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While I appreciate the folks who have asked if they can donate/PayPal to cover the costs of the lights and (wind powered and carbon offsett'ed!) electricity, I've never asked for donations and don't plan to change that. While it is a bit of work to put up all the Christmas stuff, I do it anyway for the neighborhood kids and the web site is just my way of saying "Merry Christmas" to folks around the world. If you feel compelled to make some sort of donation, I've been involved with celiac disease so make a donation toward medical research at the Center for Celiac Research - tell 'em Komar.Org sent 'ya! ;-)
Circuit Layout & Electrical Analysis for Christmas 2014 Circuit X10-Zone Amps Lights Description Panel-1 1 5.6 3,000 Burrito Reindeer, Christmas Tree, Presents, Mini Candy Canes Balcony 1 3.6 1,000 Swag, Bells, Stars, Wreaths, Tree, Plane, Purple Rope Light Panel-2 2 5.7 2,000 10 foot and lower LED lighted tree, lower Juniper, Candy Canes Balcony 2 2.4 500 Inflatable Tree/Grinch/Homer/Santa, Giant Lights, HULK Spotlight Panel-3 3 7.7 3,000 Sidewalk Candy Canes & Figurines, West Tree, Train, Santa Sleigh Garage-E 3 5.4 2,200 Garage Icicles, Front Door Swag Garage-E 4 3.5 800 Christmas Trees hanging from Garage Panel-5 4 5.0 2,200 Upper Roof Icicles, Purple Orbs, Column/Bubble Lights Panel-4 4 8.0 1,500 Snow Globe, LED Tree, Penguin, Bells, Santa Heli, SANTA! Panel-2 5 4.2 1,000 Giant Inflatable Frosty, Red Topped Mini-Frosties, Tin Man, Trees/Stars Garage-W 5 0.6 100 Inflatable Elmo - Tickle me! Window-U 5 0.8 500 Upper Window Decorations Panel-2 6 4.8 1,300 HO, Inflatable Frosty Family Garage-W 6 1.5 400 Garage Stars, SpongeBob SquarePants TIMES TWO! Panel-2 7 3.3 1,300 HO, Inflatable Pumpkin - Jack is Back!!! Garage-W 7 0.6 100 Inflatable Santa - twelve feet high! Window-L 7 1.5 500 Lower Window Decorations Panel-5 8 3.5 800 Santa Balloon, Doggie, LED Reindeer Family Panel-1 8 1.0 400 Chimney Stars & Swag Garage-W 8 0.8 100 Inflatable Homer Simpson - D'OH! Panel-1 * 4.7 1,800 ON/OFF (1/2), Santa Skier (5), Roof Outline (6), Santa Plane (7) Office * 2.0 500 Various stuff in Santa's Workshop! ;-) 1:Rainier Beer 2:Santa's Workshop 3:Candles/Light-UP! 4:Bells/Hulk Lamp 5:Merry Banner 6:Groovy Lava Lamps 7:Stepping Santa 8:Present/LED Cube TOTALS 22 76.2 25,000 TOTALSA question often asked is how much does it cost to light the holiday display - the electrical meter does spin a bit faster. That's easy to calculate - with all 25,000 lights ON, the current draw is 76.2 amps. Multiply by 120 Volts and divide by 1,000 to get 9.1 KiloWatts. The electricity cost in Colorado is about 10 cents per KiloWatt-Hour, so to run the display continuously for an hour, it costs 91 cents/hour - not much! But remember that Internet Surfers are turning the lights on & off ... so divide that by two and then multiply by the 5 hours/day it's active, and the electricty costs 227 cents per day. Multiply that by 31 days and for $70, a whole month of holiday fun is provided to people around the world ... plus some awareness and thousands of dollars in donations for Celiac Disease Research!
2014_10_16: The warmup for Christmas is the halloween webcam which was turned on today. The 2014 halloween decorations have 10,000 lights plus giant inflatable Frankenstein, Grim Reapers, Pumpkins, Witches, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Homer Simpson - D'OH! ;-)
2014_10_29: It's two days before Halloween, so the Christmas Blog has been turned on for those fans that want to start commenting.
2014_10_31: Another crazy-fun Halloween night! Almost 200 trick-or-treaters came by as the weather was mild, although gusty winds came up later in the evening. They almost cleaned me out of candy (I'm very generous, especially early on) and I also passed out shots of Chocolate EggNog, Pumpkin Liquor (and beer & wine) for the "big" kids. Check out all the action in the time-lapse halloween movies while listening to some halloween music and read the funny commentary in the halloween blog.
2014_11_12: First major snow of the year ... maybe we'll have a White Christmas this year! ;-)
2014_11_21: It's a week before Thanksgiving, but I made a turkey for my wife's company. I've been doing the behind-the-scenes coding/infrastructure changes plus pulling the Christmas Stuff out of storage and begun testing/fixing things.
2014_11_22: Webcam #1 was installed at the neighbor's across the street. I'll be setting things up over the Thanksgiving week.
2014_11_27: I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving - my wife made an awesome turkey. My Mom is visiting again this year and has been a great help in setting up the display.
2014_12_01: Fired up the webcams and X10 controls - everything worked pretty well - more stuff to put out.
2014_12_04: I announce that 2014 will be the last year for the Controllable Halloween Decorations and Controllable Christmas Lights. It's been a fun run providing smiles and joy to millions of Internet surfers, but Alek "Griswold" is hanging up his Santa Hat! ;-)
2014_12_12: I haven't done this in a long time, but I took a picture of each of the eight zones - scroll down this page to check out the images.
2014_12_25: The snow finally arrives late Christmas day (about 6" of fluffy white stuff) which makes the display look a lot better ... but will make take down a lot more work! ;-)
2014_12_28: The LAST night of the Controllable Christmas Lights. An Arctic Blast is coming down from Canada, so I want to get a head start on taking everything down.
Everything has been removed from Santa's Workshop, the house, and the yard ... Happy New Year!