Jump to content
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.

Rich in Las Vegas

Members

Everything posted by Rich in Las Vegas

  1. 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
  2. Rich in Las Vegas

    Lowes Home Improvement skimpy offering

    I stopped in one of the local Lowes stores this morning and while I was waiting for them to process a refund wandered through an extensive Christmas display. They have lots of inflatables and metal displays but only three blow molds tucked in the middle of a lot of other stuff. They had a soldier, candy cane, and lamp post. They were all about 40" high and lit with two C7 7W incandescent bulbs. One of the three had the Gemmy brand name on the instruction sheet. They were all priced at $40. Made in China. I liked the stuff available at Walmart better. Sorry for the lack of pictures but I don't carry a cell phone with me.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. Rich in Las Vegas

    Michael's Craft Store has blow mold Snowman

    Any idea of the dimensions (height) and store price?
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Rich in Las Vegas

    Reliable C7 or C9 LED Lights

    One thing to consider if you are going to use individual c9 LED retrofit bulbs is the power consumption compared to a string designed for LEDs. Each retrofit bulb has to contain electronics to convert AC to DC and some way to drop the voltage to what is required for the LED. That's way less efficient compared to running a string of 25 bulbs in series with a rectifier at each end of the string. The 25 bulb string with 5mm LEDs that I bought Thursday is rated 2.4W for the entire string. The individual bulbs mentioned above for Holiday Light Express are rated at 0.58W per bulb so a 25 bulb string would use 14.5W. That's six times the watts used by a string designed for 5mm LEDs in the first place. Looking at the information provided by one of the sellers on ebay I see the following which suggests these would be brighter than the ordinary c9 string lights and it might explain the higher power consumption but it doesn't specify the size of the LED: "The lumin 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)"
  15. Rich in Las Vegas

    Finds at ACE Hardware

    Just got back from the closest Ace Hardware among the three in Las Vegas. The only Halloween items were a bunch of Gemmy blow ups and the UP pumpkin pail and the kettle. They were priced at $2.49 and no sale at this store so it was no sale for me. I don't know if it is worth my time to try another Ace Hardware which is not far away but like this one owned privately so what they stock is up to the owners. These have to be newly made CADO since UP closed 12 years ago and finding enough NOS would be unlikely.
  16. Rich in Las Vegas

    Modifying a Halloween Sign with LEDs

    I picked up this coroplast sign recently and got the idea it would be nice if the stop sign worked like the new flashing stop signs that have been installed all over town where the red octagon is outlined with flashing LEDs. It seemed like a simple project and here is the result. Materials: 25 3mm red LEDs 2V DC operating voltage ($6.50 for an assortment of 500 in 5 colors) 924A buck step down module – converts 12V DC to 2V DC – adjustable 12V down to ~1V ($.77) Single color LED controller for flashing mode with remote ($1.99) wire – scavenged from defunct Christmas light string. 12V DC source – any old 12V converter 6W or larger will do I spaced the location of the LEDs equally around the octagon and poked two small holes through the coroplast. Inserted the LEDs being careful to always align the long lead (+) in the same orientation. Connected all 25 leads with the wire and soldered them in place. The buck converter takes the place of wiring a resistor to each of the LEDs matching the 12V source to the 2V LED. It saves a lot of work adding the resistors and the cost is about the same. The connections are 12V source to the controller, controller to the buck converter, and buck converter to the LED wires. buck converter to drop voltage basic LED controller with remote
  17. Rich in Las Vegas

    Reliable C7 or C9 LED Lights

    Obviously going to commercial grade lights would solve your problem but at a cost of course. I'm surprised at the failure rate for the LED lights sold by the big box stores. That's an indication of poor quality control. Each week I go to the local Goodwill outlet store and look to see what Halloween or Christmas decorations they have. This past week it was half a dozen strings of alternating blue and white C9 lights which ended up costing about 30 cents a string for 25 lights spaced 6" apart. All of the Chinese made lights have a tag indicating the date of manufacture. These were dated 6/2008., It's impossible to tell how much they have been used over the past decade but all of them worked which is a pretty good indication of longevity. They are the typical 5mm flat top LED in each holder. It is quite possible that some of these lights come from the local gambling resorts and they would likely be commercial grade. Those usually show up in February. Giant piles of lights all at one time is a good indication of commercial user. It's just amazing how many LED strings are showing up. If they are at all tangled, they go to the outlet store right away. These blue and white ones will complement the red and white c9 strings that were there not long ago.
  18. Rich in Las Vegas

    ISO reindeer

    A quick look shows there are a couple of sellers on ebay for a 15' inflatable reindeer but the price is about $300. Not cheap indeed. Just search on inflatable reindeer Christmas decoration and set the price to $275-$325 and 7 sellers show up.
  19. Rich in Las Vegas

    Lowes Home Improvement skimpy offering

    Maybe the paint quality was the reason I liked the Walmart offerings better. The Lowes blow molds seemed to be heavier than any of the Empire and GFP blow molds of similar size that I own. It found the proportions for the candle a bit odd but I am new to blow molds.
  20. Rich in Las Vegas

    Really BIG Lights

    Someone mentioned the older version of this light which was lit by a C9 bulb so it didn't require batteries. I came across a couple of them that I bought used sometime in 2017. I run most of my lights on 12V DC with LEDs so here is a picture of the light opened to show how it was done. It's probably the cheapest conversion possible since a 300 reel of SMD 5630 LEDs ordered from China recently was $3.50 (non-waterproof). It has 12 LEDs wound around a plastic tube for a total of 1.2W and 600 lumens. If I were modifying it today, I might use a 1.5W G4 24 LED bulb because it is simpler to modify and the bulb and socket together are about 32 cents when you buy them in packages of 10 from China. I almost had a half dozen more from my local Goodwill outlet store recently but somebody piles something heavy on top and smashed all of the globes. It would have been a good find otherwise.
  21. Rich in Las Vegas

    Other sites?

    Thank you Chuck for the effort you put in on this site. I found it by accident a few months ago and am truly impressed by how much good information is available here. At the end of last year I only had some fancy LED lights(chasing and rain lights) but have begun to acquire blow molds and other decorations at an alarming rate. You need to warn people at the Newbie section that this hobby has an addicting quality.
  22. Rich in Las Vegas

    Walmart has a reindeer crossing blow mold

    Amazing Display at a bigger Walmart I was passing by a Walmart store that is just a few miles from home. It's not the closest one so I never stopped at this one before. Their Outdoor Living section is humongous and unlike the other store I visit, it is weatherproof (has a roof). I'm sure their entire Christmas stock is out. It must be way more than 100 different items on display, not counting light strings. They have everything pictured above - the reindeer crossing sign, the lamp posts, Santa's mailbox, all of the 10" blowmolds plus they had a large and expensive Santa blow mold and Santa's sleigh and 8 reindeer. I wish I had paper and pencil to take down some of the items. Sorry for no pictures as I didn't have a phone with me. The display must have been 40' long and three tiers high on both sides of the room. Of course, all of it says made in China.
  23. Rich in Las Vegas

    Walmart has a reindeer crossing blow mold

    You are right about not being able to locate these Christmas blow molds on the Walmart site even if you know the SKU number. WM links you to outside vendors not stuff sold in the stores. I tried searching on "Christmas lantern SKU 85946" and limiting the price to $9-$12 but nothing like the lantern shows. My local WM staff was nice enough to leave the layout sheet for organizing the display on the shelves. It doesn't look like they will be carrying the "reindeer parking" blow mold at that location. It wasn't on any of the sheets. I would like to buy one and convert it to 12V LED and include lights in the lower part of the unit. It's simple using a plastic tube with SMD 2835 LEDs spirally would around the tube. I just ordered a bunch of C4 LED bulbs in 3W and 5W for the upper part of blow molds in place of the incandescent light. If you still want to use 110V to the blow mold, you can hide a converter inside the base or buy the 110V version. These bulbs are available in 110V but a bit more expensive and harder to find. The price for eight 12V, 3W bulbs was $4.78, for eight 5W bulbs was $7.76 and ten C4 ceramic sockets with 6" wires was $1.24. Makes conversions quite affordable. 5W version shown below:
  24. Rich in Las Vegas

    Walmart has a reindeer crossing blow mold

    IF you bought one of the battery operated 10" blow molds from WM, can you take a picture of the way it is lit. I didn't want to take it out of the box and get in trouble. One that I tried has a swirling pattern to the lights inside. It should be easy to convert to 120V C9 incandescent or C9 LED but my preference is to use 12V DC LEDs and a converter. Today was my weekly visit to the local Goodwill outlet store and they brought out a bunch of last year's Holiday Time displays. I only was able to grab a 28" Light Up Metal Owl for about $2. It's LED and pretty nice. Wish I had been to the bin faster.
  25. Rich in Las Vegas

    Walmart has a reindeer crossing blow mold

    I checked WM this morning and they had the Christmas display out. The $50 nativity set was there. No reindeer parking signs. The only other blow molds I spotted were battery powered 10" blow molds in three variations. The one not shown above is a snowball Santa.
×