my 2nd annual Christmas
eco-friendly mega-tree and Christmas Star
(2011 & 2015 updates added below)

Star of wonder, Star of night, Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, Still proceeding, Guide us to thy Perfect Light.


"eco" mega Christmas tree/star (daytime)

"eco" mega Christmas tree/star (night time)

The specs:
height: 35 feet total height from ground
star size: 4 feet wide
lights on star: one strand of 70 LED C6 bulbs plus one strand of 100 LED "fairy lights" (170 bulbs)
lights on tree: six strands of 70 LED C6 bulbs
total number of light bulbs: 590 bulbs (all white LED)

total power consumption: 32 WATTS!

A few years ago I decided my icicle lights were probably using too much electricity (though I now wonder about that). I decided to replace them with LED lights. Unfortunately, the white LED lights at that time had a rather "cold" color and a bit of a flicker to them, and my wife decided they just didn't look right on the house. So they got "retired" and replaced the next year with improved colored LED lights. But I didn't want to waste these white LED lights, so last year I decided to make a star and light it with them. I then put it on a pole. Once it was up in the air, I realized it would be easy to add a few angled light strings up to it to create a "tree" underneath the star. Then I decided the star needed to be higher. And then yet higher. And this year an additional ten feet higher yet. So what will be further upgraded next Christmas in 2011? Stay tuned...

The Christmas Star during the day, 2011

The Christmas Star at night, 2011
(full moon in background)

2011 UPDATE: The Christmas Star went up again in 2011 for the third year in a row. The Christmas Star got more LED lights added, with a mix of gold and white lights. The reindeer got replaced with home-made plywood snowmen. The snowmen turned out to be a lot more work than anticipated, but they look great and were a lot of fun to make.

Additional update: The plywood warped a little bit in the rain, and the painted wood parts ended up sticking together where they were bolted together, even though we let the paint dry for week. We got them taken apart and put away on New Years Day. We'll see how they go back together this coming year.


2015 UPDATE: The Christmas Star went up again this year for the seventh year in a row, along with our two plywood snowman who have spent five Christmases with us. The big news and change though is that for the past three years the Christmas Star has become the "Short Star". Standing on a ladder and hoisting up the Christmas Star was just getting too scary for me, with visions of broken bones or worse (instead of sugar-plums) dancing in my head. In any event, starting in 2013, I have been putting up a very short version of the Christmas star mounted on a pole that is only about 5 feet tall. While people who see the Star for the first time compliment me on how nice it looks, all the people (including neighbors and my kids) who still remember the "mega Star" and who now see the short version of the Star always ask "Why is the Star so short this year?" even after three years of it being "short"! I guess once you go high, people will never forget. In any event, I now call it the "Short Star". Perhaps one day, even next year, it will once again reach higher toward the heavens...

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Star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light!

Inspired by the magic of Christmas and the Christmas season, and my wife and two kids, who remind me of the true meaning of Christmas.

Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men, and Glory to God in the Heavens.