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Did you know?
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.

Ed Reynolds

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About Ed Reynolds

  • Rank
    Senior Member

Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    don't have one
  • Location
    Toledo/Ohio
  • Biography
    Volunteer at Church; Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
  • Interests
    Christmas Displays; Carpentry; home repair
  • Occupation
    visual arts - home inspection
  • About my display
    Indoor this year featured a classic Disney theme

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  1. Ed Reynolds

    GEEK MY TREE Updates?

    Well they've done it again! The great team at Geek My Tree has developed a new product called Tree Effects. It's a small tabletop tree light show. Now anyone can have a high tech animated Christmas show right in the comfort of their own home! The tree is about 2 feet tall and has a wireless controller that performs 50 different light show effects. The tree includes about 30 snowflake LED lights that appear in all colors. The tree also has a color changing star topper. What's great is that they are now developing "Pixel Packs" which allow users to change the standard snowflake design to one of many different shapes. As simple as popping a cap. They'll have stars, pumpkins and pet paws to choose from in the initial run. Perhaps more by Fall 2017. The trees are supposed to ship as soon as October 2017. The price is a reasonable $49. A long way from the initial $399 price for the initial "Glowballs" product two years ago. Which, by the way is still a great product although it was replaced by a product called "Glowflakes". I "presume" Glowflakes will continue to be around for this upcoming season...both in silent and musical versions. They have a Kickstarter campaign that ends soon which offers incentives for early orders. https://www.kickstarter.com/…/tree-effects-tabletop-light-s… Get ready to geek the bleep with your holiday decorating this year. Good luck.
  2. Stephen's display is nice because it avails itself of many different concepts and elements: some static, others animated. LOR displays "unless" they're programmed by a professional or someone with a lot of experience and "creativity" end up looking like a bunch of lights jumping around. Akin to a backyard mechanic restoring a vehicle for the first time. NOTE: I am not assailing anyone. In fact, I salute the ambition to help light the holiday nights festively. I would encourage people to get out and do it. Just take some creative time and empathy to what would make a holiday display really "sparkle" and it's not the twinkling lights set to music run through an LOR box, etc. Like building a home, it starts with a plan and a blueprint to be successful. Identify in your mind and on paper what you wish to accomplish and go from there. Some of the biggest and brightest stars in holiday decorating (seen on TV) are branching out into concert venue effects. That doesn't mean you need to too at least not in the beginning, however they can be very cool and inspiring. There's you tube videos of a (college music professor?) that illuminated his moderate home and set it to the music of Star Wars among others. He has search-like beams (concert style equipment) on his roof as well as other elements on the ground like a lighted piano keyboard that keys light to the music, This is a classy display and it is not set to 1000s of channels of LOR and millions of lights. (Again, I'm not condemning those who have these mega displays. - Someone has to do them right? LOL). If you have a local Zoo that lights for the holiday season visit them. Or some other professional display that gets it. You can also incorporate inside ideas out and vice versa. Adding painted yard signs and other props - three dimensional - adds yet another element people can appreciate. in the form of Disney, Peanuts, traditional or religious characters can add an very nice touch. Arrangement is also a key to success. A great musical soundtrack creatively mixed and run BOTH in the open air and over the air can be effective - if you have walk up traffic. Just don't blast it. Sub-woofers are good at spreading the coverage over a wide area without blowing people's ears off if adjusted and positioned properly. Creatively interspersing animated lights with static ones can also make a display pop. The lady who posted originally: You can add an extra level of creativity and artistry is you "Paint" your house in colored light. This will add another festive element in good taste if done correctly. If you attend concerts - you can get an idea of what I'm talking about when either the performer(s) or the cyc (white) wall behind them is painted in light. This can be static and animated a little if desired. Creative use of strobe lights can add another dimension. So can these fad-like laser lights that are popping up all over the place this Christmas. Personally, I think they are best used to illuminate objects like trees - especially in the snow rather than the homes that they show which tend to look tacky in real life. Paint with rope lights. RGB strips, flood that are static or change color or static lasers of a single color for illuminating the home instead. Then, of course there is animation whether physical or electronic - computer controlled or not. That, too, can be overblown. If effective - it really enhances the overall presentation. Even blow molds can work well - if grouped together in scenes like Nativities. Don't go overboard in piling them up all together. I could go on forever. Back to one of your original points - electrical power - you state you have a sub-panel in your garage. Do you additional space for extra circuits to be added? What is the overall rating of the panel? 30 amps 60 amps 100 amps? The latter two would easily give you more than enough power if you can add additional circuits (installed by a qualified person such as a licensed electrician). You should also ensure your extension cords are positioned properly meaning use 12s and 14s (gauge) before you use 16 gauge cords all with grounds! The smaller the gauge the more efficiently they carry power over longer distances. Indoor extension cords are 18 gauge and often inferior for outdoor use. Note I said "often" not always.
  3. Ed Reynolds

    2017 Suggestions

    Neon Rope Lights will be the rage in 2017! They're just starting to peek out this season. The people who do wire sculptures will surely upgrade some of them to neon. Some of them are also capable of doing effects. You are seeing more and more commercial establishments with neon - this will catch on with decorators and consumers.
  4. Ed Reynolds

    GEEK MY TREE Updates?

    It only gets BETTER with Geek My Tree!!! In response perhaps? to a frontal attack on their product by Telebrands' Tree Dazzler - a very cheap and inferior imitation of Geek My Tree's Glowflakes and Glowballs series of light shows for your Christmas tree, GMT has just release a limited run of a new product: "Glowflurries (Glowflurry)". This product is likely in response to the less expensive Tree Dazzler that is all across retailer shelves this holiday season. Glowflurries contains 63 LED lights available in red-blue-green performing 20 visual effects. It is available this Black Friday weekend for $59. They have 750 sets available for sale in this configuration. I would imagine that it embraces the quality standards Brad has put into his other signature products with fewer features to appeal to people with limited budgets. The news literally hit cyberspace today - Black Friday - so not much more is known at this moment. Go to GMT's facebook page to find out how to order this or their other great lightshows. The other sets also appear to have Black Friday specials of some sort too. Geek Your Tree this Christmas!
  5. Ed Reynolds

    GEEK MY TREE Updates?

    Geek My Tree was featured on QVC earlier this month. Mr. Wonderful (Kevin O'Leary) along with GMT's founder, Brad Boyink were both on the show promoting their latest product, "Animated Glowflakes". QVC is offering them for an introductory price of $99.95 plus $7.50 shipping. They were still listed on the QVC website as available for that price. They will ship November 11, 2016. This new improved basic version is even more simple to set-up and use than its predecessor Animated Glowballs. The basic set has 64 snowflake LED lights and a wireless remote control among other features. MSRP is $129.95. Order today and save $30! Geek Your Tree today!
  6. Ed Reynolds

    GEEK MY TREE Updates?

    Hi Greg, No, I am not a colleague of Brad's. Just a very interested individual following his progress since he was on Shark Tank. I think he has an exciting and wonderful product. So much so that the BIG GUYS [Telebrands] have chosen to steal his idea to make some quick bucks on a much lower cost and lower quality product. To some degree, they'll probably succeed. I believe I read somewhere where Brad has a patent pending, so he may be protected with his invention. I'm not a lawyer so I can't say for sure. I suspect he has been quite busy if you've read all the posts in this thread. Would be nice if he popped over here or the magazine sometime soon. His Animated Glowflakes will be sold in two versions - see Amazon and others - "Musical Glowflakes" is the grandaddy for 2016. Lists on Amazon for $229.99. Will have 12 strings of 8 glowflakes for a total of 96; a "wireless" remote control; also music on this version that will play on an included speaker or the user can supply their own (I think it is plug-in not bluetooth.) Has 8 musical programs included. [This version lists a 1-2 month shipping schedule so it probably has not been officially released - who knows? It may be tied up on one of the bankrupt Container Cargo ships floating in the Pacific - just speculation] Basic Glowflakes will be available October 15, 2016. Lists on Amazon for $129.99. 8 strings for a total of 64 lighted snowflakes. Wireless remote; NO music. They've been hard at work. Saw some video interviews of them at the Hardware Show in May. His employee Matt Phipps is a very creative young man full of innovative ideas. He's the one who took 1st place last December in the ABC "Great Christmas Light Fight". With the help of Shark Tank's Mr. Wonderful (Kevin O'Leary and his team), they've put together a great set of lights this season. Don't confuse them with the inferior and misleading Tree Dazzler lights which claim to have been on the "Tank". [Boyink says that's untrue.] Telebrands is like a Goliath in the industry with a powerful marketing and distribution arm and a very convincing TV infomercial. No doubt, they'll score many sales as they've been around for more than 30 years. Still, that doesn't make them the best. I am just trying to act as a cheerleader for the great folks who've put there hearts into Christmas here, trying to make it clear that if they wish to have a great product, for their Christmas Tree to choose GEEK MY TREE's Animated Glow Flakes. www.geekmytree.com shows a video comparison of their product compared to Telebrands' Tree Dazzler.
  7. Ed Reynolds

    GEEK MY TREE Updates?

    As the calendar gets closer to Christmas things move into higher gear. I read where "Animated Glowflakes" will be available for sale in October both through Amazon and several other retailer websites. NO mention - yet - whether these products will reach store shelves except for places like Bronner's Christmas Store. Will there be an agreement with a national chain? Time will tell. Something worth noting is that a rip-off product similar to the animated "Glowballs" has appeared. One should not be surprised. Brad Boyink's invention is sheer genius for Christmas lighting and ease of set-up. One can imagine that that famous or infamous organization. "Telebrands" has created a copycat product called the "Tree Dazzler". The only thing dazzling about the product appears to be the name. While Mr. Boyink and his mentor, "Mr. Wonderful", Kevin O'Leary's company have worked diligently to created a terrific product at a more reasonable cost (possibly as much as 50% or more depending on what set is purchased) compared to the original retail of $399. I don't believe the quality has been compromised. The same may not be said for Tree Dazzler. (Note - author has not tested or used the Tree Dazzler as of this post). In the universe of review sites however, there is at least one person who bought the Tree Dazzler system mistakenly assuming it to be the GMT light system because the price was right. The retail on Tree Dazzler varies from $39.99 or so to $49.99 plus shipping and handling. There are discounts for multiple set purchases an an offer of free shipping. [The site and or the packaging misleadingly states #1 seller as seen on Shark Tank. This is not true according to Boyink.] The nuts and bolts of the Tree Dazzler is this: (google Tree Dazzler for more info and photos/video, etc.) the set is 64 lights on 8 strings that are mounted to a control ring that sits on top of the tree. Nearly identical to GMT's product. The controller consists of a small wired remote with three buttons to cycle through colors, effects and show. Notation on the controller button is "Still - Shimmer - Show". Pressing a combination of these buttons produces various patterns that the lights dance to. The website lists 32 patterns available with the deluxe package. On the GMT website they have provided a side-by-side comparison between the two competing products. Repeating, someone wrote in to tell of their experiences with Tree Dazzler. It listed the product to be inferior, the "lts LED balls" were not as bright at GMT's and the lines became easily tangled and twisted resulting in the lights being poorly positioned and difficult to see if not place properly. This may be due to the use of inferior LEDs. The effects are limited compared to GMT's. The set contains 64 balls compared with GMT's 80. There is no music synchronization with Tree Dazzler. The guarantee for the light sets is 5 to 10 years depending on where within the website you read. Perhaps the worse thing is their blatant statements about being seen on Shark Tank. Untrue as stated above. A lot of people will, literally, get what they pay for - an average quality set of LED Christmas lights. The BBB rating of the company - Telebrands - Ajit Khalabani, founder and CEO of the "As Seen On TV" brand of products is a dismal "C-". They will be rolling out into certain retailer's stores as well. Walgreens and Bed Bath & Beyond are two national chains that sell Telebrands' products. Do not know if they will be selling Tree Dazzler at this time. Clearly the more superior product is Geek My Tree's Animated Glowballs. Unfortunately (?) Telebrands' superior marketing machine may prevail and outsell his product which would be sad. Clearly they copied his product and even his thunder on Shark Tank. Hopefully Mr. Boyink will have some relief with a potential patent infringement lawsuit should he proceed down that avenue. Telebrands has been the subject of around 50 such lawsuits. Clearly a case between a David and a Goliath. Incidentally, Telebrands is also the marketer of those outdoor laser lamps called Star Shower, again an inferior product when compared to some of the other ones out there. Those have not received glowing reviews (except for planted comments). Again, they've sold a ton of these too. Anyway, keep your eyes peeled for the new GMT Animated Glowflakes in two versions - one with musical synchronization and more glowflakes.
  8. Ed Reynolds

    GEEK MY TREE Updates?

    Well, it's finally (?) September. People will soon be thinking about Christmas decorating and all that jazz! Geek My Tree has been busy behind the scenes lining up all their ducks (or should I say snowflakes) in a row. They have at least one new product in two versions: "Animated Glowflakes". One set is for the economy-minded consumer (see list of features in previous post above). They have a deluxe version that increases the number of multi-color "glowflakes" to 96 spread across 12 strings. The more advance controller also has music synchronization with 8 preset music programs the glowflakes will dance to, so-to-speak. It has a larger 100 effects capability. This set like the basic version has a wireless remote. These products do not have the Bluetooth and related app capability of their flagship product, "Animated Glowballs". Not a whole lot has been said about upgrades to the "Glowballs" as of yet. Such as musical synchronization which is available on the deluxe "Glowflakes" set. I think one of the goals was to make the new products more user-friendly as well as more affordable. After all, not everyone is a "geek"! The newer products claim they can be set up in as little as 3 minutes. I read where these products are just beginning to roll out to on-line retail sites. The prices are also less expensive than the original roll-out of the Glowballs in 2015. It'll be interesting to see how Brad Boyink's Christmas products will be used. Perhaps he should have his own contest/competition among consumers and others. Just a thought.
  9. Ed Reynolds

    GEEK MY TREE Updates?

    LATEST UPDATE: Not a lot of info released yet unless you go digging... Seems Shark Tank's Mr. Wonderful (Kevin O'Leary) has not only provided the Midas touch, but has also given them excellent business advice and resources. They've been able to produce a set of "Animated Snowflakes" for under $99-129 MSRP depending where you read. This is a new product different from their flagship "Animated Glow Balls". However it incorporates many of the same features on a smaller scale. Hopefully the quality is as good or better as it's reported they changed manufacturers. The Snowflakes set in its basic form: 64 lights and 40 effects. The snowflakes are larger than the glow balls however the technology seems similar - same LEDs, similar configuration, easy to set up, etc. Geek My Tree also has partnered with Matt Phipps - a young talented man who won ABC's Great Christmas Light Fight last year. He's got creative genius and is working on creative concepts and musical design for their products. Brad Boyink also has "licensing" deals arranged (courtesy of Mr. Wonderful's team). It was not elaborated as whether these are deals to manufacture or sell to retailers (or both). They will be marketing products internationally this year. Finally, Brad stated (at the National Hardware Show) if you think these products are great, (I am paraphrasing) "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" (what we have under development). Time will tell. I believe Mr. Boyink made a great business decision to give 50% of his company to Mr. Wonderful. As Boyink said himself, "50% of millions of dollars is still millions of dollars". Sounds like he's well on his way to competing in the big time. It's been interesting to watch his progress since last year. I wish him and his associates all the best.
  10. Ed Reynolds

    GEEK MY TREE Updates?

    Just popped over to the facebook site of Geek My Tree. No new posts but a response to a poster earlier "this month": They will be at the National Hardware Show in Vegas. May 4-6, 2016. They will reveal new (lower) pricing for the "basic" set. Also included: the new 2.0 controller that will synchronize the glow balls to music. This and other items are perhaps available beginning in September 2016. Time to Geek THOSE Trees!!!
  11. Ed Reynolds

    GEEK MY TREE Updates?

    I went to the Geek My Tree Facebook page and lo and behold activity after a hiatus! Brad states that "My Quest Store" is now selling Animated Glow Balls for $199.95 + $5.95 shipping...through Amazon. Sounds like he has a new partner besides Mr. Wonderful to help market and sell his amazing product. As for the "PRO" style product, is it safe to assume it is Chauvet's Motion Orbs? These (RGB Balls) look identical to the Animated Glow Balls. One difference is in the controller; the number of RGB balls in their set is 55 vs 80 for Glow Balls. The Chauvet set is for DJ use and is DMX controllable.
  12. Ed Reynolds

    GEEK MY TREE Updates?

    Brad and his amazing animated Glow Balls were featured on ABC's Shark Tank last December. Mr. Wonderful bankrolled his dream while the others jumped ship when they heard the price. Have not heard anything from Brad and Geek My Tree since then. Has anyone here heard anything about his "indoor light show"? His invention is the coolest thing to happen to a tree since Christmas lights were invented.
  13. Ed Reynolds

    Ed Reynolds

    Holidays in the Manor House 2016. Wildwood Metropark Toledo, Ohio
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