By Jamaica Pond, in Boston, Dominic Luberto comes close to defining excess when it comes to lighting. Having spent over $10,000 on lights, just this year, he will have over 250,000 lights up. Estimated electric bill of $2000 per month (although, to be honest, this sounds like an embarassed understatement of actual costs).
“But, when you see the smiles on the kids … every penny is worth it.”
His electric bill this month runs $1,900. He claims that NStar may help ease the tab next Christmas, but an NStar person says no, the much-reviled utility won’t be picking up his tab
“Much-reviled”? In other words, NStar get your act together and help subsidize this energy profligacy. In fact, they already are, as they’ve had to install additional electrical equipment to support his light displays.
Every year, the lighting goes on earlier (now Halloween) and stays on longer (through the end of January).
Mr. Luberto says he does it “for the kids.” He believes that the tradition of Christmas lights is dying and he’s out to revive it single-handedly. “They love it” he insists. Not all his neighbors do, however. They complain of not being able to sleep for all the super-bright light pouring in their windows; they complain of not being able to get into or out of their driveways due to the crush of traffic up and down their street all night, they complain that the display is just plain vulgar.
Dominic Luberto is not to be disheartened. His goal is to have a house that can really be seen — from space.
The traffic, of course, is an additive pollution cost encouraged, of course, by all the press. The Boston Globe’s article: The Shining: It’s worth a trip, the light fantastic.
Every evening, families pour out of SUVs and minivans to get a dose of the wonder of it all. The cars, sometimes by the score, pull over to the side of the road, their emergency blinkers on.
From WBUR’s recent story
DOMINIC LUBERTO: I don’t go half way, I go all the way or I don’t do it at all, and that’s the way people should do it, if you’re going to do something just do it right, go all the way and do it right.
One reaction to Luberto’s display, from Boca Raton, Florida,
At the risk of being labeled a Grinch or Scrooge himself, given the urgency of our climate change situation, perhaps it is time to seek moderation and find new ways (or old — candlelight perhaps) to celebrate this magical time of year. Or perhaps people can choose to offset the increased usage through alternative energies or carbon credits. After all, and it seems Luberto has pre-empted me on this one, “it’s all for the kids,” and what world we leave for them and their children.
For a good collection of Luberto stories, see Universal Hub. See Ecomorons for a contest as to the worst Christmas light excesses (and their post on Luberto). Video interview with Luberto.