Regulating Christmas Lights?

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

One of my fondest memories growing up was coming home at night this time of the year and seeing what seemed like our whole subdivision lit-up with Christmas lights.  It was absolutely magical.

My favorite displays were the homes and yards decorated with those big, inefficient, multi-colored lights.  We used to get so excited as kids when the Christmas lights were turned on because we knew that Santa Claus would soon come with lots of presents.

Old-school, large bulb Christmas lights bring back so many great memories

Old-school, large bulb Christmas lights bring back so many great memories

Today, these displays have gone high-tech.  With the innovation of LED lights and really good computer programs, just about anyone can create a Christmas light show in their front yard.  Although, these displays are very creative and cool there can be a downside to them that can dampen the holiday spirit.  What if your neighbor decided to create a Vegas-style production with lights that pulsed, strobed, and flashed like Times Square?   What if hundreds of people made the pilgrimage to your street every night to check it out?  What would you do?

Most likely you would call us to report the nuisance.  Well, the City of Auburn Hills does not have an ordinance regulating Christmas light displays – nor do we plan to adopt one.  But, I wonder what we would do if that “call” comes some day.

Check out this YouTube video (click here to view) that has gone viral of an amazing Christmas light show at a home in Cedar Park, Texas set to the catchy hit song Gangnam Style by the South Korean rapper PSY.  Note:  This video may not play on some mobile devices due to music copyright restrictions.

What would you do if this light show was occurring next to your home?  What would we do?  I guess we’ll cross that bridge, when that day comes.