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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 2008 Circuit X10-Zone Amps Lights Description Garage 1 5.5 1,900 Garage Icicles, Front Door Swag Panel-3 1 3.8 1,015 Burrito Reindeer, red/green LED Christmas Tree, Red Bell Lights, Stars Window-U 1 0.9 500 Upper Window Decorations Balcony 2 3.3 420 Inflatable Tree, Santa, Snoopy, Homer, SpongeBob Squarepants! Panel-2 2 5.5 3,200 Giant Lighted Frosty the Snowman in Front Yard Panel-1 3 10.3 3,000 Sidewalk Candy Canes & Figurines, Santa Sled, Skating Frosty, R/G Junipers, Tree Panel-3 3 10.5 3,107 Upper Roof Icicles, Purple Orbs, Column Wraps, Bubble Lights, Nets, Tinman Balcony 4 4.0 1,101 Train, Stars, Wreaths, Tree, HULK SpotLight! Panel-1 4 3.7 207 SnowGlobe, Penguin, Polar Bear Garage 5 0.6 107 Inflatable Elmo - Tickle me! Panel-2 5 0.4 7 Inflatable Pumpkin - Jack is Back!!! Panel-2 6 3.3 1,300 K, Christmas Tree Farm Panel-4 6 4.5 720 Inflatable Frosty Family Garage 7 0.6 12 Inflatable Santa - twelve feet high! Panel-2 7 2.2 950 F, Ten Foot Lighted Christmas Tree Garage 8 0.8 107 Inflatable Homer - D'OH! Panel-2 8 2.3 950 C, Purple Juniper Lights Panel-4 * 4.9 1,700 Santa Plane (4), ON/OFF (5/6), Roof Outline (7), Chimney Star & Swag (8) Office * 1.7 515 Various stuff in Santa's Workshop! ;-) 1:Blue Rope Light 2:Rainier Beer Sign 3:Various Candles 4:Hulk Lamp, Tree 5:Merry Banner 6:Groovy Lava Lamp 7:Stepping Santa 8:Red/Green Present TOTALS 19 68.8 20,818 TOTALSA question I'm 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 20,818 lights ON, the current draw is 68.8 amps. Multiply by 120 Volts and divide by 1,000 to get 8.2 KiloWatts. The approximate cost of electricity in Colorado is 10 cents per KiloWatt-Hour ... so to run the display continuously for an hour, it costs 82 cents/hour - not much! But remember that Internet Surfers are turning the lights on & off ... so divde that by two and then multiply by the 5 hours/day it's active, and the electricty costs 205 cents per day. Multiply that by 31 days and for $63, 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!
2008_09_30: The warmup for Christmas is the halloween decorations webcam which was turned on today. Over 9,000 lights in the Halloween Decorations plus giant inflatable Frankenstein, Grim Reapers, Pumpkins, Witchess, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Homer Simpson - D'OH!!! ;-)
2008_10_26: The Christmas Blog has been turned on a bit early in case Halloween fans wanted to start commenting.
2008_10_31: Another crazy-fun Halloween night! Over 200 trick-or-treaters came by during record warm temperatures. They almost cleaned me out of candy (I was too generous early on) and I also passed out shots of Bailey's, Port, and Egg Nog Whiskey. Check out all the action in the time-lapse halloween movies and the funny commentary in the halloween blog. Come back for halloween 2009! ;-)
2008_11_05: Radio station KIYU in Galena, Alaska (look that up on a map - wayyyyy up/out there!) again "sponsors" the Burrito Reindeer with a $1,000 donation. This pushes the total raised for the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Disease to over $30,000 - what a great way to start off the Christmas Season - please consider adding your direct donation too.
2008_11_19: Thanksgiving comes late this year (27th), so I'm a few days behind last year, but making good progress as I start the Christmas deployment. Fortunately, the weather has been mostly a sunny 50-60°F ... which is a lot nicer than having to put out your Christmas decorations in below freezing temps with a chilly wind and/rain/snow.
2008_11_26: While I don't have all the christmas lights deployed yet, I turned on the webcams and X10 controls ... online the day before Thanksgiving! ;-) A few minor code burps, but otherwise a smooth launch.
2008_11_29: The first snow of the season is always a treat ... even though the inflatables struggle under the weight of the snow. I also have to shovel the driveway and sweep the lawn - the later so the christmas lights aren't obscured. Some "exciting" footage of that via the webcams is on the Christmas videos page.
2008_12_07: Traffic continues to pick up as numerous sites link/talk about the Controllable Christmas Lights for Celiac Disease. It looks pretty cool on the big screen and I used a recently acquired Canon 50D (Santa came early ;-) to take some pictures of the house, front yard, and Santa's Workshop. And here's the HULK in the snow - he's not too keen about it! ;-)
2008_12_15: Colonel Sanders selects the Controllable Christmas Lights as a Finalist in their Nationwide Holiday Traditions Contest with the winner receiving free KFC for a year - BUURRPP! Read more and consider voting for #16 to help win $1,000 for Celiac Disease.
2008_12_19: Vince Darcangelo writes a nice piece in the local Boulder Daily camera with some great pictures from Cliff Grassmick.
Colonel Sanders selects the Controllable Christmas Lights as the WINNER
in their Nationwide Holiday Traditions Contest - free KFC for a year - BUURRPP!
Read more about how we won a $1,000 for Celiac Disease.