Jeff Masters Hurricane Blog

A massive Christmas light display, eco-friendly style » Yale Climate Connections

Daryl Travis’s wife Jennifer loves Christmas lights. So each year, he turns their Vancouver, Washington, home into a holiday wonderland — with light-up trees, candy canes, and snowflakes that flash and change colors to the beat of music.

Travis: “And every year she is always amazed about the new things that I add every year just to give it to her as a Christmas gift.”

The display takes him months to plan. But it’s cheap for him to operate because the couple has a 21-kilowatt solar array on their roof.

Travis says for most of the year, the solar produces more energy than the couple uses. So he banks credits with the power company and then uses them to pay for the Christmas display.

And he makes the display efficient by using LED lights and flashing them.

Travis: “If you’re blinking or flashing a light once a minute, then the rest of that minute, you’re not using power and you’re saving power.”

Over time, his solar-powered display has become a local attraction. So although it was created for one person, it now brings joy to many more.

Travis: “The fun part is standing outside, watching the people watch the display. I get to hear the oohs and aahs and I get to see the just happiness it brings to everybody around me.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media

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