How Brad creates Brisbane’s ultimate festive light show

first_imgVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:31Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:31 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenChristmas Street Lights: Bald Hills QLD01:31 There’s Christmas lights and then there’s Brad Driver’s 11-minute synchronised musical spectacular, complete with a WiFi-enabled feature which lets visitors put their name up in LED lights.Driver, an IT professional, has been decorating his home in Paladin Place, Bald Hills, about 20 kilometres north of Brisbane’s CBD, since he moved in, in 2008.It’s grown into such a passion, he works almost year-round on the technical side and even travels interstate to meet-up with other “Christmas lighters”.Driver says it takes quite a bit of time to put the festive light show together. Picture: Brad Driver“I started doing it because I’ve always just liked Christmas lights, then I moved into computerised sequencing and it’s slowly built from there,” he says.In 2013, Driver added an interactive feature to allow people to put their name up in lights on his roof in real-time.“I just thought it would be cool.”This involved coding custom computer software to dynamically modify the show on-the-fly, so the names appear, and building a database-driven system to automatically manage, filter and co-ordinate incoming requests.Visitors access a special WiFi hotspot and type in their name. “It’s hooked up to a database of 131,000 common names, so I don’t have to manually check every request,” Driver says.Occasionally, rude words are sent in, but they never make it onto the roof, he laughs.This Brisbane festive light show allows the audience to add their name to the display. Picture: Brad DriverThe 2017 show includes an 11-minute loop of seven songs, using 26,000 LEDs.“For every minute of music, it takes about 10 hours of work to do the sequencing. But once you have the song done, you can use it again if you like,” he explains.Each LED has a microchip attached, which follows his code to flash or change colour.Flame-throwers are on Driver’s wish list for future displays, but he’s mindful of keeping his neighbours – who he ensures can’t hear his show from inside their homes – on side.“I saw a display last year where they had flame-throwers in their chimney, which used gas, but it made a pretty big whoosh sound and I am always super-careful with noise, as I want to make sure all my neighbours are happy. That’s how a lot of displays end,” he says.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:18Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:18 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Christmas Street Lights: Preston VIC02:18 Related videos 02:18Christmas Street Lights: Preston VIC01:27How to create an upcycled wreath02:02Christmas Tree Fanatic01:55Christmas Street Lights: Davidson NSW01:25All I want for Christmas is to sell my home: Richmond00:28Non-tacky festive giftsMore from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus22 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market22 hours agoDriver’s reasons for doing the display are simple.“The joy it brings everyone, for sure,” he says. “And it might also inspire some kids to become lighting engineers one day.”He estimates he’s spent about $4000 on the display since he started out and it barely impacts his power bill.“The entire display only adds about $1 per night to the power bill. I spend more on cable ties.”Driver also collects donations for Mater Little Miracles, a charity that helps seriously ill and premature babies.Paladin Place, Bald HillsShow times, weather permitting, until Christmas Eve7pm-10pm, each day* “Name in lights” display ends 9pm Monday-Fridaylast_img