Focus on Technology
1:00 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Are you an extreme Christmas decorator?

Greater Cincinnati got its first taste of "extreme Christmas decorators" in 2004 when Carson Williams synced his 16,000 lights to music in Mason.

Williams is now making money doing holiday decorations. His company, Consar Lights, designs displays at shopping centers and parks nationwide and at the Cincinnati Zoo's Festival of Lights. The main attraction at the zoo is on Swan Lake. Williams uses Light-O-Rama software technology. An mp3 director runs the show.

You can do the same thing at your house:

  • Buy a control system kit at your local big box store
  • Buy the software (the most popular is Light-O-Rama) You can be as sophisticated as you want, controlling up to 30,000 light channels.
  • Design the display
  • Program the show

You may have seen this video. It's one of the more complicated and extreme displays

Chuck Smith, considered the grandfather of extreme Christmas decorating, started thirty years ago with an old computer and a "bunch of transistors." He now owns PlanetChristmas

Smith enjoys visiting places with extreme Christmas decorations. One of his favorites is the Christmas Ranch in Morrow. He visits it every year.

Smith says the future of extreme decorations lies with the current ability to take any light and make it any color at anytime. He says this gives people the option of leaving up their lights and changing them to red and pink for Valentine's Day.