South Barrington family helps brighten the holidays
In December, Penny Kazmier showed off the massive Christmas light display at her South Barrington home. Any old or broken lights can be recycled. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
THE LIGHT SHOW
SONGS:The Muppet’s “Twelve Days of Christmas” and Queen’s Christmas version of “We Will Rock You”
RADIO STATION: 88.5 FM
SCHEDULE: The light show runs till Dec. 31, from 5 to 10 p.m.
DIRECTIONS: visit www.southbarringtonlights.com.
Updated: January 14, 2013 6:58AM
SOUTH BARRINGTON — Many people decorate the outside of their house with holiday lights; however, few can compete with Penny and John Kazmier’s festive house.
The South Barrington home has been turned into a winter wonderland with 80,000 red, green and white lights on and around the house.
John Kazmier went above and beyond with the Christmas decorations for the first time in 2004, when he started with just one color adorning his home’s windows and the shutters. In 2005, he decided to go all in, decorating the entire house.
To pull it off, Kazmier studied the ins and outs of building circuit boards. There are a total of 208 circuits controlling all the lights.
Because of the massive undertaking — it takes two months to assemble — Kazmier decorates the house every other year. This year, he switched all the lights to LED.
The entire process is actually very scientific, Kazmier noted, and it starts with detailed planning. Kazmier has a play-by-play diagram of the house and the lawn, which outlines where all the lights, Christmas trees and candy canes are displayed, and each’s respective circuit.
The process of putting up the lights is just as complicated as the diagram, he added. The lights on the house are built on frames and there is a total of 70 frames that cover the house with lights
The massive light display also features several candy canes which were built by John himself. Each candy cane has 48 channels to it and rotates from red and white lights to red and green.
Everything is controlled inside the home on Kazmier’s computer. The show is programmed, including the timing of the lights, which sync the light’s accompanying music. One song takes about 20 hours to program, Kazmier said, and he even broadcasts the music so visitors can turn their car radios on and listen to seven songs that are synced to the lights.
“I’m just excited when there are cars and kids out, it’s neat to see the kids excited,” Kazmier said.
Those visitors occasionally also find Santa waiting and ready to pass out treats. Some visitors have even left notes in the mail box letting Kazmier know his work is enjoyed and appreciated.
The Kazmier’s house is featured in the book, “The Best Christmas Decorations in Chicagoland.”
“I like to see people enjoying the lights,” Penny Kazmier said.
The only thing that’s missing, John Kazmier added, is snow on the ground adding to the ambiance.