The Surprising Truth About the US Christmas Lights Industry

packaged LEDs are getting big

As a holiday tradition, adorning one’s tree (and eventually one’s house) dates back to the early 20th century when Christmas lights came to the fore- having been invented as a safer alternative to candles which when bumped or knocked over, had the unintended effect of turning Christmas trees into blazing demonstrations of how quickly fires could engulf houses. Over the years, Christmas lights moved from our trees to our houses (after all, you are unlikely to see lights from outside very well), which was deemed a reasonable extension of the holiday spirit. When carried out in moderation.

Economics of the Christmas Lights Industry

The Christmas lights industry is, undoubtedly, one of the fastest growing service industries in Canada and the U.S. Commercial business owners as well as residential homeowners spend more than a billion dollars each Christmas season for this service and other related products. They wish to share in the Christmas spirit but do not have the time to hang the lights themselves. This is the opportunity that is seized upon by Christmas Light installers who come in and consequently cash out. 

Growth

According to sources, the Christmas Lights Industry has experienced an incredible 1000% increase in growth over the past decade as evidenced by the demand for Christmas light installation which seems to increase every year. For some reason, people want to outdo their neighbors with a brighter and bigger display of lights. 

Another emerging aspect of Xmas lighting is laser based projector lighting which has become a huge industry within the last 3-4 years with projector prices constantly becoming lower.  Consumers have realized the benefits of laser based lighting systems and which have huge advantages of traditional lights.

Running a Christmas light business can earn you enough in 3 months so you can either run another seasonal business during the other 9 months of the year or take the rest of the year off. Generally, installation commences in early November and focuses mainly on commercial properties. This is when business owners typically start to look for leads and begin their installations. The season lasts up to late January by which time you should have taken down all the lights from your clients’ businesses and homes.

led figures for the last 6 months US stats

Profits

Christmas lights installation enterprises can make upwards of $1,000 a day, per work crew during the entirety of the season. In fact, well-organized installation crews can rake in more than $2,000 per day, with some installers earning more than $3,000 a day when contracted on larger residential and commercial jobs. Overall, most mid-size Christmas light installation businesses make anywhere between $100,000 and $150,000 each year- in only 3 months. There is definitely a ton of money to be made in this industry as you will be providing an essential service that is highly sought after year after year.

Each year, U.S. consumers spend more than $6 billion on Christmas decorations. That is a lot of icicle lights, inflatable snowmen, and nativity scenes. One of the biggest costs? Well, Christmas lights. Not only does it leave a dent on your wallet to deck the halls, but it also costs more than you may think to keep it so.

The average American family typically spends anywhere between $60 and $350 extra on their electric bill during the holiday season. So, before you start competing with your local mall this Christmas, find out how much all those strands of lights will set you back.

 

 

The 1 Trillion Dollar 3D Printer Economy and How They Work

As of this year the estimated value of the US 3d printing economy was a staggering 1 trillion dollars. This is quite shocking considering that 4 years ago this industry barely existed outside of a conceptual office idea.  3D printing growth has reached double digit growth continuously for years on end.

3d Printer Economy

In todays Swarmcorp article we’re going to explore how 3D printing works to understand the scope of the industry

A Brief Intro to 3D Printing

3D printing is defined as the process of making three-dimensional solid objects through the use of digital designs. In the past few years, it has piqued a lot of interest in the tech space owing to its affordability and availability to individual consumers. From clothing, gifts, and scale models to hearing aids, prosthetic limbs and the prospect of 3D printed dwelling homes, the possibilities are staggering.

As a concept, the 3D printing industry is by no means new. Solid imaging (stereolithography) was invented and patented by Chuck Hull- founder of 3D Systems, Inc. – in the mid-1980s and since then, advances in the technology have and continue to be made, including the materials that are used, the size of the printers, and more. But how does a 3D printer actually work? How can something similar to an office photocopier or household printer create solid, complex objects in a matter of hours?

Idea design

The whole process begins with a concept. The first stage in 3D printing is the laying out of an original idea with digital modeling i.e. animal modeling software or computer aided design (CAD). Whichever program you settle on, you will be able to create a virtual blueprint of whatever it is you want to print. The program will then divide the chosen object into digital cross-sections in order for the printer to be able to build it one layer at a time. These cross-sections essentially act as a guide for the printer, so that the object is the exact shape and size you want.

Once you are through with your design, the nest step is to send it to the 3D printer with its standard file extension- STL (Standard Tessellation Language or stereolithography). STL files contain sliced up, three-dimensional polygons that enable the printer to easily digest their information. After market configurations involve Tyvek printers and other Tyvek-related products

Actual 3D printing process

This is, undoubtedly, the fun part. The first thing that you should note is that 3D printing is synonymous with ‘additive’ manufacturing i.e. solid, three- dimensional objects are constructed by adding material in layers. This is in stark contrast to regular/subtractive manufacturing where objects are constructed by machining or cutting raw materials into desired shapes.

After you have sent your finished design to the 3D printer, the next step is to choose a specific material. Depending on the 3D printer in use, this can be paper, plastics, rubber, metals, polyurethane-like materials, and more. While printer processes may vary depending on the model, the material is usually squeezed, sprayed, or otherwise transferred from the 3D printer onto a platform. For instance, there are some Doranix printers with a renewable bioplastic that is spooled (almost like a string) from the back of the device. When the printer is instructed to print something, it pulls this bioplastic filament through a tube straight to an extruder, where it is then heated up and deposited through a small opening onto the build plate.

The Final Step in 3D Printing

Next, the 3D printer makes passes, in a manner similar to an inkjet printer, over the platform as it deposits layer on top of layer of the chosen material resulting in a finished product (if you look closely at 3D printed objects, you can actually see these layers). This can take anywhere from several hours to days depending on the complexity and size of the object. Throughout this process, the various layers are automatically fused in a dots per inch (DPI) resolution to create a single three- dimensional object.

For more information please check out this New Economy Video:

Revealed: An Overview of Brexit

Brexit

On 23rd June 2016, the people of Britain voted for a British exit (Brexit) from the European Union (EU) in a decision that is likely to transform not only the nation, but Europe forever. But what is likely to happen next?

What is Brexit?

In a historic referendum on Thursday June 23, the British people voted for a British exit from the EU in an outcome that sent shockwaves through the global economy and prompted jubilant celebrations among Eurosceptics around the continent. Following the declaration of the result, David Cameron resigned as the country’s Prime Minister and the British pound fell to its lowest level in more than three decades. In his resignation, the former Prime Minister promised to do everything in his power to steady the ship in the weeks and months ahead but also made it abundantly clear that he would not be the right man to steer the country to its next destination.

Theresa May, the new Prime Minister, has already set out her country’s position in meetings with the leaders of Germany, France, and other key European nations. Mrs. May has declared that there is no turning back and that ‘Brexit means Brexit’ although she has delayed the triggering of Article 50 until some time in 2017. The use of this article essentially commences the timer on 2 years of exit talks before Britain is finally expelled from the political bloc.

What it means for the economy

The victory for Brexiteers sent economic shockwaves throughout global markets with UK stocks experiencing their worst drop since the2008 financial crisis. Britain lost its top AAA rating and emergency measures are now being taken to calm the resultant economic turmoil after the Sterling Pound fell to its lowest level since 1985. However, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney moved in quickly to allay fears by stating that as much as economic and market volatility could be expected as the process unfolds, they were, nonetheless, prepared for it. Mr. Carney also announced interest rate cuts and other measures aimed at preventing the country from slipping into a recession.

Brexit supporters argue that the rest of the E.U. have every incentive to maintain their trading ties with the U.K.- a large importer of services and good- but Europhiles are worried that foreign businesses are less likely to invest in Britain and could relocate their headquarters in the event that Britain loses access to the European Union’s single market.

What happens to immigration after Brexit?

Eurosceptics contend that Brexit will allow Britain to reclaim control of its borders in order to bolster security and curb immigration. This is because Britain will no longer be bound to accept the ‘free movement of people’ from the EU, which Brexiteers claim puts pressure on public services such as schools and the NHS. Additionally, those who are pro-Brexit say that Britain will now be able to impose a points system similar to that in Australia which will allow the country to better fill skill shortages and manage immigration. Those who voted to remain in the EU, however, firmly believe that Brexit will impact the British economy which is heavily reliant on the free movement of migrant workers within the EU such as health professionals.