We have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions for entrants below.
Still have questions? Contact us via [email protected] or (07) 3810 6085.


How does the judging process work?

All entrants images and videos are reviewed by a selection panel and a list of finalists is determined. The finalists are then visited by the judging team on Wednesday 29 November.  Finalists are acknowledged publicly on the lights locations map. Once again, this year all Christmas Lights Competition entrants will be invited to the Winners Announcement in St Nicholas Precinct on Friday 8 December. Winners are announced to the public following the Christmas Lights Winners Announcement event.


Who will be judging my display?

The judging is conducted by local celebrities and partners of the competition. The selection panel will review all entrants images and videos and a list of finalists will be determined. They will then travel around the region on the night of Wednesday 29 November to visit the finalists displays and conduct their final judging.

How will I know if I am a finalist?

Finalists will be notified via email or phone prior to the final judging evening on Wednesday 29 November.

When do I need to have my display on and visible for judging?

Lights must be turned on each night from 1 – 25 December. Judging of the finalists external display will be conducted on Wednesday 29 November between 6.30 pm – 10.30 pm. Finalists will be notified prior to final judging on Wednesday 29 November.

How do I find out who the winners of the Christmas Lights Competition are?

Winners of the Christmas Lights Competition can be found here.

How do I enter the Christmas Lights Competition?

Entry for the Christmas Lights Competition is done online. Enter here.

Is there any cost involved to enter the Christmas Lights Competition?

There is no cost to enter the Christmas Lights Competition. Entrants are responsible for all costs associated with their display.

How many categories can I enter into as part of the Christmas Lights Competition?

Entrants can enter into one of the following categories, Residential, Business/Organisation or New Entry. Streets with three or more participating homes or businesses can also enter the Best Street. All entrants will be automatically entered into the People’s Choice.

What is the criteria for a ‘New Entry’ in the Christmas Lights Competition?

This must be the first time you have entered your home or business in the City of Ipswich Christmas Lights Competition to be classified as a ‘New Entry’.

What is the criteria for a ‘Best Street’ in the Christmas Lights Competition?

Three or more homes, businesses or organisations from the same street are required to participate and enter the competition to be eligible for the Best Street. All displays must also register individually and provide the main contact for their street as part of the entry process.

What is the ‘Listing Only’ Christmas Lights Competition category?

Members of the community who do not wish to be part of the competition (or Ipswich City Council employees) but still want to encourage the community to visit their display can submit a ‘Listing Only’ entry for public viewing. Listing Only entries will not be judged and are not eligible to win a prize in the competition (including but not limited to the People’s Choice).

How will Ipswich City Council assist and support Christmas lights entrants?

Council has produced a design and safety ‘tips and tricks information sheet for entrants with expert lighting design advice and safety tips from Energex. Council will also promote the safe viewing of the City of Ipswich Christmas Lights Competition entries through the Christmas in Ipswich marketing campaign and the Ipswich Festivals social media channels and website.

Does Council cover any risks or permits associated with my Christmas lights display?

Entrants need to consider the impact their display (and compliance with any restrictions or directions) will have on the safety of vehicular and pedestrian traffic and must plan to ensure that any risks are minimised, including obtaining any relevant permits. 


Where are my contact details shared/stored?

Your display address and business details (if applicable) are displayed publicly for viewing of your lights display. All other contact details are handled as per the Council Personal Information Digest which can be found HERE.

How many and what size photos do I need to submit my entry?

Please upload a minimum of two and a maximum of five photos of your lights display. Don’t forget to upload the very best photos of your display, as these will be viewed by our judges and the public when voting for the People’s Choice. NOTE: The first photo uploaded will appear as your listing photo in the People’s Choice gallery, so be sure to highlight the full display. Minimum file size is 1MB and maximum file size is 10MB.

The photographs I have taken to submit with my entry don’t capture the impact of my display, what should I do?

To ensure your photo/s are of the highest quality (as they are used for the People’s Choice voting and reviewed by the judges) use the tips below:

  1. Start photographing your lights around dusk – this is the best time of day to get the perfect shot of your lights display.
  2. Act fast – light changes so quickly between sunset and nightfall, each minute will bring slightly different lighting conditions.
  3. Forget the flash.
  4. Fill your frame – fill it with everything you are trying to capture.
  5. If using an IPhone try using burst mode, this will take a number of shots each time and you can go back later and select the best ones.
Do I need to display anything to identify I am a part of the Christmas Lights Competition?

Yes, all entrants must display the official Christmas lights corflute sign (or window decal for businesses/organisations) in a prominent well-lit position during the competition period.  

Entrants will be supplied with key information on when and where signage is available for collection.

*Please note: ‘Listing Only’ entrants are not required to display a sign.

How do I remove my Christmas Lights Competition entry if I change my mind?

If you would like to remove your Christmas Lights Competition entry please contact us via [email protected].


How does the ‘People’s Choice’ voting work?

All entrants (except ‘Listing Only’) will automatically be entered into the ‘People’s Choice’ competition. During the voting period (1 – 4 December) members of the public can submit one online vote for their favourite display.

When and where does the People’s Choice Voting take place?

The People’s Choice voting takes place online from 9.00 am Friday 1 December – 9.00 am Monday 4 December.

How is the winner of the People’s Choice selected?

The winner of the People’s Choice will be determined according to which entry receives the most votes lodged online during the voting period which commences at 9.00 am Friday 1 December and closes at 9.00 am Monday 4 December.

Can I vote for my own display in the People’s Choice?

Yes, voting is limited to one per person.

How many votes can I submit to support my favourite display?

Voting is limited to one per person.

When I try to vote from my workplace, I receive the message ‘already voted’ but I haven’t already voted, what can I do?

Simply try from home or your mobile device.



I’m concerned about the electrical safety of my display, where can I find further information and assistance?

Our Christmas Lights Competition Safety Partner Energex have provided electrical safety tips to assist participants in reducing the risks associated with displaying Christmas lights. Read their tips HERE.


I’m a new entrant this year, I don’t know where to start, are you able to assist?

Yes, our creative designer has prepared some fantastic tips and tricks to help you not only design your display, but also to put it together safely. Our Christmas Lights Competition Safety Partner Energex have also prepared some dos and don’ts to keep in mind when it comes to electrical safety. These can be viewed HERE.


Ipswich City Council


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