Site Lets Surfers Control Home's Xmas Lights

After festooning his house with 17,000 Christmas lights, Alex Komarnitsky wanted more than just drive-by gawkers to be able to enjoy the spectacle.

He got his holiday wish, and then some — his interactive Web site allowing Internet users to turn the lights on and off with the click of a mouse is attracting thousands.

"It's out of control," Komarnitsky said. Another Web site recently alerted users about his interactive page. "It said, 'This guy's Web site is funny. Turn the lights on and off and annoy the neighbors."'

This month alone, more than 1.3 million Internet browsers — including about 38,000 from a German domain, more than 2,400 from a French domain and nearly 1,000 from a domain in Singapore — have visited the site.

As of Monday evening, 31,483 people had tinkered with the lights.

Traci Keller, who lives across the street, said she likes the production.

"I just think he has a lot of Christmas spirit," said Keller, 40. "He is entertaining."

Keller's 10-year-old daughter, Jordan, said the display reminds her of "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." In the popular film, Clark Griswold, played by Chevy Chase (search), drains a city of its electricity in an attempt to illuminate every inch of his home's facade with thousands of tiny bulbs.

"They are the Griswolds of our neighborhood," Jordan said.

The family's displays went online beginning in 2000, when Komarnitsky strung 12,000 lights. He added the interactive feature last year. He said he turns on the display for five to six hours a night, and his December electric bill typically reaches $150.

"The electric meter really spins," he said. "I've gotten a little carried away."