Let’s suspend reality for a moment and say you want to put so many Christmas lights on your house that it’s visible from outer space. How many lights do you think that would take?
The idea was explored in the 2006 Christmas comedy,”Deck the Halls,” where Danny DeVito’s character wants his house so bright that it’s visible from a satellite. Even though the movie bombed at the box office 12 years ago, it recently got some researchers thinking.
They discovered that although movies often take a lot of creative license, the idea is theoretically possible. But if you’re OK with being declared the neighborhood nuisance, it’s going to take a whole lot of lights.
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Attempting this feat would take quite the commitment, both from a financial standpoint and time involved. You also have to take into account that your neighbors might never speak to you again.
But if you’re OK with that, then let’s look at what a group of student scientists at the University of Leicester in England came up with. Their calculations looked at how bright a house would have to be in order to be visible to astronauts on the International Space Station.
They use the “Deck the Halls” movie (see the trailer below) as their inspiration to calculate a rough approximation of number of lights, but it’s based on another factor: light pollution. It looks like everyone else would need to turn their lights off so yours would be visible. Good luck with that.
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But if those conditions were perfect, you would need a grand total of 2,683 LED Christmas lights for your house to be visible from the ISS – again, in theory. A lot of math was involved in coming up with this number, but if you want to see how they came to that conclusion, check out their paper here.
Feel like giving it a try? It’s too close to Christmas this year, but just think of all those post-holiday clearance deals on Christmas lights you’ll be able to get soon. You’ve got some planning to do.