thumb.j

Edited by mwalz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Suggestion 1: If those C7/C9s on the roofline are incans, switch them to LED or go to incan icicles. Those big "kodak" bulbs are beautiful, but they suck down a lot of juice. I used them to line my roofline for years, but finally abandoned them this season. For a 70 foot roofline, changing from C9s to twinkling icicles cut my power consumption for the roof by about half.

 

Suggestion 2: It's hard to tell from still video, but do you use flasher bulbs or dumb chasers at all? I use those in my display. They give a little bit of visual "pop" to the display, and also keep some of the lights from staying on constantly. The dumb chaser box can control 3 channels of 150w each (roughly 300 mini lights) and are inexpensive. Use chasers and and blinker bulbs has cut my amperage load from about 24A to about 18A.

 

Something that may help you with planning is what I do. As I am planning my display each year, I make a list of each element in the display, and how many watts/amps each item will draw when lit. With that entire list, I can start grouping together (usually trying to the items closest to each other grouped similiarly) and determining the best way to connect them to power. Since I am not running dedicated circuits (yet), I try to keep each group capped at about 7A tops to avoid tripping breakers during the display.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could save some money by buying used controllers on ebay, I bought 6 of mine there and have had NO problems with them, just be sure that you are not buying owner assembled kit models and are buying REAL LOL assembled units, and even if you do have a problem w/ one of them Light o rama will service it, if you can't do it yourself w/ their tech. assistance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Suggestion 1: If those C7/C9s on the roofline are incans, switch them to LED or go to incan icicles. Those big "kodak" bulbs are beautiful, but they suck down a lot of juice. I used them to line my roofline for years, but finally abandoned them this season. For a 70 foot roofline, changing from C9s to twinkling icicles cut my power consumption for the roof by about half.

 

Suggestion 2: It's hard to tell from still video, but do you use flasher bulbs or dumb chasers at all? I use those in my display. They give a little bit of visual "pop" to the display, and also keep some of the lights from staying on constantly. The dumb chaser box can control 3 channels of 150w each (roughly 300 mini lights) and are inexpensive. Use chasers and and blinker bulbs has cut my amperage load from about 24A to about 18A.

 

Something that may help you with planning is what I do. As I am planning my display each year, I make a list of each element in the display, and how many watts/amps each item will draw when lit. With that entire list, I can start grouping together (usually trying to the items closest to each other grouped similiarly) and determining the best way to connect them to power. Since I am not running dedicated circuits (yet), I try to keep each group capped at about 7A tops to avoid tripping breakers during the display.

That is a really good idea. I won't be able to put a small controller on everything especially my tree line because it uses 3,000 lights. And the roof i am replacing with C9 Leds next year for sure. My 15' mega-tree, i am doubling the height next yerar and that will draw 20 amps for the tree alone next year, so i need to figure out a way to get some more LEDs cheap. Where is a good place to buy those small controllers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found a some 3-channel chaser controllers at http://www.thechristmaslightemporium.com/christmas-light-chase-controllers for about $15... You can probably find them at other suppliers or ebay for similar or less cost. The small controllers will only handle about 150W per channel, so if you are using incans, you need to be strategic with them.

Edited by CLashley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could save some money by buying used controllers on ebay, I bought 6 of mine there and have had NO problems with them, just be sure that you are not buying owner assembled kit models and are buying REAL LOL assembled units, and even if you do have a problem w/ one of them Light o rama will service it, if you can't do it yourself w/ their tech. assistance.

Can I ask what you paid for a controller on Ebay? The ones I see are sold for more than new ones from LOR!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the best timer I have found is a water heater time, it handles 2 20 amp breakers, cost is around $50 or so

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...