1 0 Archive | December, 2015
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Christmas lights in Celebration

It’s Christmas Eve! I have to admit, I love the holiday season. People are generally filled with excitement and anticipation, the weather gets a bit cooler here in the south, and of course there are lots of great holiday decorations and Christmas lights to see.

The town of Celebration tends to take holidays pretty seriously. Halloween is always packed with trick-or-treaters, Independence Day features an incredible fireworks display that people come from miles around to see, and at Christmastime the town center is full of people who come to see the “snow” – which is made out of soap suds, but it’s probably the best we can do in central Florida.

Maybe because of all the tourists, plenty of people in town tend to go all out with their Christmas light displays. One street in Celebration, Jeater Bend, has been coordinating their Christmas light displays on their houses to great effect. The street featured on the TV show The Great Christmas Light Fight this year, competing with neighborhoods in Hawaii and Arizona.

Sadly, there are only a few more days left of Christmas light displays – after the New Year they will start to disappear. I’m looking forward to taking a few more walks around the neighborhood during the next few evenings while they’re still up and blinking away.

Water Street

This house reminds me of a house from a fairy tale. I really like the decorations even in the daytime.

Spring Park Loop

Garlands and bows – always classy.

Oak Shadows Road

I really like the toy soldiers at this place. And I like what they did to the trees on the right.

Jeater Bend

This is one of the houses on Jeater Bend (the main house, actually), with a hand-made Mickey Mouse display, waterspouts, jets of fire, and a big circular video display.

Golfpark Drie

These people go all out every Christmas. Apparently they have even more decorations to choose from, and switch out the ones they display every year!

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24. Dec, 2015
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LED lightbulbs

An LED lightbulbI don’t often talk about lightbulbs. But when I do, I do it on this blog.

Nearly eight years ago I posted about Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs). At the time, CFLs were relatively new, or at least had only recently become available and were beginning to grow in popularity. When I wrote the post, I was in the process of replacing the majority of my incandescent lightbulbs with CFLs to save money and energy.

Well, since then, I’ve had a change of heart, and I’m no longer a fan of CFLs. Why? Well, the main reason is the trace amounts of mercury. The other day, the light above our shower went out, and so I went to replace it. I found that the CFL in the fixture had cracked and broken, through no fault of my own. So even though I am a careful person, I still had to deal with cleaning up a broken CFL with its trace amounts of mercury. I wasn’t so pleased.

Another reason I’m not a fan of CFLs is that I’m not fond of the fluorescent light they put out. I also don’t like the spiral look; unless you get CFLs with casing, CFLs don’t look great in decorative light fixtures. So there’s that as well.

So what am I on to now? Now I’m going around the house replacing all of the CFLs with LEDs!

LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lightbulbs are even more energy efficient than CFLs. They put out even less heat. And they last a lot longer to boot. And I like the brand of light they produce… some of the lightbulbs I’ve purchased put out a warm, soft light; not the harsh sort of light put out by fluorescent bulbs.

LED lightbulbs cost significantly more than the other lightbulbs on the market, but they seem to be gradually coming down in price, and you can often get them on sale. If you haven’t tried them out yet, I recommend doing so.

Maybe in another eight years I’ll be on to yet another type of lightbulb? Who knows…

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18. Dec, 2015