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Christmas Light Display Sports an Optical Illusion
Monday, December 26, 2022


Looking for some unusual Christmas lights you might not have seen before?

Checkout the windows on the SCOTTEVEST building at Sixth and Leadville Avenue in Ketchum.

Scott and Laura Jordan endowed the windows of their flagship store, which markets sporting vests and other clothing, with 16-foot-tall heavy quality perforated vinyl pictures of their beloved poodles this fall.

The window perf, which contains pin point-sized holes that allow people to see out of a building but not in, is similar to that used to wrap three of Sun Valley Resort’s gondola cars. Now, the couple has covered those same windows in thousands of tiny blinking Christmas lights.

They’ve strung 74 strings of low-voltage LED lights 66 feet long, plugging each string into its own plug. They have six different settings and to get them in sync they have to address 74 buttons. The result is intended to resemble snowflakes.

But there seems to be a weird optical illusion going on.

From a distance you can’t see the poodles at night. But take a picture through your cellphone and the poodles emerge behind all the twinkling lights.

“The camera can see what the human eye cannot,” said Scott Jordan.

Last year, Scott Jordan said, he and Laura hastily put together a light display on the fly. Though it looked good from an architectural basis, they decided to up the ante this year and quadruple the number of lights. In addition, they substituted low-power LED lights for the incandescent ones they used last year.

“I wanted to create an art presentation that resembled snowflakes or snow falling. Something that looks  glorious during a snowstorm,” said Scott. “I must admit that I did not fully anticipate how good it actually would turn out.”

Others agree.

“You win hands down with your light and pup show,” Jill Vogel told the couple. “Spectacular! The Ketchum community is lucky to have you sharing your talents!”

Of course, the Jordans’ creativity knows no limit, and they never stop imagining. Perhaps, they speculate, next year’s lighting display could take on the appearance of stars.

“We plan on doing an annual contest for our lights moving forward,” said Scott Jordan. “I want to up the ante moving forward and figure out if there’s some way I can light inside the trim wall tastefully. Perhaps, establishing a contest to see who can come up with the best design for next year’s version—with prize money—would be a lot of fun. The sky is really the limit on the face of the building, as it’s like a gigantic canvas.”


The SCOTTeVEST building is made up of 18-inch concrete Trombe walls that keeps the heat in on cold winter days with the help of the sun, which heats up the black walls. The passive solar design strategy allows the Jordans to enjoy low power bills at a time so many around the world are complaining about their power bills.

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