Home & Garden: Edmond Nightlights
Whether your house is lit up like the next Griswald Christmas Vacation movie, as barren as Scrooge’s, or somewhere in between, you can’t help but notice Edmond nights are aglow with Christmas lights.
The twinkle and shine seem to reveal a hidden world. Everyday objects look very different under the spell of these tiny blubs. Options have expanded from the traditional bulbs and icicle lights, to include rope lights, LEDs (light emission diode), twinkle versions and even automation set to music. It can be overwhelming. If you’re considering the long-standing tradition of Christmas lights, you may want help navigating the variety.
For the past 10 years, Andy Nelson of Nelson Lawn Service has offered light installation for those who want the twinkling beauty without the ladders and possible trips to the emergency room. Nelson uses LED lights because they use 90 percent less electricity, pose fewer fire risks, last longer, have longer warranties, and require less extension cords because they can be hooked together. “And they’re brighter and prettier,” Nelson says.
LED options include small bulbs, motion, lights that can be set to music, and many other varieties. “LED lights come in a rainbow of colors, they’re really bright and they use less energy,” says Lightscaping Owner Gary Hatcher who has been in the outdoor lighting business for 15 years. “For those who want to ‘go green’, LED is definitely the light of choice.”
Still, many homeowners have not yet switched to LED lights because they have accumulated a theme throughout the years, amassing quite the collection of the older bulbs. Each holiday season David and Diane Smith announce their OU spirit by blanketing their home and yard in red and white lights. “We have the OU Griswald house,” says Diane. Every inch of their home is outlined with white or red lights. OU signs made of rope lights hang on each peak
of the house.
Every bush alternates between the red and white lights. Two trees in the yard are wrapped, and even the driveway is outlined in lights. Diane admits the light extravaganza increases their electric bill, “but I love Christmas,” she says.
Darren Huddleston began putting up Christmas lights at his wife’s request. “I wasn’t dying to do it, but then I found out about automated lights set to music and that got my attention.” Huddleston says his electric bill increase is minimal because the automated lights are actually off more than they are on. “I believe in Christmas and what it stands for. So it’s a gift to the community.”
Huddleston’s display includes 30,000 lights set to music. He programmed the lights into an FM receiver. “You listen to the music on your car radio. That way my neighbors don’t have to hear music constantly.”
There are 144 separate channels of lights and each can be set to a different effect. “You program each string of lights to do what you want,” Huddleston says. This year he plans to add a 20-foot tall mega tree containing 16 channels with a star on top. Between songs, the star will shine down on a nativity set.
To view the families’ 2008 musical light show in action, visit www.edmondoutlook.com for the direct YouTube link. Or to see this year’s extravaganza, drive by 3024 Loma Verde in Stillwater, OK off Country Side and 19th Street.
Edmond hasn’t yet switched to LED lights either. Kirk Knowles of Expert Services and his crew utilize miniature and C9 lights to turn downtown Broadway and Festival Marketplace of Edmond into a romantic nighttime dream. Knowles claims he’s not fallen off a roof, but his dad, who started Expert Services 45 years ago, had a trip off a roof without a ladder.
“He did what he always told us to do—‘fall and roll.’ He landed in the bushes, rolled and stood right up. ”
If you want the magic of Christmas lights without the possibility of going through the holidays on crutches, contact a light installer who can help decide the best lights for you. Lightscaping: 409-5443, Nelson Lawn Service: 202-4120 or Expert Services: 691-6955.