Christmas light spectaculars: From Rockefeller Center to the suburban Australian home

With Christmas around the corner, Australian households have stopped worrying about electricity bills, and instead have turned their homes into garish beacons of light, some of them surely visible from the moon.

According to Wikipedia, Australians are among the biggest fans of the tradition of decorating homes, with hundreds and sometimes thousands of tiny lights. This miner's cottage in Wollongong is hardly visible in the darkness under the Christmas lights.


What first began as way to light up a veranda to enjoy a cold beer has turned into something of an obsession for some home owners, with the Lobethal Valley in the Adelaide Hills claiming to have the largest Community Christmas Light Display in the southern hemisphere.

Adelaidians flock to the nearby Adelaide Hills in the run-up to Christmas for a view of the twinkling lights in the valley (pictured below) and possibly to quaff a glass of wine or two.



Among the most famous Christmas lights are those in New York’s Rockefeller Center with its enormous Christmas tree, a world-wide symbol of the holidays in New York City. This year’s tree was hoisted into position by a giant crane and is decorated with more than 30,000 multi-colored, energy-efficient LED lights, and crowned by a Swarovski star. The tree came to ‘light’ on November 28


Another celebrated Manhattan landmark, the Empire State Building, has a new LED lighting system, which allows effects such as ripples, cross-fades, sparkles, sweeps, strobes and bursts with an range of colours.

The world’s most celebrated skyscraper is now decked out in colours of red and green for Christmas:


A few weeks ago it was colours of blue and white to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah:




London’s most famous department store, Harrods, turned on its Christmas lights in November, complete with fireworks, with the lights delineating the enormous shoppers’ mecca.


And it would be wrong (perhaps even sinful) not to include mention of the lights of the most famous boulevard in the world, the Champs-Elysées in Paris.


Closer to home, both Melbourne and Sydney are getting into the Christmas spirit.

Looking perhaps more psychedelic than Christmas, Melbourne Town Hall is wrapped in a red bow.


Sydney has gone more high-tech with this Town Hall covered in colourful projections.


And then there’s always the humble Australian home, lit up like, well, a Christmas tree.

There’s this home in Caramar, Perth:


And this more considered display in Kew, Melbourne:


In Sydney, you’ll be hard pressed to miss this home in Riverwoods.


For more colourful Aussie inspirations, try this dedicated website.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer


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