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You can control this family’s Christmas lights over the Internet

Zach Epstein
December 25th, 2015 at 1:41 PM
Internet Controlled Christmas Lights

Genius idea ahead of its time? Horrible disaster waiting to happen? You be the judge.

You’ve never met Ken or Rebecca-Ellen and you probably never will. But you can control their Christmas lights from afar using a fun little website the couple created and have operated for the past few years. The couple hail from Fairbanks, Alaska, whether their Christmas will be slightly more frigid than the balmy 65-degree weather we’re expecting in New York City today.

But there’s something else that’s far more unique about Ken and Rebecca-Ellen’s Christmas than the weather: They have an interactive Christmas lighting display that anyone can control from anywhere in the world.

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“In 2010, Ken and Rebecca-Ellen connected their Christmas tree lights to the internet and encouraged visitors from around the world to turn them on and off. Since then, the setup has evolved every year,” the couple’s website reads. “We added more lights and more control channels for 2015. Rebecca-Ellen handmade the wreaths. She also is responsible for all the placement of the lights. If it were up to Ken, the light display would not look good. This year, we added an ‘active users’ statistic and an auto-updating temperature at the airport.”

That’s basically all there is to know. Visit the couple’s website and you’ll find 12 different controls with on/off switches that control the lights you see on the webcam that shows a feed of their house. Click one and the lights you’ve selected will either turn on or off… eventually. As the site notes, there are typically several hundred people trying to control these lights at any given time, so any functions you initiate might not happen for a while.

The couple’s site is linked below in our source section.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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