2016 Light Display

We completely overhauled our entire display for 2016. After learning the basics last year, we decided to go full in on pixel-based lighting and we may have gone a bit overboard 🙂 We also decided to change up our approach to music and construct a single coherent show rather than have separate independent songs.

2016 Show Video

New Stuff for 2016

LED Pixel Lighting on House

The star of our show are the nearly 1200 LED “Technicolor” pixel lights lining nearly every architectural feature of the front of our house. We mounted the pixels at ~4 inch spacing on metal “rails” made of either J-channel (for clipping to shingles) or hat channel (for attaching to face of house or sitting on ridge lines). The pixels on the roof have faceted C9 diffusion bulbs; the pixels on the face of the house do not have any bulb cover at all. We use a Sandevices e682 pixel controller sitting in the attic to drive all of these pixels via hundreds of feet of cables running all over the roof.

DIY Wireless Controllers

One of the biggest frustrations of 2015’s show was that we had DMX cable (same as microphone cable) running from our front porch into the living room, up the stairs and into the office and guest bedroom to control the RGB window wash lights. With Phil’s discovery of the extremely inexpensive esp8266 wireless module, we were able to remedy that this year. Instead, each RGB light has a dedicated controller sitting with it that can receive its control instructions wirelessly. We also put one of these into the “bomb box” that sits on the front porch to control the relays for the lights on the trees and the sign.


This year’s show is about 10.5 minutes long and runs every 15 minutes. When the show is not running, we have some interlude lighting and background music.

For the show, we play portions of the following songs/quotes:

  • Quote from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Good King Joy| Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  • Quote from Christmas Vacation
  • Handel’s Messiah | Relient K
  • Deck the Halls| Relient K
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas| Relient K
  • I Heard Three Ships | Rivertribe
  • Queen of the Winter Night | Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  • Mad Russian’s Christmas | Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  • Quote from Back to the Future
  • Christmas Eve Sarajevo| Trans-Siberian Orchestra