Deck the yards with lights and music: When you're out looking at Christmas lights, be sure to head to Covington Chase in Winter Garden and tune your radio into 99.5 FM.
You've probably seen that one house in the neighborhood that goes all out for the Christmas season — with hundreds of twinkling lights and maybe some festive holiday music.
But have you experienced 10 homes on one street — all with their lights synced to a single radio frequency?
For the residents on River Grass Lane, in Winter Garden's Covington Chase community, the tradition gets bigger each year.
The idea started in 2015, when neighbors Scott Egan and Jamie LoFiego collaborated for a two-home Christmas light show they debuted on Thanksgiving night. The next year, there were six houses connected.
This year, even more homes joined the lights party, for a total of 10 homes participating in the holiday spectacular. Three others have already committed to joining in 2018.
Think Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, for years on display at Disney's Hollywood Studios — but on a smaller scale.
The River Grass Lights show is broadcast on 99.5 FM radio frequency and has its own Facebook page with schedule updates. Currently, the display runs from 5:45 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5:45 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
The nights will remain on all night long Dec. 24, 25 and 31.
MAKING LIGHTS DANCE
The entire program is turned on at Egan's house. He and LoFiego created a syncing template and got to work on the programming.
“One song can take up to six or seven hours, if you want to have the beats and the palm trees go with the beat and the rooftops go along with the palm trees,” LoFiego said. “Every beat or measure or whatever you want to do, you have complete control over the action of the lights: on, off, chase, shimmer, twinkle, the intensity of the lights, the duration that the lights are on.”
Each house has one or more boxes, each with 16 channels and controlling 16 strands of lights.
“There’s a lot of planning; we plan all year,” he said. “How are things are to be networked, how are they going to be wired?”
The duo can program the system to play different songs on different nights.
LoFiego, who has a background in entertainment, said it's fun to show off his skill set and to see people enjoying it.
Their goal, the men said, is eventually to have everyone on the street participating in the lights show.
“That will draw lots of attention,” LoFiego said.
Egan estimates there is a minimum of 50,000 lights in this year's display.