Register for your free ZDNet membership or if you are already a member, sign in using your preferred method below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Again, sloppy strandwork, and to add insult to injury, the obnoxious neon blue lights over the garage which makes the whole thing look asymmetrical.
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.
This house is a mish-mosh of white, small colored and large colored globe lights. Uncoordinated.
In this case, the globe lights are used exclusively and yields a simple, classy and elegant display.
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.
By contrast this display is simple and elegant.
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?