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How to Take Your Christmas Lights to the Next Level

Posted on December 2, 2022
An intricate holiday light display in Raleigh, NC

Bradshaw's Holiday Light Display in Knightdale, NC

If you’re reading this article, Christmas isn’t just another holiday for you.

It’s a warm time of year to come together and create lasting memories with loved ones. But it’s also a great time to express your creativity with Christmas lights and extravagant decorations.

Maybe you’re tired of the same boring set of lights hanging from your roof or saw another display that sparked some inspiration. Either way, the options are virtually endless and you can make it as bright and fun as your heart desires.

Below, we share five of the best ways you can take your Christmas lights to the next level:

1. Synchronize with music 

There’s truly nothing better than some Christmas tunes. Level up your Christmas lights display this year by synchronizing your lights with songs that everyone knows and loves. 

If you decide to go this route, you’ll need to choose whether you want to sync up a portion of your light display or your entire home. Depending on the look that you’re going for, you’ll know best! Once you know where the lights will be synced, you’ll have to buy some sort of system. You can either go with a completely built-out system, a kit, or a DIY system if you’re handy. 

You can buy a system at really any tech store near you or find one on Amazon

Home Example: Elves with Attitude in Des Moines, IA

2-story home with Christmas lights, synced to music
Photography | Elves with Attitude Facebook Page

This family's light show runs for approximately 25 minutes, from 5pm - 10pm daily.  They feature 21,000 LEDs -- all synchronized to music! Check out their facebook page.

2. Make it a theme 

Switch it up this year by turning your entire home into a specific theme. Maybe it’s a theme around Christmas or your family’s favorite movie. Either way, a theme helps to bring your home to life and align all the decorations and lights you need to purchase. 

Here are some theme ideas to get you started: 

  • Movies (whether Christmas-related or not!) 
  • Geographic location 
  • Animals 
  • Anything Christmas-themed 

Home Example: Paulie’s Penguin Playground in Kansas City, MO


If you haven’t already guessed, Paulie’s Penguin Playground is completely penguin themed. With over 140 inflatables (mostly penguins) displayed throughout the Craig family’s yard, this stop has become an attraction for many far and wide because of the quirky theme!  

3. Add interactive displays 

Engage onlookers as they pass by with interactive display elements! This is your chance to get creative and build something that is a must for everyone going on Christmas light tours in your town. 

Interactive displays are also extra fun for the kids and can build a sense of community and connection which has become more important than ever after the past few COVID-19 Christmases. 

You can make your Christmas light display interactive by: 

  • Serving hot chocolate 
  • Preparing baked goods 
  • Creating a maze 
  • Building a ride 
  • Adding a game 

Home Example: Bill McVicker’s Annual Holiday Project in Fairview Park, OH



Probably our favorite example of interactive displays is Bill McVicker’s street in Fairview Park, OH! Bill not only has a powerful story backing the creation of his extravagant displays, but he also pours his heart and soul into each light and decoration to make sure it’s the best it can be. One of his displays that he’s most proud of is his sidewalk tunnel which spans over 30ft with 8000 LEDs for participants to enjoy. 

4. Tell a story 

There’s really nothing better than a good story. Storytelling draws people in, it allows audiences to connect with you and your message on a much deeper level. Whether they can relate to your story, admire it, or get inspired by it, stories are a powerful tool. 

That’s why it’s a great idea to think about adding stories to your Christmas light displays this year. Is there a reason why you’ve been decorating your home? Has it been a family tradition or maybe it’s dedicated to a cause that you care deeply about or has impacted your family? 

Whatever it may be, share it with all who come to your Christmas light displays. You can either print out pamphlets that tell the story, share them online, use them to connect with people who come to your home, or design it right into your light display. 

Home Example: The Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, MO


A great story is with The Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. The Country Club Plaza is almost 100 years old (wow)! Every year, the Plaza is home to the annual Plaza Lights which officially light up on Thanksgiving night. The story comes in when this tradition first began in 1925 with one doorway having a single strand of lights. Families for decades have had amazing memories of this lighting that they get to share and pass down to their children and grandchildren. 

5. Experiment with colors

When most people think about Christmas, red and green come to mind. But that’s plain and traditional… if you want to make your Christmas lights really “pop” and stand out from the crowd (or your neighbors), experiment with different colors.

If the above approaches don’t suit your style, make your display bright and beautiful by dazzling everyone with a unique color story. Much like the Lights on Goswick did below. Their incredible display makes use of numerous different colors and it looks absolutely stunning.

Home Example: Lights on Goswick in Raleigh, NC


A beautiful display of color is visually appealing and an easy way to make sure your lights are different from the next house. There’s nothing off limits in this regard and you can be as bright and bold as you desire.

Whether it’s with lights or decorations, it’s always fun to experiment and try something new.

Want to discover more Christmas lights like these?

Check out the Built Story App for the most incredible Christmas light tours around the country!

Each route is designed to ensure you get maximum light viewing, with the least amount of driving. We’ve also built-in step-by-step navigation—making each light tour easy-breezy, cozy, and brilliant. 

It’s the perfect way to squeeze in a break from the busy shopping and planning of the holidays.

All tours are now up and running! Add yourself to the email list and we’ll be sure to send you updates on all the Christmas light festivities.

Happy holidays!

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