Kevin Lynch, a man whose home is hard to miss around the holidays, will have a bigger Christmas light budget for next year thanks to ABC’s decoration competition “The Great American Light Fight.”
Lynch, who has been featured on numerous local channels, beat out three other holiday light fanatics in the series’ first episode, which aired on Monday.
“They reached out to me last year around the holidays,” Lynch said. “Then they got back to me a month later, asked me to submit a tape of the outside of the house. I didn’t hear anything until the summertime when they told me I was one of 20 finalists.”
Though he was honored to be recognized for his lights, Lynch almost didn’t appear on the show.
“They told me I had to have it done by October 16 and there is no way to get it all done,” he said. “The producers called begging me to participate, but I told them that there was no way I can get all my lights up in time.”
Finally, the producers granted Lynch an extension. He would have to have the house ready by Nov. 9, almost two weeks before he normally finishes decorating.
“That was the earliest I have ever had this done,” Lynch said. “I was working on it right to the very last day. I had bought a bunch of things last year and panicked because I didn’t know where to put them.”
The Whitestone resident and father of three prefers to have time to map out where to place lights.
“But I still stayed up until 2 a.m. and worked on it and built things,” he added. “Thank God the weather was so good, I could be out there without any coat on or anything.”
Lynch is most proud of a virtual Santa who appears to be walking around the house, popping into windows.
“It looks real,” he said. “A lot of the kids who come think Santa is actually up there.”
Among others, Lynch’s biggest competitor was a homeowner in California who synchronized his lights to music.
“I’m not a fan of the music stuff but he’s also in California,” he said. “Here in New York, we get weather. If I had short sleeves on all the time, I’d go much bigger.”
Over the next couple of weeks, four more homes will be crowned champion, each winning $50,000 and a bulb trophy.
Lynch said the producers found him after searching the internet and reading so much about his famous light display.
“One of the producers came here and was most surprised that he couldn’t find any cords,” Lynch, who buries his electrical wiring underground, said. “I told him I challenged him to find a cord and he looked everywhere and couldn’t find anything.”
Lynch said he plans on continuing decorating for years to come as his house has become a hotspot for people from all over the borough.
“I can’t even walk out here some nights,” he said. “Sometimes you’ve got to park the car three or four blocks away. I get a good 200,000 to 300,000 people each year, easy. But it’s once a year and I like seeing the kids enjoying the lights.”
He added that his grass grows back full and green each year.