Someone You Should Know: Spreading holiday joy with an interactive light show

Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 6:15 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - You’ll usually find Bill Newberg outside.

“My whole life has been in landscaping. For 34 years. So outdoor work is my passion, I guess,” said Bill.

For a number of years now, Bill has put up a massive holiday display outside his westside Sioux Falls home.

“This year, two weeks before Halloween, we started setting up lights. I choose to do it when it’s warm out. I don’t like doing it when it’s cold. So we’re looking at right around 40,000 LED lights. 3,600 smart pixels. Smart pixels are bulbs that you have control of. You can tell it what color to be, when to be,” said Bill.

After more than 100 hours of work, it’s ready to go.

“There’s twelve control boxes. They’re all parallel wired to each other. That allows me to expand directions. I’ve run out of room. So now I’ve got neighbors that are gonna get into it maybe a little more next year,” said Bill.

Bill says he tries to add a little each year.

“None of this is bought at full price. I always wait for sales. After-Christmas sales are great. A lot of the fancier mega trees and pixel trees, I build them myself, so that cuts the cost,” said Bill.

The display is also synced up to the 97.7 FM radio frequency. All run through Bill’s laptop.

“Once they’re hooked up. Your computer recognizes the control box. It comes out on a spreadsheet. You buy sequences, or you copy and paste sequences from the internet, and you just build your shows. We have twenty-nine songs. Every year it grows a few,” said Bill.

And he loves to see people drive by to see the show.

“A lot of kids say they love it, can’t wait to see it. They come by every year. You know, you sit outside and watch it at night. It’s worth it. I mean, I put up Christmas lights when I was old enough to walk. It was my favorite thing to do. So I do it for myself, and the kids, and for everybody else,” said Bill.

There’s a donation box outside his house. The money goes toward the Sioux Falls West JO Volleyball club program.