Category Archives: Christmas

Christmas Related Articles

Festivals of Lights Multiplying the Magic of Christmas

Fireworks at Celebration of Light, Kits Beach
Fireworks at Celebration of Light, Kits Beach by Random89 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

How would you like to bundle a few of your favorite things together in one holiday experience? Spectacular lights, sleigh rides, Santa visits, holiday music, great food, ice skating, shopping, parades, and fireworks. Festivals of Lights pull together many joys of the season into one well-orchestrated, amplified experience. Though the festivals have their origins in diverse cultural celebrations, they have morphed into extravagant, new celebrations to welcome the holidays. In France, there is the Fetes des Lumieres; in Ontario, there is the Festival of Northern Lights. Berlin’s Festival of Lights lasts 12 nights starting in October, and London’s lasts 6 weeks. Now, a growing number of cities in the U.S. have spectacular Festivals of Lights as well. Continue reading Festivals of Lights Multiplying the Magic of Christmas

Many Shades of White: Warm vs Cool LED Christmas Lights

You remember learning about the color spectrum years ago in Physical Science 101? Do you also have a dim memory of some guy named “Kelvin”? Before you purchase or add to your Christmas light collection this season, you may want to refresh what you learned about color spectrum, Kelvin, and temperature. If you don’t, you may end up with white lights that are different shades of white and don’t match.

Don’t worry—we can clear it all up for you! Continue reading Many Shades of White: Warm vs Cool LED Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights from China: the Ethics of Illumination

Picture Perfect Holiday Lights?

The holiday season is quickly approaching. You’re already picturing the tall pine tree strung with twinkling lights and adorned with your family’s heirloom ornaments. You can see the stacks of presents overtaking the floor space and can nearly smell the Christmas cookies in the oven—ah, the magic of season! Continue reading Christmas Lights from China: the Ethics of Illumination

Photo Essay: 10 Bright Ideas for Holiday Lights

When you’re looking to design your holiday displays, one of the best ways to get inspired, is to see what bright ideas other people come up with. With that in mind, here are ten photos from a trip to Seattle’s Candy Cane Lane (along with ideas), that we hope will get your creative juices flowing: Continue reading Photo Essay: 10 Bright Ideas for Holiday Lights

How to time your Christmas lights

If you’re trying to create a holiday display to wow people driving through your neighborhood at night, putting your lights on a timer is a simple way to ensure you’ll get maximum exposure, even when you’re not at home. If you want to make sure you’re not wasting money, by accidentally leaving the lights on during the day, a timer can help with that too. Continue reading How to time your Christmas lights

LED Holiday Lights: Not the Law, but the Smart Thing to Do

For the first time, a new poll shows that a majority of Americans are aware that the traditional incandescent light bulb (that you would screw into a light socket) is being phased out, in favor of more energy efficient choices. But people are still confused about what’s covered, and some still think the federal government has “banned” the incandescent light bulb. (For the record, it hasn’t. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 passed under President George W. Bush simply sets higher efficiency standards that the older bulbs can’t meet.) Continue reading LED Holiday Lights: Not the Law, but the Smart Thing to Do

Photographing LED Christmas Lights and Displays: 
White Balance Adjustment

Introduction to White Balance



To give the photographer even more tools to successfully photograph LED light displays, digital white balance adjustment will be explored and explained. White balance, often abbreviated as WB, is the process of properly adjusting color to make objects that are white in person show up truly white in the photo. Proper camera white balance relies heavily on the color temperature of the light source. The human eye is very good at judging the correct color of white under different light sources, but digital cameras often have great difficulty with auto white balance, or AWB. An incorrect WB can create blue, orange, or green discoloration, which are unrealistic and often unattractive. Adjusting the WB in traditional film photography requires attaching a filter for each lighting condition. With digital photography, however, this is no longer required. Understanding digital white balance can help you avoid discoloration created by the camera’s AWB, improving the overall photo quality under a wider range of lighting conditions. Continue reading Photographing LED Christmas Lights and Displays: 
White Balance Adjustment

Environmental Impact of Natural vs. Artificial Christmas Trees

General Considerations

Many variables must be taken into account when determining the environmental impacts of natural and artificial trees. Natural trees remove CO2 from the atmosphere while growing, but often stress the environment with fertilizer, pesticide, irrigation, and soil depletion. Artificial trees are typically shipped a much greater distance (e.g. from China), and require significantly more natural resources, but can be reused for many years. How a tree is grown or manufactured, the distance it is shipped, the lifespan, and method of disposal, are all important factors when evaluating the pros and cons of each tree type. Continue reading Environmental Impact of Natural vs. Artificial Christmas Trees