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Published: Tuesday, 12/25/2012

Display adds holiday power

BLADE STAFF
The Tawil family has a computer-controlled Christmas lights show, matched by a low-power radio broadcast of Christmas songs on 91.9 FM, in the front yard of their home in Oregon.  The Tawil family has a computer-controlled Christmas lights show, matched by a low-power radio broadcast of Christmas songs on 91.9 FM, in the front yard of their home in Oregon.
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Oregon is full of beautiful displays of Christmas lights, and Mike Tawil’s is up there with the best of them.

The show in front of his home at 6338 Brown Rd. has more than 25,000 LEDs, costs $8,000 to stage, and is a traffic-stopper. Vehicles pull to the side of the road to take in the array of dancing lights.

But the visual effect is only part of the experience. It has an audio component as well.

Motorists near the home from 6 to 11 p.m. can tune their radios to 91.9 FM and receive a low-power broadcast of a selection of seven Christmas songs, including an electronic version of “A Holly Jolly Christmas.” A computer control at Mr. Tawil’s home turns the lights on and off in sync with the songs.

“It took more than two weeks to set up,” said the 33-year-old Mr. Tawil, who works for a finance company. “A lot of people told me my lights are better than the Toledo Zoo’s.”

The light show draws 10 amps of current and will remain on 28 hours a week through the Christmas season, he said, adding that he doesn’t know what the added power consumption is costing him. The electricity cost, whatever it turns out to be, doesn’t matter anyway, he said.

“Every time I see a car slowing down to take a look, it puts a smile on my face,” he said.

— Carl Ryan



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