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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.

pjones

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About pjones

  • Rank
    Senior Member

Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    This one year it snowed!
  • Location
    Vancouver Canada BC
  • Biography
    I have a dream, and it is bright!
  • Interests
    Mountain biking
  • Occupation
    Refrigeration
  • About my display
    Just starting up

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  1. The F16 is a very dependable controller. Last I looked into it I found you need to mount it into an enclosure. If that makes you nervous or is more work with tools than you want to do them go with the light-o-Rama. I believe the light o rama is much more expensive in the long run because you need to purchase all their equipment (or something like that) but they are a plug and play solution, or as close to that as you can get. I use Renard Plus TR24 controllers to control 120VAC lights. I haven't moved over to Pixels yet which is why I'm a little vague on the details. When I move to pixel I plan on using the F16V3 or whatever is out at the time in the Falcon lineup. It has lots of options and capabilities as well as a ton of support. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. I see a lot of people using the color shifting lights now. They were getting more traction last year. I don't expect to see a boom in them unless the price drops dramatically. Most people don't want to spend a lot of money or time on lights which I'm guessing is why the lasers took off so quick, they are Fast and cheep, that fits the bill for them. The lasers are also easy for elderly and mobility restricted people so they opened up that part of the market also which was previously untapped. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. Keep in mind if your tree isn't outdoor rated and your insurance company catches wind that you are using it outdoors then you would most likely not be covered if there was a fire or someone got hurt by it. You would be better off not using the pre lit function and installing your own lights that are rated for outdoor use. The other thing you would need to do if you decided to use the lights outdoors is protect the controller from the weather. I'm guessing the circuit board enclosure isn't weatherproof at all. I find even the outdoor rated LED strands from the big box stores have LEDs that rust out on them if the LEDs are the replaceable type. I will only buy the sealed type strands now because of that ( I've learned my lesson the hard way). Since its indoor rated I'm guessing you will probably encounter that same issue unless the LED strings that are installed use a sealed type LED bulb. I wouldn't want to try and find a failed LED in a 15 foot pre lit tree and you can expect to do that every year if you expose it to moist outside conditions if there are replaceable LED's. The pre lit trees don't have strings that easily pull off so it can be extra tricky to find the failed bulb when compared to finding one in a straightened out strand laying on the floor. That's just my three cents (two cents plus tax) your results may vary but I would error on the side of caution. And I would defiantly find out about the insurance thing. It would come out quite easily in a post fire police report after they inspect the scene if the tree was outdoor rated. Also I've received a shock from touching a strand of LED lights before and they were actually rated for outdoor use. What about making your own mega tree? For $900 you could probably make a nice one and then you can also program it to display any design you want. Just a thought that might be with looking into if that were to interest you and fit the looks of your display. The other issue I've found with replaceable bulbs is that you can't get spares easily. They aren't available off the self for most of the brands that I have and the manufactures won't send them to me. I've had to buy sacrificial strands and used them for replacement bulbs. It looks like the LEDs on that tree are dual color. Not sure what two colors but not a standard bulb by the looks of it. So you get 46 replacement bulbs before your tree starts looking dim and patchy. I see it has a string that will stay lit even when a bulb is removed. It didn't say how many can be removed before the string goes dark by in my experience you might not notice they have failed bulb until 5 or 6 are dark. Some stay lit type strings will go dark once that many bulbs fail and that defeats the purpose of it then. I may be wrong about these strings in particular but it would be worth inquiring about before spending the money on it if you go that route. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. I think more and more will be doing the Really Big Lights and the RGB color shifting strands. I appreciate every effort people put in to decorating their house. Some people just don't have the time to dedicate hours upon hours for months on end to put together a show. Other people have accessibility issues that make decorating impossible for them. I was able to get a show going for a couple years now but unfortunately with the addition of another joy to the family and the mahout landscaping that has occurred in our front yard that now completely changes our display setup, this year I may fall somewhere in the middle of that. I'll probably get lights up but won't be able to get a show going this year. For those with even less time or inability to use a ladder or reach window frames then there are the projectors. It is quick, it is decoration, and it displays good holiday spirit. I just wish that they came in more colors and patterns so there was more originality to it. I see projectors are super cheep now too so I bet we'll see a bunch of those in people's Windows soon also. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. Hi Cory, It all depends on how much time and money you want to put into it. It sounds like you are looking for a simple sequence that shouldn't take very long to achieve. I'm not sure of the exact string of lights that you saw, someone else here might be able to help identify them. There are many ways that you can achieve this same effect. Lots of people buy controllers and fabricate their lights out of pixels (so they can change to whatever color that you want and dim them if and when you desire) or box store strings of either LED or incandescent bulbs. If you want to use box store type strings AND want to be able to dim the lights then you may wish to use a full wave commercial grade light string, they will produce a better result and probably last much longer. Others on here will be able to direct you better as to where to get whatever type of light you decide to use. There are lots of controllers to use and the type of light that you decide to use will help determine what controller you will require. There is a vast selection to achieve pretty well anything from a small flashing light sequence to a large animated and sequenced to music light show. The setups some people put together can get quite spectacular and a fare number of those people are in this forum and would be happy to direct you to their videos if you want to see examples. They also invest the time to make it happen and because of that have a wonderful display to show for it. Once you decide how big or small of a display you want to put together then it's time to figure out a budget. Calculate how much length of lights you will need (and power wires) and source a suitable controller. You will need a program on your computer to program and design your display. Lots of people use free software from either xLights or Vixen. Others use pay to use Light-o-Rama, there are others also but those are the most common that I see being used. For something very basic and that does not require programming a sequence then there is the plug an play Mr Christmas. No choice is the wrong choice, it all depends on what you want to have when it comes time to turn on the lights. And how much time you want to invest to get to your vision. Word of caution. When you figure out your budget you will want to double it. There are a lot of little things that add up pretty quick. If you do a search on here for start up costs I'm sure you will find detailed breakdowns of items required. You may have lots of the stuff already, but you also might not. I'm not sure how big you want to go or what your long term plan is. If you are still deciding then once you've had a chance to think it over let us know if you have big plans for a sequenced show down the road or if you would like something to highlight a walkway or porch and leave it at that so you have something pretty to come home to, then we can start to help you pick the appropriate controller and gear. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. Give em a wiggle and a firm push, you can usually get them to enlarge the hole enough and make the connection. Others have carefully cut the sides of the polarized blades off to be the same size as a small blade. It's really not any different than installing a non polarized plug when it comes down to the nitty gritty, but for liability reasons you will probably never find anyone recommend this as a solution. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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