April 3, 2017: An Illuminating Discovery

Back in December among the rest of our holiday decorations, I had rigged up some ambient lighting along the weird, ornamental shelf that runs atop one of the walls in our living room.

Because I was typically too lazy to turn them off and on each night, we just let them run the entire season and eventually grew to appreciate having the extended nightlights if we found ourselves wandering to the kitchen or Christopher’s room in the middle of the night, so I ended up just leaving them in place … only adding a timer to help extend their lifespan a bit since they really only needed to run at nighttime…

Well, about a month ago they all unexpectedly went dark because apparently those cheap strings of lights that one buys at Walmart for $3.99 aren’t really built to last much longer than a single holiday season!

According to their labeling, apparently they’re also not necessarily built to prevent themselves from causing cancer … but only in the State of California … though for now we’ll leave that rant for another day. 😉

Tonight I finally found the initiative to haul out the ladder and pull them down, only to find strangely that every single light on both strands had managed to burn out! Never seen that before!!!

I had one last unopened box leftover so I threw that up for an intermediary, however it looks like maybe it’s time that I invested in something a bit fancier than Walmart’s prized decorating lights. Although it’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while, it’s taken a significant back burner because the swell Philips Hue Lightstrips that I’ve had my eye on as part of the bigger smart home concept run upwards of $90 … FOR SIX FEET OF LIGHTS.

…whereas just eyeballing it, I’d have to guess that this shelf is at least 20 feet long… 😛

That said, I think I might try picking up a slightly cheaper brand that although I can’t control from my smart phone from across town, I can probably do the entire thing for upwards of thirty bucks instead of … well, more. Plus, just switching to even cheap LEDs should extend the lifespan upwards of 20x – according to this random chart I found online, LEDs should have upwards of 50,000 hours of life in them versus the measly 2,500 hours … if that which my $3.99 special lights seemed to have.

Besides, where am I going to find replacement Christmas lights for when these things burn out three more times before the holidays are upon us again??? Nothing lasts forever – particularly cheap Christmas lights that have been known to cause cancer, but only in the State of California.

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