Frohe Festtage Von Weinhem! (Or A Music-driven Holiday Light Display for MongoDB Hackers)


Want to tweet out a personalized holiday video to your friends?  Heckenlights is a Christmas lights installation playing Christmas songs that lets viewers customize and share it.

Heckenlights was created by software developer Mark Paluch (@mp911de) who thought it was time to introduce some American-style holiday bling to his hometown of Weinheim, Germany. A year ago, he built a lighting display that illuminates his home and yard. He synched the display with the ever-popular “Jingle Bells” tune, then posted it to YouTube for everyone to enjoy. All he needed were some Christmas lights, a relay and a few lines of code.

This year, Heckenlights is visible through a live stream ( embedded on as soon as it’s dark in Germany. The current audio track and Tweets containing #Heckenlights are visible in real-time at Paluch’s home.  People can interact with Heckenlights in several ways:

  • Watch & Listen – To enjoy the display, simply log in to;
  • Customize and share – Personalize the presentation with your own music – whether its Jingle Bells, or a tune from Nirvana or Justin Bieber – then share the creation with friends via Twitter;
  • Compose – To extend the Christmas cheer to other developers, Paluch has published the code for his Heckenlights project at Github.

  Viewing and posting / uploading music tracks is free with no registration required.

For the foundation of Heckenlights, Paluch turned to the TokuMX, a distribution of MongoDB from Tokutek, Inc., that gave him free rein to build an online, open source project that could scale over time. In fact, TokuMX is the perfect data store for Heckenlights because it easily accommodates unstructured data for video, sound and personalized interactions.

Tokutek appreciates all the holiday spirit that went into Heckenlights and invites MongoDB hackers everywhere to dip into the code and make their own holiday statements.

Heckenlights is available every evening from 5:00 p.m.  CET, Dec. 1, 2014 to Jan. 6, 2015.



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