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Post 6- The Northern Lights

There are so many great houses worth seeing North of Brisbane's CBD.

Jess and I kicked off a little tour (along with the 97.3 Saturday night party mix, woo!) of the best of the North starting with the Winner of the Best Small Business Display at 15 Graham Road Morayfield. Inviting the community into a spacious front open carpark of a childcare centre, there were plenty of things for the family to check out around the fence line from the nativity setting to a teddy bear picnic. I feel the exhibit could have taken more advantage of the vast open flat concrete car parking lot, as the overall environment felt to sparse of lights and of that intimacy you get from a beautiful full display or that wow factor when vast space is taken advantage of. Not a must see.

The winner of not only the best of the North lights but also Best Lighting Display in Brisbane went to 25 Addison Court in Morayfield. An impressive display taking advantage of the home owners large front yard. A collection of exciting experiences for the young and young at heart including snow machines, interactive displays, bubble machines and train rides! I'm a little torn though with this one winning Best Display in Brisbane. Yes it's an entertaining display, and yes it is by far the most engaging with a local community but the lack of clever design concepts (the usual garden marker bed layouts, stock standard Bunnings lights and figurines, colour mix not well thought out), the non use of the vast vertical space of the property (so many towering trees) and the emptiness of some of the areas of there property of light really let them down on my scale. I feel there are greater displays that have clever and simpler concepts that are better than this one. 4KQ, you advertise this competition as a light show not most community engaged. Maybe that should be a category? However despite my picks at it, its definitely worth the drive checking out. Bring the kids if you have some lying around.

From there Jess and I set off for 8 Barnowl Court. Somewhere along the journey along the dark road on the outskirts of the city, the cars GPS accuracy started playing up. After some quick swaps to Google maps and rediscovering where we were again, we miraculously ended up instead at the Best North Runner up Display at 12 Ridge View Drive, Narangba. Overall if you were to judge the houses truely on lighting merit, this house vs the winning Addison Court house is one step above. The house has a collection of great exhibits involving projection of an elves workshop happening inside the house, a snow machine and some great use of colour in the themed gardens. There were some interesting new light displays at this house I've never seen before, like this chasing star thing. I felt the image of some of the light sculptures became a little lost amongst the lights of the garden and the house. I also felt the display was missing a central design element or idea to complete the picture. All in all, a great display worth checking out!

Upon getting back in the car to head back to 8 Barnowl Court, the car found the GPS signal found our car again! Hooray for no more getting lost! The Barnowl display is a great display to check out if you just want to see a great classic house lit up. There's no reliance on little dioramas or transits, just a great use and balance of colour, lights and movement in combination with the property's architecture. So may hidden surprises, make sure you get out and have a look and appreciate the nuances. This is one of the first displays of the year so far that inspires me. This is just around the corner from the Ridge View Drive property and definitely worth checking out if you're in the area.

From there we head to 12 Elm Drive in Murrumba Downs, via a small drive by of a display at 46 Nicklaus Pde on the shores of North lakes. Not an exhibit really worth checking out. The Elm Drive display is worth checking out, with a lot of effort going into it's presentation. It certain wasn't the best display of the night but it was full of great ideas. A pity no-one else was there checking it out, it felt empty, and with no sounds the display lacked a bit of atmosphere and felt awkward.

We then made a turn west and headed out to a quaint display at 4 Gordon's Crossing Road in Joyner. A display which had a live visit from Santa Claus! A lot of work has been put in by this elderly couple with a great garage full of stuffed toys and Christmas themed displays but I felt there was no great design sense to the lighting choice and the execution of it felt very messy. A cute display for the family but not a great one if you want to get inspired by great lighting designs and concept.

116 Board Street Deagon is the Winner of the Best Church or Community group display (which I suppose made the guys at the Chermside West Church bitter- their lights were off- sore losers). Some great ideas, like the curtain of LED lights and with an abundance of illuminated figures has a ver festive feel. I do think this displays largely ignores it's architecture and with a lack of colour theming doesn't offer a fully realised design concept or story. There is a Christmas stall for all your Yuletide religious related take home propaganda.

'Grandma's Christmas Garden' is the name of the exhibit that can be found at 4 Huron Street in Banyo. This sentimental display welcomes you into a beautiful front garden with a fairy garden, a large central tree draped in white and blue fairy lights creating intimacy through a beautiful magical canopy of light. The house had some great themes and used colour very well to help deaf them. The display doesn't rely on a lot of inflatable light up toys or figurines which is a welcome change. One of the only bummers of this exhibit was the shotty rope light not following the colour theme of the exhibit of the architecture of the front fence.

The final exhibit we got to for the night is at 36 Sugarloaf St in Wavell Heights. A great one to finish on as this is the winner of the best Synchronised lights and music display in Brisbane and upon view, it certainly lived up to it's name. With a group of four singing light bulbs along the front balcony and some simple outlining of the house architecture with LED tape, the display adequately uses colour, timing and effects to showcase and complement some great Christmas tunes. There was even a smoke machine which was a bit of a gimmick, not sure how it helped at all with no beam lighting fixtures or fire effect to assimilate. Maybe a bubble machine or snow machine may have been more appropriate? You can tell a lot of time and energy went in to the programming of this display. Definitely worth getting to. You could spend an hour here watching the different numbers and getting lost in the flashing lights, bring your deck chair and a beer!

We tried to check out the lights at a church on Maundrell Tce in Chermside West, but by the time we arrived it was 9.58pm and the lights were already off. Oh well, they didn't win anyway!

That's my thoughts for the Northside! I would love to make it to Redcliffe to check out some more around there, but may not be for another week or so. With only the East side left! Stay tuned for the next post!

Happy hunting!

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