Annually the Carter Family puts together a large LED light display synchronized to music. Originally started 2014 in Austin Minnesota the lights were first synchronized to music in 2015.
In 2014, their house had 7,000 LED lights growing to a total of 14,000, 22,500 and 31,000 respectively each year through 2017 (including RGB pixels). In 2018 the Carter’s moved to Albert Lea continuing the show with 34,000 LED lights (of which 6000 are RGB) which is when the show was renamed to “Carter Christmas Lights Show” with a new website url.
As reported by the Austin Minnesota Daily Herald, “The light show has strands of lights running up the trees, along the house, on the window frames and more.” The goal is to add something unique to the display each year. Ultimately, their hope is to add a new fun tradition to the Albert Lea Minnesota region during the holiday season.
Typically the display runs from the weekend before Thanksgiving through December 31st. In general, the show runs from 5-9pm with it running until 10pm on Fridays & Saturdays along with Christmas Eve/Day.
Something that sets this display apart from others is that the computer that runs the show is “home grown”. Since the available light show equipment is very costly, Mike was able to build his own version for a significantly lower cost. In 2015, there were 32 circuits used (different plugs), growing to 104 circuits in 2018. You can see a photo of the “guts” of a part of the system to the left.
A donation box is located at the corner of the property. All proceeds are donated to a local Southern Minnesota non-profit organization, varying year-to-year. In 2015, the community generously donated over $170, which helped send a local Boy Scout to summer camp. In 2016, the community raised $455 and $758 in 2017 that helped young Girl Scouts attend summer camp.
The display is located at 1905 Brookside Drive, Albert Lea, MN 56007 with the public welcome to come enjoy.