LEDs and the Christmas Light Craze

As the holidays approach so does the decorating craze. LEDs have done a lot to enhance light shows. They have advanced far beyond the Waltons crossing their fingers hoping the Christmas lights worked this year back in the days of serial, filament based bulb arrangements. Nowadays, LEDs offer a more robust method by which to light up for the holidays however they do fail in segments so the entire string isn’t lost, just a portion of it as manufacturers skimp just to save a few feet of copper. The plastic lenses and solid state makeup enhance the robustness over glass enclosures and filaments much to the delight of those dangling from ladders trying to string lights without damaging them.

Speaking of copper, much less can be used as LED takes wattage to milliwatts from the watts consumed by incandescent style bulbs. Furthermore, LEDs lose less power to heat thus making them much less of a fire hazard when on a drying tree. The glass lenses of incandescent bulbs also didn’t favor the cold weather and snow in outdoor applications where a quick burst of power could also fuse open a filament under the right conditions.

Along with the robustness LEDs offer enhances flexibility. Light sizes are smaller and connection to the wiring is easier. I have even observed the small surface mount style LEDs soldered to insulated transformer wire which further reduces size while increasing flexibility.

Theatrics have also increased with LEDs. Due to the lower voltage and typical currents in the 20 mA range, computer controlled light shows have popped up thus enabling an average homeowner to give Vegas a run for their money. I had a hard time typing that without thinking that the only money that runs in Vegas is from your wallet into their pockets.

Getting back to the theatrics, many of the light shows use software control to synchronize the lights to music. By typing in “Christmas light show” or “Christmas Light Show to Music” one can observe a wealth of displays on youtube. Combine this with your big screen and you can observe a show from the warmth of your home rather than in a traffic jam with the window rolled down in the winter. Due to technology, you might not even have to roll the window down if the display has a Bluetooth or Wifi link. One thing to think about is that a nice party backdrop on your big screen could result if you string a bunch of these videos together by driving your display with a computer that accesses the various youtube website. Then again, it may inhibit the social interaction as party guests observe the magic of engineering with dropped jaws.

Although I like the displays myself, up here in the Rockies, the moon and the stars provide a glow in the snow that is heavenly. It just so happens I took the time to capture some of it on Sunday.

Although this generated upwards of 40 “likes” on my Facebook page, it’s really quite a simple work that anybody can do if they observe this YouTube video. Like many of my paintings before, I get a lot of compliments however the starving artist syndrome results in few forking over cash for my work. Art doesn’t seem to pay off, maybe I’ll become a writer. That self-publishing nightmare is best left to another blog. Happy holidays and Merry Christmas.


  1. The Walton’s Christmas movie, the homecoming
  2. Christmas lights to music” youtube search results
  3. Paint with Maz – Silent Night – Full Step by Step Tutorial

3 comments on “LEDs and the Christmas Light Craze

  1. dominique6
    December 25, 2016

    This year, we ignored the games of lights, in order to reduce the waste of energy.

  2. Vijayk
    December 26, 2016

    very nice way to save energy on holidays…

  3. Effective-Technical-Writing dot com
    June 27, 2017

    With the advent of LEDs, energy usage has gone down on a per component basis….however their ruggedness, explosion of product applications, and low cost have increased volume sales.  Overall, we are burning a lot of energy for momentary pleasure.  This is somewhat like the use of helium for balloons; which we only have so much of on this planet.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.