Widgets Magazine

Christmas Light Fight

As someone who is into tech, I tend to go a little overboard at Christmas with the outdoor lights. I,Aeove set up lights on the roof line, lighted statues in the yard, built an archway out of PVC pipe and several light strings, as well as pulsing 3-foot snowflakes lining the driveway. As I was pulling up to my house this week, I beheld a sad sight in my usual lighted winter wonderland. A 4-foot section of the roof trim lights was dark! I know this is a bulb issue, but I,Aeom not taking down the entire 75-foot string to fix it at this time. Once it,Aeos up, it,Aeos up and there isn,Aeot much that can be done.
This brought to mind an event that used to be a part of InfoComm which hasn,Aeot been held in quite a few years. I,Aeom talking about the projector shootout; and it used to be a highlight of the show. OK kids, picture a time when flat screen monitors didn,Aeot exist and the monitors that did exist weighed nearly a ton (or so it seemed when you installed them). Projectors were not commoditized and the decision of which projector to use in an installation could make or break an entire project. The projector shootout took place during the exhibit days of the InfoComm show, where projectors from most major manufacturers were grouped according to resolution and brightness and each given the same screen type to display on in their own booths – all with the lights turned down. Images were provided equally to all the booths at the specified resolution by Extron using calibrated images and the projectors stayed on from the opening of the floor on Wednesday, 24 hours a day until the show closed. Manufacturers were not allowed to touch the projectors until the end of the show. Sometimes the projectors got through the show with no issues, but many of them did not fare quite so well. A fun pastime was rolling through the shootout on Friday afternoon of the show and seeing which projectors survived, which had defects in the display, and which came through with flying colors.
Returning to my Christmas lights, I usually put them up just after Thanksgiving and they stay up into January. During that time, they have to deal with rain, snow, wind and whatever else may happen with the weather of the Mid-Atlantic. Most of them are out of reach and not easily repairable when things go wrong. So, much like the projector manufacturers going to the show floor back in the day, I get to come home and have an issue stare me in the face each night as I get home from work. Like those manufacturers of days gone by I can,Aeot do anything about it until the end. That section of lights will be out until January, when I can finally get it all repaired and start the preparations for Christmas shootout 2016.

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