A Lighting Designer's Christmas Show at Family's Chicago-Area Home

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A Lighting Designer's Christmas Show at Family's Chicago-Area Home
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Nick Diaz's Christmas display in Palos Hills, Illinois. (Photo courtesy of Nick Diaz.)

When it comes to creating a magical Christmas home display, Nick Diaz, a 20-year-old lighting designer from Los Angeles, puts his passion to work by turning his family's Palos Hills, Illinois, home into a piece of creative artistry. Visitors to the residence, located at 8020 W. 107th St., enjoy a festive musical extravaganza.

The display operates daily from dusk until 9 p.m., with extended hours until 10 p.m. on the weekends. Holiday lights dazzle the nighttime skies, performing to selected songs and welcoming guests from all over the area.

A Family Tradition

Diaz shared the story behind his family's Christmas tradition:

"Our 2012 display is a product of a 20-year tradition started by my late Aunt Beverly. I credit her for my current passion for light and my career choice. As one can imagine, setting up most of the display is a team effort in which the entire family participates. The initial goal was to share memories within our family. However, now our goal is to create a cheerful and magical immersive environment in which other families can make memories of their own. We're very thankful to be able to light up our little section of the city every year, and we hope that we inspire others to do the same."

Environmentally Friendly Display

Guests will experience a repeating eight-minute show that is not only lovely, but environmentally friendly, according to Diaz: "Through the use of the computer control system installed, our lights dance with over 80 individual points of control. The songs are manually programmed. We feel that this makes our display unique and gives it the hand-crafted feel that store-bought systems can't offer. In the LED craze, we are proud to say that one won't see a single LED Christmas light in our display. As a lighting designer, I personally have yet to find an LED Christmas light that comes close to matching the warmth and beauty which an incandescent source has."

"One unique thing that guests may not fully realize when they're viewing our display is that lights are never on at 100 percent intensity. Our entire display is run at approximately 70-percent brightness. This accomplishes two things for us: It saves energy and, like dimming a light bulb in your house, really lets the light produce a warm and inviting glow. The former is pretty important since the 12-foot tree, including the spotlights which supplement the strings of lights, uses approximately 7,000 watts of power when fully on. Thankfully, through careful programming, we are able to control the amount of times that happens."

Sharing the Love at Christmas

When asked how neighbors feel about the impressive Christmas display, Diaz joked, "Both of the houses surrounding us are currently up for sale. Coincidence? I'm not sure!"

Diaz went on, "We hope that guests visiting our home see the love and magic of the holiday season. Our wish is that the love we put into this display shines through and warms the hearts of our guests."

You can find more of Nick Diaz's stunning work at his website: www.nicholasdiaz.com.