Compare this image with the previous one taken on November 9, 2012---both taken from the Highway 181 BML overlook with the same camera and lens. The photos were taken 17 days apart, but show the same lights in the same colors, positions, and patterns. There has been no significant movement or changes in 95% of the lights---however close inspection of the two images does show a few changes, which probably relate to moving vehicle lights and/or flashing tower or advertising lights.
As in the November 9, 2012 photo, the isolated single white light above the skyline is a communication tower on High Peak, while the sloping row of close-spaced lights on the skyline ridge near the left edge of the image are house lights on Rocky Road south of Valdese. From right to left, the city lights of east Morganton, Drexel and Valdese are visible.
Canon EOS Rebel T3i DSLR camera with a 420-mm telephoto lens and ten-second exposure at f/8 and ISO 800.