ONLY ON 3: Online videos inspire over-the-top Christmas light displays, website in our area

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Christmas spirit is catching on, but not just any ordinary Christmas spirit. We’re talking about the type of Christmas spirit that has some families transforming their homes into living light displays.

Videos are making their way from e-mail to e-mail. Families are transforming their homes into spectacles. These light shows can even be found right here in the Cape Fear.

You probably recognize Ross Marino as WWAY’s resident financial expert, but he and friend Bryant Lester are also the producers of this creative display on Brevard Drive. They hope their creation will become a youtube sensation.

“Every year I’ve added a few string of lights and always enjoyed it,” Marino said. “This year, about a month and a half ago, I saw one of those YouTube videos and watched the animation and just thought, ‘I got to do that.’ I brought it up to a friend at work. He said, ‘I’m in,’ and away we went.”

The first step was finding out the type of equipment they need; like computer software that lets you program the action with the song. The other main piece to any light display is this controller box. You can find both online.

“Each cord coming out of the top and the bottom represents a channel, and when you looked at the Light-o-Rama computer program, you actually saw different fade-ins and fade-outs and different symbols,” Marino said. “Those run each of those channels.”

All those wires are everywhere on Marino’s property, but they each have a purpose.

So you might think how many hours of work did it take to get here? Marino and Lester estimate about 50 to 100 hours combined.

Lester says one of the most difficult parts was learning the software.

“I can probably teach somebody now everything it took me in 12 hours in one hour,” Lester said.

But one question remains: is all the work worth it? Marino says its worth every smile.

“I’ve noticed two types of reactions. One group of people say it’s great, they love it, they giggle and laugh. Then there is the second group that I think are junkies at heart. We hear cheering and clapping. They just sit outside of the house and watch and crank up their stereos and dance inside their car. Its just a lot of fun,” Marino said.

Marino and Lester are far from the only people in town putting up light displays like this. In fact, there’s a whole website devoted to them

Categories: New Hanover

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