Chad and Summer Johnson are well known around Snohomish for their festive and fun holiday lights. With the current health crisis and Gov. Inslee's 'Stay Home Stay Healthy' order, they decided to decorate the house and create a new light show set to music to brighten up their neighborhood - and their neighbor's spirits - from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. Every evening, you can find neighbors and strangers watching the light show and taking a break from their troubles.
Seattle Refined: So we’ve all heard of Christmas lights on houses around the holiday season but what are 'Corona Lights'?
Summer: We were just trying to think of something fun to do during this time, so we came up with 'Corona Lights'.
Chad, we heard you’re the mastermind behind this whole deal. Tell us about that?
Chad: So it’s been growing over the years. Each year I add a little bit more to it. Now, everything is computerized and we set it up for Halloween, for Christmas... and now for Corona.
How does it actually work?
Chad: So right now the lights are all LED’s so I can program every light to do whatever color I want, there’s a software program that runs the entire house. It all goes back to a central controller that runs everything for me and then it feeds into an FM transmitter that basically covers the house and a block around us. You can turn into 93.9 (FM), drive up to our house and for Corona we have two songs going on.
Tell us about the two songs cause - it’s kind of fun.
Chad: They're parody songs right now going on for coronavirus (a parody of the song 'My Sharona' by The Knack called 'My Corona'). So it was really fun and I thought it was perfect for the times.
Summer: And then he also has 'Over the Rainbow' by Iz.
Chad: It’s just one of my favorite songs and I thought I can’t really use it for Christmas time. It doesn’t work for Halloween time. So why not pull it out for now?
Summer: It’s a good message too - 'Somewhere over the rainbow ,they’ll be blue skies one day'. We’re not there right now, but it’s a little bit of hope for one day. We’ll see - we’ll see brighter skies.
So what’s been the reaction so far that you guys have heard from your friends and neighbors about your Corona Lights?
Summer: It’s been so good! We have a dog so we walk the dog a lot and neighbors will stop us and they’re so thankful we did this. And some of them live somewhere else in the neighborhood and they’ll be ‘Oh my kids make us drive by every night to see the lights and hear the song'. It just gives people something to do! A lot of us are trapped in our houses and can’t really go anywhere so this is a great thing for people to drive by and see and it puts a smile on their faces.
So Chad - how do you feel and are you OK with people hanging outside your house?
Chad: It’s pretty entertaining. I like to go by every so often and look out my window and see if everyone is out there.
Do you guys think more people should be doing 'Corona Lights'?
Chad: Yes totally - what else do we have to do around our houses? (laughing)
Summer: You know Christmas lights always put a smile on people’s faces. A lot of people have the string lights up in the backyard lights just make everyone happy. So everyone should just turn on our lights and let’s have a little cheer.