Driving up to Sylvia and Danny Jones’ house on State Road 56 is a moment of awe and amazement. A sea of at least 30,000 lights blanket the ground leading up to their Scott County home. The lights move as they are programmed and orchestrated to each Christmas song broadcasted on the Joneses’ low-watt radio frequency.
“I was told to stop this year, but I already have a plan for next year,” Danny Jones said. “I’m not allowed to set up until after Halloween.”
Every song is broken into segments, and one second of music takes Danny Jones about one-half hour to program. After coming home from work, he spends his nights and time during the summer months programming each crescendo and break.
“I was in band in high school. It helps,” Danny Jones said.
The system works on 10 controllers, which are networked into the house and operated from a Microsoft Surface. Each one of the four different light shows is 25 minutes long and play in a continuous loop until 10 p.m. on weeknights and until 11 p.m. on the weekends. Each singing face has 1,000 lights to move its mouth and make expressions.
“Our electricity bill only goes up about $50,” Danny Jones said.
Five years ago, the Joneses started their journey into synchronized Christmas lighting when they saw the excitement and wonderment in the eyes of their granddaughter.
“Our granddaughter is fascinated with lights,” Sylvia Jones said. “We thought we should do something outside. The first year we had no synchronized lights. The next year we added more. It just grew. We kept adding to it every year.”
Then, Danny Jones began looking online to find out how to transform his flagpole into a Christmas tree. He learned from online forums how to program, build, and create the Christmas light display the family is known for today.
“The research began, and it became our obsession,” Danny Jones said with a laugh.
The family not only does the Christmas lights for their enjoyment, but they do it to bless others. The Joneses’ have a donation box outside to collect money for We Care, a Scott County nonprofit organization that provides warm winter clothing to local children who are in need.
“We take a check every year in January,” Sylvia Jones said.
“We had a $100 donation left two nights ago,” Danny Jones said.
Last year, the couple found a letter in their donation box from a child, who thanked them for having the light show in Scott County.
“The smiling faces of the children. My granddaughter saying, ‘Aww. Papaw,’” Danny Jones said as to why they put all the time and effort in the light show. “We know a couple, who has a child with autism. The lights help settle him down.”
The Indiana couple also likes to meet the people who stop by and watch the show. On Christmas Day last year, the couple had 50 people parked out in their driveway watching the lights.