Lighting the way to festive homes
A HIGHLIGHT of the festive season is jumping in the car and touring suburbia to see houses lit up like Christmas trees in celebration of Santa's impending trip down under.
It is an annual tradition for Damon Casson and his sister, who enjoy looking at houses adorned in holiday cheer.
It is also an annual tradition for the brother sister duo to get lost along the way due to what Mr Casson says is his sister's poor navigational skills.
But that all changed in November last year when Mr Casson conjured up an idea to provide a Christmas light's route.
Map My Lights is a website and app creates a route that lights the roads leading you to the most festive houses in your neighbourhood.
Although most media provide maps of decorated domains, Mr Casson said the aim of the app is to "save people from driving to and fro across town looking for lights and a way of making it easier."
The app works formulating a route from residents registering their addresses with Map My Lights in what he says is the first of its kind in the state and even the country.
Map My lights was piloted last Christmas in Mr Casson's home town in Armidale where he described it as a big success with a large uptake of 65 registered homes.
"I honestly didn't expect it to be as popular as what it was," Mr Casson said.
He has received positive feedback from mothers in particular who said the app saved them time and fuel driving back and forth across town with frustrated young children.
Mr Casson said the significant positive feedback drove him to expand the program into the Northern Rivers.
So far, numbers are small with about 28 houses registered on the North Coast but Mr Casson hopes to increase the response in the community.
Mr Casson is considering growing the app to include a map for trick or treating for kids and families celebrating Halloween.
To find out more visit the Map My Lights website.