AWD's 2000 12,000+ Xmas & Christmas lights

2000 xmas lights
Wendy says I'm nuts and just shakes her head ... I can't argue with her! ;-)
Email me and let me know what you think! ;-)

More info on the main christmas page, but here's the misc. details/technical notes for Christmas/2000 that may interest some. With assistance from my father, Wendy and 2-year old Dirk (the best light tester in the West - "this one is burnt out"), AWD's X-mas lights are all hung (yes, the final count is over 12,000 - sorry, no satellite image of it!) and on full-auto to light up near dusk and go off at 10:00 (so the utility company can re-charge ... ;-)

Balancing the amperage load turned out to be a bit of a challenge; especially because I had a few outlets that would "warm" up after a few hours of operating under peak load. But I was able to re-arrange things and have power coming from 5 different circuits - maximum draw is 12.75 amps through one of the curcuits. Three of the circuits have a current draw more than my fancy-smancy X-10 boxes can support ... so I had to put some on "manual" timers; which means I can't use my "remote light control" to cycle all of the lights on-n-off. Plus they won't all "SNAP" on/off at the exact same time - oh well, I guess I'll have to suffer!

BTW, the tags on the light switches imply 4 milli-amps per light; it actually appears to be about 3.6 milli-amps, and including some various novelties, the total current draw is 45.5 amps - i.e. we are pulling over 5 KiloWatts! So I assure you the power meter spins like mad when I turn 'em all on. And since I leave 'em on from 5:00-10:00PM, that 25 KiloWatt-Hours a day, times 30 days in a month is 750 KiloWatt-hours a month ... which by ITSELF is about 50% more than my normal electric bill! ;-)

So ... if you happen to be flying into DIA, take a look down about 30 miles West/NorthWest and you might see it all. To quote the Griswalds from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (which Wendy rented last week), Alek will cry "if one burns out, they all burn out" ;-)

P.S. This picture was shot with a Nikon 990 Digital Camera (3+ Mega-pixels with lots of nice features) which is considered one of the leading consumer digicams.

However, I have to say that despite a fair amount of effort, I was not able to get a picture I was totally happy with of the lights - it's just a tough picture to take. The colors were "washed" toward the white side, and despite using a tripod/timer/etc., there's a fuzziness/halo around the lights. But you get the idea!

BTW, this is actually a composite/merged picture of two different shots; see if you can tell where I joined it (it's after midnight, so I didn't feel like totally futzing with it, so keen eyes can pick it out).