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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, my kids have celiac disease so make a donation toward medical research at the University of Maryland - tell 'em Komar.Org sent 'ya! ;-)
Circuit Layout & Electrical Analysis for Christmas 2011 Circuit X10-Zone Amps Lights Description Panel-1 1 8.6 3,000 Burrito Reindeer, Christmas Tree Farm, Juniper Nets, Column Lights Balcony 1 3.6 1,000 Swag, Bells, Stars, Wreaths, Tree, Plane, HULK SpotLight! Panel-2 2 4.0 1,600 10 foot and lower LED lighted trees, lower Juniper Balcony 2 3.0 500 Stars and Inflatable Tree/Grinch/Homer/Santa Panel-3 3 6.2 2,200 Sidewalk Candy Canes & Figurines, West Tree Garage-E 3 4.7 1,600 Garage Icicles, Front Door Swag Garage-E 4 3.5 800 Christmas Trees Panel-4 4 5.0 2,200 Upper Roof Icicles, Purple Orbs, Bubble Lights Panel-4 4 5.5 1,100 SnowGlobe, LED Tree, Penguin, Bells, Santa Heli Panel-2 5 2.4 600 Giant Inflatable Frosty, Candy Canes Garage-W 5 0.6 100 Inflatable Elmo - Tickle me! Window-U 5 0.8 500 Upper Window Decorations Panel-2 6 3.0 700 HO, Inflatable Frosty Family Garage-W 6 0.3 100 SpongeBob SquarePants, LED Skeleton Panel-2 7 3.0 1,000 HO, Tin Man, Inflatable Pumpkin - Jack is Back!!! Garage-W 7 0.6 50 Inflatable Santa - twelve feet high! Window-L 7 1.2 500 Lower Window Decorations Panel-2 8 3.5 800 Santa Balloon, Doggie, LED Reindeer Family Panel-3 8 1.0 400 Chimney Stars & Swag Garage-W 8 0.8 50 Inflatable Homer Simpson - D'OH! Panel-3 * 4.9 1,800 ON/OFF (1/2), Santa Skier (5), Roof Outline (6), Santa Plane (7) Office * 1.8 400 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 68.0 21,000 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 21,000 lights ON, the current draw is 68 amps. Multiply by 120 Volts and divide by 1,000 to get 8.1 KiloWatts. The electricity cost in Colorado is about 10 cents per KiloWatt-Hour, so to run the display continuously for an hour, it costs 81 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 202 cents per day. Multiply that by 31 days and for $62, 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!
2011_10_13: The warmup for Christmas is the halloween webcam which was turned on today. The 2011 halloween decorations have 8,500 lights plus giant inflatable Frankenstein, Grim Reapers, Pumpkins, Witches, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Homer Simpson - D'OH! ;-)
2011_10_24: With two months to go before December 25th, the Christmas Blog has been turned on for those fans that want to start commenting.
2011_10_31: Another crazy-fun Halloween night! It was super warm so almost 200 trick-or-treaters came by. They almost cleaned me out of candy (I'm very generous, especially early on) and I also passed out shots of Wine, Port, Irish Cream, and Peppermint Mocha Kahlua 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.
2011_11_01: One behind-the-scenes new item is an XTB-IIR/III X10 signal booster from JV Digital Engineering. X10 is the powerline protocol that actually sends the signals in my house wiring to control stuff when Internet users click ON/OFF. Because of the large number of circuits, it's always a challenge to the find the "right" combination of TM751 transceivers (on the "right" circuits!) to hopefully maximize reliability ... and sometimes things would just flake out with circuits/zones "stuck" - who turned on the Microwave Oven?!? ;-) The XTB-IIR/III addressed those issues with a single box in the Haunted Office and was rock solid for Halloween. If you are an X10 user, I strongly encourage you check out JV Digital Engineering - Jeff Volp makes some great products (the craftsmanship is exquisite) and is a genuine pleasure to work with.
2011_11_20: We actually have a new webcam this year for the holiday display as one of the 5+ year old D-Link DCS-6620G (that broke) has been replaced with a Vivotek FD8362. A big thumbs up to Jon Wade (who lives in Steamboat Springs) for donating the webcam to support the charity effort. Webcam #1 and #3 are still D-Link's (that are falling apart) ... so lets hope they work through the holiday season ... and would be awesome if there was a "Santa" out there who wanted to upgrade those.
2011_11_24: Happy Thanksgiving to all. Slowly (but surely) all the lights and decorations are being put out ... should have the webcams and X10 controls go online after the weekend.
2011_11_28: While there's still plenty of "stuff" left to put out, I've turned on the webcams and X10 controls so Internet surfers can take control of my house! ;-)
2011_12_05: Over a foot of snow has fallen in the last several days ... and temperatures tonight may drop below 0°F ... so I was glad there was mostly only indoor stuff to finish the Christmas setup. The final tally is again 21,000 lights ... which put on a nice show for the Horse Drawn Sleigh that came by last night.
2011_12_13: For almost a decade, the Controllable Christmas Lights for Celiac Disease has provided a lot of joy for Internet surfers around the world. It's always been totally free (and totally fun) but there's also an option to voluntarily donate to the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Disease - my kids have this, so it's a personal cause. A number of companies and individuals have donated through the years ... and the grand total just passed $70,000 (WOOT!) thanks to long-time donator Chris Miller from Christmas Lights Etc. Thank you Chris and everyone else who has contributed ... and if you'd like to chip in for charity, here's info on how you can donate to Celiac Disease.
The 6" of snow from last week was melting away ... but another foot+ showed
up this morning ... so will definitely be a White Christmas!