Blue Light Special!

God, I used to love the “Blue Light Special” at K-Mart…when it started flashing you knew there was a good sale going on.Well, it was the 80’s and I was just a kid then, but the blue lights were SO COOL!

Anyway, for World Autism Awareness Day – Autism Speaks has strived for institutions and individuals to help raise awareness about autism. As one person, there were a variety of different ways to participate – you could wear blue, spread the word via social networking sites, organize something at your school. That’s another post – since World Autism Awareness Day fell during B’s Spring Break, they are doing something next week.

Or, you could even buy blue light bulbs for your house. At the Community Event that I attended I heard about this idea. I heard the story of one volunteer utilized her neighborhood to all change their front porch lights to blue.

Ooooh, that sounds even better I thought.

So, first, I sent out a blanket e-mail to my ‘hood friends asking them if they wouldn’t mind doing this one little thing for me. Since they all are aware about B – they were more than happy to do it. I mean, some IMMEDIATELY wrote back and said yes. Craziness. Some mentioned that they nephew/cousin also is on the spectrum, and what a cool idea. I also decided (JUST to be safe) to get approval from the HOA. Before, like the ‘hood is all dolled up in blue and it turns out that it’s “inappropriate”. But, luckily the HOA guy thought it was a great idea…noting of course we would have to switch them back at some point. Oh, yeah, right.

The next step is to actually BUY the damn bulbs. As incentive I promised to buy the bulbs. Now, it’s not just your typical blue party bulb you buy. Oh no…it has to be the Autism Speaks™ branded bulb which gives off its own “blue” hue. Those marketing geniuses, branding their specific BLUE! So I managed to scoop out a display at Home Depot. This year they even had cool Coleman camping lights that have blue and white light. So, yeah, I added that to the cart.

This was last year's bulb, but it looks exactly the same.

I bought thirty bulbs, which I thought was more than enough. Evidently I need to learn some basic math. As I delivered them the weekend before April 2nd, I realized I had enough for THIRTY houses. And not one for mine. Ooops. And by the time I sent Husband out to find another one, they were sold out. So, we were the ones with the party bulb blue in our front porch light. But no matter, the day evening had come and I was so excited. I promised B that he could stay up later so that I can take him on a ride and count the blue lights. Unfortunately with Daylight Savings Time, when we set out it was past 8:15 PM and he was already getting cranky. But he did enjoy the lights and each time said, “Ok Mommy take a picture!” (I was trying to take pictures to post. Even with the “nighttime” setting the majority of my pictures were blurry and too dark – though I managed to salvage a couple.

Showing off the pretty lights at sunset.

A good shot of someone swapping out their dining room lights. Very cool.

The blue was so dim, I had to draw arrows to prove neighbors did it!

Learning Points:

1. The blue did look more washed out since our street lamps are so bright.

2. Some models of our ‘hood homes have recessed lighting on their porch. Even with taking out the rest of the lights – the blue definitely didn’t come through as well as I thought.  And I only bought one bulb for each house. Other models you couldn’t use the front porch light – it was made for a smaller bulb and wattage. So those people ended up putting up a lamp in their window. Which I thought looked just as awesome.

3. Get a better camera. Enough said.

4. Expand the ‘hood awareness next year. Since I wasn’t sure how this was going to take off, I only asked my friends that I truly knew would participate. Since I got such an overwhelming response, I think I could post on our website inviting people to participate. And since I already got permission from the HOA, that will take off a step.

Until next April…


About OneLoCoMommy

I live in Northern Virginia and and I look like the stereotypical suburban mom, for better or for worse. My son plays baseball and takes karate (albeit adaptive). My daughter is a gymnastics diva but rolls with the boys in T-ball. I've been a Room Mom and Playdate Coordinator. I work full-time, try to work out, and love my Book Club. However, I also blog on my experiences on our ASD, SPD and ADHD journey while trying to be a better parent advocate. All in a life's work.
This entry was posted in Autism, Autism Awareness, PDD-NOS and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Blue Light Special!

  1. Aimee says:

    So sorry I missed it this year – we were out of town…keep me on your list! 🙂


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