Local Man Synchronizes 11,000 Christmas Lights to Music, Shares the Spectacle

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- This year homeowners will spend six billion dollars on holiday decorations--that's the most Americans have spent in seven years.

Homeowner, decorator, and self-proclaimed computer nerd Joe Schnieder said, "I'm a computer nerd so I got on the internet and started looking for ideas and, that's kinda how it started"

Schnieder is willing to raise his electric bill to brighten the holidays for dozens of his east side neighbors

He said, "I'm already planning for more channels and more to do."

He spent more than one hundred hours syncing 11 thousand lights to five songs we can listen to on a radio frequency near his home.

He said, "Growing up I loved doing the lights things as a kid in my bedroom I would put up lights and my family would come over for the holidays and look at them."

Even though Schnieder started having bright ideas as a boy he's been working on the winter project since August and says it took a lot of patience linking two computers to three make-shift control boards all while managing 22 hundred feet of cable.

He said, "Each song has it's own sequence we'll call it and basically that's controlling which light is turned on or off, fading on, and fading off."

It’s a new neighborhood tradition that some residents hope won't fade away anytime soon.

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  • by Uncle Boop Boop Location: Across the road on Dec 19, 2011 at 05:05 AM
    I heard the newer UPS pilots have been told to use your lights to locate Rockford's airport. Send them a bill.
  • by Rebecca Location: Rockford IL on Dec 17, 2011 at 07:56 PM
    I saw them say on the news the Address was 3337 Citadel Dr, Rockford, IL 61109 :)
  • by Lindsay on Dec 17, 2011 at 03:19 PM
    Wheres the house at? That would be helpful in the article.
  • by Amie Location: Beloit on Dec 17, 2011 at 07:09 AM
    I just want to say Thank you guys for putting so much hard work into the lights.My family really enjoys looking at what you have done.
  • by Daddy Location: 815 on Dec 17, 2011 at 04:26 AM
    Where are these monstrosities at? I would really love to take my family to see it.
  • by Jovan Location: Clemson, SC on Dec 16, 2011 at 09:28 PM
    Awesome work, Joe!
  • by Steve Location: Machesney Park on Dec 16, 2011 at 03:50 PM
    I love christmas lights. I understand what you hd to go through. I have 9000 lights on 8 control boards with 128 chanels. I build a custom control panel to house the boards with motion activation detecting cars to help save on electricity. This is more than a hobby to us nerds. I only have ne song this year but plan on more for next year with more lights.
    • reply
      by Joe on Dec 17, 2011 at 11:14 AM in reply to Steve
      Hi Steve, what is your address? I'd love to see your display! I've been trying to find others in the Rockford area that share my interest in the blinky-flashy :)
      • reply
        by Steve on Dec 18, 2011 at 07:24 AM in reply to Joe
        We are in Machesney Park. 9402 Baldwin Dr. Runs between Cronies and the mall. They run nightly (on a timer) from 5-930. if you do get a chance to see them, we hope you enjoy them. happy holidays
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