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On a recent Sunday evening my family and I visited Galaxy Lights, presented by Reliant, at Space Center Houston. It was a near perfect night, with cool, crisp air to help make for a festive time outside, and the evening combined rockets and the holidays—two things I love. (Note: Reliant is also the sponsor of Space City Weather.)

This is the second year of Galaxy Lights, and the exhibition has been reimagined from last year’s experience to allow for social distancing. Now, the majority of Galaxy Lights involves an outside walking trail. Overall, it felt like a superior, more fulfilling experience, and given that we’re living in a pandemic, walking outside with everyone wearing masks felt perfectly safe.

For me, the highlight of Galaxy Lights was the “Lights Around the World” display that marks the 20th anniversary of the International Space Station being continually inhabited, as well as a flown SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. As part of the display you can walk around and under the rocket with its engine section, massive landing legs, and the grid fins used to steer its return through the atmosphere. I also really liked walking through the 200-foot-long tunnel of LED lights – a favorite for the Instagram enthusiasts. There are many other experiences too, including kinetic light displays, 3-D lighted décor and interactive activities for kids and shows about science and space. Check them out here.

We arrived at about 6:30 p.m. on Sunday evening and there was a fairly long (socially distanced) line to get into the display. However, the show runs from 6 to 10 p.m. each evening, and by the time we left at 8 p.m. there was no line. So if you want a less crowded experience, it probably is better to go later. It takes about 90 minutes to enjoy the full experience and it is recommended that tickets to the exhibition be purchased online, to schedule the day and time you’ll attend. Also, because so much of the show is outdoors, you should definitely check the forecast before making plans.

Thanks to our friends at Reliant for partnering with Space Center Houston on this fun experience and keeping holiday traditions alive in a safe way!

We’re excited to announce the second winner of a complete AC system from Reliant! As you may recall, for the second year in a row, our sponsor has given away two AC systems to Houston area residents to help them beat the heat—and there has been plenty of heat to beat this year.

The winner of Phase II of Reliant’s AC Giveaway, Cassie and her family. (Photo courtesy of Reliant)

The winner of this year’s second AC System is Cassie, who lives in Friendswood. She has four children, some of whom are participating in virtual learning this fall due to COVID-19. She found out about the contest through our site’s Facebook page and decided to enter to keep her family comfortable while working and schooling from home safely. The family’s previous AC unit was in decent condition, but leaked water, wasn’t placed to code, and didn’t cool the house efficiently. So the installation of the new unit will make a world of difference for Cassie and her family. After learning that she had won the contest, here’s what Cassie had to say:

We are so grateful for Eric Berger and his weather team. They are our number one source of information! Winning this sweepstakes is such a bright spot after a truly very difficult summer. Thank you, thank you to Space City Weather and Reliant!

Likewise, we are thankful for our readers, as well as Reliant, who has been a great, long-time sponsor of our site. They keep the lights on for us, figuratively and literally.

In addition to providing electricity, Reliant alos offers AC and heating services, generators, indoor air quality checks, and thermostats through their home services division, plus special offers for Reliant customers. Check out this link for more information.

Before, and after. (Reliant)

This will wrap up the AC giveaways for 2020, but we’ve got some big things planned for Space City Weather and Reliant in the coming year, so be on the lookout for announcements soon. Thanks to everyone who participated!

We’re thrilled to announce that lifelong-Houstonian James Young has won a free AC System from Reliant. As you may recall, this is the second year of this promotion that Reliant has offered to readers of Space City Weather. James’ previous system was 20 years old, and let’s let him take it from here:

“A few weeks ago, my neighbor was searching for a new electricity provider. He asked me if I was pleased with my Reliant plan and I said, ‘Yes, I couldn’t be happier!’ Well, I was wrong! When I heard I was the winner of Reliant’s 2020 Summer AC Sweepstakes, I was happy beyond belief! I had a Ruud system that was over 20 years old.  Knowing that it was replaced with a new, Ruud high-efficient unit brings me great peace of mind. I send my sincerest thanks to Space City Weather, Ruud for their great products and Reliant for their great installation, reliable power and fantastic customer service. I’m looking forward to having the ‘coolest’ summer that I’ve had in a long time!”

James is the winner of Phase I of this sweepstakes. If you’ve already entered to win, you’re set for Phase II, which ends on September 15. But if you haven’t entered yet, there’s still time to do so by visiting here. Full contest rules are also available at the link.

AC giveaway from Reliant returns!

Posted by Eric Berger at 10:00 AM

Summer is coming—which means months and months of heat and humidity for our fair city. So this is a great time to announce that we’re bringing back an extremely popular promotion from last year. In 2019 Reliant gave away two complete AC systems entirely FREE. And we’re thrilled to announce that they’re doing it again! As a Space City Weather reader, you’re the first to know.

If you do not need to read any more, drop everything and click here to enter.

We’re really pleased to offer this promotion to readers again this year. It speaks to Reliant’s commitment to our vision of keeping the greater Houston area informed about weather in a reliable and sensible way. There is really no catch, and these systems are the whole enchilada. The two air conditioner systems are worth up to $11,000 each. (But really, can you put a price on cool air in August?)


Here are the details of this year’s contest, which will take place over two phases from now through September:

  • Phase I winner chosen from May 12-July 15 entries
  • Phase II winner chosen from July 16-September 15 entries
  • One winner will be chosen, randomly, at the end of each phase
  • Once you enter, you’re entered for both phases of the contest
  • Winners must be 18, and own a home in the greater Houston metro area
  • Your AC system must be eight years or older

If you’re not eligible for the contest and know someone who could really benefit from a free, new AC system heading into the hottest time of the year, please share the contest link with them.

Complete details and the entry form are available at the contest page. Good luck to everyone and thanks to Reliant for helping us stay cool!