Even though Winter is the darkest time of the year, Christmas lights never fail to brighten things up both literally and figuratively. There’s something about driving through typically pitch-black streets only to find a neighborhood filled with twinkling lights and bright, inflatable, larger-than-life decorations that fills us with joy. Though a few strings of Christmas lights is enough for most families to feel festive, Matt Johnson takes holiday decorations to a galaxy far, far away.
Matt Johnson, a dad who works in technology consulting and software development, has always had a passion for using technology in creative and innovative ways. Though Johnson has done many creative projects over the years, his next-level light shows gained international attention. The video of his 2017 light show has nearly a million views on YouTube (ok, half of them were me), and after a mere 5 seconds, it’s clear why. As much as we love The Mandalorian light show that’s currently trending, the force is strongest with this one.
The light show combines traditional Christmas lights, pixels, and an insanely cool custom soundtrack for maximum entertainment. Though the video is only three minutes long, Johnson’s creativity combined with the constantly-changing elements makes it feel like a fully-immersive journey.
Johnson explains on his website, “Our show is not your traditional light show! There are no inflatables, characters, blow molds, or other ‘traditional’ elements. Even the music is not traditional Christmas music; it is a custom sound track composed of Dubstep, EDM, hip hop, movie clips and even our children!”
“The result is an exciting show that feels like a dance party! Even the lights are not traditional, we use Pixels which are similar to what you would see in a stadium Jumbotron. Each pixel can be controlled individually and set to any color and intensity. This means many more effects than what can be done with Christmas lights!”
Johnson ran his light show for free in his Texas neighborhood, and wants to give others the opportunity to create their own. His YouTube channel features videos teaching viewers how to create specific elements of his incredible light show, from projection mapping to using apps to control the show’s moving parts. Johnson even sells kits on his Living Light Show website, allowing even us less-techy folks to create our own pro-level displays.
The latest video on Johnson’s channel shows this talented dad playing with some new technology for his 2020 light show, so keep your eyes open for his next incredible display – though if it’s anything like 2017, it’ll be hard to miss.