Jessamine County teen has been designing holiday light shows since the age of 10


NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (FOX 56) – Like most students today, Zachary Nielson spends a lot of time in front of his computer. He doesn’t always do his homework, but he is working from his home.

He always adjusts a synchronized light display he designed. Such monitors are not uncommon until you think Nielson programmed his first monitor when he was 10 years old.

“I went to an engineering camp when I was young,” says Nielson. “It just sparks something.”

So he bought some equipment and software and taught himself how to connect the lights to the audio track, making sure every beat of the song produced an effect.

Now, at the age of 14, his hobbies have spilled over into the yard, on the rooftop, and into the neighbor’s yard. He estimates he has used nearly 20,000 lights and over 100 wires.

He’s also placed a donation box along the sidewalk so those who come to see his performance can keep supplies in the pantry at Porter Memorial Baptist Church.

“Zachary is an amazing kid and we’re so lucky he was chosen to connect Packin’ the Pantry with Wild Lights,” said Erika Clark, a pantry volunteer. She says that small food pans like these are “most likely the reason the pantry door is open or closed.”

His goodwill earned Nielson a Holy Nickname.

“Many people call me Mr. Christmas,” he said. “I love that title because it’s what I love to do. I love Christmas, I love lights, I love everything related to Christmas”.

He spent about 300 hours programming this year’s show, and he’s been connecting cables and lights since August. His parents financed the project, bought the lights, and paid for the electricity, but all All labor is yours.

“It makes my heart flutter that people are enjoying something I did,” Nielson said.


Zachary’s mother once asked him to stop decorating until after Thanksgiving. Aimee Nielson said he told her that if he waited that long, he wouldn’t be preparing for the show until Christmas Eve.

Aimee shared, “I was like, ‘well, OK.’ Then he would say, ‘It’s warm outside now, so I need to get on the roof now. What if it’s freezing in December?’”

She said she couldn’t argue with that, so they let him start when he wanted to.

The show is called Wild Lights, but the creators are tempered with the simple goal of transmitting joy to the world in an electrical way.

“I don’t want to stop. That’s what I want to continue. “

The show is at 112 Bernie Trail in Nicholasville and will run through January 8.

https://foxlexington.com/news/spirit-of-bluegrass/jessamine-county-teen-has-been-designing-holiday-light-shows-since-he-was-10-years-old/ Jessamine County teen has been designing holiday light shows since the age of 10

Britta Zeltmann

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