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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.


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About dtrammell

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 07/03/1973

Profile Information

  • Location
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
  • Occupation
    IT Systems Administrator
  1. Yeah, Insteon is pretty expensive...if they think they're going to sell a lot of units because of this they're dreaming. I could see pre-existing Insteon users borrowing their modules for a small christmas display, but seriously - if you have that sort of money to throw around, just do it right and go with one of the dedicated Christmas controllers.
  2. I didn't see this posted anywhere...looks like SmartHome has updated their software suite that allows synchronizing Insteon devices to music: http://www.smarthome.com/14251/Light-Show-Master-2-0-Holiday-Lighting-Control-Software/p.aspx Hahaha...I love how the registration key is listed right there in the screenshot
  3. It's good 10/6-10/11 only, so plan ahead. Edit: Direct link to a copy of the coupon image:
  4. No, because the smaller LED bulbs that use .072w each (see, I can do math too!) don't put out the same percentage of light per watt as a 3 watt Luxeon bulb (the ones that go into those super-bright LED flashlights). 13,000 LEDs is bright - they'll see the glow from a block away as they approach your house - but not as bright as 156,000 incandescents. If you watch the video in my signature, that's about 15,000 LEDs in my yard...not blinding by any means, but it will be noticed.
  5. Smart move stapling lights to a removable frame - those staple holes really start to add up after multiple seasons if you staple directly to the house. Your biggest challenge will be to keep the staple going straight over the cable, and not puncture it. Stapling the wire to the frame while it's down on the ground will help with that because you can get right over it. It also helps to have a wire-guard that fits on the end of the stapler to create a groove that safely guide the wire away from the staple legs...some staplers have this, some don't, but you can often add your own (or just be very, very careful). I learned the hard way my first year that it's quite easy to ruin a string of lights by stapling through that 22-guage wire.
  6. Woohoo! BigLots is my favorite source for super-cheap 3' extension cords, and I know I need at least 32 more this year for my new megatree controller...looks like I need to mark my calendar!
  7. Nice tutorial! I may have to build one of these if my wall wart isn't up-to-snuff...
  8. Jon, did you order LEDs from Creative Displays? I used the twist-ties that come on each strand to connect my clusters (four strands per cluster) to the top of my tree. They're pretty heavy-duty compared to the cheapo ties that come with your garbage bags for instance, and I quickly realized that they'd come in handy for securing lights to just about anything with less "permanence" than zip ties. I saved a whole box of them which I dip into whenever I need to secure something - I even used them to tidy up the cables behind my computer!
  9. Ok, if you can do both CW and WW, then I'll take 10 each of R/G/B/WW/CW.
  10. Kevin, do you know anything about the light output of these bulbs? I'm curious how many lumens the white ones put out, since I could theoretically use them inside my house for normal spot lighting as a replacement for compact fluorescent bulbs if I can work out a good 12 volt light source inside the house (I think I have an unused 12v wall wart in the garage that would do the trick).
  11. On further consideration, in addition tothe original 10 Cool White I opted for, I think10 blue,10 green,and 10 red could open up a lot of possibilities for me. It's going to be a colorful 2008! :waycool:
  12. Count me in for10 Cool White.
  13. clee wrote: What I've noticed with LEDs is that the larger the diffuser bulb around the actual led light source inside, the dimmer and more evenly distributed the light is. Put another way, a C6 bulb spreads light more evenly in all directions but appears dimmer when looked at from "the perfect angle" (about20 degrees off center) than an M5, and the M5 does not appear to be as bright when viewed at a perfect angle as a 5mm. The 5mm creates a small, bright point of light compared to the M5, which looks like a small, bright point of light compared to the C6. All three put out the same overall amount of light however, so the C6, while not looking as bright, fills more space on your bush/tree/etc, requiring fewer bulbs overall to make the item seem "full" of light. That being said, I used C6 and M5 multis together on my front bushes this year, and from the street I couldn't tell the difference. I'm going to add some 5mm strands to my display next year in specific places, but the C6's and M5's work well on the house and especially in the bushes.
  14. zman wrote: Those are the C9 and C7 LED "replacement" bulbs, with 5 and 3 LEDs inside, respectively: http://www.creativedisplays.com/siteresources/modules/webstore/scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=37 I don't remember whether thosewere on sale with the rest of the lights however...
  15. RWM wrote: Watch the LED forum - last year the buy was announced in February, while it was July (I think) the year before that. I don't think there's a mailing list, unlike the Light-O-Rama annual sale.
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