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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.



Everything posted by july1962

  1. july1962

    Fake trees outdoors?

    Wasn't sure which category to put this in. I was looking at a 15' fake Christmas tree at Costco...they're really starting to look faker and faker. BUT, my thought was that since the branches seem to be totally made of some kind of plastic now, it would hold up better outside than some of the older fake trees that were made of a more fragile material. The tree is listed as indoors only, though. Has anyone successfully used a fake Christmas tree outside year after year? This is the tree I was looking at. https://www.costco.com/15'-Artificial-Pre-Lit-LED-Christmas-Tree.product.100404025.html
  2. july1962

    Fake trees outdoors?

    Thanks all....all good points. I have been to thrift stores and garage sales...I'm not seeing anyone with Christmas trees, especially really big ones. I live on a corner and wanted to put it right on the corner. I already do a big computerized light show and have an LED tree. I just wanted a big department store looking tree for the corner.
  3. july1962

    Fake trees outdoors?

    It is pricey, but it's 15' tall and has multi-function lites that can switch from all white to colored, or both. I frequent thrift stores for decorations and I've only seen a tree once and it was small and in pretty bad condition.
  4. july1962

    Fake trees outdoors?

    That's a good point about the prelit trees. It seems like most of them these days are prelit.
  5. july1962

    "Fairy Lights" controllers

    Is anyone familiar with the Chinese "Fairy Lights" that are available online? It seems they all come with a multi-function controller. I asked one of the vendors if when powered down if it stays on the same pattern or if it resets and he said it resets. I basically would just like them to stay on solid. Does anyone know if you can remove the controller and rewire it to work without it? Also, has anyone used these with a LOR controller for dimming?
  6. july1962

    Rgb Plug And Play

    I too know next to nothing about RGB/DMX, but I do have 112 LOR channels. I would love to incorporate the CCR's, but the price is just prohibitive. I gave up my career to care full time for my disabled sister, so we need to do things as reasonably as possible. I'm wondering...since the expensive part of the LOR CCR seems to be the LED strip (at $170), are there cheaper strips that you could use instead? It seems like I've seen a ton of LED RGB strips on ebay (from Asia) for very reasonable prices...like 5M for under $100. Is there something special about the LOR strip that makes it necessary to use theirs, or can you buy their controller and swap in cheaper strips?
  7. Hi, just saw your LOR videos for the first time...great job! I was wondering how you do the chasing lights around your roof?

  8. july1962

    Cheap Chinese Stuff Review: Snowfall / Meteor Lights

    So they don't come with a way to plug them in or from one to another? Could you wire them up one to another and us a 12v DC wall wart to run multiple strips? Or do you need one wall wart for each stip?
  9. july1962

    Creative Displays INC

    I agree....the best customer service I have EVER encountered. I bought a bunch of strobes and 5 didn't work. He sent replacements out immediately, no questions.
  10. Hi, I have an idea for a lighting project for Christmas and need several hundred flickering LED bulbs, the kind they put in those battery operated tea lights. I took one of those and stripped it down to see if it was the bulb that flickers or if it has a circuity attached. I pulled the bulb out and touched it to the battery, and indeed it flickered. While I could just buy the tea lights, that would be cost prohibitive for the project I want to do. I've scoured the internet trying to find a source to buy them, with no luck. All the LEDs online seem to only flash. There are tutorials online to use electronics to make a flickering effect, but I know NOTHING about programming circuits and I don't think with the number of bulbs I need, that would be practical. I contacted the company that makes the tea lights, but I'm sure they're probably not going to want to share the source of their bulbs. Does anyone know where I could get the flickering bulbs?
  11. I'd like to buy some of those tiny LED Fairy lights available on Ebay from China. However, they all seem to come with an 8 function controller on them. I asked one vendor and they said that the lights cycle through the patterns every minute or so. I really don't want them to blink at all, I just want them steady. So does anyone know if there's a way to adapt the controller or bypass it all together? I assume it can't really be removed since the LED's probably need some sort of circuitry to run.
  12. july1962

    Cdi official pre order

    I've not dealt with strobes yet, but would like to for Christmas 2010. Is the difference between the C7 and C9 LED strobes, the brightness? What's the general consensus, LED strobes or incandescent? Has anyone used the colored strobes? If so, how do they look?
  13. july1962

    My first attempt at a Mini-Mega-Tree

    Here are some photos of the tree in daylight. http://www.flickr.com/photos/61759776@N00/sets/72157622875373821/detail/
  14. So i've built some very small light trees in the past, nothing more than about 8 feet, with lights draped from a pvc pipe to the ground. This year I wanted to do a "mega-tree" but didn't have the time and patience to do the traditional ones that I've seen online. So I went to Lowe's and came up with what I think is a pretty clever and inexpensive mini-mega-tree! It's 10 feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I could go higher with some reinforcements throughout. This has no inner reinforcements and no guide wires to the ground. The biggest advantage is I'm able to do spirals very easily. This is a test video I did tonight. It's not good quality, but you'll get the idea. I see that I need to do some more spacing of the lights.
  15. july1962

    My first attempt at a Mini-Mega-Tree

    Oh, and I also used some garden stakes at the bottom, about a foot off the ground, that I ran through each piece of the wire corner stuff. That way I had a bar along the bottom to wrap the lights around instead of trying to attach them right to the ground. I was lazy and didn't cut them off, but you can't see them at night. I'm going to upload some photos.
  16. july1962

    My first attempt at a Mini-Mega-Tree

    I went to Lowe's looking for something to make the tree out of. I was originally going to buy 10' pieces of rebar and hook them together like a teepee at the top. But in that same area, I saw these 10' pieces of, I'm not sure what it's called, but you use it for drywalling corners. It's wire that has been swirled together to form a corner piece. I'll try to get some closeup pictures of it. I marked a circle on the ground and laid 10 pieces around the circle (next time I'll do 12 for more equal spacing of the light sections). I wired the center together (which became the top). This stuff is really light. So then I just lifted it from the center and all the end pieces slid themselves across the ground and helped lift it up. Then I just placed each end piece evenly around the circle and used a long garden staple to hold it to the ground. It is amazingly strong! I would think if you wanted it taller, you could take 2 of the 10' pieces and hook them together with wire. But I'm pretty sure you'd have to use some cross pieces in a couple of places down the length of the tree to stabilize it from collapsing in on itself. I think even if I were to do more lights on the 10' tree, I'd have to stabilize it some. So then you have a skeleton tree that actually looks pretty cool and architectural on its own! I ran some of the lights up and down, some I did in sections going around the tree and then I did red and green in spirals, from the bottom to the top. It was very easy. I did have to use some twisty-ties to hold some of the strings in place, especially on the spirals. Thankfully I kept all the twisties from all the light sets I bought! So I'm dubbing this design Eric's Mini-Mega-Tree!
  17. july1962

    Zip Plugs? Where do you buy?

    What is unsafe about plugging cord into cord into cord? I tie all the ends together so they don't come apart. It's no different than plugging a string of lights into another string of lights. I've never had any trouble with extension cords in the rain. If a plug has no cover, I cover it with something else myself, like plastic wrap. I've never had a breaker trip from water getting into a plug. With the homemade cords, you can still get water in them. What if one year you put a vampire plug midstream somewhere and the next time you use it, you don't need that midstream plug. You're in the same boat as the Wallmart cord.
  18. july1962

    Zip Plugs? Where do you buy?

    They come in 6 and 15 foot lengths at Walmart. As I said earlier, I can see some pluses in making your own cords, but in general, I think the Walmart cords are much handier, way less labor, and cheap.
  19. july1962

    Zip Plugs? Where do you buy?

    First of all, you don't factor the price of the cord into the whole price, you have to subtract the cost of the male and female ends first. So the price of the cord is not 15 cents a foot. If you use the .60 each price of the vampire plugs, you have to take 1.20 off of the total cost first, then figure out the wire cost. So 2.34-1.20 is 1.14/15 which is .076 a foot. Then there's all the time I save not having to cut wire, splice in the plugs, etc. As for storage, I can roll them up nice and tight and fit hundreds in one crate. I don't use cheap cords to run long distances. I buy the thicker cords, also at Walmart, very inexpensively. They have them in dark green. I'd use a 50 ft thick cord and a shorter sp cord to reach 54 feet. I never do the same display twice, so the thought of doing custom cords one year and then not having them fit the next seems like a real waste to me.
  20. july1962

    Zip Plugs? Where do you buy?

    OK, once again, I'm not talking about the bulky orange industrial cords. I don't think you can compare SP wire to those. The Walmart cords are basically the same thing as SP cord and Vampire plugs (except that you get three plugs at the end instead of one.)
  21. july1962

    Zip Plugs? Where do you buy?

    The Walmart cords are brown or white. SP cord seems to come in black, green or white from what I've seen, so brown seems a good alternative. Isn't "making" the cords more time consuming than taking the twisty tie off and plugging them in? I know the benefit of custom lengths, except that if you change it up every year, they aren't so custom anymore. Smaller lengths hooked together seems far more economical and handy. It is nice to put the vampire plugs in-line, but you could do that with the Walmart cord, no?
  22. july1962

    Zip Plugs? Where do you buy?

    Being a newbie to LOR this year, I've read a lot about the advantages of making your own extensions cords. But after plunking down $2000 for the LOR and needing to buy lots more lights for it, I need to go the economical route as much as I can. These "vampire" plugs seem awfully expensive, especially if you need a lot of them. I think the cheapest I saw them mentioned in this thread was about .65 x 2 is $1.30 just for the plugs. Then the wire on top of that is about .11 x 15 = 1.65. I can get a 15' extension cord at walmart for $2.34. Walmarts cord ends up being about .06 a foot (if you take off $1.30 for the plugs.).
  23. july1962

    Timers or No Timers?

    I'm VERY new to LOR, but I'm not sure I understand your use of timers. Doesn't the software take care of starting and ending the show?
  24. july1962

    Everything is for sale

    Did you sell everything?
  25. july1962

    Programming all on/off

    Thanks for the reply! I thought I had put my location on there...sorry...I'll do that now. I'm in Valley Village, CA, near Universal Studios Hollywood.