Every year, the internet is overrun with over-the-top Christmas decorations competing to be the most extravagant. They’re perfectly choreographed to music. Or cover an entire street, recorded by drone-cam. Or just go all-out, spending thousands to power a 400,000-bulb display.
Ken and Rebecca-Ellen’s display is none of these things.
Instead, the Alaskan couple have a unique approach to choreographing their decorative lighting — letting the internet decide.
They run ChristmasInFairbanks.com, a website that lets literally anyone play with their decorations as they see fit. Visitors are greeted with a live webcam of the Fairbanks, Alaska house — pictured above — as well as a bank of controls for every aspect on the lights.
The wreath on the garage, the kids’ bedroom, the lights strung across the railing — it’s all changeable. It works out as more than 4,000 different potential combinations for the house.
It’s also wildly popular, with hundreds of people using it at any one time. As of writing, 430 people were turning the lights on and off — which explains why there’s sometimes a delay.
Here’s how it looks in practice:
In an FAQ, the couple say that — luckily for them — they “can’t see the lights when they’re inside.” It’s also expensive to run this (electricity, internet hosting, etc.): $420 as of December 23.
They also ask that people don’t turn up at their house to watch it in person: “It’s actually much more entertaining over the internet. If you don’t already know where we live, it’d be kinda weird for you to just show up and sit in our driveway. Please don’t be that guy.”
The project (if you can call it that) has been running since 2010. Every year, the lights get more complicated, and the couple say they have no plans to stop any time soon: They’re currently trying to solicit sponsors for 2016.