Steve Greer used 600 lights just for his yard sign that reads "Tune to 93.5" and leads listeners to the broadcasted music that sets the beat for his blinking light display outside the house he and his wife, Barbara, live in on Sandy Spring Road.

Greer said he taught himself how to program the lights to follow the music, and set up the display over a couple of weekends. But he didn't add any lights to his roof.

"I just don't like heights," Greer said.

A first-place winner on Ninth Street, the home of Anne Kennedy is tucked away down a long driveway. But a multitude of lights in all colors outline windows and doors and are spread across shrubs under the window, making the house visible from the street.

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Three houses on Prince George Street were winners. Greg and Peggy Sweitzer's Victorian home in the 600 block, with traditional decorations, is across the street from a more modern scene: Ernest Johnson's award-winning front yard, which overflows with inflatable snowmen, santas and even the Grinch in his sleigh.

Two blocks away, another Victorian was a repeat winner in the contest. Karen Lubieniecki said she and her husband, Ken Skrivseth, "tweeked" their display this year, adding some brass planters they picked up from a giveaway on their neighborhood listserve and some lighted packages and new trees.

The bright blue lights at the entrance to Steward Manor Apartments off Route 197 was the only winner that wasn't a single family home. Leasing manager Debbie Gunson said the owner, Southern Management, hires a decorating company, but the property managers tell them what they want and where they want it, choosing blue lights and a big wreath on the building this year.

This was a repeat win for the apartment complex, but it was a nice surprise, Gunson said.

"When I got to work and saw the sign, it was nice to see it, I was pretty excited," she said. "It made us feel good that people were acknowledging what we do for the residents."

2012 Holiday Contest winners

First place:

7210 Sandy Spring Road, Steve Greg

619 Ninth St., Anne Kennedy

14221 Oakpointe Drive, Gene and Ann Elizabeth Zibrat

Second place:

909 Nichols Drive, Lardis and Sara Turney

401 Domer Ave., Christina Tellor

Steward Manor Apartments

421 Prince George St., Karen Lubieniecki and Ken Skrivseth

1026 Harrison Drive, Kelly, Chris and Kasey Pickett

Third place:

609 Prince George St., Greg and Peggy Sweitzer

612 Prince George St., Ernest Johnson