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This year, Ross Oliviera’s musical light show gives the USS Wisconsin a run for its money.

He started last year, when he got into using microcontrollers to turn holiday lights on and off.

“When you're programming these lights to blink on and off, you're basically programming them to stay on for a certain number of milliseconds and then turn off for a certain number of milliseconds,” Oliveira  said. “So you can kind of program it like you're writing a piece of music.”

Oliveira is a mechanical engineer, so he doesn’t do this kind of stuff at work. But he grew up playing piano, and used his musical background to make the lights mimic the music he chose.

“The lights can kind of reflect the character of the song and not just, you know, blink on and off, but actually have movement back and forth,” said Oliveira. “It was fun to combine the musical aspect with the technical programming aspect.”

One of his favorite things about this new tradition is the neighbors he’s met.

“We'll see a lot of other families come by,” Oliveira said.  “It's good just to see some new faces or some people who we normally wouldn't see as much and chat with them.”

At 5:15 and 7 every night, you can find Oliviera at the end of Princess Anne Road in Norfolk, making light in the darkness.