Thursday, December 11, 2008

They Light Up My Life (We May As Well Stare)

This time we finally bought some LED xmas lights. I've been ogling them for a few years now and have always resisted because of their higher price tag. But this year I couldn't bear it any longer.

I've always been a fan of lights. I think when I was younger I wanted to be a light designer. I don't mean a person who works in theater, I mean somebody who actually designs lamps and stuff. I've always been a fan of xmas lights. When I was growing up, my father strung lights in our bushes during the holidays. They were the old-school big-bulbed ones. I remember not only begging that they get put up earlier than my parents wanted them to, but also asking if I could turn them on at night. Even though, now that I think about it, they were set on a timer like the rest of the outside lights.

I also, used to always want to be the one to turn on the Christmas tree lights inside. I'd dive down on the floor with my head sliding in under the branches and plug in the the green chord, or sometimes there was a switch to throw.

For a little while, when I was a teenager, I decided that having all white lights was some how cooler or classier than the colored lights. It must have been when it was fairly novel to see houses with all white lights. That phase didn't last long. Colored lights rule.

My first LED light encounter happened as I was driving past a house with them. What? How? Where did they get those colors?!? It took me a second to figure it out. "Oh, I gotta get me some of those!" I said in a cowboy voice. But the stores were already sold out of their limited supply. The next year I was too late, too. In the following years I'd stop into the store with the intent on getting some but the price always turned me away. This year, with the economy at such a high flourishing point, I figured we could afford it. Besides, I could always fool myself into taking into account the money we'd save on electricity costs verses the old lights, and we'd be a little bit greener by using less power.

So, we bought four boxes. Let me tell you, four boxes don't go very far on your outdoor bushes. So, now one part of our yard is LED and another is Original Flavor. Stop by for the taste test if you'd like.

In the nostalgia department, the old lights, of course, win out. In the pure color department, the LEDs take the lead.

So, there I was the other day, in my hat and gloves, putting these things up. The afternoon grew into evening and I had music playing in my headphones from my superhero phone. Which song do you think the thing chose to play?

Yep. "Bubble Lights" by Dennis Crommett. Ah, it was perfect. That's a song to add to your Holiday mixes along with the Fawns' "Snow Day".

Get them here: Bubble Lights: Dennis Crommett - The Evening Sorrow - Bubble Lights | Snow Day: The Fawns - A Nice Place to Be - Snow Day

The music was perfect. The weather was perfect. What better thing to be doing than stringing up some lights in the dark?

When I was done, I discovered a cool feature of the LED lights. These are the ones that are really stubby little cylinders and it turns out that they act sort of like little spotlights, too. When I stepped back to survey the distribution of the lights on the bushes I discovered that some of them were projecting circles of color onto the wall of the house. Red, blue, green and yellow circles dappled the white wall, some were on their own and some were over lapping with each other. Then when a breeze picked up, they danced around like an animated movie. Some of the glowing circles even shone in through the windows and projected faintly on the ceilings of those rooms. Rock on LED.

I hope the squirrels, skunks, and birds dig the light show.


Liz said...

That sounds pretty cool but I can't even imagine the lights that you are describing. Can you take a picture, please?

dennis said...

hey that's cool! thanks henning.

Henning said...

Liz, I keep meaning to take a picture but every time that I can, it seems to be raining or something.