For the many that have asked (and those that haven’t yet), the Controllable Christmas Lights for Celiac Disease are up for 2007. I just received word from Alek a few minutes ago:
There are three live webcams and X10 powerline control technology systems, so Web surfers can not only view the action, but also *control* the 17,000 lights. Heck, you can even inflate / deflate the giant Elmo, Frosty, Santa, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Homer Simpson – D’OH!
While people around the world (157 countries last year) enjoy seeing the lights ON, environmentalists will be happy to know that they can turn the lights OFF with a click of the mouse. Better yet, this is the 4th year he’s using 100% Wind Energy – and even though that is “clean” energy, he even did a Carbon Offset contribution for the 0.61 Tons of CO2 for the ~MegaWatt- Hour of power consumed. That’s about the same as *one* cross-country airline trip. Finally, by providing viewing via webcam, you don’t need to burn fossil fuels by driving around to see Christmas lights – Al Gore would be proud!
But HEY, the $3 / day in electrical costs are well worth the joy it brings to people (especially the kids) when they see the display in person and / or on the web. And new this year is a Hi-Def option, so gather your family around the large screen.
The Web site is totally free (and totally fun), and is one of my zany ways of raising awareness & soliciting donations for Celiac Disease. His two sons have this condition, so it’s personal for Alek.
If folks are so inclined, you can make an optional donation directly to the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research. Over $20,000 has been raised with holiday lights thus far! So surf on by, tell your friends, blog about it, spread the word, etc.