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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 2009 Circuit X10-Zone Amps Lights Description Balcony 1 2.8 801 Train, Stars, Wreaths, Tree, HULK SpotLight! Panel-1 1 8.5 2,900 Burrito Reindeer, Christmas Tree Farm, Juniper Nets Garage 2 2.2 528 Swag, Bells, and Inflatable Tree, Santa, Snoopy, Homer Panel-4 2 2.2 700 10 foot and lower LED lighted trees Garage-E 3 5.1 1,900 Garage Icicles, Front Door Swag Panel-3 3 9.4 3,200 Sidewalk Candy Canes & Figurines, Tin Man, lower Juniper, West tree Panel-2 4 6.6 3,520 Upper Roof Icicles, Purple Orbs Garage 5 0.6 107 Inflatable Elmo - Tickle me! Panel-4 5 2.4 607 Giant Inflatable Frosty, Candy Canes Window-U 5 0.8 400 Upper Window Decorations Garage 6 0.3 50 SpongeBob SquarePants Panel-4 6 3.3 1,300 HO, Inflatable Frosty Family Garage 7 0.6 12 Inflatable Santa - twelve feet high! Panel-4 7 1.6 607 HO, Inflatable Pumpkin - Jack is Back!!! Garage 8 0.8 107 Inflatable Homer Simpson - D'OH! Panel-2 8 1.0 400 Chimney Stars & Swag Panel-4 8 3.8 805 Santa Balloon, Doggie Panel-1 * 3.7 1,400 ON/OFF (1/2), Roof Outline (6), Santa Plane (7) Panel-2 * 3.4 620 SnowGlobe, LED Tree, Penguin, Bells (4) Office * 1.5 565 Various stuff in Santa's Workshop! ;-) 1:Front LED Tree 2:Rainier Beer Sign 3:Various Candles 4:Hulk Lamp/Red Bells 5:Merry Banner 6:Groovy Lava Lamp 7:Stepping Santa 8:Red/Green Present TOTALS 20 60.6 20,529 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 20,529 lights ON, the current draw is 60.6 amps. Multiply by 120 Volts and divide by 1,000 to get 7.2 KiloWatts. The electricity cost in Colorado is about 10 cents per KiloWatt-Hour, so to run the display continuously for an hour, it costs 72 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 180 cents per day. Multiply that by 31 days and for $55, 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!
2009_10_01: The warmup for Christmas is the halloween decorations webcam which was turned on today. Over 7,500 lights in this years Halloween Decorations plus giant inflatable Frankenstein, Grim Reapers, Pumpkins, Witches, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Homer Simpson - D'OH!!! ;-)
2009_10_26: The Christmas Blog has been turned on a bit early in case Halloween fans wanted to start commenting.
2009_10_31: Another crazy-fun Halloween night! After two feet of snow two days earlier, the sun came out and it warmed up, so almost 300 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 Bailey's, Port, Tequila, and Egg Nog Whiskey 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. Come back for halloween 2010! ;-)
2009_11_05: While I was busy taking down my Halloween decorations, my neighbor again won the annual "competition" to see who can put their Christmas stuff up first ... by putting out one inflatable Santa and one inflatable Penguin. While my stuff won't be up for a couple of weeks, rest assured that my display will have just a wheeee bit more stuff! ;-)
2009_11_21: I was gone for a week on a pretty nifty Polar Bear trip and promised my two boys that if they were good for Mom, I would ante up the big bucks (and pay full price, rather than post-holiday 50-75% off) to get the enormous 15' Santa Balloon at Home Depot. They were good ... so now I have to figure out how I'm going to secure it, especially when the winds picks up.
2009_11_25: Most of the front yard (webcam2) and Santa's workshop (webcam3) are setup, so I turned those on and enabled the X10 controls - Christmas/2009 has begun! ;-)
2009_11_29: Most of the house is setup, and Elmo, SpongeBob, Homer Simpson (D'OH!), and the 12' Santa have been deployed, so webcam1 is turned on and we're fully operational for Christmas!
2009_12_07: Have had several minor snowstorms, so about 6" accumulated on the ground and we're in the middle of some really cold weather. Fortunately, no major winds as those can cause major damage to a Christmas Display. Some minor issues with the 802.11 wireless connectivity to the webcams, but now seems to be pretty stable. Online traffic to the website continues to build as it typically does in December. Neighborhood kids really enjoy it and always fun to see the smiling faces checking out the Christmas Lights.
2009_12_11: The Boulder Daily Camera has a lengthy article about the Christmas display and Celiac fund-raising ... good writeup with some great pics.