Dec. 8, 2008 -- For Plano, Texas, residents Scott and Lynn Zephries, the holiday season means adorning their home with so many lights, the illumination literally and figuratively lights up the neighborhood.
This is the first home showcased in "Good Morning America" Lights Up America. Each day this week, "GMA" will travel to a new location and flip the switch on holiday lights at residents' homes. Tune in tomorrow to see the next display of holiday lights.
"We light them up Thanksgiving night and they come down right after New Year's," said Lynn, who is a real estate agent. "[Scott has] got a system down to a T, to where he takes them down and puts them away."
The combination of 104,000 sparkling lights carefully synchronized to a 90-minute loop of Christmastime musical favorites has made the residence the place to see in the Deerfield community — a pleasant payoff for the 100 hours he spends orchestrating each song.
"A sense of community is the driving factor. This is the one thing that I personally am good at," said Scott, who has put on the display for the third year in a row. "I'm lucky enough to find my one good thing and what I'm able to do is help people get together and put a smile on people's faces."
With that much wattage, the 48-year-old loan officer has to begin planning the next year's display the day after Christmas, which means he's always in a holiday state of mind and trying to find ways to best himself.
It means purchasing new lights after the holiday annually and utilizing the skills he learned in a class, online and the self-taught tactics he's picked up.
"When he started — he gives everything either 200 percent or zero. So there's not stopping him. He goes over the top," said Lynn, who reminds him of his decorating duties but steers clear of actually placing the lights. "I try to keep him on target on when he needs to put them up."
That six-week process takes place with friends and is so intricate that viewers on the east side of the street get a different show than viewers on the west side. Scott said he hopes for a "sensory overload" type of experiences for onlookers, but that jubilant occurrence isn't inexpensive.
"It doesn't get as high as the air conditioning bills in the summer," Lynn said, talking about their electricity bill. But there's a definite increase, the 42-year-old added.
The Reason for the Celebration
"He decided he wanted to make lights big and bright enough so that his parents could see it from heaven," Lynn said.
Scott's father died in 2004, four years to the day that his mother died. Shortly afterward he decided to use his childhood as a way to connect to his parents — decorating the house grandly.
The electric extravaganza at the two-story house Old Pond Drive also gives the Zephrieses an opportunity to bring attention to charity.
"[Saturday] night alone we got over 200 toys," Scott said. The Zephrieses also collected more than 200 pounds of food and a few hundred dollars, which will be split evenly between the two charities.