Explainer: 10 Christmas light shows sure to blow the grid

  • Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    Chances are you have a Clark Griswold in your neighborhood that goes all out each year with the holiday decorations. Maybe you are that Clark Griswold. Either way, it would be hard to compete with the ten displays featured here. These are the kind of displays that can bring down an entire power grid, back up traffic and have neighbors assembling with torches. If the melting of the polar ice caps accelerates this month, you'll know who to blame.

  • Pure energy

    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    Did you know that a solar flare explodes with a force equivalent to tens of millions of hydrogen bombs? Oh wait, that's not a picture of the sun. It's a picture of a house decorated for Christmas. My mistake. Ugly Christmas Lights

  • The Christmas Truck

    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    Decorating your house and yard is one thing, but it's quite another when the obsession extends to vehicles. All it took was 3,000 lights, some tape, a generator and a dash of poor taste to give birth to what has become known as simply "The Christmas Truck". Jalopnik

  • Musical lights

    Syncing up Christmas lights to music became a real big thing several years ago due, in large part, to the success of a Christmas display featured on YouTube (and later, in beer commercials) that was created by an electrical engineer in Mason, Ohio named Carson Williams. Since then, many homeowners have put their own spin on the concept — often taking it to bizarre new places. An example of this can be found in the following video featuring 26,200 LED lights synched to the truly hideous late '80s novelty song Star Trekkin'. Needless to say, a whole Hatfield-and-McCoy situation is probably brewing with the neighbor to the left. YouTube

    Related story from Nerd Approved: How to build your own Lego Death Star Christmas ornament

  • A noble cause

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    Alex Goodhind, an electrician living in the UK, decided to take his Christmas decorations to another level a few years back with a display consisting of 100,000 fairy lights. In order to get the job done, he spent over $1300 to install a factory strength 145 amp power line to his home and an additional $1000 on electricity bills over a three week period. However, there is a plus side to single-handedly setting back the fight on global warming — the display raises over $4600 per year for a local hospice. Metro

  • Making a game of it

    A man named Ric Turner has taken the idea of Christmas light syncing in a direction that might be a little more ambitious but no less annoying. Basically, he uses the lights to turn his entire yard into a giant video game. Last year he programmed the lights to work with the game Guitar Hero on the Wii and this year he created a custom game on the PC called Snowball Blaster! that involves dodging electric snowballs with a controller while sitting in a sleigh simulator parked in the driveway. YouTube

    Related story from Nerd Approved: Tron illusion Christmas lights video

  • Tangled glory

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    You know how Christmas lights tend to become a knotted mess while in storage? Well, this whole house looks like that. It's as if the knotted tangle of cords were so impossible to overcome that the homeowner just dumped the entire lot on the house and yard, plugged it in and called it a day. UnusualLife

  • Prickly Christmas

    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    Just because you live in the desert doesn't mean you can't overdo a Christmas display. As we all know, Las Vegas has a long and storied history of tacky light shows. If you happen to be in Vegas during Christmastime, you can pay a visit to Ethel M. Chocolates and their enormous botanical cactus garden. Apparently, they do a great job of lighting it up for the holidays. Flickr

    Related story from Nerd Approved: The handyman's Christmas tree

  • 1 million lights

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    The Faucher family in Delaware has been making extreme holiday displays for over 25 years now, and their most recent projects feature as many as 1 million lights. This ensures that Santa can find their house, no matter what hemisphere he happens to be on. HGTV via CubicleBot

  • Yuletide yachts

    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    As you can see, there isn't much need for a lighthouse during the historic Christmas Boat Parade at Newport Beach, Calif. Cruises are available during the entire month of December, but the main attractions are the Parade of Lights cruises that take place from December 15th through the 19th. The tour highlights decorated estates along the waterfront as well as hundreds of illuminated yachts. Christmas Boat Parade

  • Christmas army

    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    The man behind this holiday house must have taken cues from the first Emperor of China and his legendary terracotta army. These inanimate objects stand as if they are prepared to defend Christmas at all costs. Toy soldiers are the first wave, followed by a giant Mickey Mouse, Pooh bear and snowman. If those lines break, Spongebob is on the roof ready to swoop down on the enemy. Death from above! Ugly Christmas Lights

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