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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

A native Californian, David Pitts enjoys the four seasons he now experiences living in Colorado. However, there is one season he enjoys more than any other: winter, in particular ñ Christmas.Pitts celebrates the holiday season by illuminating his home with a phenomenal light display. This is just his second season orchestrating the light show, which he works on year-round. ìI was working on this yearís Christmas show during last yearís show,î Pitts said.His Christmas light display is a product of his engineering background. Pitts has a bachelorís degree in engineering from California State University Long Beach and is an engineer with California-based ESE, which builds video and audio equipment for the broadcast industry. The company focuses on small, niche devices relating to time codes, he said. ìBroadcasters and also people that make movies in production, they usually stamp time code on the film,î Pitts said. ìA lot of our products are related toward inserting those time codes.îPitts began working for ESE in the late 1990s when he still lived in California. (Heís been able to continue with the company by working in a home office.)Pitts met his wife, Marlene, through church friends; and, after just a few months dating, they married in August 2005.Thinking they would eventually move to Colorado, they bought a house in Falcon. ìWe bought the house in 2006,î Pitts said. ìWe were just going to rent it out (and we were) looking forward to moving out here someday.îShortly after they bought the house, Pitts and his wife found out they were pregnant with their first child, Daniel. ìWe didnít want to move during the pregnancy or even afterwards,î he said. ìWe wanted to have the support group of all of our family.îWhen Pittsí parents found out their son wanted to move to Colorado, they decided they wanted to be close to family so they bought a home in Woodmen Hills in 2008 and moved two months prior to their son. Pitts, along with his wife and son, followed. Six months after moving to Colorado, a new daughter, Hannah, arrived.In 2010, Pitts watched an online video of a Christmas display. He searched the Internet to figure out how to emulate the display. He found a commercial site, which was expensive so he continued searching. ìJust through the search of trying to find a cheaper way I found two or three (online) forums,î Pitts said. ìAnd they all had a background kind of like me ñ engineers, software engineers or network engineers.î Pitts said he found that most of the people from the online forums also formed co-ops. ìThey all get together and pool their money,î he said. ìAnd one person basically orchestrates it.”Pitts has made a few major changes to this yearís display. Heís added more decorations, lights ñ and more music. Four 6-foot tall candles and 20 candy canes line his driveway this year. Pitts also plans to feature at least four songs, including one song as a tribute to members of the military (which was his wifeís idea, he said). Pitts said that sequencing the music to the lights is a long and time-consuming process. ìIt takes me about eight hours to sequence one minute of music,î he said. Pitts said last year he spent between 80 and 120 hours sequencing lights to music.Pitts is proud of this yearís biggest improvement ñ the lights. He increased the number of lights, as well as the spectrum of colors. Pitts went from using three colors last year to the option of six million different colors and shades this year. He purchased special lights that allow him to control each individual bulb rather than an entire string of lights. ìEach light has a circuit board (inside of it),î he said. ìAnd each light can be any color you want it to be at any given time.î More specifically, Pitts has the ability to control about 16,000 individual lights.Pitts said the cost of the display quickly adds up. ìThere are a lot of hidden costs. For instance the wiring.î he said. ìUsually you hang out five or 10 strings of lights and they all connect to the same extension cord. But when you want to individually turn on those 10 strings you need 10 extension cords.îHe wonít reveal the actual cost; but the display is not about money ñ itís a labor of love. ìI always thought if I ever got a house, I would like to do a Christmas display,î he said. ìBut the main reason I do the show is to bring joy to the families in the community and to celebrate Jesusí birth.îCheck out David and Marlene Pittsí Christmas light display at 11183 Allendale in the Falcon Hills development.

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