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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.

Stephen Blue


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21 Excellent


About Stephen Blue

  • Rank
    30 "mega trees" is normal, right?
  • Birthday 09/23/1984

Contact Methods

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Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    So this one time, back when PC had the green forums... (I may not post much, but yes, I've been here THAT long.)
  • Location
    Deltaville, Virginia, USA
  • Biography
  • Interests
  • Occupation
  • About my display
    +/- 127,000 lights, static/animated hybrid walk-through display at 16598 General Puller Highway in Deltaville, VA. 38,000 Light LOR show controlled by 192 channels includes a 13,000 light 22' Mega Tree flanked by a quartet of 4,800 light 10' trees, and surrounded by 4 12-channel leaping arches.

    16 Channels of LOR DIO8RLY relays turns the remaining 35,000 static lights on and off at night, which include more than a dozen 10' PVC trees, a boat in a pond of lights, numerous characters, and more!

    16598 General Puller Highway, Deltaville, VA 23043

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  1. Stephen Blue

    Reliable C7 or C9 LED Lights

    Gotta say, big box store C9's just don't cut it for me. They typically only have one LED and do not look very bright, and quality is mediocre. (And I'm a huge fan of the WalMart mini LED's) @hotrod1965's ceramic LED's are the closest C9's I've seen to a classic look and classic brightness, and the quality is excellent. The only other thing I would consider is the Lowes GE-brand C6 ceramic's, they're the only LED C-style bulb that look as good as a classic incan C-bulb, but they are a smaller bulb, and come in a denser 100ct string - maybe not the look you're going for. HLE lists their C9 retro's at about 0.6 watts per bulb, so you're looking at about 15 watts per 25 count string. If I'm not mistaken, a classic incan C9 string of 25 runs 175 watts. You can easily put over 100x 25-bulb strings on a 20 amp breaker.
  2. Stephen Blue

    Other sites?

    @Chuck ^^^^This. There's not enough activity here anymore for the forums to be so segmented. I recognize this is an enormous undertaking, but there simply isn't enough new content to make all the little subforums worth it. It makes looking for new/interesting topics a chore. And if things were more condensed, it could certainly spur more activity, which would be a nice change everyone can agree on! Lights, Pixels, Computer Control Control (Maybe segment LOR & XLights...), Blowmolds, Inflatables, DIY, Misc, Showing Off, and the regional subforums... Combine everyone into those. I didn't realize that was you - I saw that post. I wouldn't call that a scolding - He runs that group he linked to and was trying to promote it. It hasn't taken off.. he's trying to get people there (He's actually another Hampton Roads-based display). Could have worded it better. I saw you got one good response... Don't let that one thread scare you off of there.
  3. Stephen Blue

    Finds at ACE Hardware

    Yeah, I picked them up at $30ea too, which is cheaper than Amazon has them - Amazon currently lists at $50, though I picked some up for $35 earlier in the year. Still, the Ace deal felt relatively decent.
  4. Stephen Blue

    Lowes Home Improvement skimpy offering

    Yea, Home Depot has been taking Lowes behind the woodshed at Christmas for a few years now, with the exception of Lowes actually being willing to do blowmolds (despite quality concerns). WalMarts lights & prices arn't even close, and HD's selection of characters as well as their light string prices (despite light string selection being mediocre) is far superior.
  5. Stephen Blue

    Other sites?

    I rarely check in here any longer. Most of my Christmas interaction is via Facebook groups now. My go-to's: Light-O-Rama Users - Unofficial support group which is generally far more diverse than just LOR Holiday Lighting Think Tank Blowmold Nation + a couple of local/regional-centric lighting groups. There's a few others too that I am a part of, but far less participatory in.
  6. Stephen Blue

    11th Annual Virginia Mini

    3rd weekend in May would work well for me. I could likely come up with a facility down my way (Gloucester or Deltaville) if people want to travel this way - I'd have to check on the availability of the facilities I'm connected to. But I really like the RVA location as being very central to get the most people involved.
  7. Stephen Blue

    For sale - GIANT snow machine

    I'm.... overwhelmingly impressed. Shame I don't have a practical use for this!
  8. Stephen Blue

    Merging of new P.C.

    I'm interested to see how it integrates. Then again, I'm a fairly active social media user. I certainly don't want to trash it before I see it - in fact, I've never seen anything as is being described, so I actually like the idea of trying something new. Because frankly, what we have now isn't working that great, IMO. Let's see how it goes.
  9. Stephen Blue

    Display sale in Richmond

    FYI for any who are interested, one of the long-time Tacky Light Tour houses in RVA is "downsizing" - the majority of their blowmolds, cutouts, and wireframes are for sale. I wouldn't call it a "fire sale", but the prices are certainly waaaay below the nuts on eBay/Craigslist. Here's the RTD page on the display so you can get an idea of what there is. A lot has been sold already, but there is a ton left still as well. A lot need some TLC, but still... don't see sales like this happen often. http://www.richmond.com/holiday/tacky-lights/chesterfield/bellbluff-drive/article_44427770-38cf-11e2-899c-0019bb30f31a.html PM me and I can get you the owners contact info - I don't want to post it publicly. It's first come, first serve - he's not holding anything for anyone, not shipping either, so this is truly local to those within driving distance of north Chesterfield.
  10. Wow, I forgot about those! But I do remember them. Would be VERY neat to see that hit Youtube!
  11. Stephen Blue

    Vendors that sell M5 LED strings with Quick Connect ends?

    Yea, it's been 14 months since I bought them, but I want to say the 24v versalines with the coupling connects were a shade over $8 per string of 48, I want to say it worked out to about $17 per 100. Which, when you compare to a standard plug LED sealed vendor like HLE, you're looking at about a 50% premium. You also have to buy the power supplies and extensions and such, which arn't horrendously expensive, but it's certainly more pricey than standard plug lights. Again, the main reason I wanted them was the 24V - I used them to build out my light maze, and I thought it important to have low voltage running through there for the eventual kid running through and breaking wires - an added layer of protection on top of the GFI that if anyone did touch electricity in there, it was low voltage.
  12. Stephen Blue

    Vendors that sell M5 LED strings with Quick Connect ends?

    I can't help you with M5's but I use some "coupling plug" lights like you describe in the 5mm format from s4lights (s4lights.com) - I use their Versaline 24v lights for a few specific elements where I want the low voltage and the coupling plugs are fantastic. They also sell 120v coupling plug 5mm's as well. Sorry I don't have a more complete answer for you, but the term "coupling plug" may help your search. (Like you, I first saw these lights at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, and went digging around their display for a power supply to get the brand name off of!)
  13. Well this isn't the thread for the commercial grade vs big box store value debate - We've had that one many times over the years (you've been in on some of them as I recall ) but suffice to say there's more than enough popularity with the commercial grade vendors that they absolutely should not be cut out of any list. Give people the choices and then let everyone make their own decision on which way they go.
  14. I like the massively shortened list. I'm not sure what "Quirky" displays are... Well, OK, the one I saw featuring a Santa blow mold riding a toilet being pulled by 9 pink flamingos probably would fit there. Probably should have a "Traditional" display category - the display that's a bit of a mishmash of everything ("Traditionally Tacky"? :-D ). I wouldn't consider many of the top GCLF displays DIY's... DIY's in my mind are the ones with lots of homemade motorized contraptions, custom cutouts, etc - hardly anything you'd pick up off the shelf at your decorating retailer of choice. I still think an "Indoor" category wouldn't be a bad idea. I know it's not widely used, but I think there's a lot of potential there.