Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why do you do this?
A. We do this because I love Christmas lights. If I lived on a hill in the middle of nowhere, with no one for miles around I would still do the lights. In fact growing up this was exactly the case and Mom would climb up on the steep pitch of the a-framed house we lived on and would hang the lights.
We also love sharing the lights. We get that warm fuzzy feeling when we hear people include looking at our lights as part of their family traditions, when we see kids dancing outside, or when we hear about a family that is a little down due to sickness or bad luck and it lifts their spirits a bit.
Q. Why don't you publish your address?
A. Traffic. Logistically residential neighborhoods can't handle it.
In 2010 we made the mistake of posting our old address and very quickly had a large traffic problem. While we enjoy sharing the lights if the line is a mile long, with an hour wait it isn't fun for the kiddos, it isn't fun for our neighbors, and we have to throttle the show back to a single song and isn't fun for us. Overall it sucks the spirit of Christmas right out of the neighborhood. Someday it would be fun to go to a venue where we could really unleash, publish the address, and create a fun family experience for the area.
Q. How do people hear the music?
A. We broadcast the music on a small, hobbyist FM transmitter with enough power to get the signal to the street where neighbors can tune in on 106.9 FM on their car radios.
Q. What is your electric bill like?
A. The entire show, for the entire season costs less than $15. All the lights are LED and uses less than 15 Amps. If I wanted to I could run the show all on 1 power circuit without overloading. Back in the day when we ran a static show using incandescents, and far fewer of them, our power bills would be $150-200/month.
Q. What do you neighbors think?
A. We have the best neighbors. Even though we just moved in we have found the best, most welcoming neighbors. They are okay with the lights. We make sure our neighbors are comfortable coming to us if they have any issues at all. We work hard to minimize the impact on our neighbors. We don't want this to be a gift to the neighborhood that keeps on taking. One of our neighbors told us to bring them out in droves, but we know it would hurt the experience. Music of off every night by 9 PM with rare exceptions.
Q. How many lights are in the display?
A. We don't know. We used to count, but it was hard to keep track of so we stopped. We say we have 25,000 lights since that is how many lights Clark Griswold had in Christmas Vacation. There are probably quite a few more than that.
Q. Where do you get the lights?
A. Unless something breaks mid-season and has no spare we buy all the lights at after-holiday sales. The 6' trees were bought on sale from Wal-Mart over 2 years, the Snowflakes came from Target, and the firesticks came from the grocery store.
Q. How do you film your display?
A. I use a Canon PowerShotS110, which has great reviews for low light video. I usually shoot at dawn to avoid there being too many cars and to try and get some color in the sky.