The Christmas Light Programmer
Over the years at Synchronized Christmas I’ve been called upon many a time to put on the Christmas light programmer hat. While it’s just one of the things we do, it is by far the most time consuming and interesting portion of the business. With that in mind I thought we would tell you some tales of programming jobs gone by.
The beginnings of Synchronized Christmas go back to the year 2007 and
the story of a rather large indoor tree in the City of Dallas, Texas.
This tree was in a shopping mall known for it’s tree, and the fact that
it was synchronized to music going back into the 90’s and possibly
earlier than that.
However at the time I had to be in the mall every Christmas season, and after 6 years had gotten tired of hearing the same songs all the time. I went to the mall management and said, “Hey, I’m a Christmas light programmer, let me change up the music on the tree.”
One thing led to another and soon the company had started up and I had the first client. Needless to say at that point I decided that I was going to do this for others, and spread the joy of Christmas to others.
Synchronized Christmas is really just one person, the owner. However “we” is used a lot in this article because of various help that I have had over the years.
The Early Years
In the beginning the life of this Christmas light programmer was spent working two jobs. The first was the full time day job which at the time I had for over 10 years. The second job was the Christmas business. Each year things got busier and busier. August through December was quickly becoming the land of sleepless nights.
Aside from the shopping mall one of the first clients was a
residential display outside of Chicago, Illinois. This individual wanted
me to program his display, as he had his own business to run.
True story, for years we argued about who did the most programming on his display. It’s not what you think though. We each would always insist that the other person did more. No idea how it got started, but it turned into a running joke for a while.
There were a few other clients in the early days. Usually the residential market working on 2 to 3 songs for each client at a time. However things would be changing, for the better, in those early years.
The Commercial Jobs
In the summer of 2010 the scope of the business changed as I was able to add more commercial clients to the roster. As with any business, I’m always looking for ways to do things more effectively; this was one of those times.
While attending a conference of other decorators, I was able to make contact with companies that do design and install work. These companies worked on projects all over the United States, and around the world. In talking to these companies I offered them my services as a Christmas light programmer as a way they could themselves improve their bottom line. They would be able to offer Synchronized lights to their customers without having to do the work. I’d then benefit from the extra work.
It was here that I picked up quite a few long term customers, with whom we still do business with today. While I’m not playing favorites or anything, here are just three companies that I now work with every year.
All The World Over
One of the questions I get asked is, “Where can we see your work?” The answer, actually is a bit complicated. Let me explain.
A lot of my clients are the companies that are doing the install work for various places around the world. So often I get a phone call or an email from a client asking for programming and a Purchase Order number. Often that’s the only thing I have to go on. As you can imagine then, it’s quite difficult to know exactly where my work has been used.
As you might expect, a lot of our work is in the United States. However the are some international locations on the list. Spoiler alert, a few international locations are left out.
Here are a few of the locations that I know about. While some of them I do know the clients name, I won’t be posting it here.
- New York State – A few displays here. One in upstate, the other (I think) closer to NYC.
- Florida – Quite a few of them here. One customer was on Christmas Light Fight, but did not win. Another has a mega-mix type show of popular tunes each year.
- Illinois – The previously mentioned customer above – who was on, and did win his episode of Christmas Light Fight. Rumor has it some of my work also made it into the Six Flags Fright Fest set up one year.
- Texas – And of course, a lot of stuff here in the home state of Texas. We’ve done work in Dallas, Austin, Houston, Odessa and various communities in those areas.
- Canada – Worked with a few installers and residential home owners.
- Australia – This one was fun due to the time zone differences. Also got the greatest ever video from them. They were testing the programming and there was a thunderstorm off in the distance. If you remember the song Gangnham Style from a few years back you remember there is a slight pause in the song. It was during this pause a lighting strike could be heard miles (kilometers) away. Great stuff.
Let Us Help You
By now you’ve seen that we have worked for many people not only in the United States, but around the world. Some come back every year for new programming, others wait a few years. Either way, we’re always here to help them with the next phase of their display.
Our contact information is at the bottom of every web page, so it is easy to find. If for some reason we change up the site, or have a special page that doesn’t have it there, visit our Contact page.