Holiday Light Show Videos

Holiday Light Show Videos

Updated Dec 06, 2013 at 01:51PM EST by Brad.

Added Oct 08, 2010 at 09:09PM EDT by Adam DeLand.

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About

Christmas Light Show Videos are a YouTube fad in which people show off holiday light displays that are synchronized to the tune of a popular song. While its practice in real life predate online sharing, the earliest known viral video of holiday lights on display was uploaded by Carson Williams in 2005, synchronized to “Wizards in Winter” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Origin

In December 2004, Mason, Ohio electrical engineer Carson Williams[1] set up a Christmas light display at his home using more than 16,000 bulbs. The lights were synchronized to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s instrumental song “Wizards in Winter”[2], which played on an FM frequency for people driving by from 6-10 PM every night. Williams uploaded a video of the display[13] directly to the Planet Christmas forums[3] in February 2005.[4]



Spread

TThe original video file of Williams’ holiday light display was reuploaded to several servers and shared on MetaCafe[7] and MetaFilter[5][6] twice in November 2005. The same month, the link to the original Planet Christmas forum post was shared on CNN, overloading the website’s servers.[9] On November 21st, it was uploaded to YouTube by John Boyd with the new title “Christmas Lights Gone Wild." As of November 2012, Boyd’s YouTube upload has more than 10.6 million views. Following the viral success of the clip, Williams did a radio interview[8] with local Delaware station WGMD and appeared on NBC Today Show. However, since the original video was shot in low quality, some internet users began speculating that the video was altered by a computer, only to be debunked by Snopes.[10] On November 30th, 2005, Wonderland Christmas[11] posted instructions from Williams on how to recreate the light display.

On December 6th, 2005, Williams shut down his light display after the increased traffic surrounding the installation led to police being unable to reach a car accident nearby.[12] The same month, the Miller Brewing Company used Willams’ display in a holiday commercial to advertise their light beer. Due to the success of his video, Williams was able to start his own holiday light animation company.[4]



Similar light show videos began appearing on YouTube in August 2006 when trykoski uploaded a video of his Frisco, Texas display from Christmas 2005, which coincidentally also used “Wizards in Winter.” This video has accrued more than 7.2 million views as of November 2012. Collections of these videos have been shared on Flixxy[17], Urlesque[18], the Social Times[19], MSN Now[20] and the Daily Beast.[21]



Notable Examples

As of November 2012, there are more than 98,000 search results for “christmas light show”[14], more than 88,5000 search results for “christmas lights music”[15] and nearly 6000 search results for “synchronized christmas lights.”[16]





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