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Holiday light violations (photos)

Over the years, we’ve developed a set of guidelines for holiday lights. Every holiday season we distribute citations to local residences for exceptionally good (and exceptionally bad) light displays.

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Topic: Legal
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1 of 14 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

Over the years, we’ve developed a set of guidelines for holiday lights. Every holiday season we distribute citations to local residences for exceptionally good (and exceptionally bad) light displays.


Commendations

 

Exceptional Display: Well coordinated, perhaps including music; may be way over the top, but in a pleasing manner. Display is either very elegant or outrageously fun and attracts positive attention to the neighborhood.

Pleasant Coordination: Light type and color are well matched or mixed in a pleasing fashion.

Music: Audible music as part of display. Bonus points for unusual or cool holiday music, such as oldies by Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby or Burl Ives.

Violations


Bulb Clashing: Mixing of big and little bulbs, mixing of white and colored lights, in an uncoordinated manner.

Poor Maintenance: Lights are burned out in and creating gaps in display, figures knocked over.

Uncoordinated: Strands of light blinking out of sequence, clashing colors.

Laziness: Sloppy strand work, especially on deciduous trees which should be strung along branches and twigs and not sparsely wrapped around the tree. Or, not using an extension cord to bring the strand of lights to the object to be lit, so that you see the string of lights along the base of the object.

Mixed Iconography: Religious and Secular should not be part of the same display. Santa was not part of the nativity scene. Nor was Rudolph one of the animals in the manger.

Inappropriate Color Use: Christmas is red, white and green. Blue should not be used unless you are Jewish, neon Blue should almost NEVER be used.

Timing: Displays may be lit from dusk until 11PM (or earlier, if required by local ordinance). Your neighbors might want to go to sleep sometime without 10,000 watts of light shining in their bedroom keeping them awake.

Date: Displays may begin on the Friday after Thanksgiving and must come down no later than the Sunday following Epiphany.

Multimedia Distraction: Blaring music or flashing lights that may be hazardous, especially on busy roads.
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2 of 14 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

Here we have a case of particularly sloppy strand work on a tree. The strands seem to have been “wrapped” rather than running light strings up the branches.

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3 of 14 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

The house itself doesn’t look bad, but the sloppy strandwork on the tree trunks just makes the whole display look crappy. If you live in Florida or other tropical climate, make sure you don't do this with Palm trees.

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4 of 14 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

Here is what good strandwork on a tree should look like - this is a tree at a local hospital, and obviously they put a huge amount of effort into it.

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5 of 14 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

This is a case of bad light maintenance. If you’re going to bother putting up lights, make sure they are functioning properly and replace bulbs when they go out.

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6 of 14 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

This house is just pathetic. Santa’s been knocked over by the wind and looks like he’s passed out from drinking too much eggnog. The blinking light display is out of sequence and has parts burned out.

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7 of 14 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

Again, sloppy strandwork, and to add insult to injury, the obnoxious neon blue lights over the garage which makes the whole thing look asymmetrical.

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8 of 14 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

Another case in which sloppy strandwork on the shrubbery sets the whole concept off, which was otherwise executed semi-decently. The vertical lights to the left of the door is a ladder with toys climbing up it. Might have been nice to shine a spotlight on that feature to have it visible at night.

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9 of 14 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

This house is a mish-mosh of white, small colored and large colored globe lights. Uncoordinated.

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10 of 14 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

In this case, the globe lights are used exclusively and yields a simple, classy and elegant display.

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11 of 14 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

This is what we consider to be a pristine example of an excellent, well-coordinated, over the top light display. Tremendous care was put into the the stranding, colors are used as accents, and not one element stands out against everything else. And to add extra points, Frank Sinatra music is being pumped out.

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12 of 14 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

By contrast this display is simple and elegant.

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13 of 14 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

While we generally feel that blue lights clash with the classic red and green, this house uses it as a primary focal element and does a particularly good job when mixed with the basic white lights.

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14 of 14 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

On this one I’m conflicted. This is an awesome display, but should the New York Stock Exchange really be footing such a huge electric bill considering the uh, mess Wall Street has got us into?

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