In a quiet neighborhood near Trinity Lutheran High School in Seymour, a Christmas light display is creating quite the buzz.
Lights on Greenbrier features nearly 30,000 lights synchronized to music at the home of Tyler and Anna Claycamp at 775 Greenbrier Drive.
After parking in front of the home, people can turn their car radio to 100.5 FM and follow along as the lights “dance” or flicker throughout seven songs.
The half-hour show, which is available for viewing from 6 to 10 p.m. daily through New Year’s Eve, is perfect for people who like to drive around and see Christmas displays, Tyler said.
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“I just like to do it because I like to see the kids’ faces,” said Tyler, a 2013 Seymour High School graduate. “I remember growing up and going to see the lights all of the time with my family and going to different displays. That’s what kind of got me into it. I decided, ‘Well, I’m going to put up a display.'”
Anna, a Columbus native, said it’s a good, free family activity.
“People really like to see it and drive by and bring their kids,” she said. “Just to make people happy around this time of year, you can’t beat it.”
A “megatree” is one of the features of the display. It includes 12 strands of 100 lights that form the shape of a Christmas tree.
Nearby are various lawn decorations, including Snoopy and his doghouse, Santa Claus with a reindeer, Santa Claus with a Christmas tree and a “Happy Holidays” sign. Lights also are wrapped around the trunk of a large tree.
In the yard along the street are six candy canes that light up, a string of multicolored lights and nine mini trees that have 100 lights apiece.
Up near the house, there is a manger scene lawn decoration, four candles that light up, strands of 200 lights on six bushes and a string of lights in the shape of a star.
Also, lights are wrapped around the three poles on the porch, icicle lights hang from the guttering and Santa Claus is on the roof next to the chimney.
Then on the other side of the driveway, a blue spotlight shines on a manger scene.
Different parts of the display light up based on the music, including “The Christmas Can-Can,” the Peanuts theme song, a song from “Christmas Vacation” and “Let It Snow.”
Each year, Tyler said he has tried change up the songs.
But when he started a Christmas light display seven years ago at his parents’ home in Cortland, it didn’t include any music.
“I started with just a couple strands of lights along our deck railing and then along our sidewalk,” he said. “Then when Christmas was over, we went and bought some on discount when they had the big Christmas sales. Then the next year, we kept adding things, and I just continued on.”
In 2011, he bought a Mr. Christmas display box, which involves preset music that plays as the lights flicker on and off.
After a couple of years, he decided to change it up. He wanted to go bigger.
“I ended up with two boxes and outgrew those and said, ‘Instead of putting more money into one of those boxes, I’m going to get something that I actually can do more with,'” Tyler said.
So in 2013, he switched to a more advanced controller, Light-O-Rama, which is a computer program that allows the user to pick their own music and set the lights to the songs.
Once he plans the layout and has the lights, he goes to the computer to synchronize the music.
A Cat 5 cable runs from the laptop to two weather-tight boxes in the yard, where the lights and lawn decorations are plugged in. Each item that’s plugged in is a channel, and the computer tells each of those channels when to turn on at a given time, Tyler said.
This year’s display includes 32 channels. Tyler has a meter to check the boxes to make sure they aren’t overloaded.
“For a three-minute song, it takes quite some time to get it tweaked how you want it with every channel of lights,” he said.
When he first started using the program, he said it took several days to get a sequence for one song set the way he wanted.
“It took several days because I was still learning how to use it,” Tyler said. “Now, it’s not as bad. I can pretty much get one done in an evening.”
He said he is involved in a Facebook group for people who use Light-O-Rama, so those people can share sequences, tips and ideas.
“Even though somebody in California may have a sequence that they are sharing with me, I still have to go through and tweak it because it’s set up for their display, and I have to set it up for mine,” he said.
Tyler said he typically starts putting up lights in the middle of October and finishes around Thanksgiving, when the display is open to the public.
He said he has received a lot of feedback from people about the show, including some who have stopped by several times.
“For the most part, everybody enjoys it,” he said. “I like to see the kids’ faces light up in the anticipation of what’s going to flash next.”
For those who stop by Friday night, candy canes will be handed out.
That night also is the last opportunity to donate toys, blankets, stuffed animals, storybooks, cellphone chargers, pet supplies and other items for those affected by the eastern Tennessee wildfires. Items also can be dropped off at St. Paul Lutheran Church at Borchers, where Tyler is a youth pastor.
Tyler said they have collected a good amount of items so far between the display at his home and the church.
“People continue to pour in donations,” he said.
With this year’s Lights on Greenbrier, Tyler said he is working on a couple of other songs to include.
And he’s already thinking about next year’s show.
“I plan to add more strands of different colors (of lights) next year, so then I can have multiple colors, like red, blue and different things,” he said.
“(What’s in the show now) is not even near what I have display-wise,” he said. “I have a lot more in the attic and in the garage and still out at my mom and dad’s that I put up that I haven’t figured out where I want everything here yet without it looking too cluttered.”
What: Lights on Greenbrier
When: 6 to 10 p.m. daily through New Year’s Eve
Where: 775 Greenbrier Drive, Seymour
While visiting Lights on Greenbrier, tune your car radio to 100.5 FM as the lights are synchronized to music.
Don’t block driveways, always use parking lights in the show area, keep radio volume to a listening level, never walk in the display area and do not litter.
Candy canes will be handed out to children attending the show Friday night.
Items are being collected through Friday for those affected by the wildfires in Sevier County, Tennessee. New or gently used toys, comfort items (such as blankets and stuffed animals), storybooks, cellphone chargers, pet supplies and other items may be placed in the box at the end of the driveway or at St. Paul Lutheran Church at Borchers (Sunday mornings or during office hours Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings). If you want to donate a gift card, send a message via the Lights on Greenbrier Facebook page before doing so.