App Lets You Find, Review Best Christmas Light Displays in Great Falls, McLean and Beyond

MapMuse has created an app that lets users find the best Christmas lights around.

A new app allows people to see the best Christmas lights displays around. (Photo by Alex McVeigh)
A new app allows people to see the best Christmas lights displays around. (Photo by Alex McVeigh)

By Alex McVeigh

One of the highlights of any holiday season is seeing those houses that not only have Christmas lights up, but have gone above and beyond to make their lights an experience. 

Sometimes this means light shows synced to music, or handmade decorations that can't be found anywhere else. No matter what you're looking for, Reston-based MapMuse has it covered with their Christmas Light Locator app. 

"MapMuse creates maps with hundreds of special interests and popular topics. As we were discussing ideas a few years ago, we thought of an app that could help people find the best Christmas lights around," said Mike Pilon, owner of MapMuse. "This year's we've rolled out an updated app for iOS 7 devices, as well as Android for the first time."

The app lets people find the displays closest to them, and even includes "reviews" and pictures of many displays, generated by the people who were there. 

"This app becomes more useful the more people use it, because they're the ones out on the roads, and they can submit locations and photos of the best displays," Pilon said. "We go through submissions every single day to make sure they're legit and up to date."

Pilon says this has a twofold purpose: to allow people to preview houses before they make the actual trip, or to simply see the displays if they aren't able to make it to the location. 

For Pilon, one display especially sticks out in the Northern Virginia area. 

"There's a house in the Great Falls-McLean that is just breathtaking," he said. "It's on Rocky Run Road and has more than 120,000 lights, all synchronized to music."

The app is available at the App Store and Google Play store, as well as on the web. There is a donate button on the app, and 50 percent of all donations will be given to the Salvation Army. 


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