Lakefield light show shines bright
LAKEFIELD – It takes 11,000 lights, six controllers and 96 channels to make the Ackermann Family Light Show shine this holiday season.
James and Jeanine Ackermann, of Lakefield, have been running a synchronized light show at their residence for two years.
“We used to live out in the country, and the kids always just loved the lights,” said Jeanine. “When we moved into town in 2006, our youngest son decided he wanted to get more involved with the lights, and in the last couple years it has really just blossomed.”
The strands of lights are perfectly coordinated with Christmas songs that play for all to hear.
The show runs 18½ minutes long and plays seven different classic carols such as “Joy to the World,” “What a Glorious Night” and “Carol of the Bells.”
“All of our lights (displays) are very Christian-based,” explained Ackermann. “We want to remind people about the true meaning of Christmas.”
Jeremiah Ackermann, who sets up the show, explained all that is involved in running a light show of this magnitude.
“It starts off with computer software called Light-O-Rama. The software controls the power intensity of the lights, and kind of acts as a dimmer switch to all the controls and channels,” he said.
A channel is as an outlet plug on the controllers that acts similar to a house light dimmer switch.
That functionality allows the Ackermanns to pre-program the channel to turn lights on or off, fade or dim and turn on lights with a specific intensity at different time intervals.
While Jeremiah now lives in Brookings, S.D., he still plans to continue the Christmas tradition for future years.
“This is my interest and hobby,” said Jeremiah. “Last year we started with just one controller, and we want to keep expanding the show every year.”
The Ackermanns plan to expand on the nativity scene in the front yard and add additional lights to the trees in the back yard.
“Our house is at a corner, so we use both our front yard and back yard for the show,” said Jeanine.
The Ackermann Family Light Show is located at the corner of Minnesota 86 and Seventh Avenue in Lakefield, and runs from 5 to 10:30 p.m. every night through the first week of January.