Saturday, December 13, 2008

Let There Be Light!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," in these dark days! How do we beat back this blackness? Let there be light!

My neighbors have all swathed their houses in lights. Is there some contagious component to this? Because, like I need to spend money, but ... I wanna do it too!

What is better than cruising through a neighborhood full of holiday-lit homes? I love the over-the-top ones. We've got those aplenty around here. I don't spend much time thinking about what I would do if I won the lottery, but launching a Crazy Christmas House would definitely make the list.

Tomorrow I think I'll go to the local hardware store and see if they have any of those newfangled LED lights. I saw some on a house near here. They looked like happy faeries, thumbing their fluttery noses at this cursed darkness, this sunless season. I wouldn't need thousands, just a few to wind around my porch railings.

Peace to you and yours, my friends.


yellowdoggranny said...

i have a big wreath, lights around the front windows and the door...not elaborate..but more than anyone else in the old farts apts.if i won the place would look like a tree exploded on the house...all decorated..i love that most of west decorates all of the houses...and the business's..

Servitor Lucem said...

....aaaaaaaand (drrrumrrroll, pleahse)... Comments are back!

OK, I get a tree each December. In fact, I've got to get it this week sometime. I got rid of my old incandescent tree lights and got LED lights last year. They look just fine, and they have some really interesting properties. One thing you should keep in mind, though. Go easy on the blue. here's an interesting thing about the differences between LED's and the lamps we're used to. "Normal" incandescent lamps give off a yellowish-white light, which we then filter to get the colors we want in our decorative lights. LED's on the other hand, emit ony one wavelength of light, which we see as the color of the light. That means that, while we're throwing away most of the light of an incandescent lamp when we filter it, we don't do that at all with LED's, and that makes them much brighter than incandescents that use the same amount of power (in addition to their greater electricity-to-light conversion efficiency). Now, another thing that happens is this:
The incandescent light is yellowish white, remember?
Well, that means it has very little blue, so the blue-filtered incendescents are rather dim, compared to the other colors.
Blue LED's are dimmer than red or green ones, too, but there's not as great a difference as with filtered incendescents. Also, our eyes are more sensitive to blue than to red or green, or many other colors. Here's what that means:
Your LED lights will look fine up close, and you'll figure that you have the right balance of colors. Walk out to the street and look at them, though, and you'll feel that you're really heavy on the blue. This actually happened on the Rockefeller Center tree last year, when they first put LED's on it. Up close, it looked just fine. From the Channel Gardens on the other side of the Rink, though, the blues overwhelmed the other colors. I noticed that at home, too. IN the room, our tree looked just fine. Through the window, from the street, it was very, very blue. Since we didn't tend to stand around looking at our tree from outside, I didn't worry about it, but if I were to put up lights outside, I'd put up a lot fewer blue ones (they took about 15,000 blues off the Rockefeller Center tree, and this year, they remembered, and kept a lid on the blues from the start).

Just a little techno-nery info I thought I share. ;-)

Anne Johnson said...

Servitor: I did notice that the blue lights were brighter than the others -- you're right, on most houses they overwhelm the other colors. Personally I think that's cool. Blue is an untraditional holiday color, so it appeals to me.

sageweb said...

I love the LED lights..I have yet to decorate...I need to get on that.

Maebius said...

We always get a ball-tree (with roots intact to stick on the unheated porch until spring) and I've been interested in the LED lights. Never knew anyone that used them, so it's good to hear first-hand accounts about them here. :)

SubtleKnife said...

I'm not really feeling it, sorry.

(It wasn't the reason I moved to Gouda, but I do prefer candlelight.)