Blogs & Comment

Christmas lights gone wild

The backstory behind those wild Christmas light videos you see.

(Photo: Nicola Tree/Photodisc/Getty)

I hope everyone had a good holiday. I’m planning to take things easy this week before firing back up next week, when I’ll be getting prepared for the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

In the meantime, a quick follow-up to my post—the Slayer Christmas video. In watching this most recent one, where a home owner had synced his home Christmas lights in time to Slayer’s South of Heaven, I couldn’t help but wonder how he did it. Just as with his previous light show, Slayer’s Reign in Blood, I figured either the guy behind the lights had way too much time on his hands, or there was some sort of computerization going on.

It turns out this is a raging trend that tons of home owners are getting into, thanks to Light-O-Rama. The company, based in South Glens Falls, New York, sells starter packages from $377 that include all the necessary controllers, software and cables to get started. Lights (and electricity) are extra.

One of the first people to jump on the technology was Carson Williams, a resident of Mason, Ohio. In 2004, he used Light-O-Rama’s gear to set up a light show set to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Wizards in Winter, the video of which is here:

Williams became something of an internet phenomenon, with his light show going as far as being featured in a Miller Lite commercial. He’s since gone into business setting up shows for people—his full story is on Wikipedia.

His success has since inspired people to synchronize their lights to everything from Motley Crue to the Star Wars theme.

I don’t know about anyone else, but this sort of thing appeals to the obsessive compulsive in me. If I ever set one up—and I’m sure I will some day—it will definitely be to Tool’s 15-minute epic Rosetta Stoned. Because nothing says Christmas like prog metal.