It’s one thing to deck out your house in a ton of holiday lights. It’s another thing to make the lights move to music broadcast on a special radio station that people can listen to as they watch your house from their cars. More and more metro Detroiters are leveraging technology to do just that.
Seemingly magical holiday lights now exist called RGB pixel lights that can change to almost any color. With the right hardware and software, ambitious Christmas decorators can set up these lights, take a picture of their home, load it into their computer and tell the lights what color they want them to be while a song plays, down to a fraction of a second. While most people don’t program the songs themselves — they buy them from others and adapt them to fit their specific holiday displays — the end result is the same: A riveting light and music show.
Below is a sampling of three homes in metro Detroit that are using this technology to create free, festive holiday light experiences for the public to enjoy. Plus, a radio story taking a closer look at what goes into these displays and how the public is reacting to them.
Listen: Be transported to holiday light and music shows in metro Detroit.
Bostick Family Light Show
29195 Sheridan St., Garden City 48135
Tune to 95.1 FM locally
Show runs daily from 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm (through January 2, 2021)
This is the Bostick Family Light Show’s first Christmas appearance. The show, which is put together by Kyle Bostick, an IT technician for Apple, debuted on Halloween this year, his wife’s favorite holiday. The display features 10,000 lights on the house and props like dancing snowflakes, talking retro Christmas bulbs, a talking Christmas tree and a 24 foot “mega tree” that is like a tree-shaped jumbotron capable of displaying photographs. The 12 songs in rotation include pieces from the Polar Express, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Frozen, Star Wars and more. The show is free but the Bostick’s are accepting donations for the Detroit Animal Welfare Group. “All the money goes right to them. We’re not taking any of it,” says Bostick.
Perrin Family Lights of Livonia
11820 Jarvis St.
Livonia, MI 48150
Tune to 95.3 FM locally
Show runs daily from 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm (through January 1, weather permitting)
This is also the Perrin Family Lights’ first Christmas appearance. James Perrin, an engineer at General Motors, and his son, James Perrin, Jr., (15) went all out to compete in their city’s “Light Up Livonia” contest and to keep themselves busy. “We’ve always put quite a few lights on the house but when the whole COVID-19 pandemic started we were like, ‘We’re not going to be able to go anywhere, we’re not going to be about to do our normal hobbies,’ so we started playing with lights,” says Perrin. The show consists of icicles, snowflakes, candy canes, digital shutters and talking trees (including a mega tree). The performance kicks off with what sounds like Morgan Freeman introducing the show – but Perrin says it’s just an impersonator he hired off the website Fiverr. The music is a mix of Christmas songs, pop songs and more, including the Harry Potter theme music.
Palasek Christmas Light Show
1893 Viking Circle,
Commerce Charter Township, MI 48390
Tune to 88.1 FM locally
Show runs daily from 5:30 pm – 11:30 pm (through January 10th)
JD Palasek, a manufacturing manager for the Southfield-based company thyseenkrupp Materials North America, has been decking out his home in multi-colored Christmas lights for years but only recently synchronized them to music. The display includes more than 30,000 lights that cover the house so that it looks painted in them. “It just makes me feel better,” says Palasek, “and 2020 is the year we need some spirit.” This set up took more than 40 hours with the help of Palasek’s 13-year-old son, Mason. The show consists of 10 songs including Carol of the Bells, Frosty the Snowman, and Dig That Crazy Santa Claus.