Dan puts Christ­mas on the map

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By MATTHEW DAL­LAS

Joseph Banks Drive is not the Las Ve­gas Strip – but it seems no­body’s told the folks at num­ber 41.

While most of us are still con­tem­plat­ing when to put up the Christ­mas tree, the ex­te­rior of Dan Comeskey’s Whitby home al­ready pul­sates with the sparkle and glow of thou­sands of lights.

He en­joys the plea­sure the spec­ta­cle bring to his fam­ily and the com­mu­nity.

While Kapi- Mana News was vis­it­ing, many mo­torists stopped to gaze for sev­eral min­utes, while passers- by of­fered praise and amaze­ment at the spec­ta­cle that took him ‘‘four week­ends and most of a week’’ to put to­gether.

‘‘ I’m a Christ­mas nut,’’ he con­fesses.

‘‘Last night a young cou­ple sat in their car for 40 min­utes look­ing at the lights. And it’s young adults and teenagers, who you wouldn’t ex­pect to oooh and aaah over Christ­mas lights.’’

It’s a re­la­tion­ship he wants to foster.

Dan has set up a web­site – led xmaslights.co.nz – to en­cour­age peo­ple to email him when they see houses with Christ­mas lights so he can put to­gether and up­date a lights trail. Maps show­ing the lo­ca­tions of dec­o­rated houses will be avail­able to print.

‘‘In pre­vi­ous years the Pro­fes­sion­als [ real es­tate com­pany] or­gan­ised a Christ­mas lights trail so those who don’t have any lights or can’t af­ford to dis­play the lights in this cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate could still en­joy the fes­tive spirit.

‘‘Many peo­ple com­mented last year that it was hard to find the homes that have lights in the area and they waste a lot of time and petrol driv­ing around the re­gion try­ing to lo­cate them.’’

The web­site is a quick-fix, with brighter am­bi­tions for 2012. ‘‘We hope to link with lo­cal news­pa­pers and ra­dio in 2012 to get a much bet­ter site and trail avail­able with early pub­lic­ity and some prizes of LED [ light- emit­ting diode] Christ­mas lights to be won.’’

Dan’s light ar­range­ment this sea­son is by far his grand­est yet, at­trib­ut­able to af­ford­able LED lights sourced from China.

‘‘They would be $5500 to $6000 re­tail [in New Zealand] – but it wasn’t nearly that much.’’

An im­porter by trade, he also has plans to turn his pas­sion into his liveli­hood.

‘‘ I hope to im­port them and make them af­ford­able for peo­ple.

‘‘Good qual­ity lights that last ... I’ll look to find a cou­ple of good in­vestors. Dis­plays were a lot big­ger be­fore the re­ces­sion hit.

‘‘ Some peo­ple move, some peo­ple can’t af­ford to put them up.

‘‘Hope­fully it will pick up again now.

‘‘There is a mar­ket, but it’s too ex­pen­sive still.

‘‘I want to get the prices down.’’

Reg­is­ter your Christ­mas light dis­play or ones you have spot­ted: dan@ledx­maslights.co.nz.

All lit up: Light spot­ters are en­joy­ing the sight of 41 Joseph Banks Drive.

Mr Christ­mas: Dan Comeskey has turned to the in­ter­net to as­sem­ble a Christ­mas lights com­mu­nity so fa­nat­ics and fol­low­ers can track down lo­cal Christ­mas dis­plays with ease.

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