Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Lights

We just returned from walking our dogs. It struck me again how dark our streets are. Each year there are less and less Christmas lights displayed. Our town even has a decorating contest. Usually there are 8 - 10 homes entered and we drive around and enjoy them while voting for the winner. This year only 4 homes were nominated. In our neighbourhood less than half of the houses have lights. There are stretches where 10 houses (on both sides) will be undecorated. I find this very depressing. At a time when we don't have enough sunlight, the Christmas lights are so welcome. A few days ago one of Connor's friends commented his favorite season is winter because he loves the lights. This child does not celebrate Christmas - yet even he realized it was important. At the same time as Christmas lights have decreased, Hallowe'en decorations have increased dramatically. I would love to know if this is the case everywhere or just in our town. I do not have the time to drive around and check out the whole country though. Has anyone else noticed this trend?

3 comments:

SusanE said...

Good point about the lights.

I've never really thought to appreciate them. I tend to think more about the electricity that is needlessly used. but you are right in winter it is nice to have the cheery lights.

I think you are correct about the Hallowe'en decorations...

Armin said...

It's because lights are killing the planet! And because halloween has candy!

AK

KevinE said...

While one would technically be correct in that the electricity is needlessly used, there are a few points to mitigate but certainly not eliminate that comment. And, some of the points are a bit of apples and oranges, but at least they are both fruit.

We use LED Christmas lights. And a timer - they come on when it gets dark and are only on for six hours. We only start them after 1 December,and we shut them down again around the second or third of January.

With the LED lights - the electricity savings in one to two years - completely covers the cost of switching from incandescent. After that - there is a cost - but it is exceptionally low.

Now - apples to oranges.

We live one block from where our son goes to school - he walks. People all around us drive their kid(s) to school, and back.

Our Canada Post superbox is right behind our house. People who live three doors away - drive to pick up their mail.

We live in a linear town - approx 18 km long and 1 km wide (around the shore of Nottawasaga Bay). Tim Horton's is about 4 km away. We know people who will drive there and back more than once per day to hit the drive through for a single cup of coffee. I don't drink the stuff but is Tim's coffee really that good that someone will spend that kind of time, gas and emissions just for one cup of coffee? If you ask me - not thinking straight.

Anyhow - as I said we use eifficent Christmas lights, take steps to reduce the power used, and only do it for a short period of time. Hold that up against all of the other listed non required energy wasters and I think our little brightening of the lights is very low impact.

KM