KAHULUI - Ten thousand lights that have been flashing in sequence to holiday songs heard on the radios of passers-by will continue their show through Christmas Day outside a house in the Maui Lani Legends subdivision.
The display, which went up Dec. 15, is at 50 E. Makahehi Place and will run from 6 to 10 p.m. today and Wednesday.
"It's been a labor of love," homeowner Mikol Westling said Monday. "I underestimated the work but, in the end, seeing the kids and their reactions is all well worth it."
The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photos
Inside his Kahului garage on Monday night, Mikol Westling tinkers with his laptop that controls a Christmas light display featuring 10,000 bulbs. Maui residents can watch the display’s last two showings from 6 to 10 p.m. today and Wednesday at 50 East Makahehi Place.
Kahului residents Mikol Westling and Al Taimanao pose Monday night near a Christmas light display that stretches across their neighboring homes. The homeowners said they plan to recruit more neighbors for next year’s light show.
Westling began building the electronic controllers in February and sequencing the lights to music in August, he said. His wife, Kathy Westling, helped with the electronics while neighbor Al Taimanao helped build 15 to 20 wooden Christmas-themed props to accompany the light show.
The show has 22 songs that are relayed, via short-wave transmitter, to 101.3 FM so that visitors can listen without disturbing neighbors, Westling said. He said previous nights have featured different songs and the last two days will be "based upon fan favorites."
"Each song took about eight hours to sequence," he said. "I'm too afraid to do the math to figure out the man hours on that one."
Westling, a software developer for a federal health care data center, can control the display from his laptop and iPhone but said that the display usually runs autonomously. The laptop sits in his garage, along with a slew of gadgets and electrical cords.
Kathy Westling said that her husband started the animated light display last year, which included a meager 2,000 lights.
"He said, 'Just wait til next year,' '' she recalled. "He's just like a kid in a candy store. He loves doing it and every night he's out there."
During the light show, Mikol Westling wears a Santa Claus hat, and he said that he has passed out more than 5 pounds of candy canes to passers-by. The light show was to "give back to the community," he said.
"We thought that this was one way to do it," he said.
Watching the display outside his home Monday night, he and Taimanao said they plan to make it bigger next year and incorporate several more neighbors into the show.
"It'll be interesting to see what he comes up with next," Kathy Westling said.
For those going to see the display, visitors are asked to keep driveways clear, dim headlights pointed at the display and keep radio volumes down.
* Chris Sugidono can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.