19 thoughts on “December 15, 2015

  1. If they’re LEDs, that would help, until somebody tries landing a plane in your driveway thinking it’s the local airport.

    BTW, anybody heard of those “lazer Christmas lights”? Sounds like they may be a big deal this year. My boss nearly had me pick a couple up for her at the Target closer to where I live (in relation to our store, as well as their home), until she called to check and found that they had sold out within the couple minutes we had been texting about me going to get them.

    • @Joe

      Yeah I know what you are taking about. They are starting to get popular around where my parents live. They are basically giant laser pens for your house. I’ll admit, they are kinda pretty but they are the epitome of the idea that ” ‘murica’s lazy”.

      • The reason my employers were looking for one is that they wanted to decorate their house, but right now are spending so much time at the store that they don’t have time to decorate.

      • I wouldn’t call it lazy. Many people are too busy to decorate, or would not do it at all if it wasn’t a quick solution. It’s not really any different than putting a wreath on the door, or a few candles in the windows.

        I’ve got them on my house, and I love them! They’re a little dark for my taste, so we did mix some white lights on the bushes. And besides, Christmas lights are about joy. Those people are getting in the spirit and enjoying the holiday. I think it’s awesome.

    • Oh, so *that’s* what our neighbor is using.

      Stick with traditional lights. Well, LED lights are perfectly fine, and a LOT more energy efficient. They may not be as fast to set up, but they’re a lot less splotchy.

    • Ugh! The thought of those lights make me sick with the amount of morons out there clambering for those things. (I think they look tacky as hell!) I work for the bullseye and we get more than a hundred calls a day from people looking for them. We’d sell out in minutes after store opening every time we got a shipment, and since our counts haven’t been updating properly online all quarter people have been calling corporate asking them if we have any and they tell them “yes” when we really don’t have them, so then WE get yelled at because they think we’re hoarding them for employees 😣 It’s been a nightmare!

  2. Childhood Christmas to me is still incandescent Christmas light bulbs- securing 100 strings of lights using a handy Clark Griswald stapler, creating enough light and heat to blind night pilots at 10,000 feet and thermal uplift turbulence ….
    “There’s fun and laughter in the air,
    as joyous as it can be-
    Let Christmas light your happy heart-
    Let GE light your tree!’
    -early 1960’s TV ad song

    • I hate garish light displays. A candle in each window–that’s what I grew up with. Very subtle, very elegant, and very beautiful. We have a colonial style house, so it was accurate, too. And the tree showing through the window, of course. Anything more that a few strings of white lights is way overboard in my opinion.

      • Reality check, we have one 30 bulb string we turn on for 3 hours a night for 14 nights,- if we remember to turn them on. Most people burn more electricity in a year leaving their PC on sleep mode…

      • Oh yay so it’s not just me! I hate those houses that are draped from chimney to foundations with thousands of lights. It’s vulgar. I don’t mind SOME lights but those huge displays look like they’re less about joy than they are about outdoing the neighbors. I can’t imagine how awful it would be to live next door to one of those. I know, “to each his own.”

  3. This is an absolutely ridiculous and ignorant thing for Norm to say. Reducing our energy use is important but this has nothing to do with that.

    A good Christmas light is only 1-3 lumens, as compared to the ~1000 lumens of a standard light bulb. The actual power in that much light is quite small.

    Incandescent lights waste most of their power as heat (most of their light is in the infrared spectrum where we don’t see it). This is especially true with dim lights, which run cooler than their high-wattage counterparts, since the ideal temperature for an incandescent would be the temperature of the Sun. And since incandescents only produce one color, getting various colors has to be done by having colored glass that blocks all the other colors of light, a further waste. So if you use incandescents the power used by a Christmas light display may actually be an issue.

    If you’re using efficient LED Christmas lights, which use as little as a tenth of the power and can produce various colors directly, keeping your tree’s Christmas lights lit through the night uses no more power than charging your cell phone, and the energy you would save by turning off the Christmas lights decorating your entire house is about the same as turning off one or two standard bulbs. That’s absolutely nothing compared with the energy you would save by avoiding a single car trip or by setting a smart thermostat to let your house get half a degree cooler during your sleep before turning on the heater.

    People who don’t inform themselves about the actual costs and benefits of purportedly environmentally friendly actions but are quick to judge others as wasteful are making society into a hostile madhouse ruled by silly trends that do nothing for the environment, while they’re hypocritically unwilling to make the adjustments necessary to actually improve the condition of the planet.

    • Dan, there you go pointing out priorities… we can’t have that logical thinking here.
      Seriously, I used to have arguments with friends about me leaving a porch light on overnight… said porchlight is a CFL that pulls 18watts, and short of having a security system, keeping your outside lit is about the best deterrent to burglary there is… no, I was wasting power and should just spend the money on a security system… because apparently security systems use no power whatsoever and are paid for with well wishes and a smile. Too many people have lost sight of the forest for the trees, we worry about whether a light uses 13 watts or 18 watts and making sure we don’t leave them on a second longer than needed, then leave our furnaces set at a higher temperature than they really need to be and keep them running even when we aren’t at home.

      • *Off-topic alert*. I have a energy monitoring system for my place. When I went on a two-week vacation, I left my water heater on as I wanted to know how much energy it used to keep warm. It came out to 7W average. Guess how much a typical water heater timer uses? 7W. I’m better off without the timer!

      • But all that wattage adds up to a significant amount when everyone does it. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a good reason for using it. Still, stating it isn’t that much misses the overall effect. I say that, not being the most energy efficient person (too many gadgets).

  4. Sorry Norm, I’m siding with the customer on this one. It’s a reasonable question. (Although it’s a bit like asking a store clerk a deeply technical question about a product. They just sell the stuff, they don’t engineer it.)

    And yes, I have seen Christmas lights year around. Usually in stores or restaurants to add a festive atmosphere. Without other Christmas stuff, they’re just colored lights. Useful decoration in many situations.

    And really, the energy efficiency wouldn’t matter much if he only used them for 2 weeks.

    • This isn’t at all deeply technical, and it’s the sort of thing that a clerk quite possibly would know just selling it. If the customer was asking for something like the exact atomic emission spectra of a fluorescent light, then that would be a deeply technical question best referred to an engineer (or a search engine).

    • Frankly, I don’t see why he doesn’t just read what’s on the box. Being energy efficient is a big thing now, if they are energy efficient the box will explain that. Or he could google the product and see what he can find out that way. Store employees can’t possibly know everything there is to know about thousands of products.

  5. Everything is relative. If I use these all night every night will these be more energy efficient than the ones over there? That should have been the question.

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