North Hill home bedazzled with lights for Christmas

Published 9:19 pm Wednesday, December 5, 2007

More than 80,000 lights, 11 months of prep time, and a true love for Christmas gave Mike and Sherrie Sibley a home whose glow can undoubtedly be seen from space.

Mike and Sherrie Sibley moved to their North Hill home at 19 Quail Hollow Court six years ago from Louisiana. Mike continues to work in Louisiana in the economic development department for Cleco Corporation. His life revolves around electricity and clearly he has applied that to one of his true passions — Christmas.

His love for Christmas stemmed from his roots. Mike grew up in Natchitoches, LA. “Christmas was a big deal, a very big deal,” said Mike of the area. He remembers that “one house”, belonging to his neighbor, that went all out for Christmas. He looked forward to seeing that neighbor’s light display every year.

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Following the devastation of Katrina, Mike wanted to give back to his community and its children, so in 2006, he decided to become that house — the house that the children look forward to seeing every year. He promptly got to work on his own Christmas light display.

The Sibleys created their display using computer software specially made for programming holiday lights. All of the lights, with the exception of the spotlights, are energy efficient LED’s, and with more than 80,000 of them, being energy conscious is a very good idea.

Mike found a support group and a place for idea sharing on the internet. Mike and other holiday light enthusiasts can chat and trouble shoot at Talking about the group, Mike stated, “Some people fish for a hobby, and they have their own circles. Our group loves to discuss ideas for our displays. This is our hobby.”

Mike started the work for this year’s display sometime in January, and wanted to create a show that was classy, not gaudy. Mike said that during the summer months, while temperatures were soaring to nearly 100 degrees, he was playing Christmas music, and getting ready for the holiday season. “Finding songs that work best for the lights is one of the hardest parts,” Sibley said. “I used orchestra music, Yanni, Amy Grant, and many others. Each song takes approximately 20 to 40 hours of program time.”

Improving on last year’s display, Mike and Sherrie have added several new things to this year’s light show. There are now two mega trees with 10,000 lights per tree. There is 32 mini trees, twice as many as last year. They have also added three snow machines, especially for the area’s children who dream of a white Christmas. With the new additions and all of the months of preparation, the Sibleys hope this year they got it right.

When driving up to the house a bright neon sign welcomes guests, and lets them know to tune their car stereos to 91.1. The lights are perfectly choreographed to go with the music on this station. There are two different shows that last approximately 20 minutes each, and they will begin on the hour and half hour.

It is extremely important to the Sibleys that visitors respect their neighbors. Before the music begins, Mike lays down some ground rules for everyone’s overall enjoyment of the show. So far Mike and Sherrie have not received any complaints from the neighborhood.

The Sibleys would like to invite everyone to come out and enjoy their Christmas light display. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from The Sibleys.