BERKELEY HEIGHTS - Each year, the competition for Berkeley Heights’ Battle of the Bulbs gets better and better. This year, Todd Najarian has set a new standard for the annual holiday decorating contest.

Najarian, and his wife were overwhelming winners by the panel of judges representing the Berkeley Heights Business and Civic association, presenting sponsors. 

 “Wow” was the comment most turned in by the judges, who scored the house at 30 Camptown Drive for the total number, creativity and use of lights. According to Najarian, who started decorating his home in October, there are more than 8,000 lights on his property. He figures it took more than 100 hours to complete.

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“We do it for our kids,” he said mentioning how his four- and six-year-old are the prime age for enjoying the festivities. He has lived in town for two and half years but began decorating his homes when he lived in Boston seven years ago. 

The design really caught notice when Hans Tielman of Pine Valley Tree Service, an amateur photographer, posted a video on Facebook that was shot high above the house from his drone. 

“I knew something was going on when he kept renting ladders,” said Paul Neuwirth, owner of Taylor Rental and one of the sponsors of the third annual competition. 

The Battle of the Bulbs competition is sponsored by the following Berkeley Heights Business and Civic Community members: Smith Chiropractic, Taylor Rental Center, TAPinto Berkeley Heights, Liss Printing, The Liberty Group, GRA Architecture, Edward Jones, Paras & Paras Commercial Realtors, and Berkeley Heights YMCA.  

This year saw several new nominations as well as a few homes that participated in the past. 

The home at 325 Diamond Hill Road was awarded second place for its variety of decorations and well-rounded light display; the home at 17 Robbins Ave, with a wonderful Snowman theme, was awarded third place.  Winners received gift certificates from local restaurants Goodmans Deli – 1st - $150; Delicious Heights – 2nd - $100 [both donated by the restaurants] and DiMaio’s -3rd - $50.00. Homes at 71 Delmore Ave and 81 Delmore Ave were also finalists in this year’s contest. This was the third year that BH Business and Civic has sponsored the “Battle of the Bulbs” competition.

The holiday lights competition is open to all residents of Berkeley Heights. Homeowners may nominate themselves. Nominations were collected online by TAPinto Berkeley Heights, or by dropping off your vote in the ballot box located at Taylor Rental Center or Anything Floral.

George and Mayor Angie Devanney were winners of the inaugural contest; Chris Tribuna of BalloonDesign Studio of Berkeley Heights, was the winner last year. Each year’s winners are asked to join the panel of judges. 

Video credit: @thebadhans