ALPINE, Utah (ABC4) — If there’s a way to build it, Justin Aden will do it. For over a decade, the Alpine resident has made his creative ideas come to life, from a real-life Hobbit house in Idaho to electric car conversions and fun light displays.
Aden’s miniature version is made of 20,000 LED lights and is eight feet around — although it’s not quite as big, it’s got the same big idea — to transport people to another world.
“They can’t maybe go to Vegas and see the sphere, go to Disneyland and see the castle or whatever. But we can do a little bit of that here and just make people smile for the moment that they come by and see it,” he remarked on the project.
Aden shared that once he saw the Las Vegas sphere, he knew he had to make his own version. He and some friends got to work on engineering a frame and unveiled the mini sphere last month. It stands right in his backyard in Alpine by Healey Park, making it easy to access and see.
Some of the displays on the mini sphere include faces, an aquarium, and the Death Star from Star Wars.
Aden is always brainstorming what else he can put. He said people passing by have been loving it, and even suggesting what they’d like to see next.
“People think it’s pretty cool. It’s fun to see their face at first and have them kind of wondering ‘what in the world is this thing’ and then when they watch it, it’s it’s a lot of fun too. They’ll dance with the music and it’s fun to watch them watch it,” he said.
Aden says he’s an anesthesiologist and didn’t have experience in these kinds of builds before. He has taught himself how to make his ideas come to life and shares what he’s learned on his YouTube Channel.
For him, it started when he went to a Maker Faire in 2014 for the first time.
“I’d never heard of it. I didn’t know what it was. A friend invited me to go and I went and I had no idea that there were that many people that did this kind of stuff, that just made stuff that they just enjoyed, like figuring out what they could do and how they could make some magical, weird thing,” he said. “I had found my people and this was my tribe. And since then, I just have embraced it.”
As far as his LED experience goes, it started in 2016, inspired by his daughter’s request.
“…Our daughter, who’s now 17, said, ‘Dad, wouldn’t it be great if we could have lights on the house that, you know, that stayed up past Christmas that were like pink for Valentine’s Day, red, white and blue for 4th of July’ and all this. And I said, you know what? Yeah, that would be really cool.”
He hopes that, through his creations, he can make others smile and inspire them to know they can accomplish — or build — anything they set their minds to.
“I think that people can do a lot more than they think they can,” he said. “We kind of always are looking for something better, always trying to make something better or new or different. And I’ve found in my life when I do that, I feel really good… I think if people other people catch on and figure out what it is that they can do, and do it, and get that same satisfaction, that’ll make me happy.”
If you want to check out the mini sphere, Aden plans on having it running each night from when it gets dark to 9:30 p.m. Going forward, he would like to take the mini sphere to parades, sports games, and other community events, as well as get it to Las Vegas to take a picture with it and the sphere that inspired him.