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  • 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.

Rich in Las Vegas

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Rich in Las Vegas last won the day on July 9

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About Rich in Las Vegas

  • Rank
    Distinguished Member

Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    Our local HOA has an annual Christmas light contest and my neighbor wins it every year. I can't compete with the extent of his display but use some of the more unusual lights like IC controlled strips and waterfall lights. It gets a little more elaborate each year but I doubt I can keep up with his array of the more conventional prodicts.
  • Location
    Nevada
  • Biography
    Retired chemist who likes to dabble in LED conversions for home and auto. I didn't put up elaborate displays in the past but have begun to add to a simple set of Christmas lights recently after Goodwill opened an outlet store nearby and the selection for cheap displays got much better.
  • Interests
    Active in Scouting and cycling
  • Occupation
    retired
  • About my display
    Really just getting started but use LED lights almost exclusively. I convert old incandescent displays to12V LED before using them. This was mostly small stuff (candy canes) until this year. My favorite strip light is IC 6803 LED strip lights with 133 built in programs for use on eves.

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  1. Rich in Las Vegas

    Grand venture blow mold reindeer antlers?

    I think this may be the one. 28"
  2. Rich in Las Vegas

    GE Energy Smart LED C9s... made better.

    I came across a used 36 light set by GE called iTwinkle lights and it is Bluetooth controlled. They are bigger than a C9 bulb. They were probably sold by Home Depot in 2016 and 2017 because there are reviews there. I love the color rendition and brightness. Apparently the programming wasn't flawless though so the reviews are half "great" and half "horrible". I paid $2.50 for the string so it was worth taking the chance. I'd buy a second string if they were reasonable but the only place they are available is on eBay and the price is an eye popping $117.
  3. It's a 10 piece Nativity scene for $200 listed on the CA Inland empire CL site. Joseph and Mary looked familiar so I looked it up on blow-molded.com. It dates to 2008 and was made by General Foam Products. The three wise men were $95 each back then. They are the most elaborately painted blow molds I have come across. If any of our members live near San Bernadino, this would be a great acquisition. I live too far unfortunately. Here's a screenshot for the 3 wise men in blow-molded https://screenshots.firefox.com/42dK3YfMecMYxdnd/www.blow-molded.com (good until 10/27/18)
  4. Rich in Las Vegas

    Michael's Craft Store has blow mold Snowman

    Yesterday's Michaels insert in the Sunday Newspaper had a 20% off coupon on your entire purchase good for today, Veterans Day and a 50% off coupon for the rest of the week on one item. It has a lot of "not good on" items listed but none with the exception of Christmas trees for Christmas items. The Snowman is $24 today, regular price $40. It is listed as 10.2 X 12.2 X 24" 24" Vintage Snowman By Ashland
  5. Rich in Las Vegas

    Restoring a mold.

    That's just like the original according to this offering on eBay. Want to see how much your labor is worth? The asking price for the one on eBay along with the shipping is $70 I recently acquired three Christmas candles by UP but two didn't come with the flames. A search of eBay showed just one for $18 that might fit. That's more than what I paid an entire Empire candle (including shipping) that I got from Wisconsin recently. I got the idea that the flame tops for a couple of driveway marker lights might work. They are the same size as the original. It didn't take much cobbling to get them to fit. I already switched over other candles from incandescent to LED so it's not a new idea. Even if I had to sacrifice a new set of driveway marker lights, they are only $15 for a set of 5 at Lowes.
  6. Rich in Las Vegas

    Lowes Home Improvement skimpy offering

    Update on Lowe's Christmas offering. Lowe's and Walmart are in the same shopping center so I stopped in both this morning. Lowe's had added a very large mailbox similar to the one sold by WM for $90 but even larger. It's 5 feet high which makes it higher than the real USPS box. Both have white 5mm LEDs poking through the side of the box all around. The price: $398! I guess the quality is not the greatest as the brand new display had at least one LED not working.
  7. Rich in Las Vegas

    Color change E12 base

    eBay to the rescue and you don't have to buy a lot of them. Cheapest price is $5.78 including shipping. What Banggood has wouldn't be any cheaper and make you wait about 3 weeks. https://www.ebay.com/itm/LED-Color-Changing-Bulbs-Refrigerator-Night-Light-Christmas-C7-E12/251870539605?hash=item3aa4a76f55:g:RVEAAOSwSHZWdt-h:rk:31:pf:0
  8. Rich in Las Vegas

    Michael's Craft Store has blow mold Snowman

    Any idea of the dimensions (height) and store price?
  9. Rich in Las Vegas

    converting a battery powered to 120V blow mold

    If you like the swirling light function that came with the hanging lantern light it is still possible to convert from batteries to alternate power source. I came across this tiny DC to DC buck converter that will deliver 4.5V DC equivalent to the output for three batteries. I like running stuff on 12V DC because of the easily available sources now that 12V LED lighting is so common and nearly all of my incandescent to LED conversions are 12V. This one dollar converter is so small that it will easily fit inside the battery case. The size is .70" X .48" X .18". The longest dimension is barely larger than the diameter of a nickle. You will need a voltmeter to set the voltage to ~ 4.5. The closest I could get was 4.54V and it operated several battery powered light strings well. There are larger versions of this same converter and the deluxe version with LED readout is still only $2.19. Mini buck converter $.99 postpaid https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-3A-DC-DC-Buck-Converter-3V-3-3V-5V-12V-Adjustable-Step-Down-Power-Regulator/172440219053?epid=1179244902&hash=item28263cedad:g:srgAAOSwZQRYcQob:rk:3:pf:1&LH_BIN=1&frcectupt=tr Larger buck converter $.76 Dimensions 1.71" X .83" X .55" https://www.ebay.com/itm/LM2596S-DC-Step-Down-Regulator-Power-Module-Buck-3-2-40V-To-1-25-35V-3A-Adjust/153112254285?hash=item23a633974d:g:p~MAAOSwpAlbVxS-:rk:1:pf:1&LH_BIN=1&frcectupt=true Buck converter with LED readout $2.19 postpaid Dimensions 2.6" X 1.5" X .55" https://www.ebay.com/itm/DC-DC-LED-Digital-Adjustable-Step-down-Buck-Module-Voltage-Converter-LM2596/282805178101?hash=item41d8808ef5:g:uyUAAOSwmFhbxbYw:rk:16:pf:0&LH_BIN=1
  10. Rich in Las Vegas

    Convert to constant on

    According to the specifications for both sets you can set them to be constantly on a single color. How they wire them with only 3 leads is a bit of a mystery since most RGB light strips with complex programs typically require four leads, two for the power and two to carry the control signal. Even a single RGB pixel will have four leads, one for each color and the last for the + ground. The strips I have (6803 IC) are grouped in sets of 3 LEDs with an IC controlling three SMD 5050 LED chips. If one fails three go out so it is not surprising that with your light string a couple would be ganged together and go out as a group. Last year I had one 3 LED segment go out and it is a PIA to fix them because they are encased in tough plastic and not easy to cut out the bad segment and join the two ends. It is a sad comment on the quality of Home Depot Christmas lights if they fail so soon. Most LEDs are rated for 50,000 hours unless subjected to overvoltage. If you ran them 24/7 for 90 days, that is only 2160 hours. Some of the LED strings I have are from 2008 and still going strong.
  11. Rich in Las Vegas

    Anyone know who made these candles?

    Thanks for the information. I looked at blow-molded.com but it doesn't match any of the ones shown there for TPI. I figured it was made in the USA because anything imported must show the country of origin either on the item or on a tag but there wasn't any country of origin. I got a chance to look at pictures shown on blow-mold.com and came across an answer. They match exactly the Union Products 36" candle in red and white edition 7610, 76104 and 7610, 76108. Unfortunately I did not get the flame tips for the other two candles. The Goodwill outlet store is a crap shoot when it comes to getting the entire blow mold set if it comes in pieces. I recently got Joseph and Mary but Jesus was missing. They bring stuff into the facility in humongous boxes (maybe 6' X 6' X 4') and dump it into mobile bins. The bins are filled to overflowing and no care is taken to assure nothing gets broken. The three candles were there when I arrived at the store but they switched out the row of 5 bins where I found it before I had a chance to explore all of the bins looking for the two remaining flames. Even so it is worth looking since prices are so low (50 cents a pound). I know from looking that flame tips are available on eBay but the asking prices are often ridiculous. I was glad to just get one of the three complete. I paid $16 recently for a similar candle on eBay and thought I did well at that price.
  12. Rich in Las Vegas

    Anyone know who made these candles?

    I bought all there of these candles at my local Goodwill outlet this morning. Only one had the flame top but since all three of them cost me a dollar total I took all of them. It's the first large blow mold that I acquired that has no identification molded into the plastic. The only labels were paper and on the bottom of one. The labels were not in very good condition. One gave the price at $9.99, a second was probably the production date 08-96, and the third one had something about stabilizing the lamp. The opening for the lamp is fairly low (see picture). I'd love to know which of the American companies made them.
  13. Rich in Las Vegas

    Finds at ACE Hardware

    They have got to be out there somewhere. I didn't start looking for blow molds until this past February. Most of mine have come from thrift stores and much of what they get is the leftovers from somebody's garage sale. I went to Goodwill's outlet store this morning and picked up three blow mold pumpkins. One was last year's Target GFP pumpkin with the $1 sticker still on the base. The best one is the Grand Venture pumpkin. It's about twice the thickness of the GFP mold and is mold dated 1997 when they first started to make them but there is no manufacturing date the way GFP does it. The third is a Mars pumpkin with "Mars 1989" on the base. It's really interesting. The last one is a foam pumpkin with the light missing but I took care of that using a 10 LED auto light that just fits over the hole in the back. All four together were less than a dollar.
  14. Rich in Las Vegas

    Finds at ACE Hardware

    I would agree that eBay has some good deals on blow molds but they are far outweighed by the number of offerings that are ridiculous. I bought two off of eBay so far and am satisfied. I always select "lowest price plus shipping" rather than "best match" and "buy it now" to eliminate the ones that are auctions and have ridiculous shipping charges. Here's my example of one of them with ridiculous shipping prices. It's an unusual Grand Venture climbing Santa that is priced at $125 but also carries a shipping charge of $148.62 for "economy USPS shipping". No matter how good the blow mold is, I wouldn't pay that much for shipping. I bought a 39" Santa from St Vincent De Paul in Chicago on eBay for $35 and paid $19 for shipping. It came by USPS economy shipping (10 days) and was securely wrapped in bubble wrap and heavy gauge plastic sheeting. I don't know how some of these sellers figure shipping but it looks like they jack up the shipping price for a lot more profit.
  15. Rich in Las Vegas

    Reliable C7 or C9 LED Lights

    I didn't realize that the text quoting the specifications for the ebay retrofit C9 bulbs would not show up well on this site so here it is again The lumen rating for these bulbs is 7.05 120 volts, 0.37 watts per bulb, 0.019 amps per bulb (9.25W for 25 bulbs) 5 LED diodes inside bulb These are Full-Wave LED bulbs (the rectifier is in the base of the bulb)" This makes it easy to calculate the watts or amps for any number of bulbs.
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