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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.

Rich in Las Vegas

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Rich in Las Vegas last won the day on October 30

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About Rich in Las Vegas

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    Our local HOA has an annual Christmas light contest and my neighbor wins it every year. I can't compete with the extent of his display but use some of the more unusual lights like IC controlled strips and waterfall lights. It gets a little more elaborate each year but I doubt I can keep up with his array of the more conventional prodicts.
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  • Biography
    Retired chemist who likes to dabble in LED conversions for home and auto. I didn't put up elaborate displays in the past but have begun to add to a simple set of Christmas lights recently after Goodwill opened an outlet store nearby and the selection for cheap displays got much better.
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    Active in Scouting and cycling
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  • About my display
    Really just getting started but use LED lights almost exclusively. I convert old incandescent displays to12V LED before using them. This was mostly small stuff (candy canes) until this year. My favorite strip light is IC 6803 LED strip lights with 133 built in programs for use on eves.

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  1. Just curious if anyone here would pay $75 for a giant Poloron Santa with such badly damaged paint? It's probably the largest size I have seen but not the largest Santa Poloron made. Seller says 45" but blow-molded lists it at 48" tall. It's not close by (3.5 hours by car) so I wouldn't have considered it anyway.
  2. Looks like the guy who sold me several GF Christmas blow molds has one more for sale. Listed for $25. The ones I bought still had the original Kmart tags on them. I could have bought this one too but I already have enough snowmen.
  3. What to do with 32 pumpkin pails? I was collecting them to make an pumpkin arch but decided this was quicker and didn't damage the pumpkins. I didn't take any pictures of the lighted pumpkins that I put out later in the day. I have about a dozen of them, all collected from the Goodwill surplus or outlet store. Picked four more up Halloween day including two 3 pumpkin towers. Most of what shows up is the foam type pumpkins, not blow molds.
  4. One of our local secondary on-air channels cycles through the many years of Home Improvement . Nearly every time one of the Christmas programs airs you can see a variety of blow molds on the roof and at the front door. I would never have noticed that until I came to this site!
  5. The difference between the two light sets may lie in the different IP ratings. Most of the waterproof LED lights that I have used are rated at IP67. The first number is "solids protection" and the second "liquids protection". http://www.dsmt.com/resources/ip-rating-chart/ The Ollny net is rated IP65 and the Infilla net IP44. Both may be a problem with heavy snow simply because fairy lights use a tough but very fine wire to connect the LEDs. The wires might be more subjected to mechanical breakage than a conventional net light with more robust wires. It probably goes along with a higher solids rating that the lights would have better mechanical strength so choose the IP65 over IP44 if there is going to be stress on the net. The real problem seems to be the controllers for most of these light sets. While the lights themselves are waterproof, the controllers much less so. You might think of enclosing the controllers in a waterproof container with a removable top. It's easy to make DIY waterproof containers thanks to the many locking lid containers sold today. I used a couple of these for my Halloween display to hold remote relays and step down transformers.
  6. Same problem here. Mounting lights outside my windows is not easy because the stucco comes right up to the metal part of the windows and I didn't want to damage it with fasteners screwed into the stucco. You can mount lights inside rather than outside. I used wooden furring strips painted white for the four sides and attached RGB strip lights. It makes things simpler because the lights do not have to be waterproof and the power source and controller are inside as well. These are currently disassembled for storage: This year I will add corner brackets at each corner to make assembling them easier. Previously they were friction fit but adding 2" corner brackets should make installing them more secure. The lights are SMD 5050 RGB operating on 12V DC and the small object just above the second strip from the left is an inexpensive controller that allows you to do elementary programs such as flash and color sequences. It has a couple of selections built in. I bought all of the components from China . This set has been up for several years and had some rough handling so there are repairs like the one on the strip second from the right. If I made them today I would use the terminal blocks shown next to the repair at each end and connect them with 4 pin RGB wire. The usual 4-pin connector shown at the end of the third strip from the left is simple to wire in but difficult to separate once the strips are in place and you have to do that to remove the strips from the window at the end of the season. My largest window 6 feet across by 4' 6" high takes 20 feet of strip with one standard strip being 16 feet long. You can get a complete kit with strip, a fancier IR controller, and power supply for around $16. Unfortunately it is getting late for ordering from China and guaranteeing it will get here much before Christmas. The same items can be bought from US sellers on eBay but cost more. If you are interested, I can put together a list of parts and US sources.
  7. I looked up the size and the minimum size is 1.5m X 1.5m (58.5" square) for 96 LED. It looks like this would be a much easier way to light a tree trunk compared to spiraling a conventional LED string. That I have done and it gets difficult once I needed to get on a ladder to reach higher on the trunk. I may have to try it myself. A 96 red LED net costs as little as $6 from China to as little as $9 for RGB and other colors. That's pretty inexpensive and the power requirement is 110V and 4W. Be sure if ordering from China to make sure they are sending 110V and a US plug. Much of the world is 220 and uses the EU plug. I doubt you will be able to split one lengthwise. There is no way to follow the wire so that you don't cut the circuit. I've separated a severely tangled regular LED net light into 3 separate sets and while successful was not worth the time. Depends upon how high on the trunk you wish to light. Just double wrap it with the mesh for brighter lights.
  8. Followup to original question - these are parallel circuits so if one LED goes out the rest stay lit. If you sever a circuit, all lights after the break will not work bu the ones before will continue to light. I had a seller send me a 5V set when I ordered 12V but the set used a 12V connector, not the usual USB. When I applied power for a short time about half of the LEDs fried instantly. When I switched to 5V ti check the string, the remaining LEDs lit. The seller replaced the damaged string when I complained.
  9. They are often sold as "fairly lights" online. This is just one use where the manufacturer used them in a different way. They look fragile but are remarkably strong. Yes, they are non-replaceable but since they are LED, not incandescent should last a long time. I bought a few battery operated 20 LEDs for a friend to use as lights in a bottle for less than a dollar each. I have a few sets of 12V lights. They are so flexible that I was able to string them on one of those old circular trees that lie flat when stored and mount on a tent pole in the center. You can buy them in USB 5V DC, 12V DC , or operated from a battery pack. I just looked up current prices and I can find them in 10m 100 light sets for under $2 and 200 light sets for around $5 from China
  10. I checked this morning at the nearest Walmart stupidcenter. The entire garden section was devoted to Christmas items. There were only 5 blow molds in the entire inventory, two 37" Santas, one 36" snowman, and two of the new 36" bears. They had some new ~15" lanterns that have the flickering flame light and some larger faux wood lanterns that were not lighted. I think the Lowe's Home Improvement store right next door had a better selection than this store.
  11. Lamp in base of pumpkin Remove the three screws that hold the lamp holder. Remove the incandescent light and cord. If using circular G4 lamp (see picture), glue lamp to top of old base. Attach the G4 socket and cord. Requires a 12V DC source. You can use any old 12V DC converter as long as the output is 500 mA or more. If using the 5W 12V corn bulb, take the old lamp socket and remove the wore and base. This will allow you to slide the G4 base into the old lamp holder. Insert it in the base as shown below. Lamp located in back of pumpkin Remove bulb and wire. Glue circular lamp to the old holder. Insert in pumpkin and you are done. For this one I prefer to solder the wire directly to the new circular lamp. The two G4 pins on the lamp will fall away when you solder the wires to the lamp. The hole in the back of the pumpkins is slightly larger than the 9 LED version of this lamp. It is also available with 10 LEDs but that one will not fit through the hole. Be sure to buy 9 LED lamps. You could also use the corn bulb here. Current prices for the parts – top two are from China and the third one from California. '10x G4 Bulb LED Light 5050 9SMD Daytime White Replace 10W Halogen Lamp $6 postpaid https://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-G4-Bulb-LED-Light-5050-12SMD-Warm-Daytime-White-Repalce-10W-15W-Halogen-Lamp/264391377801?hash=item3d8ef44389:m:mGdz3DnGjQq1_vBhYHbSzPg '10pcs G4 Base Holder Wire Adapter Halogen Socket Connector f. Bulb Lamp LED $1.49 postpaid https://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-G4-Bulb-LED-Light-5050-12SMD-Warm-Daytime-White-Repalce-10W-15W-Halogen-Lamp/264391377801?hash=item3d8ef44389:m:mGdz3DnGjQq1_vBhYHbSzPg I spotted a US seller on eBay who is selling ten of the 48 LED corn bulbs for $4.46 postpaid. That's cheaper than ordering them from China. Available in 12V AC or DC or 110V AC. https://www.ebay.com/itm/10X-G4-LED-Corn-Bulbs-Capsule-3W-20W-Halogen-Lamp-Replace-110V-Energy-Warm-White/323891446491?var=512921852639&hash=item4b696f42db:g:IXcAAOSwV-BdXsfv
  12. I wonder if the grinch is lit by LED lights? It looks pretty bright and the colors are more vibrant than some of the older incandescent lit blow molds. If you look at the tag on the power cord it tells what the replacement lamp would be. The prices for used blow molds is really crazy. I got Mary and Joseph at my Goodwill salvage store for a couple of dollars but when I again went looking for Jesus on eBay see high prices that are nearly the cost of an entire set. Shipping is the real killer. The one shown below is nice but with shipping is $35.40 when I can buy a brand new set at my local Walmart for $49.
  13. I recently bought a used inflatable Santa/Christmas Tree/Reindeer. It works fine but I wasn't impressed by the lighting. Seemed awful dim. I decided to replace the wussy incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. Normally I would convert over to 12V DC at the same time but I had on hand a bunch of 5W bulbs that I got a while ago. They are A15 (US bulb shape) E12 candelabra base, 110V AC. It took about 20 minutes. How to convert to LED You will need similar bulbs. The A15 bulb design allows you to discard the bulb covers that are on the existing lamps. The LEDs are arranged on a plate below the bulb cover so the bulb does not get hot enough to need the old protector. Find all of the zipper access holes in the inflatable. Open each one and carefully pull the bulb toward the opening. The bulb will be attached to the inflatable so pull gently. Remove the protective cover and replace the bulb. My bulbs were too large to fit inside the cover. If you want to retain the protector instead use a 5W LED corn bulb. It is short enough to fit inside the typical protector and they only cost $1.50 each if imported from China. If A15 shaped bulbs are too expensive I'd suggest using the bulbs shown below in 5W E12 110V. These are warm white bulbs. I use cool or natural white but I had these on hand. The LED is substantially brighter. I looked for a local source for the A15 bulb but they are ridiculously expensive at Home Depot. Two for ~$10.
  14. No firsthand experience with them. I came across the information when I saw them listed at Home Depot. It looks as though the unit controls each of four groups of lights separately but all the lights in one group does the same action. I's simple to use but no replacement for the lights that have integrated circuits built into the strip like IC 6803 or WS2811. Those control the lights right down to groups of 3 LEDs. It's a mystery to me how you can get true chasing lights without this individual control of the LEDs.
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