He put 50,000 Christmas lights on his house, all to support a good cause

As Christmas gets closer and closer, many of us have been busy with decorating. The tree requires plenty of work, but there are also the garlands, lights to string up all over the place, and maybe some reindeer to put out in the yard. A few people really go all-out, covering their houses in lights and putting on dazzling displays.

Modern technology has made it possible for people to take their Christmas lights to a whole new level. The LED (light emitting diode) is one of them. LED-based lights have been around since the 1960s and were used to make the little red numbers on 1970s pocket calculators. LEDs have since become better, cheaper, and available in more colors. They’re perfect for Christmas lights: they use very little electricity, what they do use is used incredibly efficiently and generates almost no heat, and they can tolerate being turned on and off frequently. The other key ingredient is inexpensive computer technology. With a computer in place to control the lights, they can dance to music! There’s still plenty of work involved, of course: someone has to design the display, program the computer, and string up literally thousands of lights.

The Watkins family of Wabash, Indiana found themselves in a position to give back to their community and also do something to support children. What they decided to do was put on a spectacular Christmas light display and use it as a fundraiser. Money collected from visitors to “Lights for Riley” is donated to the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

In the video we’ve posted below, you’ll see the 2010 Lights for Riley display. It’s really incredible: approximately 50,000 lights dance to “Amazing Grace.”

Did this get you in the Christmas spirit? How do you like this way of raising money for a good cause? Let us know in the Facebook comments. Don’t forget to like and share: it could give your friends all sorts of good ideas!