Our insipid xmas outdoor light display

Obviously we don’t put a lot of effort into outdoor holiday lighting. In fact, it is even worse than you might think. This single string of LED lights has been up for YEARS! When people tell me about all the work they did to put their holiday lights up, I love to say, “Oh yeah, I turned ours on” and then cackle like crazy. We plug this insipid little light string in sometime after Thanksgiving and unplug it eventually and USUALLY it doesn’t get turned on until the next holiday season but you never know.

Soooo…. The city council in its infinite wisdom has passed a new ordinance that outdoor holiday lights must be turned off at midnight. Guess what? Turning off my outdoor holiday lights requires a trip outside, albeit a brief one. So I probably won’t be doing it unless…

All right. How the HECK is this enforceable? Are the city police going to patrol neighborhoods after midnight, writing tickets to people with holiday lights still lit? Of course not. Is the city going to hire a whole bunch of holiday light enforcers? Of course not.

They are going to rely on neighbors reporting other neighbors’ violations. Do I think this is a good idea? NO I DO NOT. (This is not a new thing, they already do this for snow removal infractions.)

Okay. Neighbors turning neighbors in? When in history has that ever been a good strategy? Then there are all of the lights that do NOT get turned out overnight. For one, you can see the glow from the streetlight in front of my house. It is a LOT brighter than my insipid string of lights (and it doesn’t bother me). Not to mention, as some have, the signs surrounding the Big House football stadium. Somebody on Next Door Neighbor said you can see those from space? Not sure and have not researched.

I know there are people who wrap their entire houses in lights for the holidays and I get how annoying that must be for neighbors if left on overnight. I also get that huge light displays are not conducive to energy conservation and may disrupt migratory birds.

Still I wish there was a better way to deal with this than making a law, especially a largely unenforceable one. For now, my insipid little string of lights will stay on overnight. If somebody turns me in, I’ll start turning them off.

3 Responses to “Our insipid xmas outdoor light display”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I love the glow of Xmas lights in my windows, even my bedroom one. That’s a crazy law and as you mention, difficult if not impossible to enforce.

  2. Jay Says:

    Of course they do make the programmable plugs that can be used in outdoor outlets. Then you could flash them occasionally, in the middle of the night to see if anybody notices

  3. Pooh Says:

    We have year-round porch lights, but no outdoor plug on the front of the house. Currently, (get it?) the cord runs through the mailbox and is plugged into the string when we want them on.