December 12, 2011
Lights dance the night away
Couple in Homer put on holiday light show set to music
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Sara and Chris Carle stand in front of their home at 65 Clinton St. in Homer. Their holiday light display is synchronized with Christmas music which Chris Carle broadcasts.
HOMER — Chris Carle’s enthusiasm for the holidays is spreading to his neighborhood, as passersby stop each night to admire the dancing Christmas lights at 65 Clinton St.
The lights really do dance, flickering to the rhythm of music Carle broadcasts on unused airwaves. He broadcasts about two miles, but it is enough for drivers of passing cars to tune in as they watch the lights.
“We get about a dozen or two dozen people stopping every night. They pull into the school and just watch it and turn off their lights,” he said.
Carle, who has always been enthusiastic about decorating for Christmas, decided to set the lights to music last year. He installed a radio transmitter to broadcast over an unused radio frequency and set up light organs, which convert sound frequencies to electrical impulses.
The light and music show starts after Thanksgiving and is taken down the first week after New Year’s, said Carle.
It runs from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The Carles also offer a special treat for the neighborhood children. On Saturday, Santa Clause will visit and the Carles will hand out hot chocolate and candy canes to passersby.
Carle said his wife, Sara, helps keep his enthusiasm from getting out of hand. Not all the lights blink, for instance, since she would not stand for that, he said.
“My wife says we’ve got to stay classy and blow-ups aren’t allowed and as few blinking lights as possible,” Carle said.
The majority of the display are either solid or twinkling lights. The windows are framed and there are icicles on the eves of the roof. Santa and reindeer are lit up on the property as well. About ten trees around the perimeter of the property are lit up like candy canes, dancing to music. A wreath in the center of the house is synched to the dancing tree lights and a large Merry Christmas sign is adorned with lights which Sara said took a full weekend to create.
The sign is Sara’s favorite part, she said, since it took a great deal of work as they made it from scratch on three large pieces of wood.
When Chris told his wife of his plans to set the lights to music, she said she rolled her eyes.
“But now that he does it, I find it hilarious. It makes him happy, so what am I going to do,” Sara said.
But, she added, there will be no additional blinking lights next year.
The future of the display is uncertain, since Chris said his electric bill totals about $700 for the month the lights are displayed.
But, to him, the expense is worth the momentary escape the decorations provide.
“I find when I can go out and look at the lights I forget about everything and it makes me a kid again,” Chris said.
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