Christmas lights illuminate holiday nights

Ian Raybon


Ian Raybon

A local home brings in holiday spirit with music themed lights.

Mary Catherine Wells, Staff Reporter

With Christmas fast approaching, families decorate their houses with holiday cheer. Trees, wreaths, nut crackers, and more are spread around houses. From the outside, Christmas lights on the house are usually the only thing seen by passing eyes.

“Christmas lights are really cool,” junior Kendall Berger said. “I really like them because they are really pretty. It’s fun to go down to places with lights and drive around and look at them.”

However one area family has decided to go all out with lights that move to the beat of the music.

“We have been doing these lights for about eight years,” freshman Roni Hanson said.

When a car pulls up to the house in the Saddlebrook neighborhood they will see a bunch of flashing lights and a sign telling them to tune into FM 99.9.

“I have a low-power transmitter that doesn’t broadcast past the street, so I’m not violating any FCC rules,” dad Phil Hanson said.

Playing a variety of Christmas songs, there are 23 individually controlled sections.

“[My favorite part is that] it gives me an excuse to listen to all of my favorite christmas songs,” Phil said. “I’m a Christmas music junkie.”

The lights were put up the week of Thanksgiving.

“I take off the week of Thanksgiving and spend three full days setting everything up,” Phil said. “[I set up the] lights, power cords, and computer control wires.”

The family sometimes help with the set up but most of the work is done by just one person.

“My dad does most of the work but me and my siblings help check to see if the bulbs work,” freshman Tori Hanson said.

Unfortunately the extravagant display does have at least one drawback.

“Sometimes we can’t pull into our driveway because there are so many cars watching the lights,” Tori said.

Although the lights are all outside, there are so many some of the lights can be seen from inside the house.

“[The lights] are very bright from the inside of the house,” Roni said. “I can see the lights from my room which is really annoying. When I am trying to sleep the lights are flashing in my eyes.”

A little extra light inside is the price that must be paid for all of dad’s work.

“[I program all of the lights] and it is a little hard,” Phil said. “It takes probably 10- 20 hours to program each song. I have to program each  section of lights separately up to 10 on and off cycles per second.

While the Hanson kids may have some minor complaints about their Christmas light display, it’s worth it in the end.

“I like seeing the car  sitting in front of our house,” Roni said. “It’s fun to see that other people enjoy the lights.”