Meet the professional decorators behind Dyker Lights

The world-renowned Dyker Heights Christmas lights are now aglow for the holiday season — thanks to two private decorating companies, who hung most of the neighborhood’s extravagant displays, according to one of the businesses’ owners. 

“[We do] lights, wreaths, bows, special lights that twinkle all over,” said James Bonavita, who runs B&R Christmas Decorators. 

Since early November, workers from B&R Decorators — along with their main competitor, DiMeglio Decorators — have decked out around 85-percent of the neighborhood’s houses top-to-bottom in exorbitant holiday lights, helping to turn Dyker Heights into a hotbed of jolly tourists.

According to Bonavita, both companies have their own personal style — with B&R specializing in moving figures and unique pieces. 

“We do animated figures, figures that move,” he said. “[We have] one-of-a-kind ribbon imported from Italy.”

Each house takes between three and five days to decorate, according to Bonavita, who said the companies collaborate with homeowners to create their custom displays. Homeowners buy the lights and ornaments and reuse them year after year — but the displays and their assembly aren’t cheap.

“We don’t do a job for less than $1,000,” Bonavita said. 

Bonavita, a Bensonhurst native, said he got his start decorating Dyker’s houses 27 years ago, when his father told him that some novice decorators in Dyker Heights needed help. 

“I went and I showed them exactly what to do,” he said. “As I was working, people were passing by in their cars and saying, ‘You do lights?’” 

B&R has since grown into the area’s largest decorating business, serving more than 100 Dyker houses this year. 

DiMeglio started up a few years after B&R, and despite its close proximity to existing company, the two don’t see themselves as rivals, Bonavita claimed.

“We get along,” he said. “[They’re] more Bay Ridge and I’m more Dyker Heights. We don’t step on each other’s toes.” 

Some accuse the companies of using identical decorations on numerous houses — and killing each display’s individual character, according to a Bklyner report.

And while critics consider hiring a professional decorator as a form of cheating — the lighting maestros argue that their services are no different than that of any other expert. 

“It’s like if you want something on your car fixed or if you want to paint your wall, you hire someone who really knows how,” said Nando DiMeglio of DiMeglio Decorators. “It’s too much work for the homeowners to do it all themselves most of the time. I have a whole team with me to do it.”

Additional reporting by Elissa Esher

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