Every year in December ambitious home owners in Virginia and Washington D.C. decorate their homes with many Christmas lights in a competition for the best decorated home. For many their electric bill for the month of December is at least $2000.00. Some displays are timed to music with changing lights. Others are static. All most all of these well decorated homes are in the suburbs with many in lonely secluded neighborhoods. Washington D.C. has only one well decorated home. All of the displays seen here are free of charge and the home owners do this for the joy of Christmas spirit.
I have spent many hours driving to these places and taking photos. Local websites like "Holly's Tacky Christmas Lights" can help give you directions. This is the website for Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. What I can say is that after taking many photos it is best to choose homes whose exterior is evenly lit. Playing around with curves or levels in photoshop can also help. Using the lighten shadows function can help add some lost shadow detail. Taking photos during twilight is also a good idea. I used a tripod for all many photos with time exposures of 1-5 seconds.
These homes will only have their lights up for a few more days at most so if you live in the area enjoy them while you can. Hours for most of the Christmas light displays are 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!